BSU Grad Takes Her Star Turn in 'The Color Purple'
By Armand Hodge
When you think of a singer or someone that sings very well, some words that come to mind are confidence, gracefulness, courage, excellence, and sensational. Bowie State of course has many singers and students who possess these qualities. Over the years, we have had many singers, actors, and musicians that have graced our institution with their talents. But a few happen to stand out than others.
I recently sat down with Professor Elliott Moffitt of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts who had the honor of teaching a phenomenal student. One of these was Kadejah Smith but goes by her stage name Kadejah One'. In the fall of 1992, Smith entered Bowie State with a sensational gift. Even though Smith was from New Orleans, she lived in Baltimore at her time her at Bowie. Moffitt recalls how he took smith under his wing and helped her excel at her talent even better. Moffitt also recalls the first time he heard Smith sing.
"When I first heard her sing, I was like Wow! I was truly blown away," Moffitt said. At 17 years old, Moffitt says her voice was truly excellent. "If she ran into a music executive, she would definitely be signed immediately." What makes Smith different from many other singers is that she can sing more than one genre. Some include R&B, gospel, and even classical. During her time her at Bowie, Smith performed in six plays, including "Dreamgirls," "Go and Gone," "The Wiz," and "Ain't Misbehavin'." After graduating from Bowie in 1996, Smith went on to pursue other big musical and acting ventures. One of her major accomplishments was winning the Helen Hayes award for best actress for her performance in a musical at the Kennedy Center. The Helen Hayes award is equivalent to winning a Tony Award. Smith would also go one to play for Baltimore band Beyond Blue. After hearing her voice, the group asked her to become a full-time singer for the band. She would go on to sing for the band for a year. Still to this day she still stays in contact and ask Moffitt for advice.
Last summer, she would once again ask Moffitt to help her out so that she could get the part in the hit musical "The Color Purple." After an audition and three call backs later she got the part. She is currently playing the part of the Church Lady and understudying to play Sofia. Smith has truly accomplished so much in her career. She definitely has a great future ahead of her. Moffitt also thinks so. "This girl definitely has a bright, talented, and broad future ahead of her. She has the ability to take you places that you have never been before musically."