India.Arie is authentic, real and a natural born healer, and she’s talented. Always has been. This legendary singer/songwriter has been at it for two decades and she shows no signs of taking a break. You know her as a songbird sharing love, life and lessons through song and poetry. India.Arie continued to bless us with the release of “Worthy,” her 8th studio album. The album was masterfully created and India.Arie was kind enough to discuss details of her upcoming Worthy Tour, her inspiration for the album and her self-care regimen.
Congratulations on the new album. “Worthy” is such a powerful word. How do the words and messages that we speak impact our reality?
Well, everything is a vibration including YOU, and that’s why all things affect each OTHER. So … words have an impact on our biology, and ALSO, because they are words and therefore A MEANING … that meaning behind the words affect out mental and emotional state. While the vibration affects our actual energetic and physical body – the words affect our mind. This is why I say the Beat moves the body, the words move the mind and (in my opinion) we need both.
I love the song and video for “What If.” What was your inspiration for both?
The inspiration was to find a SIMPLE way to remind each person of their WORTH and POWER to this world. We literally ARE the world, and it’s up to us to heal it. And I wanted to light a fire by asking “what if” the people we revere didn’t do THEIR work? Where would we be? And so, DON’T diminish or deprive the world of YOUR work.
Describe the evolution of your sound from your 1st album to your recent album.
I’m not sure I can – all I know is I do what I love in that moment. I can say my singing has matured as I have. But as far as SOUND, I think maybe it’s just expanded to other aesthetics, the song “WHAT IF” is a good example. Anything else, would be up to the listener to tell me.
What was your mission with this album?
My mission was to create an aural inspiration for self-love, self-responsibility, self-definement (if that’s even a word but you know what I mean), and self-healing. I want people to REMEMBER that they are worthy, important, and significant because they EXIST. The reason I keep using the word SELF here, is because the world sends us so many messages that tell us if we’re not the current definition of perfect, then we’re not WORTHY – and it’s up to YOU, YOURSELF, to remind YOURSELF of your WORTH. IT IS YOURS TO CULTIVATE AND PROTECT. I know that’s a lot to say about an album, but for me music is a spiritual work! And this is what is imbued into this collection of songs!
What vibe were you trying to create with this album and were you successful?
I LOVE this album, but I was honestly going for a DIFFERENT vibe. So NO I wasn’t successful with the vibe I was TRYING to create – but It turned out to be something so much greater!
What advice would you give to someone who feels that they’re not worthy of joy, happiness or success?
I would tell them to go into whatever therapy that will help them start unpacking the reasons WHY they feel that way. And then to make WORTHY their WHOLE LIFE’S WORK until it shifts. Sometimes things are hard to reach for a reason … be willing to do the work of saving your own life. And if you can’t think that far, just be willing to experiment to see IF YOU CAN.
What’s your favorite India.Arie song? And why is that song so special to you.
It changes. “I Am Light” is very special to me though, because it’s the basic truth about LIFE that I have learned up to this point in my life’s journey. And I found the simplest way to say it. I’ve watched it become an important song to a lot of other people and this song has also made the WAY for me into some special places. I’m humbled by that. ALSO , I love a simple song with a simple truth. I really do. And it’s not easy to do. So, I love it for so many reasons.
What can we look forward to during your upcoming tour? Why type of experience do you give the audience?
I call what I do “ A SONGVERSATON.” It’s exactly what it sounds like. I would say on stage I am not just a singer but a COMMUNICATOR. And I use everything at my disposal to communicate, and facilitate (for anyone in the room who wants to join in the flow) in having a personal internal experience with THEMSELVES, with my music, and words as an inspiration to feel what they need to feel. At the VERY least, my intention is to bring a high minded, heart full, spiritual experience to stage.
When my best friend was conquering breast cancer, as she lost her hair she leaned heavily on the lyrics to “I Am Not My Hair.” Did you know what type of impact that song and lyrics would have on women?
Thank you for telling me this. I had no idea this song would mean what it has, but I can tell you, it’s been one of the great gifts of my life. Any songwriter would want to write a song that actually helps people heal. I’m just honored, it’s a bigger gift then I know to even ask for, so NO I didn’t know. Send your best friend my love and thank her for letting my music be a part of her life.
Lastly, I want to thank you for being a constant source of inspiration and self-reflection. Your music is therapeutic. What’s your self-care regimen?
Thank You! For me self-care never stops. I had a friend who came to stay with me for 5 days last week and she pointed out that my self-care never stops. So, I shower with essential oils to clear not just my body but my energy. I stretch every morning. I have a dedicated prayer and meditation practice. Even my entertainment is nourishing. I always have an audio-book that I’m into, as well as podcasts and music of course, and they are all chosen with the intent of my elevation.
I made a pact with myself around 10 years ago to make WELLNESS my life’s work. And so I do. I have my guilty pleasure TV shows, songs and magazines and stuff – and things I do that aren’t for my highest good sometimes – cause being human. But generally speaking, I do what is nourishing and elevating. I wear a lot of white to calm my nervous system and as a protection, I go to the ocean at least once a year to feel all the negative ions and decompress. I journal and write a lot to clear my mind I’m just a writer, but Journaling really calms my mind because I hold a lot in my head.
I could keep going. Just like we say LOVE is a VERB – self-love is a VERB. It’s not just about loving everything about yourself, it’s SHOWING love to yourself and I’ve found slowly that I am loving myself more and more. So anyway, back to your question. My self-care practice is prayer, meditation, journaling, stretching, choosing my clothing color intentionally, and essential oils for a lot of things.
The 2019 Worthy Tour kicks off on April 24, 2019 in New York. Get your tickets online at Songbird.com.