SINDIGO is a multifaceted American R&B/Soul artist based in Brooklyn. The singer who also doubles up as an engineer fuses R&B, Jazz, Soul, Hip-Hop and Blues in defining her own sound. Sindigo uses her music to paint her insecurities, pain and desires. Amos Mabinda had a chat with the young artist on her musical life and her two projects; ‘Sincerely SINDIGO’ and ‘Bare Maximum’…
Mabinda: Hey SINDIGO…great for you to make time for this interview
SINDIGO: Hey, thank you for having me.
Afroway: Tell us about yourself
SINDIGO: I’m a 22 year old R&B/soul singer-songwriter living in the United States. My music also falls into the realms of jazz and neo-soul.
Afroway: How has your heritage and where you grew up influenced your kind of art
SINDIGO: I’m Puerto Rican, Haitian and Lebanese. Puerto Rican from my dad’s side and Haitian & Lebanese from my mom’s side. I grew up in NYC being raised by my
grandparents and father. Growing up I mostly listened to r&b/soul, oldies, and jazz because of my dad. That had the biggest impact on the genre of music I make. I make music that is subtly fused with jazz by accident, it’s just a part of my musical foundation.
Afroway: When did you start singing and at around what time did you decide to make it a profession?
SINDIGO: I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. As a child you could often find me making up songs, singing every song on the radio and having pretend concerts in the mirror with a hairbrush as a microphone. I decided to take it in a professional direction in middle school. I applied for only performing arts high schools. I got accepted to Talent Unlimited High School and majored as a vocalist. When everyone was applying for college, I kind of felt lost. It seemed like everyone was so excited about their majors and what I wanted to major in (psychology) didn’t really excite me. I thought about the most exciting thing I could do after high school and decided on becoming a full on singer.
Afroway: How do you personally describe your music?
SINDIGO: Soothing, laid back, warm and emotional.
Afroway: You recently released an album ‘Bare Maximum’, tell us about this and what inspired it…
SINDIGO: Bare maximum is a concept that entails making the most out of whatever you have, even if its a little. I discovered this concept through a TED Talk with Steve Lacy. Watching that TED Talk changed my life. I often went through life feeling like I wasn’t enough and didn’t have enough to fully do what I wanted. After discovering the Bare Maximum concept I realized my life would be exactly what I made it. I decided to work hard to utilize all that I had instead of wishing I had more and to look within instead of going out of my way. Trying to navigate through life inspired Bare Maximum.
Afroway: What was the experience like, while creating music for this project?
SINDIGO: Creating this album really helped me grow. All of the music for Bare Maximum was written, picked out and recorded in 3 weeks, besides “Basement Love” which was written about 2 years ago. I gave my all to these songs and experimented in ways I hadn’t before with instrumental selection, writing, layering, harmonies, etc.. The experience of making this album could best be described as freeing.
Afroway: In your own opinion, how different is ‘Bare Maximum’ from your previous work ‘Sincerely, SINDIGO’?
SINDIGO: To be honest, “Sincerely, SINDIGO” was just a demo made to showcase what I could do. But Bare Maximum is where I let it all out. Where I told all the secrets, let all my insecurities hang out, experimented with vocal layering, experimented with harmony grouping, and other musical elements. Bare Maximum really embodies who I am in this moment, ‘Sincerely, SINDIGO’ more so just laid down the foundation of my music and style.
Afroway: Do you listen to music from Africa? Does it in anyway inspire your own writing?
SINDIGO: Currently, I’m enjoying music on the Afrobeat scene.
Afroway: Who is your favorite musician from Africa?
Afroway: When you write your music, in the back of your mind…do you have an individual or a crowd?
SINDIGO: I usually freestyle songs, then go back and write to take it to the next level. When I freestyle I always have a picture in my head that I’m singing about. I never write for anyone or gear my writing towards a certain crowd. If you like it, you like it.
Afroway: What other sounds do you think of exploring and why?
SINDIGO: I think I might want to explore classical music and rap more and incorporate it into my music. I’m a classically trained singer-songwriter and I listen to rap/hip-hop just as much as I listen to r&b so it would be nice to incorporate those styles into my music.
Afroway: How do you feel about the reception of ‘Bare Maximum’ so far?
SINDIGO: I feel great about it. People are actually purchasing it and saying they hear growth. I always aim to get better so that means a lot.
Afroway: Awesome, and thank you for making time.
SINDIGO: No problem. Everyone can listen to my album Bare Maximum here http://smarturl.it/baremaximum, and watch my song ‘Ryan Seacrest’ on Youtube: by the way.
!Afroway | @amosmabinda
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