The Bigger Picture
I’ve spent the better part of my life wondering what the plan was for New Year’s Eve. Where is the party and most importantly, am I invited?
Over the past few years, I have been asleep by 9 p.m. so there goes that notion of partying well into the new year. Don’t get me wrong, it’s so much fun, but I feel as though those days are well behind me.
As much as I would like to say I don’t believe in resolutions because everyone makes them seem so cliche and corny, I believe in them with every fiber in my being! There, I said it! And let’s be honest, there is nothing better than writing down a list of goals and dreams that you would like to see happen in the new year and actually making them come to life. The idea of speaking things into existence is so very real. Health fanatics say you are what you eat right? Well, you most certainly are what you think! So, think big of yourself and all that you hope for, the sky is the limit in your own imagination.
But, before you can start on something new, you must say goodbye to what once was. Closure is just that. Sealing the chapters of what at times seemed like a never-ending story, it is now time to start the next chapter, and the best part of all, you get to determine how your story will go.
I can easily reflect on the previous year. All that I accomplished. The people I have met who have changed how I view certain aspects in life and the goals I was able to accomplish and some that I barely touched if at all. It’s ok though and it has led me to this bit of enlightenment. As you continue to step and grow through life, with grace you will continue to evolve into who you were always meant to be. How amazing is that?! And as you grow through this evolution, your entire vision changes, which in turn allows you to finally see the bigger picture.
Have you written out all that you have done in the year prior? Try it and I promise you will be amazed at everything you were able to accomplish in just 12 months.
List or no list, make it a mission to succeed at the things that make YOU happy. Not your family, your friends, your dog, or the energized cat running in circles at 2 in the morning, but you! It’s perfectly fine to do for others, however, it’s easy to get caught up and forget about what’s important to yourself.
As for me, I was not invited to the party and I was perfectly fine with that. I no longer feel as though I am missing out or forgotten because I can see the big picture. I can’t share what it looks like, just trust you will know once you see it.
Be well, be amazing, and take this new year by the horns and own it!
Hello 2023, I’ve got plans for you!
I believe that the energy you put out into the universe will come back to you in many ways. How has music changed your life?
Music has changed my life in every imaginable way. One of my favorite mystics said “music is the dream of silence”. I mean, what a thought. I believe music is our greatest contribution to the planet as human beings. Throughout the ages, music has been that invisible expression that speaks to our souls in a universal language. We are all connected through song. Music has provided me with a tool to share my story and connect with the stories of others. It reminds me of the power of the unseen. The power of beauty. It’s a tool I can use to influence my mood and that of others. Music is my love language in every sense.
As a writer, I love the freedom to create from scratch, however, it doesn’t flow unless I’m in a certain head space. When you write a song, where do you go mentally?
When I write, I don’t go anywhere mentally. In fact I need to get out of my head and into another zone completely. It can’t be intellectual in the beginning. It’s best to tap into a trance like state and to grab whatever floats to the edge of my subconscious and conscious mind. My mood is more important than my mind when it comes to writing and creating. After I get the gist of the story I want to tell, I can then bring in my more analytical mind. That’s when I can start to think about things like structure and form. That’s when I can embellish.
The world of music is always changing, however, good music will always resonate in the souls of those who truly love the craft and creativity behind the magic. What do you feel is most important in keeping music honest, real, and from the heart?
I think the most important way to create truthfully as an artist is to live one’s life. When you are immersed in your own life, you have real material to draw from. When you live authentically, you can create authentic music that’s an embodiment of your soul.
Lalah Hathaway posted an all-star lineup on November 28th and fans went crazy trying to determine how to purchase tickets until we all realized it was a fantasy. If this was to come to fruition, how amazing would that be?
That was so cool to me. After all, she is one of the greatest vocalists ever. I had no idea Lalah even knew who I was, much less enjoyed my music. I love affirmations like that from the universe. Hey Lalah, I’m ready to open for you or collab whenever you have time.
The readers would love to know more about you and your musical journey. Where are you from and when did music become an integral part of your life?
I was born in Louisiana to a southern mom and a Senegalese father. I moved around a lot as a kid, so I don’t think of myself as being from any one particular place. Music has quite literally been a part of my life since I can remember speaking. I was in my first talent show at 5. Started recording demos professionally for writers at 11 and recorded my first original song at 12. Music has always been a part of me.
You have a beautiful voice. I love your single, Ready Enough. What is the meaning behind this song? I’m happy you love that one. “Ready Enough” is about embracing the beauty and potential inherent in all of us. We come to this earth with all that we need to live out our destiny. Things may happen that throw us off of our path, but that doesn’t mean we are lost. We always have the ability to make contact with our soul. We have enough at all times. We just need to reach for it.
What inspires you the most when it comes to creating and exploring new music?
I’m inspired by so many things, but I would have to say my environment is a deep well of inspiration for me right now. I’m very affected by the natural landscape and beauty of the place where I live. Being close to nature humbles me. It gets me out of my own way and out of my head. As I mentioned, it’s important for me to not overthink. When I overthink, I cannot be creative. So my surroundings are important.
You are taking a cross-country road trip. Who’s on your playlist for this long ride?
Oooh, that’s a hard one to answer, but I would say at this point in my life my road trip playlist would include Joni Mitchell, Sade, Cocteau Twins, Stevie Wonder, Harold Budd, Laraaji, Alice Coltrane, Bob Marley, Antonio Carlos Jobim … demos that I’m working on. There are so many other artists I love that I didn’t include, but I think their music best fits other situations in my life right now.
Music is an important part of so many lives. Without it, I most certainly would be lost. What do you want your fans to feel when they listen to your music?
I want them to feel that life is absolutely worth living. I’ve called it “life affirmative” music in the past and that still feels very true. Life is worth loving and opening your heart to. Even in the midst of challenges. As long as we are feeling people, we have hope.
When you are not writing and creating new music, what do you like to do to unwind?
I love to hike to unwind. Moving my body outside is so good for me. There’s that getting out of my head again. Communing with nature heals me every single time. I also love to read a good book. I know I’m in a good place when I’m reading a lot.
Is there anyone in the industry you would love to collaborate with?
Oh yes. I’d love to collaborate with John Mayer, Kevin Parker, Frank Ocean, and Esperanza Spalding.
Can you give us a glimpse into what’s next for Sidibe?
New music and live performances. Hopefully some sweet collaborations too.
How can your fans connect, follow, and most importantly support you?
Fans can find me on all of the socials. I’m most active on IG. They can support me by playing and sharing the music! If you’re feeling extra generous, you can go to my Bandcamp page and buy the music there.
In closing, leave us with a bit of positive inspiration.
Don’t get too caught up in the visible. Remember that the most important things are invisible to the human eye. Use your imagination and prayer to make contact with the divine spirit that is always present. Trust in the mystery and allow it to be.
Get your digital or print copy of Issue 32 at Groovmagazine.com
AJ is a creative writer and storyteller writing from her home in Indiana.
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman