I am enjoying interviewing professionals and mom bosses about their line of work or their side hustles. Today I am sharing an interview with Broadway/Opera star/Mom N’Kenge.
Aloha and welcome! Tell us about yourself and your interests. What inspired you to become a performer, producer, and singer-songwriter?
Share where we may have seen you perform or heard your music.
On Broadway, I originated the role of Mary Wells in MOTOWN The Musical. I also performed on the Tony Awards with the cast. I’ve had the honor of performing on television on numerous occasions, including at the Inaugural Ball for President Obama. I also sang the national anthem at Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center, Shea Stadium and for the LA Dodgers. I have also headlined many symphony pop concerts throughout the country and internationally. I starred in the Man in the Mirror Michael Jackson tribute tour, in the Westin London production of The Genius of Ray Charles and I have performed in our houses around the world. There’s a lot of music I’ve recorded in the past, but I’m looking forward to some new music that will be released in 2022.
Tell us about your newest Broadway musical.
I truly love being back on Broadway. I get to work with the most amazing people on this Tony-nominated, Olivier Award-winning musical Caroline, or Change. We have been performing to sold-out performances and I get to fly on stage in the role of The Moon. It’s such a heartfelt, emotional, funny, and dramatic Musical. I recommend everyone to come see it and tell their friends! Not only are the music, set design, and costumes beautiful, we get to perform this special show every week at the legendary Studio 54 theater.
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How are you balancing motherhood and pursuing your dreams?
What are some of your favorite things about your performing career?
I love having the opportunity to connect with people and meeting and greeting patrons after a show. Music is such an international language and you can connect with anyone through it. I also love how my career has taken me all over the world to see different countries and experience different cultures.
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What were some challenges you ran into when starting, or perhaps continue to run into, as a performer, producer, and singer-songwriter?
There are always challenges on a daily basis that I go through but I’ve learned how to never see a challenge as a setback. I always try to find a solution. I was always one that wanted things to happen immediately and as I’ve gotten older and (I would like to say) wiser, I’ve learned how to be more patient and appreciate the process.
Any advice you want to give fellow moms?
A great songwriter and friend of mine once said to me that he imagines that I wake up every morning saying “hello world…are you ready for me?” He is very intuitive because he’s right. Every day I have set goals of what I need to do. I can promise you some of those goals aren’t always met but that’s OK. As moms, we have learned to multitask but we also need to learn that everything doesn’t have to be done at once. As moms, we have to learn to take time out for ourselves. We want to be everything to everyone but sometimes it’s important to rest the body, soul, and mind and re-charge for the next day.
Check out N’Kenge on Instagram.
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