Interview With Multi-Genre Artist, Poet, Screenwriter & Author ‘Ithalia Johnson’

Tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a black woman from the Bahamas and I love to rock out and write songs in various genres. i grew up with Motown, Country, Traditional Bahamian and Gospel, and when I started writing songs, all of that came with rock music. I’m a poet, screenwriter, author and above all, I’m a mother on my artistic journey.

How did you get started in the music business in the first place?

When I was nineteen I wrote myself into a production deal with Eric Foster White.

Who are your inspirations in the music industry?

At the moment my inspirations are the black women who are breaking down boundaries and jumping out of boxes and claiming their rightful place in country, folk, rock and Americana. Forever, my inspiration is always Tina Turner and Joan Armitrading.

What is the concept behind your forthcoming project if working on one?

I’ve been responding to the present unrest in the world, which includes Covid, with songs of healing and observance. I feel the world could use some uplifting and conscious music. I feel the need to sing anthems of change and within the questions exorcise our emotions with music that makes us move.

What is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed?

Lenny Kravitz told me to never sell my publishing until it matters and the right deal comes along. I still own all my music.

Do you think your music is mostly enjoyed more for the beats or for the lyrical flow and content?

My music is mostly enjoyed for the lyrical flow and content. I’m known as the woman who has something to say, and has said it many times in many songs.

“I am beautiful, it’s not a crime to wear my make-up on the inside of my mind.”

What is your main goal as far as music?

I’ve been in the music world for a long time and I’ve never given up on myself. I want to play at a Stadium at least once and be the little engine that could. I’m not interested in celebrity for fame sake, I know I have music worth sharing and I know there’s a place out there for me. I’ve written movies that include my songs as soundtracks and won awards for them and I need to have my life imitate my art. I’ve already written my success, now I’m just following through.

Who would you say your music relates to the most?

My music relates to women who are trying on independence, conscious people, young girls who don’t want to take off their clothes to be seen, women and men who like to think in music, and I always have something to say to the down trodden, or on behalf of them because helping people is always with me.

What separates you from other artists? (What’s makes you different?)

I have a unique voice – it’s smoky and then loud, and it’s still doing things that I didn’t know it could do. My song-writing is also very poetic. I like writing lyrics that can also be read as poems. Bob Dylan and Bob Marley both influenced my writing.

What’s the biggest highlight of your career thus far? 

My album La La Life was recorded with top drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and Celloist David Darling, and I played at the Midnight Ramble with Levon Helms.

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