What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
As far back as I can remember, my mother used to sing to me every morning. She instilled the love of music in me. I can’t imagine my life without music.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When I’m not playing music, I’m watching performances. Lately I’ve been watching a lot of live Bruce Springsteen performances. Each week I choose a different artist and I study them.
How long has music been your career?
I’ve been singing since I was a kid. I’d do school plays and off broadway plays - but I didn’t record my first song until I was 10 years old.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
I was born and raised in NY. 90’s R&B is unmatched. So hearing Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans, Brandy, Mariah Carey and SWV on the radio everyday definitely influenced me. I’d be singing their songs to the top of my lungs. Haha.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
The best show I ever had was at Webster Hall. The worst show I ever had was in South Korea. Even though the audience was extremely receptive, I was mortified when I saw the footage. Some notes were pitchy and my make up did not match my skin tone. I can laugh about it now. I was only 14 when I did that show. I’ve come a long way since then.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
So far Webster Hall has been my favorite. I’d love to be able to perform at the Prudential Center. I’ve seen so many concerts there and their sound system is amazing.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
If I could play any show it would probably be Coachella. I’d want the line up to include Doja Cat, Sza, Janet Jackson, Frank Ocean & Cardi B.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
In this industry, there are a lot of wolves in sheep’s clothing. There are so many distractions coming your way while you’re trying to achieve your goals. My advice would be to stay focused and stay single.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
There’s a laundry list of things I wish I could go back and tell my younger self, but most importantly. I wish I could rid myself of self-doubt. I was a confident child growing up, my mother made sure of it. But In this industry, some people (men specifically) have said some horrible things about my art which killed my confidence for a long time. Rejection in regard to my music hurts so much more than auditioning for a film or tv project and not booking the role. Music is so personal to me. It’s mine. My art and for someone to disregard is like it’s nothing after you’ve spent hours, blood sweat and tears working on it is devastating. No matter how bad their words hurt, I never gave up. Even if I considered giving up, my mother’s love and reassurance would help me pick myself up and try, try again.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Her Over Me is actually a cover I did. But it meant a lot to me, because it helped me get over a break up. I was holding on to the pain from that for a really long time.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My favorite songs to perform are 1/2 Way, Toxic Tashi & With the Gang. They always get the biggest response from the audience.
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
A lot of times my creativity stems from either limerence or frustration. It’s so easy writing when I’m in one of those two moods.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
My message is always for people to have fun and feel bliss. I grew up sheltered, so music was the only way I was about to express my love.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
Not too often, but if I’m collaborating with another artist or writer I always speak up. If there’s a line I don’t like or don’t agree with, I always let them know.