by JR Valrey, The Minister of Information JR, SF B
Morgan J is a very talented neo-soul singer as well as a dope rhyme sayer. She is one of four featured women vocalists who will be embarking on a historic tour to Ghana in late December being put together by D’Wayne Wiggins of the legendary R&B group Tony, Toni, Tone and his camp. It will be Morgan J’s first time to Africa, and Black New World Media just wanted to take the opportunity to share her excitement, plans and expectations of what she is embarking on in her voyage in a little over a month to the Motherland. Check her out in her own words, and support her financially in her quest, if you have the means.
JR Valrey: What made you want to get on a tour to Africa?
Morgan J: The answer is in the question, “to tour and go to Africa.” I’ll sing at the local bars out here, so being invited to go to the “Motherland” to do what I love most is not even a question! I want to not only network with business owners, sing at establishments, interview on radio shows, I also am yearning to experience MY culture, MY people from the place I actually came from. I am going with an expectation. God has something there for me and I’m going to go get it – whatever it may be!
JR Valrey: What interests you about Africa? Why do you want to perform and record there?
Morgan J: When I was in college, I had the privilege of having an amazing Black History professor named Mr. Wade. He was stern but passionate. He talked about Africa like it was the gates of heaven, with knowledge so advanced and rich that I’d bubble over with joy inside.
Another professor of mine, Dr. Lisa Williams, talked about her summer trip to Africa as we did the “Ice Breaker” activity in English. She spoke of her experiences with the culture – from the food to the people. She even came back with some sisterlocks. I’ve talked to many people about vacations and trips, and there is just something about Africa.
Anytime there is peace and beauty, there is inspiration and passion. With inspiration and passion, there is creativity. I cannot wait to create an authentic vibe. I can only imagine how this is going to go.
JR Valrey: Besides music, what do you want to experience in Ghana?
Morgan J: Just recently hearing about the history and how current it is, I can’t wait to experience the stories and tales of how this place came about. Of course, I want to experience the culture, their way of living, the hustle, how their music industry works.
America depicts Africa to be poor and savage. Often we are told lies, never knowing the truth. That’s what I really want to experience. The Truth!
JR Valrey: What do you think about African music? Is there any African music that you like?
Morgan J: African music speaks to your body. It forces you to move. I love that about it. It’s compelling and persuasive, calming and vibrant. It’s interesting how it has made its way over here to Cali.
My sister lives in New York, and all they listen to is Afrobeat. I remember years ago she made us listen to it, and it was so good I tapped into the Afrobeat playlist on Apple Music. I was unfamiliar with the artists but quickly fell in love with the music and how their voices complimented the beat.
I am yearning to experience MY culture, MY people from the place I actually came from.
Great music for the gym BTW.
JR Valrey: How has your fundraising been going? How much more money do you need to raise?
Morgan J: The fundraiser has been mind blowing. I started a GoFundMe and instantly people started supporting me. Then for my birthday my mom, Toni McNeil, did a separate fundraiser on Facebook, and in less than 24 hours, she raised $1.2k – from people I knew to people I’ve never in my life encountered. I can’t lie: It was humbling and encouraging all at the same time. I told my boyfriend I have no choice but to succeed now.
JR Valrey: How has your local community responded about you going to Ghana?
Morgan J: They are so excited. I feel the support all around. People I haven’t seen in years are telling me “goodluck on your travels,” and they say how excited they are for me. My community pretty much paid for my plane ticket which was roughly $2k, so I’d say they are supporting me more than I could imagine.
JR Valrey: What do you plan to do out there with D’Wayne Wiggins of Tony, Toni, Tone tour?
Morgan J: My strategy is always the same when doing business: Stay professional, observe, see where you fit in and get contacts. I plan to record, do music videos, sing on stages, network, shop, sightsee, indulge in African food, dance – and anything that I can think of, I’m doing. I plan to document this trip as well (video for YouTube), so I want to experience all that I can for those who haven’t been, so they can see how it really is out there.
JR Valrey: How could people support you?
Morgan J: First, I ask that you all pray for me as I embark on this journey, that I receive whatever God has for me there and that He covers me. Fear comes easy when you are in the unknown.
I don’t care if it’s $1 or $1k; anything helps and everything costs.
$MorganJ10 – CashApp
https://gofund.me/bb4aa3fc – GoFundMe
JR Valrey, journalist, author, filmmaker and founder of Black New World Media, heads the SF Bay View’s Oakland Bureau. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Facebook. Visit www.BlackNewWorldMedia.com to read more.