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Conversations with Jada Imani

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jada Imani.

Hi Jada, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I fell in love with music as a child and knew by age four that I wanted my career to exist on stage. Growing up, I obsessed over music but kept my aspirations closely guarded as I was shy and untrusting. In my mid-teens, I started to work in arts and culture spaces and develop my leadership skills.

At age 16, I left traditional high school for independent studies and began one of the most long-lasting and regularly attended showcases in Oakland. That’s where I met a community of artists that I cherish, and continue to build for and around. That period launched me on a path to an entrepreneurial, grassroots DIY approach to my music career and I continue to take risks and bet on myself and my people. This past year I started my first merchandise and product lines that are made with collaborators I feel truly proud and honored to work with all inspired by and based on my music.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Though I am blessed and grateful, it has been anything but a smooth road. In a lot of ways, my work is fueled by pain and adversity. Being on stage from a young age made me a target of predatory advances from older men and the impacts of that are devastating. The overall social challenges of being young, Black, woman and working-class are enraging. I’ve struggled a lot with self-esteem and self-worth as a result of a turbulent childhood where oftentimes the care I needed wasn’t available. My pain is not only my own though. It’s shared by generations of people who have been denied human dignity, been displaced and suffered greatly. So when I create I carry that struggle with me, I work to heal that, and I work to carve new realities that spell freedom.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m an artist, I make Hip-Hop & Neo-Soul music and I create special spaces of connection. I’m most known for the community spaces I organize and hold. Honestly, there’s a special magical that occurs when I have a mic and a room full of people. It’s unusual to say this but I have a way of transforming square rooms into community circles and cyphers, floors into dance floors and soul train lines, and social gatherings into spiritual gatherings. This ability is something I’m proud of. I”m proud to not just take up space, but to create and reimagine space while also making space for others.

Any big plans?
I’m planning on dropping the long-awaited JUBILEE II EP next month with Will Randolph V and special merch in partnership with Oaklandish. I’m planning to partner with more storefronts to hold my products. I’m planning on rocking a lot of shows in other states/countries. Also, I’m planning on working with more young creatives of color who are interested in entrepreneurship, grassroots projects and creative careers.

Pricing:

  • $150 Songwriting Starter Pack
  • $40/mo Songwriting Course on Patreon
  • $45/mo Monthly Product Subscription

Contact Info:

Image Credits
-Laura Kaur -Deziree -Gianni -TMO -Isaiah Mostafa -Zoë Mountain

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