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07 December 2012

$: An Interview with L'Quita Sanders

  This is Part III in a four-part series of interviews with the Beautiful Nights creative team:

  Meet the singing accountant behind Beautiful Nights.
  L'Quita Sanders, along with Marcus Scott, Bemaji Tillman and Alexis Wofford are part of the creative team for the Beautiful Nights Facebook page and parties, dedicated to Prince and associated acts.
  They started the page in October 2012 and it now has more than 800 members. They also threw their first party Nov. 24 at the Harold Washington Cultural Center in Chicago. It was hosted by The Twinz, Maya and Nandy McClean, singers/dancers/choreographers who have worked extensively with Prince and featured DJ Maurice Ice Culpepper.
  The turnout was between 150 to 250 people, Wofford said.
  Sanders has worked in accounting for 14 years and is currently studying to take the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam. She is also an original member of Tillman's band House of Twang and has also worked on songwriting and her own solo recording for last several years.
  “I was an accountant by day and a singer by night,” she said. “I'm not as boring as most accountants.”
  Sanders said she has been a Prince fan since her mom took her to the movies to see Purple Rain in 1984. But, her earliest memories of Prince are of her mother and father singing the song Controversy, which was released three years earlier.
  However, she did not get a chance to see Prince live until the Musicology tour in 2004.
  “(My mother) wouldn't take me to his concerts. She said he was too wild,” she said.
  Sanders recently did a telephone interview with “Dyes Got the Answers 2 Ur ?s,” where she discussed her favorite parts of the Beautiful Nights experience, her need for perfection and making the group's parties “international”:

Courtesy of  L'Quita Sanders
?: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background? How did you become involved with Beautiful Nights?
  LS: I have been a member of House of Twang for 10 years, in the very first band...and I have been and out of the studio recording solo projects in between that time. I have always been helping out (Tillman) with songwriting... (Tillman) said 'I want you to come and help (Beautiful Nights) with some numbers.' He said 'Oh my God, you're great with numbers, you're a keeper.' I also negotiate the contracts...
  ?: What area of expertise do you bring to Beautiful Nights?
LS: Besides numbers, I bring the gift of negotiating and writing proposals. I am what they call the brains behind the business. I give the yes or no...
  ?: What has been your favorite part of this experience so far?
LS: I am loving reaching out to the different artists. Marcus has the gift of gab. Marcus will initiate the conversation and I will be the one to seal the deal, I love that. Meeting new people is exciting also.

Courtesy of L'Quita Sanders

  ?: What would you improve about the next party? Why?
  LS: We have to be more organized, the first event, while I was a little chaotic, came off pretty well. We want to make sure the artists are okay. We want to make sure the party goers are okay. We want to make sure everyone is taken care of. We don't want any room for error. I feel like Morris Day: we want perfection!
  ?: Which protegee would you like see host the next Beautiful Nights party?
  LS: Who don't I want to see, that's the better question. I would say out of all the protegees I love Rosie Gaines...She is definitely my favorite. I can hit all her notes. I love being able to sing along with people. When you can sing along and hit the notes you can say, "yeah, she's the one."
  ?: What has been some of the fan reaction so to the Beautiful Nights so far? What has been some of the criticism?
  LS: The only criticism we're receiving about the first party was that another event (ran into the Beautiful Nights party). We want to make sure there are no other events before takes a while to set up Beautiful Nights. I'm grateful for the people who stuck it out with us. That shows that not only does Prince have true fans, we do too.
  I didn't see this page spiraling like it has. Rosie Gaines is on our page. Jill Jones (is on the page). We're giving our fans the chance to connect with the protegees and I am sure they are appreciating it just as much as we are.
  I was on the phone with the ladies from Australia getting details for a Beautiful Nights Australia. We might have to drop the Beautiful Nights Chicago, because, we're international now!
  ?: What is the most unique item of Prince memorabilia you own or have owned in the past?
LS: I actually attended my first Prince concert, I think it was 2004, It was the Musicology Tour...I ended up going and I got one of the Musicology shirts and I have that, as well as my tour book...
  ?: What would you like to happen with Beautiful Nights in the next year?
LS: I ultimately would love to have Prince attend one of our Beautiful Nights (parties). We would like to have all the protegees come through with Prince being the icing on the cake.
  ?: What is your personal message for the Beautiful Nights fans?
LS: Let's continue to lift up the purple one and let's continue to unite. I think it's great that he's been able to bring us together from around the world to appreciate the music he's given us.

Stay beautiful, Kristi


Lead photo courtesy of L'Quita Sanders


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