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Friday, August 17

"If [She] Had [Her] Way" Def Jam recording artist Chrisette Michele would have everyone grooving to the jazz-tinged soul of her debut album, I Am. I recently spoke with her before she comes to town for her first and only Carolina appearance tonight:

Where do you come up with the ideas for your songs? From conversations. Like ones I've had with John Legend while just talking on the phone.

Do you feel overwhelmed by your success at such a young age (she's just 24)? No. I've gotten a chance to be grounded in who I am. I have been able to mature just right.

You talk a lot about the effect your mother's philanthropy (she took in the homeless, pregnant young girls, etc.) had on you as a person and as a songwriter. What lessons did it teach you? There were profound lessons learned. Everybody's different and has something beautiful to share with the world.

Any interest in anything besides singing? Acting [she played herself on an episode of Girlfriends], writing books, tween, girly stuff.

What's on your iPod? I don't own an iPod. But on vinyl, I'm listening to Charlie Parker and Art Blakey.

What's on the agenda right now? Tour with Musiq Soulchild; leaving for Europe and Japan.

Chrisette Michele will be performing at Grand Central, 1000 Central Ave., tonight at 9 p.m. The show is 21 & up. More info at: www.soulmovement.com; 704-377-4596.

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