On her birthday (March 19th), the 31-yr old singer took a few minutes out of the day to discuss her career with Searching For My Star.
The Music Vibe In New Jersey
I feel like it's not a lot of outlets here in Jersey for artists to do a lot of stuff. You don't find a lot of people coming out here to look for talent , so people from Jersey go over to New York to be seen or to be heard.
Who Inspired Her To Sing
My grandmother, she's actually the one who inspired me do this. I spent a lot of time at her house growing up and she would host card games with her friends and you would hear the record play Otis Redding, James Brown, Supremes, and artists like that. One day she gave me a three-disk collection of Motown hits and she and I were in the house singing Supremes and dancing around the house. That stuck with me and the appreciation for that type of music stuck with me.
Her Favorite Artists
Smokey Robinson is my all time inspiration as far as a songwriter/artist goes. I love Whitney Houston. I grew up with the Whitney Houston/Motown legend Smokey. I also really love Sade and Alicia Keys as well.
Her Thoughts On Alicia Keys When Alicia Keys First Came Out
It was nice and refreshing to see someone doing it, but doing it a little differently; for her. Not saying that there wasn't any females playing the keyboard but you didn't see it a lot. Especially as a major artist and a black artist as well, so that kind of made her stand out.
What Her Experience At Virgin Records Taught Her
One lesson is everybody needs a team. You don't realize what goes into promoting an artist. You see the artist, the album, but there's so many people behind that artist. So nobody can make it on their own. Nobody's an island so to speak. So there's so many people out there to support one person to make them successful.
Also to grind as hard as you can to make it. I was working in the publicity department out in Virgin. Just work hard and a lot of people would think oh, you got your demo heard but it's not like that. You know what I mean. You gotta pay your dues. You can't expect for somebody to give you a handout just because, you know I'm an artist working in a record label that doesn't mean somebody has to listen to my music. I shouldn't expect that.
Who Did She Meet and Was Working Under
Virgin was a really good time. I met a lot of good people. JD (Jermaine Dupri) was working there. He was the president of urban division at that time. I didn't meet him, but that was at the time when he was president; Sleepy Brown, a couple of alternative acts.
If She Plans To Use Her Journalism Degree
My degree kind of helped me to understand a strategic stand point of the business. So I wrote my own bio. I'm careful of what I put out there socially. I understand my brand is what I'm displaying. So you're not going to find me saying or posting certain things because I know it doesn't go along with the message I'm trying to portray for my brand.
If She Plans To Use Her Piano Playing Skills While Singing
Yes, I started piano in high school and I started writing my own music. I played in church. I feel like I took a break from the piano and I do plan on picking it back up and incorporating it into my music and using it as a writing tool. So yes, I do plan on doing music with the piano and recording it. And I am in no way on Alicia Keys level, but I am striving to get there.
If She Would Ever Do Reality Television To Grow Her Brand
Yes, I feel like depending on the situation and the type of show it was. I would do a show, but I would have my limits to how I would want to be portrayed.
There's just a certain way I would want to be portrayed, not just because my degree or strategically. I wouldn't want to embarrass my family. I would want to be a role model to the younger ones in my family coming up, and my grandmother's still watching. My mom is watching.
With Having a Classic Sounding Voice, Would She Ever Change Up Her Style To Fit Into What Audiences Like At The Moment?
No, I've run into problems because of that. I let people hear my music, like industry people and a lot of the feedback I get is your sound sounds dated or it sounds too yesteryear. But that's me.
Maybe it's dated to one person, but for another person it may be something they need to hear.
I don't want to change up my style and change up what I'm doing. And I feel a lot of the people I mentioned earlier like Jermaine Dupri, Alicia Keys, the legends, legendary artists or artists that have had longevity in the business, they've done that being themselves.
No shade to anybody out there that's doing trap R&B. 10 years from now we're not gonna remember a lot of the songs we hear on the radio. But yet, you can put on a Monica song and people in the whole club will sing the song, something that was big in 1995 people are still singing today. So I want to be one of those artists, that people will remember.
To learn more about Caleya Black and stay updated with her latest music, you can check out her website https://www.caleyablack.com.