On Sunday, June 23, NYC music lovers were ready to see R&B superstar Syleena Johnson perform at the Highline Ballroom. Prior to her performance, the atmospheric mood at the lounge was settled. Johnson’s fans waited patiently for the R&B diva, preoccupied with delicious food and drinks and jams in the meantime. And to get the party started, comedian and emcee Del Harrison blessed the stage with her comical skits on love, relationships, marriage, sexism, and racism.
Audience members also had a chance to see Johnson’s nephew and aspiring singer, Sean Black, perform on stage. When Black started singing, fans knew instantly he was related to Johnson. It was evident because fans recognized talent and love for R&B and hip-hop. He joined the two musical elements during his segment and made it known to everyone that you will hear his voice again real soon.
Harrison’s and Black’s performances were great, but fans were chanting Johnson’s name. It was time to see the songbird at her best. Johnson met her fans’ expectations as she performed a number of songs during her segment, including “Underrated,” “I Am Your Woman,” “Shoefly,” “A Boss,” the hook to Kanye West’s song, “All Falls Down,” “Hypnotic,” “I’d Rather Be Wrong,” “Like Thorns,” “If You Play Your Cards Right,” “Still Open,” “No Words,” and her break up anthem, “Guess What.”
Johnson was also a newscaster, creating her own newsfeed on stage about her upcoming projects. Fans were eager to know more about her reggae project with R&B singer Musiq Soulchild (9INE), new album, Chapter Six: Couples Therapy, and her old-soul compilation, The Rebirth of Soul. On the compilation, Johnson will sing songs from some of the biggest names in soul music: Tina Turner, Jackie Wilson, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, and many more.
She ended her set with the inspirational and uplifting song, “Stone Wall.” Everyone can relate to this song because we all go through trials and tribulations in life, but you have to remain victorious. When Syleena sang the song, she was ministering to everyone about God being the central foundation in your life.
Johnson has been in the entertainment industry since she was 15 years old. The road has not been easy but she is determined to aim higher in her career. The word “diva” was redefined at her concert because a diva is supposed to have certain qualities in order to have this specific title. Diva exemplifies Johnson’s personality because fans recognized her realness, gratitude, charisma, sense of humor, and last but not least, her magnetic voice. As Johnson continues to progress in her career, her fans will witness her journey to greatness along the way.
–Dominique M. Carson
Dominique M. Carson is a graduate student at Brooklyn College. Dominique’s work has been featured in Singersroom.com, Rappersoom.com, Pure Soul Magazine, www.thecelebritycafe.com, Spotlight on Recovery Magazine, Bay Currents, Urbane Perspective Media+ Lifestyle, Inc, Brooklyn College’s media outlets, Brooklyn Daily Eagle internet edition, Education Update, www.NYCityWatch.org, and www.brooklyntoday.info. She is currently nominated for a Black Celebration Award in News & Journalism. For more information on Dominique, visit her homepage, LinkedIn page, and Facebook fan page.