Ebony Joi | Urban Pop Artist
Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. There are countless videos of me banging on my grandmother's piano before I could even speak. I sang my first solo in pre-school at two years old in full goofy skirt and ruffle sock-realness. Music was never a choice for me; it was always something that I knew was a part of me. My mother, a singer songwriter, was a young single mother who I learned so much from. She took me everywhere with her, from college classes, to work, to studio sessions. Because of her, I learned from an early age that although things may not always be easy, they can be done.
Taking the courage I learned from my mother, the entrepreneurial spirit of my grandfather, and the love of all four of my grandmothers, I leapt into the music industry without hesitation. I knew it would be hard, mainly because it’s such a competitive field, but I also knew I would find my way if I stayed the course. What I didn't know was the emotional and mental ups and downs that would come with giving your life to a career as uncertain as music.
After graduating from Berklee College of Music, I moved back to Philadelphia and soon toured with Philly native “Bilal”. Not long after being there, I was let go. I continued to work as a solo artist and with other local Philly talents. It wasn't long before I was called for my first big stage gig with The Roots. From there, my career began to take off, each year going farther and higher and still being able to work on myself as an artist.
While success as a background vocalist causes many singers to settle, for me it sparked more than ever the desire to be my own artist and bring my own voice to the masses.
Although I have stood on stages with some of the biggest artists and traveled to some amazing countries, I still have people question me about my choice to devote myself to this industry. I’ll never forget when I ran into a friend while out shopping and he asked me, “So, how long are you gonna try this before you move on?”
I was mortified.
I couldn’t believe that he would ask me such a question. After I vented to just about everyone I knew, I realized something really important: everyone is not cut out to do what I do. Everyone will not see your vision for yourself. It is so important to be confident in your dreams for yourself. Never let people shake your faith in you because they don’t have faith in themselves. I believe that I can reach the stars and I won’t stop until I get there.