If you were looking for the Black rock audience, they were in effect at the Janelle Monae Summerstage show last month. Ngozi was one of the people I met there. For the most part, she’s not really checking for artists in the mainstream. And of the Black rock artists she does follow, you’ll hear the attributes that are important to her: Artists who play their own instruments, have a vocal range, and give a good show. On this last point, it seems that her expectations are that most artists won’t give great performances. To me, that says that Black rock artists have an opportunity to surprise audiences by giving them something that they assume they won’t get: a stirring performance.
She’s also a big supporter of Black alt culture in general. She’s one of the partners in Brooklyn boutique Harriet’s Alter Ego and, in addition to the clothing and accessories sold there, it’s an alternative space for visual, spoken word and musical artists. Definitely a place worth supporting, ’cause they do cool events like this.