Published on August 4th, 2022 | by Charles Myambo0
The Resurgence of R&B’s Generational Talent, Michelle Ayers
The term “generational talent”, which has now become synonymous with a certain “Michelle Ayers”, denotes a superior level of talent that is either rare or totally unheard of. Similar to lightning, generational talents, although rarely encountered, are often unmistakable! This is very much the case with Michelle Ayers who experienced a meteoric rise as a debutant R&B artist, a few decades ago. Over the years, the perennial musician has exhibited a profound vocal talent which has earned her countless accolades. As early as the 1980s, Michelle was already a common fixture in the top echelons of the music world. Like many musicians before her, she first learnt how to sing in a church setting. Both her father and uncle were pastors. Unsurprisingly, Michelle attributes her mercurial talent to God. It was at her local Pentecostal church that she developed her strong, soaring, soulful and gospel-trained voice which she would later incorporate in her subsequent chart-topping records. The songstress proudly embraces her roots and often showcases a Pentecostal-like flair in her music performances.
Michelle’s first big break in the music industry actually came through her boyfriend. He was a member of a locally prominent music group. The boyfriend took the liberty of introducing Michelle to Meekaaeel Muhammad’s recording studio. This opportunity was a turning point in Michelle’s career. Meekaaeel Muhammad’s studio engineer was a well-connected gentleman by the name of Kevin Hedge. Fortuitously, one of her records was listened to by Kevin Hedge who was resounding in his approval. Invigorated by her record, Kevin felt inclined to promise the-then 17-year-old Michelle that he would surely record with her one day. That wouldn’t happen for another 4 years. After waiting for nearly half a decade, Michelle finally had her big moment. She walked into a Jersey diner in East Orange, where she was now living, to find Kevin Hedge, along with Josh Milan and Chris Herbert, who comprised the successful R&B group BLAZE. At the sight of them, Michelle screamed with excitement like any fan would. While still in a state of euphoria and shock, Kevin Hedge quickly asked her point blank, “ARE YOU READY?” She was greatly surprised that he remembered the promise he had made to her 4 years prior. Two weeks after the reunion with Kevin, Michelle was in the studio recording a track with him. Kevin Hedge’s fulfilled promise gave birth to Michelle’s #1 hit single on the dance charts, “ANOTHER LOVER,” written by the members of Blaze. Michelle would go on to record the R&B anthem known as “RESPECT” which sizzled into the Top 5 and was remixed by the music maestro David Morales.
Deejays around the globe took to spinning Michelle’s powerhouse vocals over tracks in the US, Europe and throughout Asia. She had vast momentum behind her during this period in her life. This was somewhat of a purple patch in her illustrious career. Michelle went on to release the megahit, “SHARE MY LOVE” and her rousing vocals could be heard at a multitude of clubs around the globe. All this success was just the cusp of something even greater. Michelle would realize the greatest levels of success when she came home to tens of thousands of people with her name on their lips. She performed at renown music festivals, including Newark’s Unity Festival in Weequahic Park, where she shared the stage with such giants as R&B supergroup; GUY, soul icons; The Manhattans, R&B/dance superstar; Evelyn “Champagne” King and the re-emerging rock-and-roller who would soon become The Queen of Rock & Roll, Tina Turner. Michelle distinctly remembers meeting Teena Marie, on stage at the Unity Festival. They became such great friends and were in each other’s lives until she left this earth. Michelle was able to learn a lot of invaluable lessons from that friendship.
Michelle relished having an exemplary career filled with hit after hit! Some of the tracks which signified her arrival on the “Mount Rushmore” of music were “THAT’S LIFE” and “JOY” (a track she did with BIG MOSES with her as a featured vocalist). As Michelle was expanding her repertoire to include more R&B stylings and doing intimate shows, she was offered a solo deal with Mercury Records, but opted against the deal because she was preparing for the birth of her third child and shifting her priorities. Michelle went on to say; “I had moved away from the city and moved to the Poconos, only to have to travel from NYC all the way back up into the mountains. It was going too fast. It was moving too fast, and I loved it too much. I felt like I was simply pulled away. I lost the passion, but I really think it was about God keeping me grounded. I heard the Lord speak to me recently about the matter saying that ‘if you had stayed, you wouldn’t be here today.’” Today the songstress fondly looks back on a life filled with memorable experiences, opportunities, friendships and growth. She has truly had a very fulfilling life and judging by the signs, there is surely a lot more to come. Currently, there is a great buzz surrounding Michelle’s recent musical resurgence. She recently released another hit, “FAST STEPPIN” that is fast approaching a million streams on Spotify. A touch of R&B combined with a house sound were the key ingredients in Michelle’s latest hit single, “Fast Steppin”. Michelle worked with the legendary Ace Mungin to establish the ideal beat and tune required to create this latest masterpiece. The uptempo soon-to-be-classic “Fast Steppin” has formidable credits, with producers Derrick Ricky Nelson, Shawn “Morpheus” Waters and Ace Mungin of Acebeat Music. The Original Mix and Master was done by Shawn “Morpheus” Waters. The Wood Floor Underground/House Mix was by Derrick Ricky Nelson and Ace Mungin. Most may recognize Shawn “Morpheus” Waters, a former member of The Legendary Force MD’s. The world is clearly aligning for “Fast Steppin’.” Summer 2022 will be electric! Michelle’s closing remarks were, “I wanted to just have some fun. After all we’ve been through, we need to dance! All music fans should be excited for this chapter in the career of the “GENERATIONAL TALENT” known as Michelle Ayers!