Ezina is a former Miss. Black USA whom has found success in a number of industries, namely music. She's released a number of albums and hit songs and is now the host of Guitar Goddess on iHeart Radio.
She also works with a wide range of organizations, all of which are near and dear to her heart. In addition to being the Communications Chair for Women's National Book Association Los Angeles Chapter, and being a member of the Recording Academy and a voting member for the Grammy Awards, she has worked with the American Heart Association, the Malala Fund, and the Jewish Federation.
CEM did a Q & A with this multitalented musician, success coach, author, motivational speaker. We got the chance to ask about her music, her musical inspirations, and her humanitarian work, and much more.
Tell us about you?
I am a singer-songwriter who infuses Neo Soul, R&B and Hip-Hop with Ancient Sacred Mantras. I compose all of my music and enjoy sharing my artistic creations with others.
How did you get started with playing – and creating – music?
I have been in music since I was a kid. I am a huge music geek. I started singing right away, then moved on to piano, harp, clarinet, saxophone, and xylophone in marching band. After college, I started learning guitar. I was terrible when I first started because I couldn’t fret. After that, I switched to playing left handed and everything finally clicked. It was as if someone turned on a light switch. All of a sudden those dreamy guitar tones started floating out of my amp. Now I am hooked.
How would you describe your music?
My music is Neo Soul with Sacred Mantras. I chant sacred mantras on top of R&B and Soul instrumentation.
What instruments do you play, and which ones do you compose songs with?
I play piano, guitar, sitar, gong, harmonium, and harp. I compose songs on piano and guitar.
You have released a number of albums and hit songs. Which is your favorite to date?
My favorite so far is “Grace”, which is Neo Soul infused with Sacred Mantras.
Do you find recording to be a challenge that you enjoy?
I enjoy recording as it’s truly where the magic happens. I write songs acapella daily, but they truly come to life when I grab the band, we head into the studio, and press record. When creative minds come together, magic happens. The musicians take the song on a journey that is never the same twice. The most challenging part is finishing a project. As artists, we keep polishing the songs in search of gold.
What inspires you?
Happiness inspires me. Feeling good and helping others to feel good inspires me. Knowing that I am contributing to reducing stress in people’s lives makes me feel good. I am inspired by nature, the beauty of trees, flowers, and the perfect sound of the ocean. Every breath I take inspires me.
Which musicians have been the greatest influences? What are your favorite albums?
I am heavily influenced by Heart, Prince, Diana Ross, Michael Franti, Fela Kuti, Deva Premal, and Oumou Sangare. My favorite albums are: Prince - “Under the Cherry Moon”, Heart- “Dreamboat Annie” - Heart, Diana Ross- “The Boss”, and Deva Premal- “Dakshina”.
What do you want your fans to take away from your music?
I want fans to take away peace and harmony from my music. I want fans to heal to and with my music. I want them to feel the love that I send with each note. I want people to feel my heart and soul through my music. I want them to see that we are all more similar than we are different, and that, at the end of the day, we all want the same core things in our lives. Love, peace, and happiness.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt as an artist?
To be true to myself. The importance of strong self-esteem. It’s so important to not take criticism seriously. To not allow their comments to shift your artistic direction. Some will like it and some won’t, so what? I keep creating and moving my art forward.
You wear many hats one being of an author. What inspired you to write?
As I was traveling around the world, people were asking me the same questions. I felt that I should document the answers into books so that I can help many people at once.
You are the owner of Victress; please tell our readers what it is all about?
Victress is a Multimedia Company based in Los Angeles, California. We produce books, music, films and events that feature female artists and creators.
Victress Records produces inspirational music by female artists; Victress Publishing produces and promotes inspirational books by female authors; and Victress Films produces television and film projects that feature stories from a female perspective.
What motivated you to start the Indie Artist BootCamp?
I was surrounded by brilliant, talented artists who were drowning financially. They were not able to make a living with their art. Many of them were chronically impoverished and it hurt me to see such talented people not thriving. I wanted to share how I was able to get more done in less time as an artist. I wanted to share shortcuts with emerging artists so that they could avoid the many obstacles that were thrown in my path.
You are also the founder of Kundayasa Yoga. How did that came about?
I have been studying Kundalini yoga, eft, and reiki for years. I decided to put them all into a practice that would be meaningful and impactful with one practice. There are many different yoga asanas and even more yoga sequences. I wanted to create one sequence that could address many different issues at once. With Kundayasa, you get a mental, physical, and emotional workout accompanied with a self administered healing session.
The idea is to teach people so that they can heal themselves on a regular basis.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a new project which will be released this summer. The project is a CD, book, and film combo along with a tour. We are in the final stages of production right now. I’m really excited to share this project as it has been so much fun to prepare.
Where can we learn more about you?
Guitar Goddess Radio: www.itunes.apple.com
Indie Artist BootCamp: www.ezina.com/shop/indie-artist-bootcamp/
Ezina’s Books: www.ezina.com/shop-books/
40 Day Book Challenge: www.40daybookchallenge.com