Unmasked, Raw, Real: Self Neglect, Starting Over, Songversations, the Sisterhood and Transcendental Meditation.
MP: I pulled an all-nighter last night and they sent me your soundtrack and I was listening to it all night. MP: You just made me realize that my self-neglect and my excuses for self-neglect, is a negative way of dealing with emotional pain—wow! IA: Any time someone is passionate about a cause, it’s because they want to heal something inside of themselves.
When I think about the cause I’m most passionate about, it’s all in my music all the time, because I’m always singing about the empowerment of women.
Then I woke up one night two weeks ago in the middle of the night and was thinking about all these things that I am feeling as a woman, and having a very unconventional lifestyle as a woman.
This three year period that I referenced earlier, where I went through this spiritual awakening period, I decided that instead of apologizing for having a lot to say, I wanted to create a format where people would come to hear me sing and speak. To enjoy all of ORIGIN Magazine’s amazing articles please subscribe to ORIGIN by clicking HERE.
I’ve loved your work and I saw you on the cover of YogaJournal, and I was like, how do I get in touch with her?
Because of what I’ve chosen to do for my work in the world, almost every time that there’s something that I’m afraid to do that I need to do, I have to do it in front of other people. Only the ascendant perhaps, who have learned how to fully meditate or do yoga or whatever through their emotional pain. Tapping into your higher self to get a glimpse of yourself from the outside and get insight into what’s going on in your life.
I have, my whole life, been healing the girl inside, the part of me that struggles about being a female in the world.
Always, even when it’s a little love song—it’s still about the empowerment of women and this high spiritual nature of love.

How much I’ve learned about music and producing music and arranging melodies over the last three years.
My old school song writing partner who I’ve been writing songs with all these years, he said, “So what’s the message this time?” Because I always have something that I’m dealing with and I want to talk about and it’s the theme of the album.
I’ve been owning my own house since I was twenty-four, living alone, traveling the world, never been married, I don’t have kids and all that stuff.
But it was always a bit distorted, because I was doing the music in the way other people around me were telling me it should be done. The thing that makes me feel most alive is knowing that there’s something that I have to do that I’m afraid of. I told someone the other day, “I can’t do this, I don’t have the tools right now to be this vulnerable.
I want to do a whole series and I want to get Oprah and all these people together where we can just talk about real shit that we’re going through, and not just talk about light spiritual stuff, but talk about real issues and how we move through it.
While that other album did not come out, this album is a very clear seed planted by that album. I said, “The message this time is that I’m emotionally exhausted from the last album, and I just want to write songs that are simple and that feel good and that are accessible and inspirational.
You’re the first person who has said, “Cocoa Butter,” to me, and it felt like, how did she know that?
TM, as you may know, is completely different—it’s about that stillness and allowing yourself to just be still and be in the stillness. I started understanding that I want to be able to be on stage again, in fellowship with the audience and all the stuff that I love to do. Now I have this very simple and non-emotional and inspirational side, and this very emotional side. You know how you have that moment in your day when you really get hungry or sleepy or irritable, it’s almost the same time every day?

I love the track—I was rubbing cocoa butter on my heart last night and I was dancing all around my house. It was done, the album was done, it was mixed, we were getting ready to master it, album cover photo, everything. To do that, I need an album, and to stop limiting myself and saying I couldn’t do it in this short period of time—and just do it.
I introduce the songs, I have a story to tell about everything all the time—I cannot be on stage and have something on my mind without telling the audience. I spent the last three years doing that over and over again, and before that I spent the rest of my whole life before the last three years avoiding that.
Obviously, there are a lot of other things that I am—I’m African American, I’m a lot of other things, a musician and an artist. All of it wasn’t—it wasn’t all something I didn’t want to do, but a lot of it was things I didn’t want to do.
Eating is not one of the things that I do now to deal with pain, because I don’t ever want to do that again.
Saying things on paper that I would never, ever say, and saying things to myself, admitting things to myself, about myself and my personality, just putting it on paper, is how I deal with emotional pain. I was a young kid who had never been anywhere and didn’t know anything, so I was listening to who I thought knew. That’s what makes me feel most alive, is the afterglow after doing what I know I’m afraid to do.
I spent a bunch of years trying to do performance where I would try to squeeze everything I need to say in and then sing the songs, because they came to hear the songs.

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