Written by: WISDOM
Photos by: Lew Williams
Gypsy Soul once again is responsible for bringing the best and brightest talent to Charm City, this time in the form of Natalie Stewart, the “floetic” voice formerly of neo-soul duo Floetry. Held at Clutch Lounge, located in Canton, “Soundcheck Series----The Floacist Presents Floetic Soul” was billed as a meet and greet session. Patrons at Clutch would be given the opportunity to not only meet the solo artist, but also be treated to an informal listening session for the new album Floetic Soul. I was definitely anticipating this event, not only to meet The Floacist, but also to get a sneak peek of Floetic Soul.
Once I finally found an adequate parking space, I entered Clutch Lounge and saw a few familiar faces. Of course Gypsy Soul was in the house, providing an atmosphere conducive for this type of event. Clutch Lounge has a reputation as “Baltimore’s Premier Sports Bar and Lounge”, yet the aura within the walls of the venue was more musical and creative. DJ Bobby Rox was the host and deejay for the evening, setting the ambiance with smooth cuts from the second level of Clutch. For a small period of time, I had the opportunity to absorb the Clutch ambiance on the first floor, networking and chatting with friends and my wife.
The Floacist was scheduled to arrive 8 PM, and she wasn’t far removed from that arrival time. Once the artist of the hour was inside Clutch, the venue was abuzz with excitement. Various choice selections from Floetic Soul were played by DJ Bobby Rox, as Ms. Stewart met with adoring fans, took photos, and signed autographs. Her spirit was very positive and uplifting, much like the music has been known for during the advent of the 21st century. I could sense that those in attendance were in tune with the eclectic, melodic music blasting from speakers throughout Clutch Lounge.
Once I had the opportunity to speak with The Floacist, I gathered that the vibe you get from her recordings is true to form. She was all I expected and more----a very kind, humble, intelligent spirit indeed. When I asked her about her excitement level for her album release on November 9th, The Floacist said she was extremely anxious for birthing this project. This gifted artist said that there wasn’t a favorite cut on the album because each of the thirteen songs was a unique piece in completing the sonic puzzle that is Floetic Soul. Between photo ops and a brief discussion, I was very happy in meeting Ms. Stewart.
Other fans of the musical stylings of The Floacist had the opportunity to also meet and greet her for the better part of an hour and a half. A majority of songs from Floetic Song were previewed for the relatively crowded walls of Clutch. “Forever”, the debut single with Musiq Soulchild, was blended with various other Floetic Soul songs. Titles such as “Let Me”, “Keep It Going” (with Raheem Devaughn), “Breathe”, and “Need You” alluded to an album full of love and emotion. DJ Bobby Rox “kept the soulful vibe alive by playing plethora of smooth joints, including “Music Ok” by Allegra Dolores, “Punch Drunk Love” by Common and Kanye, “Prototype” by Andre 3000 (an all-time favorite for me), and “Crown Royal” by Jill Scott. DJ Bobby Rox kept the event flowing like the alcohol being served at the bar at Clutch Lounge. If you haven’t checked out this brother, he has an internet radio show on www.rocktheflow.com, playing similar music to what was offered at the very dope listening session for The Floacist.
Many familiar faces were in the house, enjoying the good music and vibes. Local artists such as Komplex and Ahmed The Last Born Child, CVEG CEO Lew Williams (who was also the unofficial photographer for the evening’s events), writer and sports aficionado T.J. Hightower, DMV-based independent filmmaker Toneka Abdullah, and numerous others were peppered throughout the crowd. All in all, this was a win-win situation for everyone involved. As fans, we know that Natalie “The Floacist” Stewart has created a very dope piece of artistry, and the lady of the moment realized that Baltimore is a very supportive locale for her. On November 9th, make sure you purchase a copy of Floetic Soul, showing your support for a lady keeping her “Floetic Soul” alive.