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03 December 2012

For You: An Interview with Alexis Wofford

This is Part II of a four-part series featuring the Beautiful Nights creative team:

  Alexis Wofford wants Beautiful Nights members to know that everything the group does is for the fans.
   Wofford, of Chicago, is a part of the team behind the Facebook page and parties, dedicated to Prince and associated acts, along with Marcus Scott, Bemaji Tillman and L'Quita Sanders, all of Chicago.
  The group held their first party Nov. 24 at the Harold Washington Cultural Center in Chicago. The event, hosted by The Twinz, Maya and Nandy McClean, also featured DJ Maurice Ice Culpepper, and had a turnout of between 150 to 200 people.
  “It was a very nice turnout, it was a revolving turnout,” Wofford said. “If there were people who came early and left, someone (else) was coming in.”
  Wofford, who is in her early 30s, is executive producer of “Stats and Stilettos,” a sports-radio show that airs Sunday nights on WVON 1690 AM. The show focuses on showing sports from the point of view of both sexes and targets a younger demographic. The show celebrated its one- year anniversary in November of this year.
  Her first on-air interview was when she interviewed The Twinz about two weeks ago to promote the Beautiful Nights party.
  “What a way to crack a mike,” she said.
  During a recent telephone interview with “Dyes Got the Answers 2 Ur ?s,” she discussed the moment she fell in love with Prince, her feelings on the fan response to Beautiful Nights and bringing the party to a city near you.

Courtesy of Alexis Wofford
 ?: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background. How long have you been a Prince fan? How did you get involved with Beautiful Nights?
  AW: [I] graduated from the Illinois Center for Broadcast last November... I have a love for entertainment and arts and radio and music overall. Music is a passion of mine. (Scott) is a good friend of mine. We met about a year and a half ago and we just clicked. He sent me a text message about a meeting at his house...  When I got to his house, he and (Tillman) were there. When he said 'Prince,' I was on board. They said 'we want to give back to the fans and reach out to the protegees.' It was an honor for Marcus to (ask me to) come aboard...
  I was probably six when I started to like Prince. My mom used to play music on the record (player) all the time...On the weekends she would play Lady Cab Driver and Controversy. One day I picked up the 1999 album and looked at the insert (with Prince lying across a bed with a sheet pulled up halfway across his body) and thought 'oh my God, this man is beautiful' and this is at six (years old)!. Instantly I knew what type of man I was going to like...
  My mom would take me to Loop records in Downtown Chicago and I would buy a 45 every Saturday. The very first Prince record I bought was When Doves Cry with 17 days as the B-side... and I knew this going to my favorite artist for life.
Courtesy of Alexis Wofford
?: What area of expertise do you bring to the parties?
  AW: The creativity. I also keep people calm. I work in that area to where if there are any loose ends, I tie them all up... I make sure all those ideas are perfected. Also, I work along with [Sanders], making sure the numbers are done... I make sure I figure in the most accurate information...
  ?: What has been your favorite part of this experience so far?
  AW: The planning is definitely the fun part and seeing the ideas we have come to pass. [Also], meeting and greeting all the people...But, seeing everything we put the effort into coming to life is what satisfies me the most.
?: What would you like to see improve about the next party? 
  AW: Just time management, so that we can ensure that everything is summed up and punctual... I like for everything to run on a schedule.
  ?: What has been some of the reaction you have received so far about the Beautiful Nights party and the Facebook page? What has been some of the criticism?
 AW: I'm amazed (at) the reception that we're getting, being a new [Facebook] page. Sometimes, people don't know who are you are (and) people don't respect what you're trying to do as a group. It's been overwhelming, (but), people (are) accepting us into the Prince group... To be honest, I haven't heard any criticism. Beautiful Nights is going to tell you exactly who they are (and) they are bringing (the protegees) to you. The people from Prince's camp are on that page, too. There is nothing more that Beautiful Nights can ask for. We can only go up from there. I will not ever miss my 'Cirque du Soleil moment'. But, the fact that they (Tillman and Scott) both wanted me to be apart of it means a lot. The group that I work with, I'm thankful for.
  ?: Who would you like to see host a future party? Why?
  AW: Prince. That's self explanatory. That is the status I want to get to. The reason we're throwing this party is because of this man...the reason I fell in love at six. Even if he doesn't talk to anybody at the party, even if he just waved...We would know that we put our stamp on the hearts of our fans, but, also, on the man we're trying to honor.

Courtesy of Alexis Wofford

  ?: You can tell a lot about a Prince fan by who their favorite protegee is. Who is yours and why?
  AW: Sheila E. is my favorite protegee. She's talented all around. She plays an instrument (and) she can captivate an audience...even if she doesn't sing. She is bad.
  ?: What is the most unique piece of Prince Memoribilia you own or have owned in the past?
  AW: A couple things, actually. When I went to the Musicology concert (in 2004), I actually bought a Prince teddy bear (with a Prince t-shirt)...(Also), I have a symbol necklace I found on eBay. (It is) a gold necklace, with Swarovski crystals with teardrop diamonds and matching earrings. I found one of the crescent earrings that (Prince) wears and I wore it to the Beautiful Nights party. If you come to my house, on my coffee table...there is a spiral notebook, that actually has the Prince cover on the front. It has to be special, whatever I write in there...
  ?: What would you like to see happen with Beautiful Nights in the next year?
  AW: I would love to take this show on the road...offer Beautiful Nights to different cities... [T]o where [the group becomes] a charitable organization that gives back... [I] would love to be able to incorporate this into the community, not just (give back to) the fans and the protegees, but, the people who need help. You see a lot of promoters who are out here for personal gain, but I want to separate Beautiful Nights from that.
  ?: What is your personal message for Beautiful Nights fans?
  AW: Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the support for the love you've show Beautiful Nights... We'll do our best to make sure that each beautiful night is more beautiful than the last...

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Stay beautiful, Kristi


Lead photo courtesy of Alexis Wofford.


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