You said you were an athlete before and you started singing kinda late. How did you find your voice?
At seven years old I knew I could sing. I was raised in the Pentecostal church. I was too afraid to sing in the choir. I would just be up in my room singing. But when Mom and Dad turned the key in the door, I shut all music off. I didn’t want anybody hearing me sing. I wanted to keep it a secret, but as time went on, I couldn’t hide it anymore.
I honestly thought I was going to the Olympics. I was a gymnast for fourteen years and I did track. I got a scholarship to Portland State University for track. And after that, I was like, “I don’t wanna do what people are telling me to do anymore!” So when I moved to Portland, 2,000 miles away from home, I was thinking to myself, “You know you wanna perform.” Then my teammate introduced me to karaoke. And it’s been a beautiful progression from there.
You’ve written songs and sung with Prince. That is like the ultimate collaboration. So who do you want to work with now, considering you started in the penthouse of collaborations?
I would love to work with Lenny Kravitz. I would love to work with Sade. I would love to work with Bonnie Raitt. The list could go on and on. I love Mary J. There’s nothing off the table, but I have my mind set on wanting to work with Lenny Kravitz. But nothing compares to working with Prince. [laughs]
What would the collaboration between you and Lenny Kravitz sound like?
I like that song he did called “I Belong To You.” Something in that area. I hope that can happen one day. I’m putting it out there.
What can fans expect from your live show?
Electrifying. You’re gonna be on your feet all night so wear your comfortable shoes! [laughs] It is energy beyond! It’s always different energy, but it’s crazy energy. It’s rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, and funk!
What do you see for yourself in the future?
I see great things. I see continuing to write music and growing within the music. I just always wanna write and perform. I always wanna be on a stage.