From the Sept. 5, 2011 issue of ESPN The Magazine.
Honestly, that’s kind of a work in progress. I draw inspiration from a lot of things. Of those things, comfort is top of the list. Lately I’ve really been into 1920s/1930s styles and French couture (random, I know.) My dream stylist /designer would probably be Korto Momolu. I love the way she blends African textiles into European cuts.
I’m kind of random when it comes to shopping. I’ll do anything from department stores to yard sales. I’m not one to snub hand-me-downs either.
Two things. One is my gray tank that can be dressed up or down. The other would probably be my black harem pants. I can do so much with them plus they’re uber comfortable and I can wear them with sneakers or heels!
I’m not sure if online stores count, but if they do I can say that I LIVE on adidas.com.
I really like the Salvation Army on Jackson Ave and Crazy Beautiful is cool too. I’m glad to see that Urban Outfitters is coming to Memphis soon.
I’ve had locs since 2000 (in a sense). I went natural shortly after the new year and sometime around October 2000 decided to twist my afro down. After about three weeks I tried to wash my hair and realized that the tips had locked. From there I did the Bob Marley thing (half afro half locs just kind of doing their own thing) until my hair finally gave way to gravity. After that I twisted them down and started the crop that you see today.
I have a few things coming up in March. I just joined the crew of LaVinnia London’s Cabaret- a Vaudevillian performance group and our first show is March 18th at Minglewood Hall’s 1884 Lounge. I’ll be doing a Bessie Smith song dressed like a flapper and everything! The next thing after that is a one-woman show that I’m doing on the life and music of one of my favorites singers- Sarah Vaughn on March 27th. Outside of those I host an open mic called “The Word” every Monday night at Rumba Room. I have a few things coming up event-wise for Neosoulville too so be sure to check www.neosoulville.com for more information. #shamelessplug
I’ve always been a lover of fashion and have used it as a way to express myself. My parents taught me at an early age that it’s important to take pride in your appearance. I’d have to say it wasn’t until I moved to D.C. for a semester my junior year in college, that I really began to find my own style. It was then that I was immersed into a whole new world of fashion, and I fell in love. I’m a pretty simple girl, but have a distinguished style about myself where people close to me can say, “This looks like something you would wear, Crystal”. You can tell a lot about the mood I’m in by what I’m wearing.
Does being from Martin, Tenn. factor into that in any way?
Being from Martin, TN definitely becomes a factor in the shoe department. I LOVE LOVE LOVE shoes, but I will kick them off and go barefoot in a heartbeat. There’s a song by Brooks & Dunn that says it perfectly, “You can take the girl out of the honky-tonk, but you can’t take the honky-tonk out of the girl.” I’m a country girl at heart, so there are some things I’ll always do. But hey, that’s what makes me…me.
Are there any stores in Tennessee or in any other city (Atlanta, DC) that you favor?
The older I get the more I become like my father in the area of shopping. I just can’t spend endless hours shopping, as much as I love clothes…weird right? In my hometown my favorite boutique is Sugar & Spice. When visiting D.C. I love going to shop in Georgetown; I’d have to say Cusp is one of my favorite stores there.
What's the most worn item in your closet?
I have two. The first would have to be my Dr. Martens. The second would have to be my size 3x gray Michael Kors cashmere & wool hooded jacket…it’s so soft, I could sleep in it. Comfort is important to me, and with spending most of my time in the studio my hoodie and my docs are my go to pieces.
You rock a cute, stylish haircut. Do you think that having a shorter bob helps you stand out as a R&B singer? Was it an intentional choice?
Thank you. My hair cut is just another way to express myself. I’m so indecisive about my hair one day I want it short, the next I want it long. Kudos to the creator of extensions! But as an artist everything about you is calculated into your image, so of course, there are times when my styles are intentional.
You took on a government job in Washington, DC upon graduating from U.T. Martin. Was that a big adjustment for you?
During my internship a year prior to being hired, I had a chance to become familiar with the city. I actually was offered the job my last semester of college. I chose to finish my last semester online and started work immediately. So, the first four months were really tough, juggling a real full-time job, school, trying to find a place to live, and trying to get settled. It was tough but, I’m always up for a good challenge, so I loved every minute of it.
You just released a single called "Crazy" that features DC-area rapper Wale. Tell us about the song.
First I want to say I’m grateful for the love D.C. has shown me. It’s unbelievable how supportive they are. I have so much love for the city and I’m a huge supporter of Wale and to have him on my single, I was honored.
Now, let me give you the definition of crazy. Crazy means dope, second to none, fly, or just out of this world. This is a record that speaks for the person with a “crazy” fashion sense. It’s the theme music for the person who loves who they are and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. It’s for my ladies who realize their self-worth and know they are beyond crazy and they don’t have to deal with the nonsense, on any level.
Who are your musical influences?
Music has always be an influential part of my life. I grew up listening to Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Mary J.Blige, Monica, Brandy, Mariah Carey, Aaliyah, and Janet Jackson. I could go on forever…so many people have been influential.
Tell us about any of your upcoming film or music projects.
I’m actually really focused on my music right now. I have a mix-tape I’ll be releasing soon where I'm remixing cover songs and just letting my personality shine through on that. You know, just having fun with it. Details on name and release date for that are coming soon. Also, I'm simultaneously recording original music for my project. So I'm excited about both of those.
I have had the opportunity to do some roles on a few movies. Actually, If my scenes made the movie you can catch me in “Big Momma’s House 3”. That was the latest one I did. I really enjoyed working on set with Brandon T. Jackson and Martin Lawrence, both of whom I’m big fans of. Just to be able to observe them in their element was pretty awesome. I was tempted to ask Martin to impersonate Dragon Fly Jones, but I remained professional. Lol.
I would have to say my style is heavily influenced by nature! I like using leaves and flowers whenever I can.
It's a tug of war between the new and the old for me. I'm a visionary person when it comes to clothes. I get it in my mind that I want a certain piece or color and I envision myself finding it in a store somewhere. It's like magic! I usually find it.
My red cowgirl boots are the most worn item in my closet! I think I'm going to try retiring them for heels this year.
Java Cabana Coffeehouse surprisingly has a wonderful stock of vintage clothes along with coffee, and I have a show there on Friday, March 4th.
details on any of your upcoming music or film projects (or concerts).