It's been a crazy couple of weeks with spouts of bad luck here and there on my end, but after an amazing Friday & Saturday with friends & fam, I'm in good spirits. I've called this post "Music Before Fashion", because I'm kicking off my next couple of posts with a feature on a very talented Canadian singer. Then I'll be covering Alberta Fashion Week, (which kicks off off tonight over the next couple of days).
I am so pleased to present the "ever so funktified" Saidah Baba Talibah on the Creative Mixx! If you're in Toronto on October 14th, check out her show at WRONGBAR -1279 QUEEN ST West (Click HERE for show details)
How would you describe you're musical style?
Raunchy Soul - a little soul, rock, funk and some blues.
How long have you been singing professionally and how did you get started?
Well to answer both questions, my mother was a professional singer (Salome Bey) and there are a lot of singers, dancers, actors and creative people on both sides of my family, but mostly on my mother's side. My mother would tell me that she put me on stage as soon as I could talk. I remember coming across an article reviewing one of my mother's performances, mentioning her six year old daughter's solo (that was me) at Massey Hall. So, six, I guess.
Now for those who don't know; you come from a musically talented family. What was it like growing up?
Well, it was frustrating at times, because I sometimes felt like I was both, defined by my 'famous' mother and pressured to live up to my 'famous' and talented family. So I went through a period of my life where I stopped telling people about who my mother was, because I would be recognized as her daughter as opposed to my own person. I opted to tell people after I sang, if at all. But inside the house, when it came to growing up with a ‘famous’ mother, she was just like any other mother. I got told to clean up my room, got grounded, punished, had to clean up around the house, you know normal stuff.
Where do you get your inspiration from and are you ever uninspired?
I’m inspired by life, by the life around me. I really truly enjoy people watching and making up scenarios in my mind of what may or may not be going on. Or I’ll just write/be inspired by experience (my own life experiences). Uninspired? Yes, when I’m forced to do something that doesn’t speak to my spirit.
Who are your musical influences?
First and foremost, my mother, and my entire musical family. But outside of my family, it really ranges. I get inspired by music, again, by music that moves my spirit, be it hard rock or metal, prog rock to soul, r & b, jazz, blues, country, folk, etc; Basically I open myself to music and when it moves me, I stay stuck there for a while just taking it in, like I’m savouring a favourite meal. A few artists that have influenced me are: Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Betty Davis, Lewis Taylor, N.E.R.D, Fishbone, Living Color, Jamie Lidell, Nikka Costa, Big Mama Thornton, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, John Lennon, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, the list really goes on and on…
I'm a follower of your blog http://salibabat.blogspot.com and last month you let your readers know that you're "body's buzzing with so much going on!" - with the mixtape, video & album....
How did you get yourself hooked up with DJ L'oqenz for the mixtape "What's inside her head?" and why did you decide to put out a mixtape?
L’Oqenz (pronounced eloquence) and I have known each other for a few years, partied together, supported each other on different ventures and I would say that years ago when we were introduced, we took to each other’s spirits. But it was only recently when putting together the album and thinking about dj’s to hook up with for a mixtape, I thought the best person would be L’Oqenz. She got what I was doing and wasn’t a straight one genre-d dj, plus, she was up for my challenge of mixing together an array of genres cohesively. So why a mixtape? Because I thought it was a great way to connect with folks, tell them a little bit about myself and what has influenced me throughout my life and throw some other tracks in there that fit the vibe…along with a few of my own songs to just introduce folks to my sound.
Click HERE to download "What's Inside Her Head"
"Place Called Grace" is the first video off of "The Phone Demos" EP. Can you tell me about the vision for this video?
The vision for the video was really master-minded by Sarah Michelle Brown (my best friend from grade two!). We really wanted something that would match the sound quality and energy of the Phone Demo. When we decided to release the Phone Demos it was just a pre-cursor and introduction of me and the songs in our rawest form. There are no bells and whistles, it’s not polished, it’s simple. While the video is not simple, it’s going back to a time when thing were simpler, nothing but the voice, guitar and a microphone.
Your upcoming album (S)Cream will be available later this year and lets fans pre-invest in it through a campaign called Make Me Wanna (S)Cream. Can you tell us a bit about the album and the campaign?
Yes, well the campaign, Make Me Wanna (S)Cream was borrowed from a singer/songwriter that I really love named Amy Correia. She put together her own campaign to fan fund her album and I thought it was such a great idea, so I made my own. Later to see that there were a lot of people doing this same thing and then I started noticing websites popping up that were offering for people to invest in people’s dreams of not only recording an album, but their art. It’s just a different time in the industry now, where the artist needs to take matters into their own hands of getting shit done. That’s not to say that if a good record deal comes along that I wouldn’t consider or take it, I just am not waiting for it to happen. I live in Canada, where we have the fortune of grants from the government that can help support our arts community. So I was able to get a grant that partially helped pay for this album, but there was so much more money that I needed to come up with to do the album the way I wanted to do it, so that’s the biggest reason why I created the Make Me Wanna (S)Cream campaign. (S)Cream the album is a walk through my life, seen through my eyes, felt through my heart. It’s loving, lust-filled, gritty, vulnerable, coy, heart-breaking, gutsy and fearless.
Other than music, what are your other passions?
Dancing, Food, Nutrition, Health, Fitness, Art.
Name one item that you can't live without.
One? Oh Lord! I am so stuck! Um, music. But I’m not sure that’s an item.
What advice would you give to an aspiring musician?
Don’t get into this business unless you TRULY love it! And when you know that you truly love it, don’t give up.
I'm leaving you with one of my fave Saidah Baba Talibah performances
If you want to keep in touch with Saidah Baba Talibah, check her out on:
Make Me Wanna (S)Cream campaign