Amel Larrieux Goes Sci-Fi
Singer Amel Larrieux, whose debut Epic solo album, "Infinite Possibilities," was infused with spacy electronics, futuristic funk, and jazzy rhythms, brings that same soulful consciousness to voicing tSinger Amel Larrieux, whose debut Epic solo album, "Infinite Possibilities," was infused with spacy electronics, futuristic funk, and jazzy rhythms, brings that same soulful consciousness to voicing the superheroine in "Maatkara," an animated adventure series on the Sci Fi Channel's Web site. "She is just someone you would like to be like," Larrieux said of the Egyptian princess Maat. "She becomes a warrior but is a gentle soul. That's something of a balance I'm trying to find."
The first installment in the 13-part series will be Webcast tomorrow (June 28). It will be one of a dozen online science fiction shows to air this summer on scifi.com -- and perhaps serve as a prototype for a series that might land on the sister TV network.
In "Maatkara" (pronounced Mah-aht-kah-rah), Maat is a priestess and healer chosen by the gods as a divine administrator of justice who must fight evil forces. The tale is set in the year 9002 A.D., when the descendants of Egypt survive deep within the planet. Maat's role is to defeat the NetworQ, an evil technological cabal led by the god of chaos, Set (voiced by actor Kevin Conway).
Maatkara's narratives are culled from Egyptian mythology but the story has all the contrivances of a futuristic fantasy, replete with spacecraft, laser weapons and robotic monsters.
The visually stunning portrayals of ancient Egyptian culture laid against a vivid futuristic backdrop gives "Maatkara" the feel of a big film project. The dazzling colors and dynamic animation should be attractive to fans of science fiction and fantasy. The sci-fi-meets-mythology tale was created by 29-year-old artist Dawit Lessanu, the director of animation at Stimulation Station.
Lessanu said he chose to write a story about a black heroine because there are few black superheroes in the media. The strong, black female lead character also attracted Larrieux to the role. "As a woman, as a mother and as a black female, I'm always feeling kind of depressed in how we are represented and how we represent ourselves," she said. "So it was easy for me to become emotional in that role, because it represents everything I think about."
Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.