Suzann Christine On Music, Being An Inspiration and Giving Back
Suzann Christine is a gifted singer/songwriter. A native of Philadelphia, she won the 2012 and 2017 Philly
First of all, thank you for granting me the pleasure to interview you today. You are such an inspiration, and I really love the work that you do.
Ahhh! Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate that!
Your rendition of Andra Day's Rise Up at the Women's March in Philadelphia this past Saturday sounded incredible. What was it like performing in front of all those people, majority of them women?
Its liberating, it's empowering for myself. It takes me to a moment of realizing that I am able to do what I love while inspiring other people. That is very liberating for myself. Being the second time also being asked to perform is also truly amazing.
Let's talk about your music. Your songs are very inspirational; songs like Fly, Selfish Boy, Where Did The Love Go? Did you set out early in life to be a conscious artist or did that develop over time?
I think it developed over time. I've always been inspiring because of who I am. But I think the more you evolve and grow into self you start to understand things a little bit better and you begin to enhance. I always knew I wanted to be conscious about the messages I was relaying to those listening, but I think I just grew into being more conscious. You know what I mean?
Yes. How do you manage to stay grounded and true to yourself in an industry that is known to be anything but that?
You are not lying, when you say that...
... Cos a lot of time being a positive music artist can be hard because everybody loves what is not so positive, everybody gravitates to things that are drama filled or filled with negativity. But I feel like just being a servant of God you just have to ... I think it's my duty to remember what I am here for. Sometimes you have to stand out. You have to be different. You can't just go with the status quo. There's a lot of work to be done and it can't be done by doing what everybody else is doing. Sometimes just maintaining my spirituality, and even like going into schools and seeing what needs to be done kind of makes you want to do the right thing, regardless of this person telling you that you need to take of your clothes, this person telling you you need to sell more sex, this person telling you that you are not edgy enough. I know who I am, that I am filled with love and light, and it overflows. It's just easier to be who you are than to be someone that you are not.
Absolutely. You are also involved in a number of non-profit organizations. You don't just sing, you actually do!
...And I really wanted to give you the chance to share some of the non-profit and charity work that you do, and how people can get involved?
Sure, sure. First of, I founded my own non-profit organization in the Philadelphia region which services youth who are interested in the arts, and we have a lot of different programs. We are currently working on our Fly Star program where we are trying to get more children to enroll into the program who are interested in understanding what it truly takes to be an artist, a professional independent artist at that. And I have another organization and program where I help tutor and mentor called Jigsaw Educational Services. I volunteer with them. I've done some work with The Pearls of Wisdom Program as well the past couple of years. I've always been involved in the community. My mom put me in Girls Scout when I was a child so being involved in charity work is second nature. And also Influencing Action Movement is another organization that I work with, volunteer with as well. But in terms of joining my non-profit organization, we have a website and we have an instagram page. Our website is www.schcapa.org and our instagram page is schcapa. And you can find everything that we are doing there.
Awesome. What is your message to young girls coming up in a culture that implies that a woman's brains or talents is not enough, that all she needs is her body and sexuality to succeed?
Sure. So to the little girls, I say, who do you see on a big screen, actors and actresses that you can look up to? A lot of African American women you see are doing amazing things-even if you look at Oprah, she didn't have to those things for her to be one of the top billionaires on earth. Was she taking off her clothes? Not at all. And we can go down the list of women who have been successful and are powerhouses in their own lives without having to sell themselves short. And I would say to young women we need to be a little more careful about what we feed ourselves because what we feed ourselves is what is going to what eventually manifests and become true to us. So if you are feeding yourself a whole bunch of junk and things that are telling you that you can't do this or you can't do that, and guess what? You are going to believe that because that is what you have fed your brain. So it is very pertinent to pay attention to what is brainwashing you. You know, as humans we are programs. We are a program, we have a system in everything so what we put in it is what is going to eventually stay in us and then pour out and so we have to be very mindful of those things. I will just tell young girls to seek women that you aspire to be, seek people that inspire you. I did that... people that inspire me are people like Lauryn Hill, Whitney Houston. They weren't women who were taking off their clothes, they actually had something to say. They had voices and their talents overshadowed anything that may have had anything to do with taking of their clothes or selling sex. So that would be my advice.
Do you have any upcoming projects? I know you released an EP... I believe, Cup of Love was the last one.
Uh huh. Last summer.
I love the songs on that. It's a little bit different from your usual. It's love, it's romantic. It's a good one.
Thank you. I am going to be releasing a song, a single soon called, "Don't Rush It," with Dejur Hest. He's a Producer. We are probably going to be doing another project together, but we are going to start with the single, "Don't Rush It." We already shot the video so the video will be coming out very soon. So in the start of February, look out for that.
Sounds interesting, can't wait! That's all I had for you today, Suzann.
Thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time to interview me today.
And likewise, thank you!
By Ebele Chizea.
By Ebele Chizea.