Nalli, who managed Arie for four years (2005-2009) through her company A&R Consultants, Inc., filed suit in Tennessee federal court last December for backpay she claimed Arie owed after unceremoniously dumping her. But her main allegation, according to TMZ.com, was that Arie had "constantly canceled shows, rejected offers to perform, and would be unavailable for weeks at a time ... which hurt record sales and therefore cost Nalli additional money."
At the time, Arie's only come-back — besides a countersuit claiming she overpaid Nalli — was a publicist-issued generic response in which Arie expressed hope "that the matter will be resolved amicably."
But four months later, the Atlanta soul singer has responded in true India.Arie fashion via a heartfelt open letter, complete with ALL-CAPS type for emphasis and a few spelling errors, that she self-published on her own blog yesterday. In it, she contends that:
“The reason I stopped working with Noreen Nalli and A&R consultants is because Our definitions of success did not match up.”
“I did not “sabbatoge” my own career - this is Ridiculous. A&R consultants and I were an unsuccessful pairing because our visions for my career were not in harmony”
Arie starts off the letter by writing that she'd grown to view Nalli as a "mother figure" over the 13 years she's known her, and only filed a counter suit because her "hand was forced." She also talks about the mid-career crisis she experienced near the end of 2009 that led her to part ways with Nalli:
I saw VERY CLEARLY that it was time to change my approach to my ENTIRE LIFE!
I was emotionally and physically drained, I was COMPLETELY DEVISTATED.
That crossroads eventually led to Open Door, the collaborative album with her "musical soulmate" Idan Raichel, that they premiered at 7 Stages in Atlanta two years ago. At the time, she revealed her years of frustration with an industry that she felt had forced her to compromise her art and her beliefs for mainstream success. "I've had to let go of certain people, worn out ideas about myself, and MOST OF ALL, I've had to let go of MY image of ME," she wrote in a previous open letter to fans in 2010.
Even she expressed doubt at the time that the industry was ready for an album like Open Door, recorded in conjunction with Israeli pop star Raichel. But after two years of previewing the material around the world, she proclaims that the album "born out of hard earned FREEDOM" will be released this summer or fall. And, she concludes, it "has Joy written ALL over it!"
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