We learned a lot about Raja’s infatuation towards music.

We learned a lot about Raja’s infatuation towards music. Since a child, she’s always had a interest in music, whether it’s singing a long, playing instruments and receiving a degree. A degree in music, in which she plans to do something great with! 

How was your childhood? Do you have any memories that stick out? 

My child hood started in Atlanta, GA being raised by my stepmother and dad. My parents are both in the medical field so I didn’t spend a lot of time around them but at my grandmother’s house. My siblings and I were very close. We lived a typical southern lifestyle mixed in with some hardships of growing up in Edgewood. I had a ton of hard times but overall, it molded me into a balanced individual that can survive any side of the fence! I remember being very culturally diverse from my friends due to my Caribbean background and a few trips in and out the country, back to the yard to learn more about my family and myself, I have a lot of memories both in America and in Lucea. 

What has shaped you into the person you are today? 

My family is very spiritual, I learned about inner peace, meditation and other practices early on. My mom made sure we had a foundation with The Most High and nurtured up our spirits in the word and our culture, most of my friends were on a different path so I found myself in my rebellion, cutting off my hair, crazy piercings, and picked up a few bad drug habits and boyfriends all through HS I was in a shell and didn’t have the freedom to be as unique as I was , so when I went to college I did everything under the sun to make up for lost time, I ran into Health issues and almost losing my family to snap into focus about the path I was taking.. I pushed myself to making changes, becoming the woman I am continuously growing into today.   

Are there any insecurities you’ve overcome? 

Oh insecurities were battles, wars I fought since I can remember actually confronting myself and allowing my spirit to show who I really am, I thought I was very throw away and allowed people to walk all over me, take my opinions away and for a while I went through constantly changing my appearance to fit types of women I felt men would like… you see I had a long period of where I just knew I wanted to be with a woman. My family violently disagreed. Their disappointment in who I was led me to a place where I was lost, and I felt I could never be… me so I created multiple characters I portrayed to be accepted and cast down my standards and took in everything from anyone to get away from my feelings of being pushed away and practically shunned for who I was. I ended up in a physically and mentally abusive relationship because I was afraid of taking my own life into my own hands, and frankly I didn’t know another way of living besides under others control, and forming myself from their views and not my own. I didn’t have my own views of me at that point. I was lost, empty! After moving away from my family, after healing in the hospital I chose to matter to myself, to find a way to be happy for once, and to finally find out who the woman I had deep inside was purposed for. I found my light! 

How did you become an artist? 

I have always been into artistry. Since a child I’ve been singing my heart out to Teena Marie, Anita Baker, and a lot of gospel at church. I learned of my talent to play instruments when my older brother joined music class in middle school and my mom bought a keyboard, I got on it and couldn’t get off of it for hours . I was in love with the sound. And the fact I could sing out notes and they’d match perfectly with any key I just had to find the black or white key on the piano for it. After that I enrolled in music class and there I had access to so many instruments, I tried them all and it was crazy no matter brass, strings or woodwind even percussion, I could get accurate notes out from the first time I played each it was amazing. My teacher, Ms. Noles, saw the gifting in me and showed me how to read music and even gave me a few lessons on the sax and guitar outside of class.. She knew. From there I continued band and orchestra, continued to sing in the hallways to the latest jams swooning all the boys and gals even teachers asked me to sing in class …my best friend, she sang with me also but she is amazing painting and drawing, she showed me how to hone in on creative crafts from art club etc so I can say she sparked my drawing and crafty side. 

What do you have planned for your future? What are you working on now? 

In Raja’s future (lol), I am planning on continuing my musicianship, actually using my Music degree to establish my music business, teaching instruments and vocal lessons, exploring my motivational skills to share my testimony to empower youth boys and girls, and work with some artists on some conceptual projects, expand and share the art. As for now I’m a travelling musician gaining more experience in different genres, and going back to school to supplement my degree for more opportunity, bigger opportunity ! I’ve been making a ton of music I’ll be hoping to share by my birthday coming up in March so I’ll finally be sharing what I’ve been cooking up (lol). 

To follow Raja on her music journey and/or to contact her, RajasArtistry!

Bri'Ann Stephensmusic, musician, poet