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
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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