Dj Buddy Beaverhausen: You have a big event scheduled for the not-too-distant future at the club, Icon, in Astoria. Can you share any details with our readers?
DeVonde Williams: This is going to be a high-energy grand event with a lot of love, laughter and of course singing and dancing. You will just have to be there to understand the magnitude of how GREAT an event this will be!
DBB: You happen to be cousins with a major dance-music diva. What was it like growing with her?
DW: Well I can say there was NEVER a dull moment! From jumping on and off beds to falling off beds, singing and dancing all over the place we had and still have a ball! Our family is VERY IMPORTANT to us. Our family is so close-knit, we grew up more like sisters than cousins.
DBB: What kind of music do you like to listen to. And what recording artists, outside of Inaya, have influenced you?
DW: I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MUSIC! I believe music has a healing power! I LOVE ALL genres of music! Funk, r&b, jazz, neo-soul, classical, folk, pop, gospel, rock, rap. I love Jill Scott, Billy Joel, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbara Streisand, Mahalia Jackson, Billie Holiday and my three musical GENIUS friends in my head: Prince, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. The list goes on but I MUST say the sweet, sultry tone of Gladys knight I just LOVE!
DBB: Tell us about Heartshare & your involvement there.
DW: Heartshare human services is an agency that I have been dedicated to for nine years that helps improve the life of people with developmental disabilities and special needs. I am a supervisor in the day program and I help the individuals develop to their fullest potential [regarding] common life-skill goals that we often take for granted. It is very rewarding and I am delighted to be a part of such an organization.
DBB: You're from Brooklyn, where I also live now. Any special summer events there you're looking forward to?
DW: I grew up in Sunset Park I look forward to so many things from the free concerts at Wingate Park to the festival on 18th Avenue. There is no place like Brooklyn! I love it.
DBB: I'm in Bay Ridge, so we're practically neighbors!
DBB: What are your plans, right now, as a singer with a growing career? Do you see yourself following in your cousin's footsteps as a dance diva?
DW: There is no one on this earth, living or dead, like Inaya. My prayer is that I can come as close to her professionalism, her energy, her brilliant mind and her vocal skills and performance. My plan is to keep pushin keep on pushin to the top. [winks]
DBB:I hear from producer Barbara Sobel that dance remixes of your latest recording may be forthcoming. Is that correct? And how do you feel about that?
DW: That is correct and I am ecstatic beyond measure.
DBB Picture this: You walk into a club, they're playing you singing your song and everyone's dancing to it. How do think that you'd react?
DW: I would be super duper elated and would join in on the dance floor.
DBB: Is there anything you like to do more than sing?
DW: No, not really but I love to dance and I love to cook. If I have a bad day, I dance like no one is watching and when people eat my food they feel my love!
DBB: If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
DW: [Laughs] Wow, my mother would say fabulous but I say humbled.
DBB: Thank you so much, DeVonde. Look forward to seeing you at Icon in September!
DW: No, thank you! And, yes, I will see you in September.