Emogen “Blakness” Creese is the singer fairgoers were listening to on Sunday and Monday afternoons under the big tent at the 48th annual Agriculture Fair.
Creese has been singing from age 3 and professionally since she was 12 years old.
“Like so many black singers, I got my start in the church,” she said.
The big tent was filled to standing room only on Sunday and Monday afternoons.
Creese was featured on Sunday with Marsvyn David on bass, Elvis Pedro on guitar, Dimitri “Pikey” Copeman on saxophone and many others who kept the crowds engrossed in the sounds of local rhythms.
Monday’s schedule booked Creese with her Soulid Medz Band for three straight hours. Her energy was through the roof from beginning to end, said a loyal listener in the crowd.
A graduate of Central High School, Creese was trained by singer/dancer Otis “Sule” Alexander in 1991 and ’92.
She was classically trained at Florida Memorial College under the direction of Charles Cleveland Clency, a onetime pianist for the legendary gospel singer Mahalia Jackson.
Creese toured with her Florida Memorial College classmates throughout the states and later toured Denmark with St. Croix bassist David, keyboardist Loren Hughes and drummer Toby Derema.
The musicians brought their St. Croix Christmas show to Denmark for 10 days from December 2015 to January 2016. Creese was the first black singer to be heard in the 850-year-old St. Michael’s Cathedral in Denmark. The group donated the proceeds from the tour to an HIV AIDS project in the Scandinavian country.
Monday’s big tent gig gave listeners the opportunity to hear Mario Thomas on bass, Ozzie Brown on keyboard, Ipa Williams on drums and Glenn Parris on guitar. The quartet backed singer Creese with reggae and jazz with a little gospel.
Creese’s repertoire on Monday was hits from such musicians as Bob Marley and Macy Grace along with Crees’s own originals, such as “Bling, Bling.”
“Bling, Bling” speaks to the youth’s preoccupation with fashion and jewelry and being a Playah, she sings. “What is the state of this (dis) union,” she asks in song?
“Socially, culturally and spiritually conscious is how I live,” Creese said. “Music is a discipline, which I live by.”
You can hear her way of life in her music, although she’s singing to the choir, she admits.
Creese would like her philosophy of life to permeate the population through her music. There’s a meditation in the rhythm and a meaning in the words she shares.
By the looks of the huge audience on Monday, Creese might be getting her point across.
“I hope so,” she said.