I am the girl who has jumped off the deep end and fallen in love with fashion. I love prancing around town in an outfit that fits my body and personality. You can find me on the clearance racks of H&M and Express (two of my fav stores) and at your local thrift store. I love fashion but not breaking my pockets, so I’m always on the hunt for deals and steals!
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I am a lover of all things fabulous and fashionable (but affordable). In my former life I was either a major diva or sensational drag queen. Not quite sure of which one, but my love of MAC make-up, accessories, music, hair and need to overly exaggerate has followed me to this life. I am a chameleon, so my style and hair is always changing to fit my multiple personalities. I am a reality/sitcom TV and celebrity gossip junkie as well.
Follow my twitter to see why they call me: @MissKandidK
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Reemerging from a four year hiatus, India Arie is reinvented with her fifth album Songversation. Deemed as uplifting, rousing, heartfelt and Grammy worthy, India Arie proves time heals all wounds. I sat down with her to discuss the upcoming Durham performance, hardships and most importantly the new album…
Kimberlee: Are you excited about your performance in Durham? Is this your first time?
India Arie: It’s hard to remember exactly everywhere I go (laughs), but I’m sure I’ve been to Durham many times. I don’t remember when or the venue or anything like that, but we’ve through North Carolina and South Carolina many times. So I’m sure this isn’t my first time.
Kimberlee: Are you excited about touring again?
India Arie: (laughs) I’m beyond excited…excited doesn’t even capture how I feel about being on tour again! Not only am I having a good time but it’s proving the theory that I’m gambling my whole livelihood. Touring is really hard work. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it anymore.
I took a hiatus in the fall of 09, with more than just the touring; it was a lot of things I needed to take a break from with regards to my career.
I had an epiphany, just from the brunt of a lot of prayer, and the epiphany was that I needed to take a chance at navigating my life and my career on my own terms. So, getting back on the road and doing it on my terms was all just a theory… a hope… that it would all work. After this first month on tour it’s working! I’m more than excited. I’m really, deeply touched and overjoyed. It all means more than it ever did before.
Kimberlee: What can the audience expect?
India Arie: My new album is called Songversation. Songversation is not just a name of the album it’s actually named after “Songversation” the performance style. So when I get on stage I tell the audience this is not a concert this is what we call a “songerversation.” I speak and I sing and it all is to the same end of wanting to bring clarity and an elevation to the audience. It’s fun. It has to be fun or I don’t want to do it. Plus, I just have to say this, my band is AMAZING!
Kimberlee: What are your feelings about Songversation?
India Arie: I had another album that I’ve spent 3 years on and I shelved it about a year ago. I started Songversation immediately and put it together in 7 months. [Songversation] is my favorite body of work on an aesthetic level. But also it’s my favorite album in terms of the process of getting to the product itself. We went to Turkey and gathered the Middle Eastern music. That experience in Turkey was amazing, the experience of learning how strong I am and being able to put one album down and pick up another one the next day. Learning how much I’ve grown as a producer, musician…all of that has been a journey. It’s been hard but it’s made Songversation much more meaningful than any other album. And then, being able to take everything I’ve been through and take this album on the road and sing it with people and have people sing the lyrics back ….I love everything about Songversation right now. I love the songs. I love where I am. I love my ability to express my fearlessness in my song writing. I’ve never had that before.
Kimberlee: Is this album a reflection of recovery?
India Arie: I think the album that I did that didn’t come out was the music of a person on the road to recovery. I think Songversation is the manifestation of an artist who has transformed and is standing on the other side. The other album was heavy. It was beautiful but melancholy. But that was a person who was on the journey to healing and Songversation for me is a person who has come out the other side.
Kimberlee: Will you release Open Door?
India Arie: I don’t know. It would have to be a very specific set of circumstances, but I don’t know. I feel like the time has passed for me and I’m not connected to the songs. I wonder sometimes if it was ever even meant to be released or if it was just something I needed to do for my healing.
Kimberlee: Do you think you’ll get back into journaling on Tumblr?
India Arie: Well, I never stopped journaling. I journal more than I write songs. Putting them out there for people to read is another conversation. I would like to do it more often but there is nothing to hide behind when I journal. There is no music. No poetic words. When I write, I just write what I think and I write how I speak. I don’t have a big gorgeous writing style and so that’s why I don’t post it a lot because it’s really my raw, raw feelings. I’d like to put some stuff up there but right now the things that I write are so personal I would never think of posting them.
Kimberlee: Were there any hardships with Songversation?
India Arie: (laughs) every album brings its hardships. I’ve never recorded an album that didn’t have its hardships. But, also just the fact that I had to stop one project and pick up another one.There was a weekend where I was really having a hard time. I just went to bed over a weekend. I was like ‘I’m going to go to sleep. I deserve this and when I wake up on Monday I’m going to figure out what to do.’ I just didn’t know what to do.Then just recording something so fast and trying to figure out how to produce the music. I thought I had it [Songversation] done then I would take it away from one producer and start over because it wasn’t what I wanted….all that stuff that happens with every album, but with the added pressure of wanting to do it so fast. So of course there are challenges you know but everything has its challenges and its upsides. But with the way things are being received it makes the challenge seem small in my mind.
Kimberlee: Do you see yourself getting back into the studio after touring?
India Arie: I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do. I always write songs so I can go to the studio any time. I don’t know about going to the studio for the sake of putting together a whole album. I do want to do some more things with my music maybe a bit more unconventional things. I don’t know…I don’t know! (laughs)
Kimberlee: What are your expectations with Songversation? Are you hoping for a possible Grammy?
India Arie: I mean I certainly think its Grammy worthy, but I also I don’t hold it as a hope. I have to think about that. Because I’m not sure I don’t hope for it because I just don’t believe that they get things right (laughs) or I’m not sure if I’m not hoping for it because I just don’t have time to hope for it. I don’t know where I’m coming from with this exactly but it’s not something I think a lot about. Obviously it would be super freaking cool if I did get nominated! (laughs) It would be super cool if I won. I think Songversation deserves it. Yeah…I hope it wins something. Matter of fact yes I would like that!
Kimberlee: You know what? We’re going to proclaim it. It will win something!
India Arie: Let’s do it! I’m going to tell my mom. When my mom says something? Then it happens (laughs) I’m going to give her a call and tell her to put it out there. That would be such a storybook ending to this whole thing.
Kimberlee: What do you want to leave your fans with?
India Arie: I want the fans in Durham the next day to be saying “I don’t know what happened I just feel….better! I feel better than what I did yesterday.” I want people to be saying... “I had this thing I was dealing with and now it’s healed”…whatever the thing is.I mean I definitely realize those are some high ideals, but that’s what I pray for…even if it’s just one person that says that, that’s what I want. I say it on stage every night. The intention of this evening is to spread love, heal, peace and joy through words and music. My highest prayer, I say this every night, is that GOD will touch you with this music in whatever way you were meant to be touched. Because who knows? We don’t know each other or what each other go through but if we are all here at this moment … I don’t believe in coincidence… I believe everybody who was called to the moment was meant to be there.My goal is to do the highest spiritual work that I can through my music at any moment through record and especially live. That’s what I want people in Durham to leave feeling…
Listen to India Arie's first single off of the Songversation album "Cocoa Butter "
Songverstion is available in your local retailers, iTunes and Amazon now.
For more information on India.Arie Click Here
For India Arie’s touring schedule and ticket information Click Here