The Return Of Deepa Soul
By Dustin Fitzharris
We're you always so open with your sexuality?
No! I went deep into the closet, honey. I was so deep in the closet I got me a boyfriend and I played the whole double-standard thing -- 'Oh no, we can't have sex until we get married.' All the while I had a girlfriend on the down low. I was also homophobic. I was a part of a group who would talk about gays.
How are you feeling about what's happening with LGBT equality and Proposition 8 in California?
I'm at a place now where I can't be distracted by my anger. Now it's about celebrating our accomplishments and showing the good we have to offer the world. If we pay attention to what they are trying to do and not what we want to do, we are going to lose. When you don't want something to come to life, don't give it energy. My philosophy is 'pay them nooch!'
You're very spiritual. What's your sign?
Leo. August 16. I was born on the same day as Madonna. But I'm not a narcissist like Madge. I better stop it! Gotta love Madge!
How did the name Deepa Soul come about?
I was working as dance instructor and choreographer with professional theater children in California. I had a private lesson with a student and she was complaining about her private area burning. Then she told me she had little things growing down there. I knew this was something she had to get from somewhere. I learned she got it from the 27-year-old son of one of the women who owned the school. Kids trusted this guy. As a teacher I reported it to Child Protective Services. Her mother needed to be informed too, but I had to say it to CPS first because sometimes parents will try to sweep it under the carpet and their children won't get the help they need. Well, I was fired, and it became a huge scandal. My yoga teacher sent me in the mail this beautiful, multi-colored piece of paper that said 'Deepa -- Instrument of Devine Light and Truth.' On the flip side was a letter inviting me to meet the Dalai Lama. Although I lost my job, I gained so much in spirit.
Though you are known as a dance artist, if you could sing something different what would it be?
[Singing] We don't need another hero ' We don't need to know the way home! If I could come back as Tina's daughter in the Thunderdome, I would gladly do it.
So, Tina Turner is one of your biggest inspirations?
Yes! I'm hoping I get a chance to meet her. I've met a lot of people, but that's the one I want to meet. Growing up with this voice the little girls in the choir said I sounded like a garbage lady. Tina she was one of the artists my daddy played for me. He said, 'You've got a voice like this. It's called grit.'
You have always been an openly gay artist. What are your thoughts on Adam Lambert from American Idol?
Why did he even have to talk about it? Why couldn't it have been about his music? I don't know who his publicity team is, but I would've encouraged him to say, 'It's not any of your business, but since you want to make it your business, this is who I am, and I'm proud of who I am.' I hope he embraces himself and doesn't play that middle of the road game. That absolutely killed Clay Aiken's career. It would've been much better if Clay would've said, 'Yes, honey, I'm queen!' Then he should've put a crown on his head and brought it! But he or his team didn't use that momentum. They tried to sell him off because it worked for Luther Vandross. How miserable was Luther's life?
But, wait, we don't know for sure if Luther was gay.
Of course we do! We all know our sisters! That was a big, old girl. We know our family! If you don't want to talk about it, that's fine. But, I don't feel good about trivializing what people have gone through so that I can even have the right to have a girlfriend.
One record company wanted to pass me off as the next Gladys Knight. I was like, 'I don't want to be the next Gladys Knight. I want to be Deepa Soul!'
Before we go, whet our appetites. What we can expect from your upcoming album, Ego Trippin'?
I am singer/songwriter who has no boundaries or particular genre. I just create music. I'm about to give you 'Feva' [the upcoming dance single] now! I have a ballad called 'I Want You Tonight.' We did a video where I have a leading lady. I think it's going to be one of the first music videos to show African American women actually hooking up. I'm feeling very sexy right now. I'm at the point where I'm going to give it to you, and I'm going to keep giving it to you until I make your love come down.
Deepa Soul performs at the OUTmusic Presents Stonewall ' The 40th Anniversary Commemorative Concert and Benefit June 27 at the NOKIA Theater in Times Square. For more info and tickets, click here.
For more information on Deepa Soul, vist www.deepasoul.com.