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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Exclusive Q&A with Luci Martin, formerly of Chic and Next Step

Luci Martin was one of the voices of the femme-fronted classic-disco group, the immortal Chic. The girls have formed the new girl-group, Next Step. They will also be appearing at 54 Below's brunch celebrating Sarah Dash's 70th birthday! It was my pleasure to have the opportunity to ask Ms Martin some questiions today.

Buddy Beaverhausen: I am so looking forward to seeing you at Sarah Dash's birthday brunch on Sunday at 54 Below. How well do you ladies know Sarah?
Luci Martin: Although I do not know Sarah, personally, very well, I feel as though I have known her since the day I picked up a Labelle Album. She was and will always be an influence in my becoming an artist. Being successful at such a young age, inspired in me the possibilities of a career in entertainment in an expressive and different way.

BB: There's a whole new interest in classic or classic-styled disco music that's been going on. Why do you think that is at this point in time? 
LM: I think it fills a void in today's industry. Sometimes, you just want to dance and feel happy. That is what dance music does for you. We are coming out of a time of hardship, depressed economy and aggressive political views. It can be a bit overwhelming and makes us think of a happier time. I think that the disco style and message embodied a lighter head space and a sense of release. There is also no age requirement for its enjoyment and I feel as though they are key factors in its resurgence.

BB:Nile Rodgers has a new album. You're on a track or two I understand. What was doing that like?
LM: For me, there was a bittersweet element to it. It instantly took me back to the good times we all shared (pun intended) and the relationships we built and yet it was just as strongly a reminder of what has passed and who was missing. For many years, I shared a life with a special group of talented people and the two most important influences in my life were gone. Bernard and Tony. Having the opportunity to record again with Nile and Alfa, along with the ghostly whispers of my best friends was magical for me. Combine that with working along side with old and new friends and the wonderful vocalists now working under the Chic organization is something I will forever feel grateful for.

BB: What can we expect from you on Sunday?
LM: You can expect some Good Times, both literally and figuratively. We are excited to be a part of this and mix a little old with a bit of our new.

BB: You ladies are fantastic! Iconic disco divas yet still on the scene relevantly. What's this about a new song with Aristofreeks?
LM: Our recent release is entitled 'Get On Up' , off the PEM label featuring music by Aristofreeks, and we hope the title and music entices everyone to do just that. Our dear friend Kathy Sledge wrote the lyrics for us.

BB: What's it like to work together as a group for so long?
LM: A lot like riding a bike, lol, after a few adjustments, a reintroduction to how the machine works, it's all forward movement. 

BB: Any forthcoming gigs in the NYC area?
LM: We are working on developing our show, music and letting the public learn who we are as a group, so naturally doing live shows is our ultimate goal. We expect to have a schedule soon which can be found on our web page, www.nextstepmusic.us

BB: What music did you grow up listening to? And what singers influenced you most?
LM: I grew up as a child listening to jazz and opera, my dad loved classical music, but as i grew older, i became a fan of musicals and old movies in black and white for the beautiful classic clothing. I guess that makes it fortuitous that I would end up in a group named "Chic". I later gravitated towards groups like Labelle, Mother's Finest, Mint condition and, of course,  Stevie Wonder. Joplin, Baez, Manchester, Laura Nyro, and a host of country writers also were big influences for me in my writing.

BB: Any contemporary artists you enjoy listening to?
LM: Right now I am a big fan of artists like Jill Scott, India Arie, Sia, Maya and Adele..hmm I just realized I have no men listed haha, well I appreciate them also, but I find the ones who are primarily writers I admire most. Did I mention Amy Winehouse??

BB: Can you tell us anything about your performance at Sunday's brunch?
LM: t will be fun, casual and inviting. A dedication to my sister in song.

BB: Any last shout-outs to my international readership and disco-lovers?
LM: Without you, I am just a dream. Thank you all for being more than just a fan and for the years of support!

BB: See you Sunday and thank you for this interview! Can't wait to meet you.

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