This week’s featured Lesbians I Love profile is New York’s own Deepa Soul. And while I freely admit that I don’t know her well, I definitely have a lot of admiration for her work which compelled me to profile her this week.
Deepa’s stunning stage presence has been inspiring club goers since her debut in 2000 with the release of her Billboard Dance/Club Play smash" Nowhere Love" Remixed by Junior Vasquez via Nervous Record Label. As she shouted in her first single I’m tired I’m tired, I’m tired and I’m fed up I’m fed up Deepa is tired of playing or trying to fit into the role society gave her to play.
She says, "I came to live out loud/to stand strong and proud/and if they try to knock me down/I’ll still be standing my ground."
Not only is Deepa an extraordinary singer, she is a musician, songwriter, performer, poet, writer and activist.
So goes her mantra “take me as I am!!!”
"I grew up in the Deep South in New Orleans, Louisiana and life ain’t been no crystal staircase for me. That Bible belt was so tight, that it was hard for me to breath in that dark ugly closet. My grandmother Mildred, bless her soul, was my saving grace. She understood me and helped me to understand myself. We had a secret relationship that nurtured me through the hard times. She told me that I would have to get out of the south as soon as I could if I was going to live and be happy."
Deepa always knew from a very young age that she was different from everyone else. She survived by praying and day dreaming. Growing up in the south with a Baptist and Catholic upbringing, going to an all-girls academy run by Nuns, made coming out impossible. So, she heeded what her grandmother said, and fly away she did, to the Golden Gay Capitol of the world, San Francisco then to Santa Cruz over to Los Angeles and finally landing in New York, New York the big city of dreams.
After being in New York for only one year, Deepa managed to plant herself in the right place at the right time. Working during the day as a Software Documentation Specialist for TCIS/System Objects of France, and at night as a cashier at EightBall Records The Shop on East 9th street in the East Village of Manhattan. There she met DJ’s and Producers from all over the world as well as Legendary DJ/Producer Junior Vasquez. Deepa says that it was Junior who put her on the map. Junior was the first to show her love and respect as a singer.
"He just swooped me up and overnight I was on the major dance floors around the world, breaking out on the Billboard Dance Chart at #3 with Nowhere Love, and performing in front of thousands of club goers and fans."
Once again she teams up with legendary DJ/producer Junior Vasquez to release a slammin’ new take on the Sound Factory classic As I Am which claimed the #1 spot on the Billboard Breakout Club Play List and the Hot Shot Debut entering the chart at #44. When asked why she chose this song, Deepa says that she identified with the lyrics of "As I Am" because it makes a courageous and true statement. She believes that everyone should just be themselves and not worry about pleasing other people. Believe in yourself right from your heart. With this new single, she feels like it is finally her chance to sing it like it is!! Ask Deepa one word that describes her as a person and she’ll say tenacious, because she stuck to her dreams firmly without any doubt, and she’s solid as a rock.
Deepa recently became the executive director of Outmusic, the alliance of openly LGBT Recording Artist and Performers.
For all this and more, Deepa Soul is a Lesbian I Love.
MORE ON DEEPA SOUL
New Orleans, La
Single, Dating, or Married:
Children? Yes, No, In the Future:
Yes! I do want kids in the future.. ;o)
Singer/songwriter, performer, activist and Executive Director of OUTmusic – the alliance of openly LGBT Recording Artist and Performers.
What’s your favorite color?
What’s your favorite food?
If you had a choice of watching LOGO, Here!, BET or Lifetime which would you choose?
BET J no noo no wait ahh Lifetime.. hee heee..
L Word or Girlfriends?
Do you prefer fem or butch women and why?
Femme womyn, because I’m into the opposite attraction kind of thing. I love girls that get into to being a lady. But I’m the cook! Don’t touch my grill or my stove! I got this.
Favorite body part and why?
Mmm…nipples I love the nipples… ;o)
As Black a woman do you prefer nappy or straight hair and why?
I don’t have a preference with the hair thing. I am really into a woman that knows her worth regardless of the type of hair she sports. Quite frankly, I’ve been strongly attracted to femme womyn who don’t have any hair at all!! That’s hot!! That’s bold and sexy as hell!
What in your opinion are the biggest issues facing Black lesbians and our solutions
Wow!! Well, internalized homophobia/classism and disunity. My solution is to motivate our community to unify on all fronts, no matter what class we are.We as Black Lesbians cannot afford to separate ourselves, because if we do, we can never succeed as a group. We may not all agree on several things, but the one thing we can stand together on is our Unity of sistahood and fate. Divided we falter and keep running around in circles. We need to work together and support one another more in order to rise above the struggle. We must do this first before we can attack anything that targets us as a group of people who are slated to be the faces at the bottom of the well.
Who’s in your iPod/CD player?
Miriam Makeba, Imani Uzuri, Mavis Staples, Barbara Tucker, Frankie Knuckles, Junior Vasquez, Millie Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, Janet Mz. Jackson if ya nasty, Tupac, Isley Brothers and Frankie Beverly and Maze…I’m pumpin’ that Umbrella song by Rihanna too.
What your favorite quote?
"When someone shows you who they are BELIEVE THEM"…..Maya Angelou
Who’s your favorite author and why?
Octavia Butler!! I just love her mind! I am a science fiction guuurrll I like to open my mind to other worlds and dimensions. I had to escape my world many a days when I was growing up.
Top five places on the web and why?
Single most important piece of advice for younger Black lesbians…
"Don’t chase a woman who wants her cake and eat it too. There ARE LESBIAN sistas out there who DO know what they want. Leave them CONFUSED ass girlz ALONE!! Leave em alone I said!!"Ha haa LOL!! ;o)
Who are you supporting in the 2008 Presidential election and why?
Ohhhhh damn!! It’s a battle between good and evil. We’re in a spiritual battle! I am still watching them…But right now, it’s between Obama and Hillary.
What moves you?
Womyn who work hard at making the changes they want to see in the world, and can still find a way to be sexy and sweet at home with me. It inspires and calms me.
Connect with Deepa Soul at www.myspace.com/deepasoul.