A veteran of the local music scene, Lady Alma Horton has been the go-to vocalist for many progressive R&B and dance creators. First introduced to the world by King Britt—who used her vocals on his first Sylk 130 project, 1998’s When the Funk Hits the Fan—she would go on to collabo with such soulful, underground music makers as 4Hero, DJ Spinna and Mark de Clive-Lowe (who produced her Pressure EP in 2007).
4hero producer Dennis “Dego” McFarlane called on Horton’s talents again for Two, the new, second album from Silhouette Brown, a project he formed with Bugz in the Attic producer Kaidi Tatham and singer/songwriter Bembe Segue. McFarlane and Horton will team up for their first Silhouette Brown performance in Philly at the Blockley’s “Pirate Radio Live” night on Tuesday. PW chatted with the San Diego-born, Philly-based Horton, 42, about the sweet music she made with McFarlane and what to expect at the upcoming show.
So, did McFarlane call on you because of the 4hero work you two did?
No, I don’t think it was that. I think that, you know, dealing with Dego, he said that he enjoyed the first album [from Silhouette Brown]. However, the female vocalist [U.K. vocalist Deborah Jordan] was not strong enough. So, they knew that they wanted to use a vocalist whose voice was strong and very forceful, which he thought I had from working with me previously. But, I don’t think it had anything to do with the 4hero project at all. I just think it had something to do with the vocal skills, and him having the experience of working with me before, that’s how I ended up doing the Silhouette Brown project.
This is the first time you guys will be performing in Philly, right?
This is the first time we are performing in Philly. Someone finally believed in the vision enough to put their money, invest their money, into the show. And that’s why we’re doing it in Philly. Because no one wanted to invest the money in it. So, we were not going to come out of our pockets to pay ourselves to perform here in Philadelphia. And we’ve been performing, you know, all summer long, because it was released in February.
Was there a big demand for Silhouette Brown to perform here?
Well, I can’t say there wasn’t a big demand, because there was. When the album was released, there was a very big buzz about when we were coming to Philadelphia. And I don’t think it has anything to do with people hearing the music. It’s the individual that’s going to pay to bring the individuals to perform it, you know. Lil’ Dave, DJ Junior, along with a few other DJs were supporting the project already. And so, at their parties, they would play different tunes from the album. So, does Philadelphia as a whole know who Silhouette Brown is? No, but the heads knew who Silhouette Brown was, because they knew about the first project. It had to do with finances. You gotta put money into something to make it work. And nobody was willing to do that.
Well, the show is now here. What can we look forward to at the Silhouette Brown show?
Well, if anybody has seen a live Lady Alma show, that’s all. They’re getting Lady Alma doing Silhouette Brown. It’s the same vibrant, energetic show that I give when I’m doing Lady Alma. The difference is I’m doing Silhouette Brown’s music. So, it’s the same exciting, live and exuberant and happy show that I give as Lady Alma, just performing the Silhouette Brown music.
Silhouette Brown featuring Lady Alma performs Tues., Nov. 23, 9pm.
3801 Chestnut St.
PW's Music Issue 2014