#ThisIsHERStory: Throwback Q&A With B.jamelle
It's time for a throwback!
One of my favorite interviews from my former blog, amirahrashidah, was with singer-songwriter B.jamelle back in 2014. The DC native provided me with such awesome answers to our Q&A that a lot of people enjoyed. So, on this Tuesday, I wanted to give y'all a #TBT post by republishing her Q&A here on Transcending Sound during Women's History Month. Keep reading!
I heard the deeply rich, rhythmic and sultry vocals of DC singer-songwriter B.jamelle via "Rose Tea," a song that played on a webseries called RoomieLoverFriends (done by the folks over at Black&SexyTV.) You'll find out shortly that her spirit is as calming, full of depth, and as beautiful as her voice is.
Where are you from and where are you located (if different)?
Do you sing, rap, produce, blog, etc?
I write, then I sing :)
What do you hope to accomplish in the music industry?
I don't necessarily want any parts of "the industry". As far as goals associated with my craft itself though, I hope to offer something substantial in the way of testimonials, via song, that women will identify with, find encouragement in, and consequently be inspired to understand, forgive, love and feel amazing about themselves. I've always been interested in mentoring... I don't think I have the nerve to stand in front of a group of women and give a formal speech of any sort, but I can definitely put pertinent themes to music and deliver them creatively. I believe I can reach a lot further that way.
What does being a woman mean to you and how does it reflect in your work?
To be a woman is to be a vessel, an incubator, a safe haven for anything that needs a space to grow. Women take seeds (bodies, ideas, dreams, etc... all seeds) and nurture them to completion. I'd say my process as a songwriter mirrors the work of womanhood in the way that I take fragments/simple cues from the people, places, happenings around me, internalize them, piece them together and present them as cohesive and complete renderings later. My way is to take a color, a word, a sound, anything really, and build on it until it's complete enough to be understood by others without me there to supplement anything. I believe people ought able to receive the imagery, the song, the message your art intends to convey without explanations or references of any sort. Your art has to be able to connect with people even when you're not there. Your art should convey a complete thought.
What do you wish to see more of and less of in the industry in terms of women?
I'd like to see less insecurity. I feel like any woman that can't opt out of using her "sex" to define herself on a mass/public scale is indeed insecure. I believe that type of over-sexed imagery is passed off as "empowerment" and "liberation" these days, that's not something I'm willing to accept or celebrate. I'd like to see more women taking pride in the way they are portrayed, taking responsibility for the fact that they are setting the standard for much younger women and in most cases children. I'd like for them to speak more and shake less.
Who is your favorite woman in the industry, past or present, and why?
Phyllis Hyman, hands down. She was very involved. She was very conscious of/deliberate in choosing how she portrayed herself and how she would be portrayed at the hands of others. In her business, in her speech, in her song selections, in her performance, in choosing the people she kept around her... she was just a very hands on, unapologetically intelligent, firm, opinionated and regal black woman. I wish there were more of her kind.
What is your favorite women’s empowerment song?
I'll write it when I'm older. :)
Check out B.jamelle's EP, "Here, hear.," below: