Since the news broke in mid-May that Wicked Wisdom, the group fronted by actress Jada Pinkett Smith, will play at this year’s Ozzfest, little has been heard about the act or how it landed such a coveted gig. But whatever its music sounds like, it convinced tour organizer Sharon Osbourne to put the band on the bill.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to see Wicked Wisdom play last April in a tiny [Los Angeles] club at midnight,” Osbourne says. “But let me tell you, I was blown away. When you see and hear Jada with her band it’s apparent that she has nothing but love and respect for this genre of music. I totally respect that the band wants to pay their dues playing the second stage on Ozzfest.”
Wicked Wisdom is writing all the material for its debut album, which it is co-producing with Ulrich Wild (P.O.D., Incubus, Static X). The group is managed by James Lassiter and Miguel Melendez at Overbrook Entertainment, the production/management company owned by Pinkett Smith’s actor/rapper husband, Will Smith.
Ozzfest isn’t Wicked Wisdom’s first high-profile gig: In April and May 2004 the act opened dates on the European leg of Britney Spears’ Onyx Hotel tour. A spokesperson for Wicked Wisdom says the group — rounded out by Fish (drums), Pocket (guitar), Rio (bass) and Korel (guitar/keyboards) — is “locked down” in a studio recording the album.
Wicked Wisdom’s selection continues to generate postings on the Ozzfest message board, many of which claim the band’s music (described as a mix of rock and R&B) isn’t edgy enough for the festival.