The philosophy behind DARLA is that we can all make our “Dreams And Real Life Align” by following our hearts, working hard, and taking care of ourselves in the process. We love having conversations about what sparks inspiration and drives us to push through to achieve our goals. We recently had the opportunity to connect with Imaní Scott — a singer/songwriter from Houston, Texas. Imaní started her own record label upon graduating from college and combined her knowledge of business fundamentals with her art + creativity. Check out our interview below for Imaní’s insight on music, developing healthy eating habits, and more.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m from Houston, TX. I’ve been singing for a long time; I started off singing opera, which a lot of people don’t know. I’m easy-going, fun, energetic, cool and laid back! I like to just chill, really. I like good vibes. I don’t really care for low frequency vibrations — I’m really heavy on vibrations.
I was listening to your latest project earlier called, The Introduction. What was your inspiration behind creating that?
Today music is really kind of numb; a lot of drug-influenced music. My whole deal was to basically bring happiness back to music... Bring live instrumentation — a lot of people don’t know that actual live instruments penetrate the mind better and overall, stimulate the mind. That’s why they always tend to tell people to play classical music when they’re pregnant. I definitely like to bring that aspect back to my music; especially since it’s missing.
And I like a lot of happiness. I feel like we’re in such a dark time right now where everything is so fake and social media-driven and people are really unhappy. I feel like depression is at an all-time high right now. And it really starts with what you listen to because music is the most powerful thing. I wanted to make sure that my influence in music and today’s society period, is to bring happiness back and let them know that it’s going to be okay. The sun will shine tomorrow.
Are you currently working on any new projects that you plan to release?
I’m actually in the works of figuring out which producer I’m going to go with… So I’m in the mix of it, but I haven’t started yet. I’m in the beginning part, but I’m excited about it though.
Typically when you’re in album mode, or putting together a new project… What are some ways that you prioritize your self-care/health/wellness? I know that when we’re on the grind, sometimes we can forget to even eat or sleep, so what are some things you do to stay on top of that?
This is the perfect time to have this conversation because today is literally my first day of detoxing. Right now I’m in the process of getting my eating habits together again, which is meal prepping, smoothies, and just setting myself on a specific schedule and sticking to it. Sometimes, you know I’m human, I procrastinate, so this is like getting a setup and making sure that I set myself a goal and follow through with it. If I don’t follow through with it, who’s going to follow through with whatever I have going on? Actually getting a schedule would be my main thing, and actually following through with what I say I’m going to do. If I stick to a schedule, of course I’m not going to schedule my stuff recklessly knowing that my diet and vocal cords are the main thing that helps me eat, so I definitely need to make sure that I be mindful of that.
Of course, like you said, when you’re in project mode… Sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night (if you even went to sleep) because you have an idea and you want to make sure that you get it down. That’s why I love voice messages — my phone is always next to me anyway, so I do voice memos sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night. Sometimes I have my friend, Ari, and ask him what he thinks and then go from there. Sometimes I go right back to sleep, sometimes I stay up. But you know what, I think that’s really the worst thing about being in project mode — the lack of sleep. Sometimes you don’t even eat, but that’s what I’m trying to structure through meal prepping. So yeah… Scheduling would be the thing for me.
What’s some advice you’d give to a younger version of yourself in need of inspiration to get started and pursue your goals?
I would tell a younger me that it’s okay to be you, and don’t prolong opening up to who you really are to society because once you do, you will flourish.
In addition to bringing happiness back to music, what’s a message that you want to convey through your work? What do you want your music to represent to the world?
Overall, and basically over time (because this is my first project and as I grow my music will grow as well), one thing I will always do is remain true to myself. I think that by remaining true to myself and not following what the trends are, people will see nothing but an authentic spirit. So it’s going to give you different emotions. It’s going to actually let you know that you are not alone in how you feel about a lot of things, especially when people see past the glitz and glam… It’s going to be a typical, normal being who most people can reach to. That’s my overall objective of what I’m trying to do for my music.
You said earlier that you’ve been into music pretty much your whole life, starting with opera… But I also saw a tweet you posted about building your music career while you were in college. How did you get from that point where you were just starting out, to where you are now?
I was talking to my younger self at that time… I told myself that I really have to live for myself and not totally for family traditions. Although I did graduate from college, that’s nothing that I wanted to do. I always wanted to do music, but I followed the typical standards of what my family would want. After going through that, and by me going through so much, I learned about entrepreneurship.
Once I finally accepted the fact that I want to do music, I came to understand that whatever situation I’m in — it’s for a reason so I actually monopolized off of being in school and learning the business. When I graduated from college, I actually used the fuel of trying to go against the family grain and following what they want me to do and not satisfying myself as well as taking the circumstances I was in, and using it to the best of my ability to make my dreams come true.
From that point, it made my family realize like, “Okay our child is different but she still has a business mindset and there’s totally nothing wrong with that.” Just being true to my circumstances and monopolizing off of it; actually putting my passions into it got me to this point.
What is the music + creative scene like in Houston? Do you feel like it’s a place where you want to continue to pursue your career?
Houston will always be home, for sure. I feel like this music industry and the group of people, this generation, in Houston is definitely flourishing. We’ve got some dope artists out here! I would definitely be open to going to different places; most places support you when you’re not from there. I think it would be ideal for me to go everywhere to get my music heard, as well as explore scenes.
How would you spend an ideal Sunday?
I like water, so if I could be at a beach or something where the sun is not super-beaming like it usually is in Houston, that’s ideal for me. With some cool vibes, some food, drinks, and hang out all day… And music!
Check out Imani Scott’s newest single “Get Litty” which is streaming on all outlets, as well as YouTube… You can watch the video below!
[these things take time.] the poetry book available on amazon.com.