Music Issue 2012
All about the song
Ashaki Zeigler's winning way
Published: November 7, 2012
Zeigler continued to perform, but the gigs in Detroit were scarce, so she returned to college, and earned a degree in special education. Then she landed a job teaching at an alternative high school. She performed infrequently, but she recorded three self-produced albums Ashaki Live, Every Time and Beautiful.
Asked how she was able to keep her voice up to snuff only performing here and there, Zeigler explains she was a habitual "car singer," singing in her car with the music blaring no matter where she's going.
Right now, Zeigler performs around town, and at a lot of private functions. Over the summer, she won a national singing competition called Rep Your City, which tours city to city searching for the best singers. Her first-place prize is opening for the R&B heartthrob Trey Songz when his national tour hits Detroit next spring.
Zeigler's biggest project is under way, recording a full-length album of originals songs yet untitled, produced by jazz bassist Ralphe Armstrong. Although Zeigler is a bona fide jazz vocalist, the new album will be completely neo-soul recording, although there was some R&B on her previous albums. She plans to push the new album to the max. Not that she's ever done anything concerning her career half-ass. This album is way more personal than her others.
Given her jazz background, is she concerned about being labeled a sellout?
"People keep telling me that I would do well performing mainstream. So I'm going to do that," she says. "Then I'm going to return to my roots, which is jazz. Jazz is a big part of me, and I don't want that die. So, I'm not going to sell out."
Charles L. Latimer writes about jazz for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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