Imagine, on a whim you debut your music on Myspace and Common, one of the most prolific emecee’s in hip hop, hits you up and singles himself out as a fan. The rest becomes history. This is the genesis of singer/songwriter/producer Muhsinah. One listen to her sound and you’ve undoubtedly stumbled across an artist whose unyielding in her honesty and authenticity.
Classically trained as a pianist since the age of 11 and with a musical appetite that ranges from Toni Braxton to Nirvana to Chopin, the sound Muhsinah has cultivated is most certainly a hybrid of all that’s influenced her. Growing up between D.C and the suburbs of Virginia , and graduating from the infamous Duke Ellington School of the Arts, she easily foresaw a future as a classical pianist, but it was as an undergrad at Howard University did she step into her role as a vocalist. “My friends were all singers and creators and were really encouraging.” Without much hesitation and no expectations, she began posting her music on the site and in 2007 released her debut, “day.break 2.0” independently. “It was all innocent and happened very organically.” After garnering the attention of Common, she was featured on his 2008 album “Universal Mind Control” and toured the world with him along side his band and simultaneously earned a Grammy nod for her effort with The Foreign Exchange on their single “Daykeeper”.
Fast-forward to the present and Muhsinah is still rocking out as an indie artist and released her latest EP simply entitled “M” this past summer. In 4 songs she’s managed to give listeners a glimpse into who she is now, as an artist and a woman. Its a beautiful project filled with the harmonies and the clean but detailed production that we’ve become accustomed to expect. Produced, written and recorded in 5 days in the comfort of her home, it was unveiled on her July 20th birthday, and described by Muhsinah as a “sonic moodring”. “I just kinda let the songs write themselves. I wanted to sum up my personality.” The emotions on the album range from love to sadness to hope. In talking about the track “Under”, Muhsinah says, “sadness is oftentimes seen as this weak emotion, in music and in our culture. I wanted to write that song specifically to give people permission to just let themselves be sad for a little while.”
Muhsinah’s music has managed to be the voice for some of our stories, and gives us the courage to face all our emotions, good or bad, all while simply enjoying life and while she’s setting the stage to release a new album, we’ll bask in the sunshine that is “M”.
Check out “Under”
Stay connected with Muhsinah: