You might be surprised to hear that my journey began as a Girl Scout in Long Island. My backyard was an acre of forest and my musical roots grew playing the piano and singing in the church choir.
Later when I got to school my life blood was jazz and time off was filled with alternative music, but the main reason I kept coming back for school everyday was the guys on the Five Towns basketball team. True story.
Growing up with ADD was one of my struggles, but I figured out I was actually pretty smart when I started focusing more on school and less on boys.
But your first memory of me might be singing the hook for Nas’s hip hop anthem “Can’t Forget About You.” As I was finishing high school in New York I was signed to Def Jam right away, so you could say my record deal was my diploma. The flower child in me fought being signed. But who turns down a major record label? I was literally talking to LA Reid in ripped up jeans, a Bob Marley track jacket with no makeup on, and shoes that I could not walk in. When I sat down and played at the piano they were convinced there was a place for me.
It wasn’t until I started singing hip hop hooks that I felt like I fit in. I’ll always be a singer songwriter with a coy, rebellious indie spirit at my core.
What I learned over the years is how to be a black girl who is more than just an urban dollar at a record label. Instead I’m learning to paint a universal color with my music.
I also know there’s not millions of dollars lying around in the industry, so sometimes you have to buckle down and get a bridge job until your career picks up. In the end I’ve found that hard work and dedication will always pay off.
My commitment to myself from now on is to always tell the truth. Only post what I believe and never coward down to the status quo out of fear, money or obligation.