Photo: Sotheara Yem
Soul/R&B Artist from Oakland, CA, currently living in Boston
Honestly, the only woman I want to speak about in relation to my music is my mother. She is staunchly Christian, and encouraged my music as a child, when I started writing gospel songs around age 9. At 18, I decided to try my hand at R&B to which she was extremely opposed. She did not want me to have a career in the secular music industry, and there grew a tension between us that greatly bothered me. I wanted to make her proud without having to compromise my own personal dreams. I felt that her support was intermittent and knew that she would prefer me to take a more practical route. I forged ahead for years, continuing to make music, and when I was accepted into Berklee, I didn’t know what to expect from her. To my pleasant surprise, it was unmitigated support, love, and encouragement that I experienced. Since beginning my education at Berklee, my mother has been nothing less than a champion for my art, education, and progress. As my mother, she has always made the greatest investment in my development, but now she has continued to invest in me by supporting my development as a musician. She even went as far as to say that when she retires, she’s going to manage me (we’ll see about that, haha). This pivot in her demeanor towards my dream has emboldened the fire that I already had towards music and business. I know that with her rooting for me, I cannot lose. It was she who once sacrificed her dreams for practicality in order to give her all to motherhood, and now it is she who is affording me the opportunity to pursue mine. A passage from Toni Morrison’s book, Beloved, reads: “She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.” This is the kind of friend my mother has been to me. There is no greater inspiration to my music career than her, and there never will be.
Were You Can Find Her: