(Jacket: Zara, www.zara.com White Top: Alon Livine Bracelet: Laruicci Ring 1: Sterling King
Ring 2: Laruiccci Earings: Simon Alcantara)
PRUNE: Please tell us about your most recent role as Rachel Marron from the musical The Bodyguard. What was this experience like?
DEBORAH: My experience with The Bodyguard was a duty. I felt compelled to keep the legacy of Whitney’s music alive.The tour was 18 months long with breaks. It was the most challenging role cause I had 13 hits by Whitney that I had to sing six nights a week. It was both grueling and rewarding all at the same time. The critics gave me compliments saying I was “brave” and now that it’s over. I look back and think, wow... that’s was pretty ballsy to get out there an attempt to sing her songs every night. I know there would be huge expectations. My only intention was to represent her in the best way possible. She left a legacy that deserved that. I’ve never played anyone so complex. A strong woman yet incredibly isolated and vulnerable. Rachel Marron was very guarded. I’m different than that. At times I can be but for the most part, I’m a little more relaxed with the whole celebrity thing
(Jacket: Malika Rajani @ Dreams On Air Top/Skirt Set: The Blonds)
PRUNE: Not only do you sing songs from the original movie score but some of Whitney Houston’s songs from her solo career such as, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” This must have seemed so special to you, since you and Whitney were on the same music label, Arista Records, from years ago. Did you two ever collaborate together?
DEBORAH: Yes, after being on Arista and appearing on the Arista 25th anniversary special, she agreed to record the duet called “Same Script Different Cast”. Clive Davis was very instrumental in making that happen. I was so thrilled to be doing the song with her. That was a dream come true.She has been a longtime mentor to me. After recording that song we became friends and we would connect when she was in Miami. The talks in the studio, hanging out and cracking jokes and talking family were moments I’ll never forget! I’m currently creating my own show and working on my 7th studio album
PRUNE: How did you learn to sing?
DEBORAH: I learned to sing by singing along to records my mother played. When certain commercials and theme songs from tv shows would come on, I’d also sing along. I developed a very keen sense for music at an early age.The family recognized early on that my voice was special. So I got a lot of support from my mother who would take me to talent shows and I’d sing and do local clubs, with her written consent of course I was 12 at the time that I started working with this professional cover band. We were pretty busy and I got a lot of experience performing with them.
(Top/Headwrap: De La Cruz Rings: Sterling King)
PRUNE: I love that you played Josephine Baker in the Broadway musical Josephine in 2016. What was it like to play Josephine? What do you admire about her the most?
DEBORAH: Playing the role of Joséphine Baker was so liberating. I was intrigued by this woman when I was in my teens. I watched the HBO special and at the time really connected with her. By the time I was starring at The Osolo to do the show, I was so free as a performer and it made performing the role that much easier because I was uninhabited. As a woman, to have that kind of freedom without feeling objectified was a breakthrough for me cause for so long I was very self-conscious. Acting is liberating for me. I love it.
PRUNE: What are you working on?
DEBORAH: I’m currently working on a studio album. It’s been a while and I feel creatively open to new ideas and excited about touring with new material as well. I’m also working on my own show. Something very close to my heart, revealing and liberating. I’m working with director Richard Jay Alexander who has had so much success with Barbara Streisand. It’s such an exciting process!
(Dress: The Blonds Necklace: Laruicci)
PRUNE: Who gave you the support to keep writing in the beginning?
DEBORAH: I found writing songs to be very therapeutic. I used to write poems when I was young and then through my school years those poems became songs. It wasn’t until I collaborated with Lascelles (now my husband) that I understood that so songwriting can be lucrative as well. We placed songs on other artists and kept songs for my own album. It was a song that we wrote called “Where do we Go From Here” that solidified my recording contract.
PRUNE: "Let the World Be Ours Tonight" helped solidify you as an LGBTQ icon. Tell us about this track.
DEBORAH: Let The World Be Ours Tonight became my 13th number 1 on the Billboard Dance chart and it feels great to still be in the game on my own terms. I feel even more creative and vibrant. I feel hopeful about moving forward and with solid support from my fans, I feel I’m just scratching the surface!!
(Jacket: Marie Saint Pierre Dress: Marie Saint Pierre Necklace: Simon Alcantara Hat: Anthropologie)
ON SITE TEAM:
Photography: Mike Ruiz
Hair: Kyrsten Oriol @kyssheart Assistant Fashion Stylists:Jazmin Hopkins & Dea Feri
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