If music had a traditional coronation then Muhsinah would be next in line to receive her crown. While she may be a new comer to the music industry to some, her thousands of fans may beg to differ. After releasing her first EP, day.break in 2007 and receiving a Grammy nomination in 2008 for her collaboration with the group The Foreign Exchange she realized that being an entertainer is what she was meant to do.
The accomplished independent songstress first made her mark on the music scene back in the days of Myspace. It was there where she would later gain the attention of many big names in the industry and it was the superstar Common who would later take her under his wing and help her evolve into the artist she was born to be.
Her emerging take on R&B quickly secured a dedicated and ever-growing fan base of unique souls yearning for something fresh; Muhsinah’s dynamic melodies are their satisfaction. Her unruffled vocals blended with her unique beats create a sound that is true only to her. There is no other like Muhsinah.
Bombshell had the honor and pleasure of talking with the musical genius about her start and where she is headed next.
Bombshell: How did you first get into the industry?
Muhsinah: I wouldn’t really call it getting into the industry. I’ve been playing music since I was a child so I’ve always been around musicians. I would also always write music as a hobby and my friends would always ask me why am I not an artist? “Why do you write all these amazing songs at home and you don’t share them?” So, I was basically peer pressured into putting my music on Myspace (when it first came out) and from there people started sending me messages and e-mail and thats when I came to the conclusion that I was supposed to do this. From there Common found me and I started to work with him and write music with him. He asked me to write a hook for Alicia Keys and he ended up not picking it but the fact that he even asked me to help write was awesome.
Bombshell: In 2009, you received a Grammy nomination with the group The Foreign Exchange? How did that make you feel?
Muhsinah: That was crazy because it was a complete surprise! I got a text from a friend of mine who actually worked with the Grammy Board congratulating me on my nomination. I was actually in the studio with Musiq SoulChild at the time while I was living in Atlanta and we were messing around with ideas when I received the text and he received a nomination that year also so we both were pretty excited!
Bombshell: Do you feel like you have more freedom being an independent artist or do you hope to one day go mainstream?
Muhsinah: I think all artists should try to be independent if they can. Having a label behind you is a wonderful thing because it gives you exposure to people who wouldn’t normally see you and its also easier for artist to have creative freedom with labels now but I’m not as reluctant to sign with a label as I used to be. I think eventually I may sign with a label but right now I enjoy being independent. If I want to put out an album tomorrow, I can.
Bombshell:How would you describe your sound?
Mushinah: I feel like I balance my sound really well; its R&B with some other stuff thrown in there. I like to mix different styles because I am a mixed person culturally. I don’t resonate with one type of music, but I would say its Alternative R&B because its so progressive.
Bombshell: Who or what would you say inspires you musically?
Muhsinah: I would have to say my emotions. I dont know if that is necessarily my inspiration but they’re definitely influential. So, however I feel is usually the biggest component. Outside of my emotions would be art and film. If I see anything in the art world or the film world I always feel compelled to make music that can accompany that.
Bombshell: You went on tour with Common and The Weekend. What was your experience like being on tour with these men who are very successful in the industry?
Muhsinah: With Common I learned that being yourself is your biggest investment and your biggest commodity. Having some pull with your fans and making sure that people understand you and trust you with their money and their time. Being an artist was not my life goal, I always thought that I would be a producer, so I really just had to learn how to be an artist and be the face of a brand that people would resonate with. Common and The Weekend both give you a certain feeling when you think of them so I really learned how to create my own personal brand from them.
Bombshell: What do you hope to achieve with your music?
Muhsinah: I really want people to access their emotions. I feel like I have been that person in people’s lives to help them feel their feelings more and I think my music helps with that. So I just really want to achieve more emotional honesty from myself and people who listen.
Bombshell: What is next for Muhsinah?
Muhsinah: I’ll be putting out an album early this year. The first single should be out sometime in January or February.
Listen to more music from our favorite lady below!