“Know when people try to make us live in fear, joy is resistance. It’s hard to mourn about tragedy and rejoice about blessings all at once, but that’s what Black folk have always done.” — Dr. Daniel Stringer
June 17th, 2015 was my birthday, the day I released my first single “Girl From LA”, and the day 9 members of Emmanuel AME in Charleston, NC were gunned down by a racist terrorist. I experienced an intense range of emotions that week. In retrospect, I recognize the significance of the coincidence of events, thoughts, and emotions.
Sharing my music is still daunting for me. It is impossible to communicate everything in an artist’s mind, heart, and soul without something being lost in translation. On a micro level this occurs when you take something as formless as a written song and turn it into a produced record — there’s always "something more" inside the artist that “could have been added” and a song is "never done" (hence why I live for the live performance). On a more macro level, when I released “Girl From LA” I felt like that singular representation became my entire identity in music and I even felt limited and judged for the fun pop song I loved creating and sharing. I love the record, and every record has its place, but with a backdrop as consequential as the Charleston Shooting — the light and fun song seemed almost trivial. And then I remembered why I decided to embark upon this journey.
I embarked upon this journey in music to find out what it’s like to shed fear, live in truth, grow in purpose, walk in faith, and discover absolute freedom. The desired outcome is a thorough testimony through which I might inspire others to discover their true purpose, shed fear, and live in freedom as their truest and highest selves. With that goal in mind, I am committed to sharing every part of me. I am committed to making music that makes people feel what I feel - happy, insecure, frustrated, pensive, joyful, sad, and everything in between.
#SING is a nickname, but it is also a charge — a challenge even. To truly #SING is to release whatever energy is in the depths of your soul and thrust it into the universe. It requires removal of inhibition, insecurity, and self judgement. More than the words you say when you truly #SING — your emotion and your soul tells no lie. We all layer lies on top of our true souls that we might fit common archetypes without having to fully expose our unique individuality. The truth of the matter is that this world yearns for your uniqueness. God did not make us unique so that we could conform to someone else’s version of “normal,” “successful,”or “happy”.
So my journey, and my mission, is to shed the lie layers I thought were protecting my truest self — in reality they were inhibitors of the worst kind — to give every unique contribution to this world that I was created to give. For me it starts with music, and my mission is to #SING. I hope you hear me, and I hope you all #SING along. My vision: that moment at a concert or church when they drop the music, and all you hear is the voices singing out. They are never pitch perfect, but the chorus of unique voices create perfection. So, here we go — I hope you enjoy the music. I hope you see yourself in my journey. And above all, I hope you find the freedom and courage to #SING.