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When I heard that Gene Noble would be part of Usher‘s world tour last fall, I didn’t manage to hide my enthusiasm on Twitter. And it didn’t take long for Gene — whom I had interviewed two years ago when he was still known as Jaiden The Cure — to send me a DM in order to arrange an acoustic set. Unfortunately, we quickly gave up on this idea as the whole team would stay for one night only in Belgium. A few weeks later, I noticed on Instagram a short vid where he was rehearsing with his two fellow background vocalists (BGV), Kristal Lyndriette and Neka Brown, and I instantly thought that it would just be great to meet the three of them. To witness this magic live and their undeniable complicity, but also to get to know a little bit more these two gorgeous and talented young ladies and follow up with their friend’s career after the release of the Rebirth of Gene EP last year.
I’m not gonna lie: scheduling this interview was a real conundrum. Because, being on tour, you kind of have to just go with the flow (what I mean right here is that I had no idea when I’ll meet them ’til the D-Day); but also because the Sportpaleis is a fortress, and Gene and I were very well aware of this after our little mishaps two years ago. To spare myself some trouble, I decided to come with my simple camera rather than with a tripod and DSLR which would have caused me to be hold back at the entrance of the venue. And Gene made sure to secure some VIP passes for my friend and I so that we could have an easy access to the backstage. But that didn’t prevent us to waste a few minutes with a lady who would relentlessly forbid us to go through the floor plan instead of just letting us know where was the official backstage entrance.
Behind the scenes, I was containing my euphoria provoked by the adrenaline in the air. In the hall, a few dancers were chatting while Nico & Vinz were performing as the support act and, as soon as I entered the BGV dressing room, I’ve been welcomed by Kristal’s radiant smile shouting “WE’RE HAIR TWINS!” while discovering my big curls. Neka was finishing up one of the dancers’ makeup and QuitaBee was busy getting dressed. A bit confined in this tiny space, we’ve been offered to move to the wardrobe department, a way bigger and brighter room. Surrounded with some costume designers and people from the crew who were sometimes dropping by, I asked Neka, Kristal and Gene about their individual careers and their struggles. And ’til the very end, I remained in awe at the mutual support, love and respect they have for each other. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? And it’s even beautiful to say it out loud, at a time when people are quicker to criticize than to throw compliments at each other.
Stay tuned as there is a part II coming up next week with a quickfire quiz full of laughters and a live performance which will totally give you butterflies inside!