Monday, August 26, 2013

A Lady Named Pearl

Linda Pearl Fils-Aime, also known as A Lady Named Pearl, was born and raised in Miami, FL to parents that migrated from Haiti to the United States.  Pearl started rapping when she was 19 years old after singing background vocals in a studio.  “As I heard the rapper deliver his rhymes,” she recalls, “I thought to myself, this is something that I would like to do.”  That night, she went home and wrote her first 8 bars. The next day, she went to that same studio and asked the producer if she could record the rhymes she wrote. He let her, and when she walked out the booth, he gave her the name "Black Pearl.” Pearl’s 8 bar rhyme was added to a song that later landed on the radio, and her rap career was born. Pearl’s hip hop style is infused with Jazz, African, and Caribbean influences, while blending empowering lyrics with beauty and style. She credits Lauryn Hill, Grace Jones, and Fela as her major influences.

In June 2012, Pearl released her debut album "Transformation" executive produced by Daz-I-Kue of Bugz In The Attic, to glowing reviews. Of the album’s 12 tracks, Pearl states that track number 3, titled “Natural,” is her favorite. The first single from the album, “Natural” pays homage to the natural beauties of the world and has a real connection with audiences. But, the song has an even deeper connection to its writer.

In 2010, Pearl went natural.  “My hair was damaged from chemicals, and I became frustrated. I was wearing wigs to hide the damage,” Pearl remembers.  “After a while, I reached a point, where I no longer wanted to put chemicals in my hair, I no longer wanted to wear wigs or weaves, so I did the big chop.” Pearl refers to this decision as one of the best decisions that she’s made in her life.  “I have found my identity, and I love who I am.”

Going natural has also benefited her career as she has found an audience that shares her values. “I have a unique look, and it's me, no hiding under anything artificial.”  In addition to being a performing artist, a model, and a professor, Pearl also serves as "2013 World's Next Top Natural Hair Model," sponsored by Taliah Waajid. This title helps her spread her advocacy.

Pearl does not feel pressured into conforming into mainstream media’s image of beauty because she is happiest with her current image.  “The youth motivates me to maintain my image,” she says.  “I want them to know that it's not all about weaves. You have options, and you can still be fly, sexy, and cool, rocking your natural hair.” 

For more updates on Pearl, please visit her website at    ~ Written by Kentrice Rush

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