Music is what feelings sound like. ~Author Unknown
Passion can BE defined as an intense desire or enthusiasm for something. That something can range from art, writing, music, to fashion. Whether or not one chooses to cultivate that particular innate passion, is a question that we all have to ask ourselves. Most specifically, performing artist, Libra has not only has decided to embrace his craft, but to chase it wholeheartedly. Though our conversation was brief in regards to length, I can honestly say that I reflected on life lessons that spans over race, gender, and age group. Here’s a glimpse into our conversation.
1. Introduce us to Libra. What is his style of music? What sets him apart from other artists?
Libra is a 29 year old over all entertainer. Singer/Songwriter/Choreographer who has had a love for performing since a child, and for the past 15 years has been trying to pursue a professional singing career. I am an R&B singer who through all the ups and downs in trying to make my dream come true has never given up. What sets me apart is from other artists is I am a true, raw, self-taught talent and no matter how many times I may feel like this may not be for me, God some how brings it back to me just when I was about to give up. Letting me know this is what I’m meant to do. This is what he has planned for my life and I will never give up because IT WILL HAPPEN.
2. I enjoyed your rendition of the India Arie ballad, “Ready for Love,” sounds every personal to me, as you BEgan to croon and intensely feel the words. Which leads me to the question, what are other artists, BE it past or present that you identify with?
Well, thank you, that means a lot to me because honestly who isn’t ready for true, pure love? I get asked to perform that song a lot from people who have seen me perform it live. An artist that I identify with would have to be first and foremost Brandy and Tank. Those two artists over the years have really taught me how to sing with emotion and to really feel every word sung. Others are Michael and Janet Jackson, Prince, Tina Turner, Luther Vandross, Sam Cooke, Pat Benatar, Shania Twain, Beyonce, Dru Hill, and the list goes on. I just feel in order to be a true artist you have to love and respect all genres of music. Because it’s what inspires us as artists to be different, and step outside the box. Perfect example: Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life.” Jay’s a rapper but used a sample from a musical to make a hit track. He is a true artist.
3. Based on your YouTube covers, I see and hear that your taste in music spans various genres. What can I expect to find on your iPod?
On my iPod you would honestly find a bit of everything, LOL! I listen to everything from R&B, Pop, Rock, Punk, Classical, Hip Hop, and Musicals. Just everything. As I said before, I am a true artist. I love music. I feel if you were to cut me, I would bleed music notes! LOL! I just feel it’s in me. When people see me, even my friends, I surprise them with some of my playlists. For example, I can be listening to Kanye and Jay Z “Niggas in Paris” and the next song would be Pat Benatar’s “Hell is for Children,” and after that, it maybe something like Paula Abdul “Rush Rush”. It just shows you the range of music that I listen to. I can’t be subjected to music people think I should listen to because of how I look, who I hang with, or the environment I live in.
4. What inspires your lyrics?
Life is what inspires my lyrics. From my pain, to happiness, to struggles, to love. It’s all apart of life. Therefore, I understand why when I sing “Ready for Love” it touches people. Because love is a big part of life, and as I said before, who doesn’t want love? Rihanna said it best, “WE ALL WANT LOVE”.
5. What are your musical influences regarding composing your own music? What genres do you pull from?
I would definitely say Brandy has been a big influential person in my life when it comes to me arranging and composing my music. I personally feel she is amazing. People always tend to listen to an artist’s lead vocals, but if you just tune Brandy’s leads out, and listen to her background arrangement, she is a vocal genius. When I do record, she is always on my mind. I’m constantly thinking, “What can I add in the background to make this song fuller? Or more technical to take it to another level?” I mostly use R&B as an influence for most ballads, because I feel R&B has the most heart out of all genres. You put an R&B song on and you should automatically feel the emotion in it right away from the beat. The lyrics are just the icing on the cake. For example, think about how you feel when you hear Frank Ocean sing “I Miss You.” Right from the start, you’re just in a zone of love, and even if you aren’t in love at the moment, you remember that one person you were in love with and how much you would miss them, and think of them when they were away. It’s really an emotional feeling.
6. Your vocals are full, strong, and rich. What could listeners expect to hear on your pending projects?
Thank you. Listeners can expect to hear just that full, strong, and rich vocals filled with nothing but pure emotions. Everything on my pending project is from my heart, and what I’ve been through in life. I was raised to be very strong and thick-skinned which made me hold a lot in. My mother, who is one of the strongest people I know, raised my sister and I to be extremely strong. Because of that, I have held in so much since I was a child, to a teen, and even adulthood. I never really cried or showed pain because she didn’t want people to perceive us as being weak. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that showing emotions doesn’t make me weak, it makes me human. So in saying that, my project is going to be very personal with a lot of relatable topics that I know not only I’ve gone through, but millions of people go through everyday. From being in love, to losing love, to getting tested and knowing your status, to sexual abuse, to domestic abuse, and losing loved ones. It’s going to be very personal and when people hear it, I feel they be shocked, they’ll cry, they’ll laugh, but most of all they’ll press replay. LOL!.
7. DescriBE how your hometown personalizes your musical projects.
Well because I was a military brat, I feel my hometown is the WORLD. Which is probably why I love and respect so many different genres of music because I was exposed to different cultures and music before I could even speak. My first love was Tina Turner. Before I could even speak, I would listen to her music and dance I was living in Germany at that time. That just goes to show you as a baby I had a great ear for music. I mean what baby do you know is listening to Tina Turner, lol. But this project is definitely going to be R&B. I do plan on trying other genres in my future projects. I would love to do a R&B/Rock type of song. But again that will be in my future projects. As of now, I’m working on letting this weight built up inside me from so many years off my chest onto this project, and I pray people will love it as much as I love creating it.
Consider yourself formally introduced to Libra, and I foresee amazing opportunities, and equally amazing records from this artist. I BElieve that his humble and go-getter demeanor will propel his multi-faceted career in the very direction that he chooses.
Follow Libra on Twitter: @LibraLovePeace, and on Facebook at Alvin Wilkes II. BE sure to take a listen to his YouTube covers. You will not BE disappointed.
Think. Exist. BE.