Storm to Storm: Reza Rites Speaks with Michelle Cruz and 5th Elament

22 Sep


From the RezaRitesRi on Isis Storm Blog

PROVIDENCE, RI – Both of these posts come from another blog I keep,, but I know both posts would be of great interest here since they’re both about “Storm to Storm” pieces I’ve done recently.  Below I’ll provide you with an excerpt of the article followed by a link to the full piece and a link to the corresponding audio podcast.  Please enjoy!

Thru the Muck to Venus Sings Radio: A 5th Elament and Venus Sings Podcast

(posted today, September 22, 2010)

KINGSTON, RI – Where are the women in hip hop? It is a common question and refrain at live hip hop shows, locally and globally. But more varied has been the cause for this absence and the response to it.

Women viewed as non-players in the rap game is common, as is the emulation of women who have taken on hypersexual caricatures to maintain attention – sometimes over artistic development and advancement. Women who have devoted significant time to showing off their skills in wordplay, metaphors, and imagery – they are often mocked for being manly or unfeminine, and, even when women are included, concert promoters, executives, and even some attendees, underestimate and undervalue the selling power of such acts.

That is the scene you have to be aware of if you choose to come out as a woman in hip hop, especially as a “femcee.” By and by, though, these challenges have not stopped women from stepping up and demanding space in the game. One woman doing this is Kalyana Champlain, aka 5th Elament – my co-founder and partner in Isis Storm, my colleague at WRIU, my on-stage performance leader, and my friend of many years.

Click here to Keep Reading.

Click here to Listen to the Podcast


Playlist Mania – Michelle Cruz on Venus Sings Radio, July 24, 2010: The Podcast and the Preview

(originally posted August 22, 2010)
by Reza Corinne Clifton
(Venus Sings / DJ Reza Wreckage / Reza Rites)

KINGSTON, RI – On Saturday, July 24, 2010, Venus Sings Radio on WRIU was a very special and sultry edition. That is because I brought in Michelle Cruz, a singer, songwriter and guitar-player from Pawtucket, RI who is adored and admired by fans locally as well as along the east coast for intensely intimate and “surreal” musical blends and live performances. Click here to listen to or download a podcast with musical and conversational highlights from the show.

I’ve followed and worked with Cruz for several years, through projects including Rhode 2 Africa and Isis Storm, and as a former visitor to Venus Sings Radio. It’s an easy choice, really; she has consistently released and promoted singles, has an interesting personal past as the only American-born member of her otherwise Cape Verdean household, and she regularly garners recognition, like recently being named a finalist in a contest tied to the Lilith Fair nationally-touring concert series and having a song named number one jazz song of the month on Even with all this, Cruz had another reason to join me: cataloging her years of songwriting and responding to clamoring cries for a central place to find her music, Cruz is working on a full-length album.

Click here to Keep Reading

Click here to Listen to the Podcast


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