FOUSHEÉ / SINGER-SONGWRITER / HARLEM NY
I FIRST HEARD FOUSHEÉ AT A SOFAR IN NEW YORK CITY AND WAS BLOWN AWAY BY HER TALENT, ENTREPRENEURIAL PERSISTENCE, AND AUTHENTICITY. IN HER INTERVIEW SHE TALKS ABOUT HER JOURNEY, REJECTION, SUPPORT SYSTEMS, AND NEW SINGLE “BY ONE.” LAST YEAR, SHE PLANTED SEEDS AND THIS YEAR, SHE’S READY TO BLOOM. SO MEET FOUSHEÉ AND HAVE A LISTEN TO HER MUSIC SHE DESCRIBES AS ALTERNATIVE SOUL. AND YES, SHE’S BLOOMING. PHENOMENALLY.
Tell me a little bit about how you got started.
My love for music actually started at home. My mom is a musician, a drummer, so she put me onto a lot of different artists. I sang in school a little bit and started writing when I was about 6-years old. I still remember my first song, “Why’d You Do It to Me”. [laughing] Yeah… It was about boys.
Tell me about your music and from where you draw your influences.
My music is a mashup of a couple of different things—soul, R&B… I listen to jazz. I listen to rock so it’s a mixture of all of these genres, mainly the elements that I like the most. I take inspiration from everything, everyday experiences, and different artists old and new. One of my favorite artists is Chaka Khan because she is fierce—big hair, big voice, and I try to channel that.
What have been some obstacles that you have had to encounter since moving here?
Being in this business alone, you encounter a lot of no’s. It’s always hard recovering from the no’s and continuing to have faith in yourself even if nobody else does. I think the love for [music] overcomes it all. If you really love it and it’s really what you want to do, you forget about all the no’s and the haters. [laughing]
What types of “no’s” have you gotten? What have you tried?
I’ve tried everything! The Voice, girl groups, stuff like that. I’ve met with labels but I’m learning that you have to continue to grow everyday and eventually the same people will come back knocking on your door. It’s about continuing to grow.
I feel the same WAY sometimes...There are moments that I want to take a break from Bloom, but I have this feeling telling me that this is right. What keeps you motivated?
It’s that feeling! It’s that! That feeling in the back of your head telling you that this is all you want to do. And if you wake up in the morning thinking about it, there’s a reason for that. We all have a different story to tell and that’s what makes you relevant. No matter how you tell your story, whether it’s through Bloom, through a song, your story will help someone else.
Who are your mentors and support systems?
My family… My mom, she always calls me with different ideas, even if they’re crazy ideas. The other day she was like “Brittany, we gotta get your song out there! Let’s get a car, strap a TV on top, blast the song, and drive through the streets!” She means well. She has a lot of ideas. I had to tell her that the Internet is basically her idea. [laughing]
What have been the best pieces of advice that you’ve gotten in this journey?
The most comforting thing is that I know that other people have gone through what I’ve been through. It’s comforting to see that other people who went on to be successful have gone through the same things. The best advice I have is to have a lot of confidence even if you’re unsure.
When you sing, what do you try to communicate through your songs? Do you feel obligated to discuss the political climate?
I do want to reflect the time and touch upon different topics. I don’t want to communicate one specific thing because it depends on the song and the day, but I do want to show that you don’t have to follow the crowd. I like to throw people off by singing different types of songs and writing songs about things that people wouldn’t typically write about to show that there are different perspectives out there.
How will you bloom in the next year?
That’s a great word for it, “bloom.” Over this past year, I’ve planted so many seeds and I think now is when they’re going to start to blossom and bloom. It’s mostly been recording and writing. I get to see the music that we’re putting out there, how people respond to it, and see what comes from the music and all of the hard work and development that I’ve been doing.
What projects are you working on?
For the past few months I've been working on my EP which I'm proud to say is now complete. Expect some new music and visuals very soon!
If I were to describe your music to someone else, what should I call it?
I would say alternative soul because it’s too much to fit into one sentence. Soul can mean a lot of different things and when I sing, I sing from my soul. And by “alternative” I mean, not your typical type of soul.
What advice would you give to someone trying to break into the creative industry who doesn’t have strong support systems?
Learn how to rely on yourself. Try to learn to do as many things as possible that you can related to your craft and along the way, other people will fill in the spaces. As long as you’re able to do all of these skills by yourself, nothing can stop you. So stay focused, be your biggest cheerleader, and learn every aspect of your dream. Stay consistent.
What do you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered as a woman who achieved her dream regardless of what life threw at her. I want to inspire the people who identify with my story to do the same.
You recently launched a new song “By One,” which is about the tough parts of a relationship. What were trying to communicate through that song?
"By One" can be interpreted a couple of different ways but for the most part it's about a frustrated lover. Everyday she tries to start from a new perspective but by 1pm she's reminded why they can't work. She hasn't yet given up but is torn and trying to work through the rough patches. People don't always talk about the hard part unless they're talking about giving up. I thought it would be interesting to speak from that perspective. Some people also interpret it as a break-up song, that's cool too. I want to leave it open for people to take from it what they personally connect with.
What does music mean to you?
Music is ev-ery-thing! [laughing] I think about it when I wake up. I think about it when I go to sleep. It’s the only thing I can picture myself doing. Even when I want to give up and find a day job, I can’t even imagine that, I would die! Music is air. Music is food. Music is everything… Tissue please! [laughing]
That’s amazing because most people don’t get to pursue their passions full time…
I think everyone knows what their passion is but sometimes they let society make them feel silly for feeling that way. I have people say, “What’s your real job?” Isn’t that crazy? Why can’t my dream be my real job?
What are some things that you have left to do on your list?
As long as I’m able to be successful in music, that’s the main thing that matters to me. I want to win some Grammy’s, man. That would be a milestone to me. Getting there. Getting my music into that many ears.