RITA R.(singer-songwriter-musician-rapper) EXCERPT:
My introduction to singing began like many growing up in the south, the church. Coming from a family of singers and musicians, singing was in and around me at a very early age. I was a little shy growing up and had family who were making some moves with music so I was always timid when singing...it didnt take long for my attention to turn toward instruments.
At the age of seven, and continuing for a decade thereafter, I gained a greater understanding of music through classical piano lessons. I hated it and didnt appreciate it at the time because all of my cousins were playing by earsongs like Lean On Me, when the movie came out. Basically I couldnt comprehend at that age why playing by ear was difficult for me when I could read and play Beethovens Fur Elise with my eyes closed. As I got older, playing piano lead to me playing clarinet and xylophone in middle and high school band, and as of recent learning the guitar.
It wasnt until I was in college that my focus and love for singing came back around full circle, and hard! Something had changed somewhere and I was no longer the shy girl singing in church. Being in that environment gave me access to being around a spectrum of creative people 24/7. I was writing and singing R&B now verses gospel and additionally, the love that I already had for hip hop grew even more as I began collaborating, recording and performing with rappers. It is when I truly began to recognize my voice and what type of singer I was. I wasnt the Pop/R&B singer who naturally sang pretty, airy and soft like a sweet melodic songbird. I was much the opposite, heavily influenced by Hip Hop, rough, and singing from a place of raw emotion whether beauty or pain. Along with having been strongly impacted by the sounds of favorite artists Jodeci and Mary J. Blige, singing felt right and natural for the 1st time. Stepping on stage or in front of a mic.experiencing the energy and power of a song stirring up inside of you and actually feeling it physically leave your body with the notes that come outthat's how I feel when I sing and that gives me such a euphoric high that remains unparalleled.