Hitting a personal note

Lady Ace Boogie looks inward with newest album.
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Inspired by loss, Lady Ace Boogie looks inward on new album. Photo by Michelle Cuppy

Lady Ace Boogie is back with a new album and a new sound. “I chose beats that didn’t sound like what you’ve heard from me before,” she said. “Overall, the energy on this project is blatantly different from any other project.”

Part of that is due to its content — and a big loss that Lady Ace Boogie suffered recently; her father passed away from liver cancer. That loss was fresh on her mind as she stepped into the studio this time around to create the album “That’s All for Now.”

Grand Rapids Magazine: What can you share about your relationship with your father and how his battle with liver cancer has influenced you?

Lady Ace Boogie: It’s extremely hard to talk about this right now, but I will do my best. My father moved to Grand Rapids six years ago to be closer to me. During my adolescent years I was never home. As one of seven children raised primarily by my father after my mother became ill, I would always be the one to run away.

My household wasn’t bad, but I chose to be in the streets and followed the wrong path. During that time, I felt like my relationship with him consisted of the police dropping me off at home or him helping me get out of other bad situations. So, when he came to visit me one year in Grand Rapids he saw the person I became, and it was like we instantly clicked. I saw a side of him I was never able to see and vice versa, so he decided to stay. He was cool, funny, positive, talented and my biggest advocate.

I have spent half my life doing things to make him proud. He would tell anyone who would listen that I was his superstar. Losing him has left me with a feeling that I cannot describe with words. He wasn’t ready and we were not ready to let him go. The health system failed him.

Photo by Michelle Cuppy

GRM: Why was including his voice on the “Fight for Your Life” track important to you?

LAB: My dad was an artist. He did wood art and made canes. He also was a poet and was a great singer. We always freestyled together. Literally just bust out into song and make it up as we go. We talked often about getting him in the studio with me, and I always thought I had time, but unfortunately it never happened. Thankfully, I started recording our conversations once he was diagnosed and was able to use a clip from a conversation we were having about life.

GRM: This album also deals with the physical and mental health of people of color in general. What’s your personal experience been and why did you want to address these issues on this album?

LAB: Being a person of color, I am certain other POC can relate. I do believe my experiences and message in the songs touch on mental health in general. I haven’t shared this publicly but back in February I was ready to leave this world. This was right around the time I started recording the album. The song “Fight For Your Life” was a song I wrote for myself. So, I have been fighting, and I will continue to do so.

GRM: With COVID-19, opportunities to promote your album through live performances are going to be challenging. How do you plan to promote the album and overcome these obstacles?

LAB: I have taken a step away from live performances to focus more on my online presence. I have a pretty decent catalog that hasn’t received the proper push. So, I will be focusing on working with PR agencies and online marketing firms to get my work out to the masses.

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