Friday, October 14, 2011

The Doors to the Church of India.Arie Are Open

Last night, I had the sheer pleasure of experiencing – for the third time in my life – India.Arie live in concert.
The Grammy-Award winning R&B artist – who has been nominated for 20 and taken home 4 – performed at Luckman Fine Arts Complex located at Cal State University, Los Angeles.

Idan Raichel and India.Arie
The show was a sneak-peak into India.Arie’s most recent project; A collaboration with Israeli singer, Idan Raichel, on her up-and-coming album Open Door, which is scheduled to drop later this year.

The show was transcendent, inspirational and exhilarating all at once. Listening to India.Arie’s music is like going to church and it doesn't matter who you worship or what religion you are.
Her music is potent, spiritual and empowers you all at the same time.  It humbles me and brings me closer to my God…my higher power.

The resonances of “Open Door,” are a combination of Idan Raichel’s otherworldly piano-playing and middle Eastern melodies – sometimes in Israeli – and India.Arie’s classic deep-thinking prose that are entwined with the comforting sounds of soul – Jazz, R&B and my favorite Gospel music.
I found India.Arie when my son Shane was born.  A vulnerable time in my life when I was trying to figure out who I was and how to retain my individuality while learning to be a first-time mother.

“Voyage to India” was like going home to me because the album dissected India.Arie’s self-exploration as a woman on all fronts.  It discussed motherhood (even though she isn’t actually a mother yet), sisterhood, having confidence as a woman, loving yourself, respecting your elders, life, death and God among many topics.
From there, I went back to her first release “Acoustic Soul,” which I loved as well.

Tracy with India.Aria singing in the background.
However, when India.Arie launched her last two projects: Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship; and Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics; I was hooked.  Both albums expressed everything that I had inside me that I didn’t know how to express. 

Interestingly, India.Arie is also a self-proclaimed work in progress.  She posted the following message on her website:

“I have spent the last few months looking with an open heart and un-limitless expansive mindedness to who I want to be NOW, honoring and working towards my vision for the future.  I have learned that counting on anyone else to create the life I want makes me feel weak.  Knowing it’s in my hands to create my life makes me feel strong, simple as that.
“It is in the spirit of renewed commitment to living the life my soul intended, the fulfillment of my destiny, well-being, authenticity, and joy, that I write these words today.  I’ve had to let go of certain people, worn out ideas about myself, and MOST OF ALL, I’ve had to let go of MY image of ME,…my EGO surrounding my view of myself as a musician.”

India.Arie's music influences me to want to be a better person. To continue on my own journey of self-exploration and to open doors in my own life.

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