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Where it all began with the astounding Jeiris Cook!

When did your love of music begin?

My love for music began really early in life. I can recall 'mimicking' all the songs I'd hear on the radio at around 7 or 8, and singing along to songs with my mom in the car. As far back as I can remember, I've always been lured by music because it usually makes me feel a certain way or helps to solidify a memory. There was a Kirk Franklin song that moved me to help a complete stranger with her car troubles once. And I'm pretty sure had I been listening to any other song (or nothing at all) I probably would have kept going. My mom really put the spark for music in me. She took me to a Michael Jackson concert (again around 7 or 8) and I remember dancing in the stands the entire time. If I had to pinpoint any moment in time, it would definitely be that concert. Thanks mom!

What do you think is the heart and soul of your sound?

I think the heart and soul of my sound is found mostly in the tone of my voice. I used to sing in a group and we'd do tons of harmonic background vocals. And I'd always hear my voice sort of sticking out like a sore thumb, no matter how well the mix was. I'd always cringe because I just wanted my voice to blend in. But then I realized I was smothering the heart and soul of my sound. Nowadays, the last thing I want to do is sound so much like someone else that I lose my identity. Tone is everything.

Who do you attribute your love of music to?

My mom definitely. The record player in the living room was our entertainment system. There was no TV in the house except in my mom's room. So we'd often put on records and listen to music while doing everything. Every Halloween, we'd play Micheal Jackson's "Thriller" and dance around the table in our costumes and scare ourselves half to death. My brothers probably won't admit to doing this but it's true! Road trips were always musically rich experiences as well. My grandmother lived in North Carolina, and we'd drive up from Georgia listening to music the whole way. Karyn White's "Superwoman" I swear is the soundtrack of my childhood. Whenever I hear that song, it takes me right back to when I was 8 years old in the back seat of my mom's Toyota Tercel.

Will you be traveling this summer and touring?

I've got some local gigs lined up and a few band shows as well. Most of my traveling this summer will be in the New York Metro area and parts of Pennsylvania (including Philly). Nothing national as of yet, but that is certainly a goal of mine.

What song has your heart right now of yours?

"October Sky '' by Yebba has really got me all in my feelings as of late. It's executed so well and her voice control and tone is otherworldly. Some of the vocal nuances in her delivery are just crazy. The song overall has this magical quality that transforms the space in my head. Thank you for having me!

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