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Interview:
Chrisette Michele is forging her own path these days
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Chrisette Michele certainly had a few more eyeballs on her as part of this season's "R&B Divas LA" reality show on TV One. But one season, she says, was enough.

"I don't think I like cameras very much," says Michele, 32, a New York State native known for hits such as "Epiphany," "Blame It On Me" and "Be OK" and for feature appearances on songs by Nas, Ghostface Killah, Ruben Studdard, 2 Chainz and more. "I thought (the show) would be based a little more on what we do on a daily basis as individuals. I thought people might see me perform or how we put tours together, some sort of insider's look at what my life was like. It was a lot less about the music industry and a lot more about developing relationships with other people.

"I learned a lot. I love marketing and analysis and demographics and all that kind of stuff, but my favorite lesson is that I learned people still respond to touch. People are still intrigued by seeing you live and meeting you, and that means more than being on television or Instagram."

Michele plans to maintain the up close and personal touch as she establishes her own label, which released the conceptual, orchestrated EP "The Lyricists' Opus" last month and will put out a new album, the follow-up to 2013's "Better," in 2015.

"No one will believe these words, but fame is really an uncomfortable place at times, and the more you're on a major label the more famous people want to make you," says Michele, who will also be mounting a tour performing "the Lyricists' Opus" in the new year. "They keep saying things like, 'We need to broaden your fan base' and stuff like that.

"I'm really kind of satisfied and comfortable with the fan base I have. If those people want to hang with me, that's great. That's all I need and want."

Chrisette Michele

8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18.

SoundBoard in the Motor City Casino, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit.

Tickets are $33-$41.

Call (313) 237-7711 or visit www.motorcitycasino.com.


Web Site: www.motorcitycasino.com

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