Let’s chat with Sweet Honey In The Rock
What are your names? Do they have a special meaning?
Aisha Kahlil – My name, Aisha Kahlil, was given to me when I was a sophomore in college. I met a MuslimSomeone whose religion is Islam. brother who gave me the name, which I adopted when I took shahadaThe profession of faith made by Muslims as a Muslim. Aisha means “alive” in ArabicA language that is the official language of several countries of North Africa and Southwest Asia.. Kahlil means “friend.” In SomaliaA country in East Africa., Aisha means “What do you desire?”
What is your earliest musical memory?
Aisha - I grew up singing around the house. We used to sing along with my mother and father’s recordsVinyl or plastic disks with grooves that can be played on a phonograph or record player.. My father was always humming or singing, and my mother sang in the church choir. There was always music around the house, and I remember singing all the time. My sister (Nitanju Bolade Casel) and I used to make up performances and perform for the neighbors, and for anniversaries and birthdays. I was always the director, calling the other kids to come and practice.
Shirley – My earliest memory of music is that I wouldn’t sing out loud – I was always off key. I’ve since learned that singing is energizing, and it is expression of one’s self – whether sung vocally or in Sign!
Maillard – We had a beautiful upright piano in our house where I lived with both of my grandparents in Philadelphia. It was dark brown and I loved to polish it and spent lots of time pretending I knew everything there was to know about music and composing. (That was before I took lessons in the 2nd grade.) I would play and play all kinds of melodies and sing and get up and create all kinds of fancy dances. My heart was full of music and drama and stories. I had a wild imagination.
Nitanju – My early music memories are rehearsing and singing in the junior church choir, rehearsing our friends for neighborhood performances, spending most of my allowance on music, trying to sing like all of the artists, and taking piano lessons. I LOVED the piano! Still do!
Louise – My first memories of music are in the church. I was a member of the “number one” choir, which was for kindergarteners through second graders. I led two songs: “Satisfied with Jesus” and “We Are Soldiers in the Army.” Although singing was the first musical experience I had, acting was the main focus of my artistic career.