Along with her new album, ‘Pieces of Me’, Ledisi has debuted a new look, pulling her locks into a gorgeous signature updo. I got a chance to talk to Ledisi and her stylist, Michele London, about her new look, her slimmed down figure and her music! Enjoy!
I LOVE your burgundy/red hair color. How did you decide on that?
L: I have another great hairstylist from DC name Tika at Epiphany Hair Salon on U street, she came up with the hair color. When Michele can’t do my hair Tika does my hair and maintains my color. She’s awesome with color.
And how did you decide on this new look?
L: My hairstylist Michele London made me stop hiding my face and gave me my hairstyle. It was a hard transition because I didn’t want people to see my face. Michele taught me how to celebrate my culture through my hair.
I read in an interview that your natural hair texture is very wavy and curly. Given how challenging it can be to loc wavy hair, why did you decide on locs?
L: I decided to loc because it felt natural going that way. Michele has begged me to do other natural hairstyles. I will soon. I’ll probably change it up during my tour.
Have you ever gotten pushback from the music industry for rocking such a unique look?
L: Wow! (sigh) It’s funny… when I wore my hair down nobody recognized me. Now that I wear it up they do. I love the fans who appreciate what Michele and I have offered to the world of locs and natural hair. I think we have more we want to do. But there are some fans who have their image of what they want me to be.I can dig people having their opinions, but this is my image. I love who I have become and I’m not in this business because of my hair (laughing) But… to answer your question… the music industry has been awesome towards me.
In recent years you’ve slimmed down significantly, and you look great! What sparked the decision to become more fit?
L: Wow, thank you… I’m just wanting to be healthier. It has nothing to do with image. I just stopped eating certain things and exercise more. I still have more I want to lose because I want to see myself a certain way.
You’ve been in the industry for more than a decade. How do you think you’ve managed to thrive for so long?
L: My fans (like-minded spirits)… their support has sustained me. My family has replenished me. Also prayer. God has been there when noone else came through.
One thing you mentioned during your Chicago performance is how some of your fans think you’re “selling out” because you have a new sound. Can you speak to that?
L: [They think I’m] more commercial in my tone of music. My older fans are used to me using live instruments and being more organic in my approach to music. I can’t be what I was. I must be what I Am right now.
Ledisi performing ‘Shut Up’, a song dedicated to “haters”
What is one thing you wish your audience knew about you?
L: I wish they knew that I always really try to please everyone. I know I cant but I try so hard.
Your new album, Pieces of Me, debuted at number 8 on the Billboard 200. Congrats!! What are your current and upcoming projects!
L: Thank you so much! I am going on tour this fall. My first headlining tour. I am so excited about it. I love the element of surprise so I guess you’ll have to wait and see what I do next.
How long have you been doing Ledisi’s hair?
M: I’ve been doing her hair for two years. When I met her she was wearing an asymmetrical bob, and I thought her face and locs would be complimented with an updo.
How did you come up with the updo that she rocks now?
M: She has such a pretty face and I thought the bob wasn’t doing it for her. I was inspired by Janelle monae. But when I styled it, I softened it up a bit so it can be a pompadour or a Mohawk for an edgy look, or a curled updo. I like that it appeals to women of all ages.
How do you keep her locs healthy, especially given that she has color in her hair.
M: Regular hydrating shampoos and conditioners are good for color treated locs. Plenty of water and a good diet (for good circulation) are really key for healthy hair. Plus clear oils such as olive and tea tree keep locs moisturized and not heavy.
There’s a mindset that locs can be left alone and they’ll still be healthy. Is that true?
M: Hair is like a plant, it needs air, moisture, and nutrients. Natural hair has to be maintained just like relaxed hair does. The difference is the time. Relaxed hair is daily maintenance, natural is weekly or monthly.
You can also find Ledisi on Twitter :) Show her some BGLH love!