To say that two-time Tony nominee Condola Rashad has been having quite a year would be a big understatement. The gifted actress and musician scored her second Tony nomination for her understated and nuanced performance as Thelma in the The Trip to Bountiful, took on the iconic and devastating role of Juliet Capulet in David Leveaux's contemporary Broadway revival of Romeo and Juliet and, to top it all off, the first single off of her band's—Condola and the Stoop Kids—forthcoming album was released on iTunes on October 31. Broadway.com caught up with Rashad to talk about the song "Save," the album The Letter 9 and what musicians continue to inspire her.
Congratulations on the iTunes release of "Save!" You must be so excited.
I’m super proud of it! I feel like I’m dreaming because my goal was to just get it out. I wrote the song over a year ago and my band and I have been working so hard over the past year to share it with people. Last night, my boyfriend and I sat there with a glass of wine and watched the clock go from 11:59PM to 12:00AM. It was this huge celebration! It’s a major thing on my bucket list in my life to release music.
The song clearly has a lot of emotion behind it. What inspired it?
It’s a sad love song, and it’s about taking a step out of your comfort zone to then only realize that, for whatever reason, it’s not going to work out. "Save" is about not getting rid of the love you have for someone, but saving it for another day, another life even.
"Save" begins with a tickling of piano keys and fuzzy vocals and then leads into some real rocking out. What's your favorite part of the song?
My favorite part of the song is the last chorus when things really, really build. That’s what we’re known for when we perform live. The people that come to see our show—they know when that song’s coming on and they know that part because it’s a very dramatic sound. It’s always a very exciting part of the show.
Why is "Save" the best single to release in anticipation of The Letter 9? Does it represent the album as a whole?
"Save" has always been one of my favorite songs on the album because I just really love the melody of it. Our band really plays with the ideas of light and dark at the same time. The music of "Save," while it’s beautiful, it does have a creepy, dark undertone. We have songs on the album that are lighter, but we didn’t want to release a song that was going to be super light and then when you get the album you’re like, "Whoa! What is all this?!" We figured, if we’re going to release a single, we might as well release one of the weirdest ones we have.
"Save" definitely sounds ready for the radio. Who are some of the artists that continue to inspire you and your band's music?
Musically, I want to bring back a sense of saying something with your lyrics and also supporting it with something beautiful. A full experience, you know? I'm really inspired by Donny Hathaway, India.Arie, Lauryn Hill, No Doubt and Alanis Morissette. Those are the five artists that we play around with the most.
When can your fans expect to see and hear more from Condola and the Stoop Kids?
We have a lot of songs that are going to be coming out soon. The Letter 9 is done! We’re figuring out the best time to release things. We’ll be releasing our second single on December 9 and our album in January 2014. We'll be putting clips from the album on SoundCloud, we want to do music videos and, of course, we'll be performing. What’s cool about it all is that it’s up to us because we’re so indie. We can do whatever we want! That’s the beauty of not being attached to any label. December 9! That’s a date to save. No pun intended.