BB King All Star Band's Newest Addition Stephaine "Quietstorm" Michaels Promises: "You Can Expect an Incredible Show Every Time I Hit the Stage" | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


BB King All Star Band's Newest Addition Stephaine "Quietstorm" Michaels Promises: "You Can Expect an Incredible Show Every Time I Hit the Stage"

Bronx transplant Stephaine Michaels has been generating some buzz in South Florida through her association with Drastic Measures and has even gained the attention of Slip-N-Slide Records. Ever the working musician, this Puerto Rican/Jamaican dynamo has seen numerous stages throughout the tri-county area and has backed up some high profile performers like Ne-Yo, Queen Latifah, and The Game.

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She's also versatile enough with her voice to have done scores for Cirque Du Soleil. Maybe you saw her in the 2006 Miami Vice revamp with Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell, or Dove's 2007 "Beauty Campaign"... Regardless, Michaels is currently making the BB King's stage sizzle on Fridays and Saturdays with the BB King's Allstar Band sharing her strong pipes with the greater West Palm Beach scene. 

New Times: First off, a little background on you. I know you're originally from N.Y.C. and that you studied in Iowa, what prompted your move to South Florida?

Stephaine Michaels: Yes I'm originally from the Bronx. I moved to Florida when I was 18. My mother had moved down a few years prior so I came down to be closer to her. At that time, I had just lost my grandfather, her dad, so I wanted to be there for her. 

I'm currently working toward my B.A. in the arts, my major is Journalism and Mass Communications, which I'm doing online. The school is physically in Iowa but I am here in Miami. I can honestly say it's a lot harder doing it online because the workload is doubled. More reading more writing, but it gives me the flexibility that I need to pursue other endeavors. 

I do quite a bit of traveling, so it makes it that much easier to take my laptop with me and still be able to get the work done without having to be confined physically to a classroom or missing anything important.

How did you land the BB King gig?

I had been working with another band for three and a half years. We performed at various places throughout South Florida, like The Fling Lounge at the Isles Casino, Mardi Gras Casino, The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Seminole Classic Casino, Gulfstream Casino, and have done weddings at the Fontainebleau in South Beach just to name a few. A friend of mine was actually working with the BB King All Star Band at BB King's and called me because the female lead singer at the time was going to be taking some time off and they needed a cover for her. I went to audition one night after one of my shows, and they liked me. I am now officially the new female lead singer of the incredibly talented BB King All Star Band.

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I've seen footage of you and I'm impressed by your energy and it seems to seep throughout the band too. How easy has it been to perform with these musicians and what process do you as a band undertake selecting set lists for your weekend gigs?

Thank you, the energy is definitely electrifying on that stage with those guys. Being that this is my first experience performing with a live band, I'm learning so much every time we rehearse as well as when we perform. These guys have been in the biz longer then I have, so I'm always looking to them for help and insight. They are amazing!

It's always a great thing when you have a group of musicians that can get together and make magic without the egos and attitudes. We have so much fun on stage, it's insane. We're always laughing and having a great time. 

Our band leader T. Hatcher usually picks songs for rehearsal that he sees and feels are suitable for each of our voices as well as the venue. BB King's is a blues club but we don't only do blues, we do R&B, soul, some rock, and disco music.

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How do you feel about your impact on the local music scene and moreover, on BB King's stage? While it has been a respected musical venue for some time now, it is recently garnering a lot of buzz and I believe that somehow it is connected to you.

There are many singers on the local music scene, some of which are extremely talented singers. Some are better singers than performers and some are better performers than singers. I bring both. You can expect an incredible show every time I hit the stage. I come alive when the lights come on. When the music starts it completely takes control over me and I just go with it. 

When you love music, it tends to take you to a place where no one else goes. It's that place in your mind and in your heart and soul that you lose yourself in. There are no fears or reservations in that place. It's just you and the music.

That's when my alter ego Quietstorm comes out. It's like the calm before the storm, or the eye at the center of the hurricane. The sun is shining, but you know it's about to get crazy soon. That's me when the music starts. I walk on stage I'm calm and collected, then all hell breaks loose. I love to interact with my audience, I like to go out while I'm singing and get them involved whether I'm sitting at the table with them singing, rubbing someone's head, acting like I'm drinking their drink, high fiving them, pulling them up to dance, grabbing someone by their tie, whatever.

I use my acting skills in my performances, and make it more of a 4-D experience for my audience. They love that! It's a different view from the stage into the audience than it is from the audience onto the stage. I like to make people feel a part of the show, after all, as a performer I would be nothing without them, right?

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Abel Folgar

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