The Perfect Storm



L+T: You talk about shoes a lot in the song. What’s your shoe game like these days?
: My shoe game is kind of nice! I’ve always been obsessed with shoes, ever since I moved to NYC. Now it’s kind of…oh god. I have over 100 pairs of shoes. It happens…shoes are an expression of yourself, they’re fun.

L+T: Do you think you have a signature style?
: I think I do a good job of mixing clean with quirky. It’s never 10 things that are crazy; it’ll always be one or two things that are a little out there. But anything too different freaks me out. I try to tie anything crazy together with something simple.

L+T: How would you describe your sound?
: My sound is a combination of hip-hop, soul and R&B. It bridges the gap between old school and new school. It’s familiar, but new at the same time. I think that’s why it’s doing quite well—the little bit of familiarity.

L+T: Who are some of your musical influences?
: Definitely Michael Jackson,  Prince, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Marvin Gaye, [and] Diana Ross. Mostly older artists because that’s what my parents were listening to and playing in the house. My dad used to take me to this store called Music Plus every weekend where you could listen to music on headphones in the store. That’s how I slowly acquired my tastes. Oh, and I was also a die-hard Spice Girls fan!

L+T: What was the first album you ever bought?
: Deniece Williams, My Melody.

L+T: You got the “Most Likely to Get Signed Award” from the Clive Davis Institute for Recorded Music at New York University. How soon after graduating did you get signed?
: A year later! I was working the coat check at [New York City’s] Santo’s Party House and somebody heard me playing the guitar. I ended up at MBK Records and I didn’t even know what it was at the time, which was a good thing because if I had known I would have been more nervous. So I was calm. I performed there and the next week they took me to J records, it was crazy.

L+T: You’re from LA, but you live in NYC now. So do you rep LA? Or NYC?
: I rep LA! But I rep NYC too, especially Brooklyn, where I live. I rep both the same. I do miss LA a little bit, especially since I’ve been watching this show The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl on YouTube that this girl from LA created. It’s genius and it makes me miss LA a bit. I think LA gives me that laidbackness, but NYC gives me that hustle, that tough skin. I just feel at home here.

Photo Credit: Steven Gomillion and Dennis Leupold