June 2009 Issue
Music Fit for a Queen
If it hadn’t been for a bumpy friendship, Sharonville’s Ingrid Woode might not have been invited into the recording studio with Queen Latifah.
“Farewell, fair-weather friend,” Woode sings in the video she submitted to the Queen’s online singer/songwriter contest. From hundreds of entries, Woode was chosen to record her song, “Fairweather Friend” with Queen Latifah on the superstar’s “Persona” album, set for release this summer.
She chose “Fairweather Friend” – a song she penned in 2007 – as her submission because, she says, “it’s a fun, exciting song – real melodic and percussion-based.”
To showcase her talents for the contest entry, Woode set up a digital camera and photographed herself singing and playing drums, keyboard and guitar. Seven weeks later, she got the word she was a winner.
“With the music industry, the people who make it often get an off-the-wall, out-of-the-blue chance,” says Woode, a chemist at Amylin Pharmaceuticals in West Chester. “Will this be my chance to have my voice, my talent be noticed?”
As big as Woode’s dreams are, she’s made sure to back them up with preparation: At age 3, she started tinkering on her mother Geneva’s piano and at age 8, began studying violin. She moved on to drums as a teen-ager, beating cardboard boxes with coat hangers until her mother finally presented her with her first set. Woode also played in the Cincinnati Junior Strings and Walnut Hills High School Orchestra.
Although she opted to major in animal science and minor in chemistry at Tuskegee University in Alabama, music remained a noteworthy part of campus life: Woode sang in the Tuskegee University Golden Voices Concert Choir and started a band – “like the Commodores, who went to Tuskegee.” Woode was arranger and lead vocalist, “and when the drummer wanted to take a break, I’d hop on the drums. Then I’d hop on the keyboards.”
As she anticipates the release of “Fairweather Friend,” Woode charts what she hopes will be her future course.
“My main goal is to be Quincy Jones or Smokey Robinson or, in the younger generation, Babyface or Brian McKnight. I can’t wait until I hear my songs on the radio, whether it’s me singing or someone else.
“Music,” she adds, “is where my heart’s always been.”