The Vocalist Magazine SPRING 2013 ISSUE - Page 132

INTERVIEW TVM:What moves you to write songs ...and is there a particular song that you feel most proud of? I think the song that is most honest, is the song I wrote for my mother on the debut album called Shirley Song. It’s probably the most honest song I ever wrote. I’m moved by the things I see, things I feel. I just speak my language. At this point, I write the track, sometimes I develop a song from scratch with the producers. But I’m always moved by whatever’s on my brain at that moment, whatever’s in my heart at that moment. I don’t really try to figure out what I’m gonna write about or think of concepts, whatever triggers me that’s what I give and that’s kinda like my process of writing. TVM: What kind of pressure did you feel signing to Rick Ross’s record label Maybach Music Group as their first female artist? Umm...I didn’t feel any pressure actually. We never really made everything official. So I was just floatin’, he says like you know ‘You’re gonna be the female’ and I’m like ‘OK’. But we never really made anything official so I just kept doing exactly what I had been doing. Working on my music and getting my music to my audience the best way I knew how without a major push behind me, you know, independently. Doing as many shows as I can, to get to my audience, just continuing doin’ the same thing. TVM: As a former stylist, how important is it for an artist to make an image for themselves? I think it is very important. An image goes beyond visual, it is what people think of when they think of you. Your style should be true to who you are so you can carry it forever. Even as you reinvent yourself, or times change, it should belike I think Mary J. Blige has done a great job of her image always being what you think of Mary J. Blige. I think it’s very important because you have to have something that makes you stand out in an industry with so many people. TVM: Now that yo’ve moved on to being a solo artist , tell me about any challenges you face. (Pause) There’s probably a lot of them. I just don’t really recognize them as that. Being a solo artist that is really head strong with a clear vision of who I am and what I’m doin’- I don’t compromise that. You know, writing for myself, being in control of my image, pretty much executive producing my projects. I guess the challenge is that sometimes people want more control. I guess they make it seem like they want artists out here that are true artists that have a very clear vision of what their doing, but what it all boils down to is that a head strong woman is a nuisance. So I think that probably becomes one of my challenges, but I don;t really think of it like that. I’m so blessed, a challenge to me is just another way for me to be closer to God. So I don’t really trip off of that. I persevere, I keep doin’ what I love to do so nothing gets to the point of seeming like a struggle. 132