Urban Magazine June 2017 - Page 71

Dreamseeker—was the album intentionally titled to reveal the thematic direction or impact of the album? Yes, I wanted it to have a whimsical feel to it. A hopeful feeling—a feeling of still searching. I started a line of lifestyle products and limited-edition fashion items called Dreamseeker earlier in the year. I feel like from the beginning of my career—with Closer and honestly, even before that I have always been about raising the question “what is the vision that I want to manifest”. In each instance, I am reflecting on how to rediscover my goals and dreams. Through music, I have gotten to meet so many people that are seeking out and fulfilling their own dreams and sometimes my music gets to be a part of that. I just wanted to represent that movement while reconnecting with some of my fans from early on. I wanted to do a project where I wasn’t overthinking and just vibe. What did you aim to do differently with this project —Dreamseeker as compared to the previous one Strong As Glass? My feeling is that this project is in the same vein as most of the music that I have put out. It’s an eclectic culmination of influences—from soul to hip-hop to music that is not quite categorized. I would say with my last project--Strong as Glass, there were a lot more writers that I was collaborating with, and the production was bigger. It was much more of a singer/songwriter process--me singing and trying different things. It helped me expand and try something new. After that experience, I wanted to put out this project—one that felt very organic. If you had to choose a favorite track from this project, what would it be? I don’t know! I feel like these songs are my babies, so I don’t know what a favorite track would be. This came to fruition after being in the studio for a couple of years and really narrowing it down to these specific tracks. I wanted to put out a body of music that people could both live and enter spring and summer with. Even with the interludes, I wanted it all to be something that you could play straight through. I think Dreamseeker reflects what the moment called for. Personally and professionally, who has supplied inspiration for you? There have been artists that I have listened to since childhood that have influenced me; they have all created their own path. That inspires me. People like Sade—the way that she writes, her poetry, tone, and making her own genre. I would also include Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley, in terms of making timeless beautiful music. They can talk about love or songs that would be considered political—it still translates to feel good music. Prince, just for the raw passion that comes out in the music. He is another one of those people that made his own genre with who he was. He didn’t conform to any box—even lyrically, the balance of masculine and feminine. Lyrically I can relate to that. Who are some of the artists that you feel represent the epitome of the Bay Area vibe? Hmmm. I mean—we could go in the Too Short/E-40 direction. Then again, I like what Kehlani is doing right now. Tony! Toni! Tone’! is from there. I love the foundation that they laid for soul music. They have been influential as well. There are so many. It’s a good thing though! I am happy to hear that so many successful artists are from the Bay Area. People that have had longevity. I feel like you can hear that influence in a lot of the music out there. URBAN | 71