Art is a gift to be received and shared and comes in many many forms. Paint, Cook, Travel, Poetry... you name it, if you're sharing creative energy, that's an Art. ~Steph

Friday, January 29, 2010

A SMALL KINDNESS, RASHEEDAH SINGS

As you may know by now, I’m fascinated by people with unique style and character. And I love sharing those people with you. Rasheedah Sabreen Mwongozi is one of those people. Her musical style is classy, soothing and folksy. She writes, (lyrics, articles, etc.), sings (folk and African American classical aka Jazz), and is an amateur guitar and keyboard enthusiast. She is currently working on her first CD. After hearing her sing I was hooked. Her music sends me searching for a quiet space and hot cup of tea, to mellow. After the Interview click the Rasheeda Sings link to 'Do Not Be Afraid' my favorite song by Rasheedah. 


 Rasheedah, where are you from? Was your family a musical family?

I was born and raised in Philly, Pennsylvania. My parents were born and raised there also. The music is from my mother's people. I had several great aunts who were singers and stage performers. My mom's sister was a career pianist and my mother sang, danced and played the piano by ear. She was a great whistler also! My brother and I picked up the guitars. My sixteen year old son has been playing drums since he was a baby and is a trained jazz drummer. My first grandchild, who will be three in April, is a natural percussionist and singer.


How long have you been singing?

I can honestly say as long as I have been able to form words and speak. I remember singing songs I would hear on the radio as a child. I first sang publicly on a stage when I was about four years old. An elderly lady in the neighborhood put together programs. I sang with a few other little girls for one of that lady's programs. We sang "Little French Dolls" and "I'm A Little Teacup"!

Do you write your own songs?

Yes. I write my own lyrics. I don't put the music on paper. I just remember the chord patterns or I make a note of the chords along with the lyrics. I am motivated to write when I have experienced anything that touches me in my heart and soul very deeply. I wrote the lyrics to a song over the summer called "He Deserves To Be Loved". I saw a picture of a man and felt that he was not loved. It was evident to me. I was correct, too!


Your FaceBook Bio says you are a Cigar Aficionado. What does that mean?

It's a fancy way of saying I am intensely fond of smoking cigars. These two words together connote a person who is immersed in the culture of cigar smoking and the processes involved in producing fine, quality cigars. The cigar I am holding in my Face Book profile picture is a Gurkha Micro Batch TPB 1, for anyone who may care to know.

Do you have any CDs in the works?

Yes. I will be going into the studio next month to work on my very first CD! It is being produced by one of my friends, Mr. Ira Walker who is a wonderful musician. We met at a gig in Livermore this past summer.

Talk to me about your Perfomance Art

The first time I was on stage to do other than singing was in kindergarten. I was the angel watching over the Holy Family in a school Christmas play. In either seventh or eighth grade I was the Blessed Mother herself! How could I ever top that? Seriously, I performed traditional West African dances of Senegal, Mali and Guinea with a company in my thirties. Traditional dance presentations require acting and singing in addition to the dances. Dance is my second love after singing and I have reunited with my dance teacher, Sister Kabibi Johnson. Katherine Dunham said, "Dance is movement and movement is life". I agree and I am more than happy to be dancing again.

What Inspiring words would you offer young women today?

I would say to all young women, stay strong by not surrendering your power to anyone or anything. I would also add that young women remain open and prepared to embrace their abundance. Abundance is delivered in many guises so clarity of vision is needed. That way we don't miss our blessings. Keep a clear head and refuse to be captured by negativity no matter what its form.

* Thank you for taking the time to listen to my music and appreciating what you heard. I am inspired most by people and how they respond or react to life. The song entitled "A Small Kindness" is based on how I was treated by some women years ago. Love is always inspiring. I can write love songs even if I am not in love with anyone in particular.

 
 Thanks to Rasheedah for sharing with us. I'll let you know when her CD is released. In the meanwhile be sure to follow the link to hear some of her music.


Rasheedah Sings

2 comments:

Kathryn Magendie said...

"I would say to all young women, stay strong by not surrendering your power to anyone or anything. "

This is SO true - something I wish I'd been told as a young women --but I sure learned it!

Wonderful interiew - and now I want to see that FB photo of you smoking the cee-gar! *smiling*

Steph Jordan said...

Isn't she saucy. Love Rasheedah!

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