Name: Muhsinah | Recording Artist and Producer
Singer, songwriter, arranger, composer, producer, Grammy nominee, Muhsinah without a doubt lives up to her name “The Golden Girl”.
She got started playing the piano at the age of 11, became classically trained, and participated in tons of competitions and recitals throughout her childhood. She went onto receive her bachelors degree in music from Howard University, and after got a music engineer certification from a recording studio, really wanting to become a a recording engineer.
She states that sometimes there is a stigma around being a woman and knowing how to do things other then sing in the music industry, but she always wanted to be self-sufficient, mastering every aspect of music. She knew how to play the piano, got a hint that she could sing in college, and then went on to learn how to record herself by writing songs that she would record just for practice. To her surprise, she became so good at writing, that people around her told her she should record an album. Since then, she has been discovering more talent, and many different aspects of herself.
When asked to describe her music, she stated that she was working towards coining her own genre, calling it urban suburban, a great mix of both sounds. She feels like there is a little bit in it for everybody. It can go from the streets to the country, and hopefully it will survive in both places. She was raised in an urban area, and then moved to the suburbs. “I’ve lived everywhere, so I sound like everything.”
The inspiration behind Muhsinah’s two albums The Oscillations: Sine and The Oscillations: Triangle was autobiographical. A lot of it is questioning what life is about. “You get into that age where you kind of don’t know where you are going, you don’t know what’s happening, and you are trying to figure it out. That’s where I was.”
She got the name “The Golden Girl”, because of her manager. Her manager came up with that name, because she believes everything Muhsinah touches turns to gold when it comes to music and collaborations. Also, she reminds her of an old person. She laughs and I smile on the inside as I realize I am indeed talking to an old and wise soul.
She has worked with Common, appearing on his Universal Mind Control, and toured with him for a year as his keyboardist and background singer. “We are pretty close, and he is actually like a mentor to me. ” She also appeared on The Foreign Exchange’s Leave It All Behind, which got her nominated for a Grammy. She has worked with a few other independent artist around DC and Philly.
As a producer she would love to work with Beyonce, Celine Dion, and Christiana Aguilera. She basically wants to work with women with big voices. She thinks she would have a really good time writing with them, and creating something magical.
Muhsinah is inspired by Miles Davis, who was wild when he would talk about things, and he didn’t really have any kind of filter. She is inspired by everyday life and visuals like movies and art. She’s not really into a lot of music artist these days, because is trying to focus on creating her own voice and not listening all of the time.
Her first job was at Lady Footlocker at the age of 14.
People might be surprised to know she writes and reads music fluently like a computer. She is sort of a nerd when it comes to it, being really good at transcribing music on paper for orchestras and other areas in music.
The best thing about what she does is being free to just let her life express itself through her music. It is the biggest gift to be given, being able to put everything into an art form that has been shown to you in your life. It is the best thing in the world to be honest and let it all out.
She advises women in music to be true to doing what you really want to do, and to not compromise that for comfort, vanity, or money. Just be true to what you express, and be really persistent. A lot of people give up because of fear or not knowing. However, not knowing is the only constant thing in this business, so it really doesn’t matter. Don’t let anybody tell you what you can’t do, because you can do anything. A woman should be able to walk into a recording studio and know how to do everything the men can do in the room, and still be dressed like a lady. Be a woman, but be able to do what a man can do.
Muhsinah just released the Gone EP. Download it for free here – http://bit.ly/gone720