( ENSPIRE Music ) The R&B Artist Speaks About Her Creative Process, Inspirations, and New EP in an Exclusive Interview with ENSPIRE Magazine
ENSPIRE Contributor: Natalie Wong
Independent R&B artist Miss Washington, from Bay-Area California, has released her new R&B EP titled, “F.A.T.E (Deluxe)” and hopes her smooth, sultry, and soulful voice calls back to more old-school female vocalists whilst maintaining a modern sound.
Miss Washington’s music began with a passion for Gospel, Jazz, and old-school R&B and is influenced by hints of Stevie Wonder, Kim Burrell, Anita Baker, and Anderson Paak. Graduating from the world-renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston with a Bachelor of Music Degree set her in good standing in her work going forward. As a professionally trained pianist and keyboardist, Miss Washington has performed and shared the stage with incredible artists like Grammy award-winning Lalah Hathaway, Gloria Estefan, Beyonce’s all-female band The Suga Mamas, and BET’s Black Girls Rock as Assistant to the Music Director.
As an Independent artist, Miss Washington is involved in every step of the way writing, compositions, and production of the entire EP. The EP takes you on a relationship journey and the title of her album, “F.A.T.E” stands for “Follow After The Experience”. Starting with the first few notes of “Fantasy”, you can hear the joy and hopeful tones of a new relationship. Miss Washington’s soulful voice carries you through the rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts that come with time; the twists and turns can be heard in tracks like “Change” and the end with “Truth”.
ENSPIRE Magazine speaks with Miss Washington to understand her thoughts and feelings about her new album and her unique sound.
Why is your sound inspired by old-school R&B?
I’m inspired by old school R&B because I’ve grown up on the music from my parents playing it around the house, or at family gatherings, and the radio. It is definitely a part of my cultural identity. It’s also a part of my musical identity because not only was I listening to this music, but I started learning this music by ear on the piano around 5 or 6-years-old for hours, every day, for the pure love and fun of it! I trained myself to acquire that “old-school” R&B sound that I have now, without even knowing it!
What is your creative process like when writing, composing and producing music?
Most of my songs are created at the keyboard to start the foundation for the bass and harmony, and then I sing over it to find what melody works over the vibe. I try to write from real experiences, so I try to channel a certain situation I have seen, or someone else has gone through to connect with the audience authentically.
What did you learn from sharing the stage with other great musicians like Lalah Hathaway, Gloria Estefan, etc.?
I learned to think less and just be free! Lalah is so musically incredible. She challenged me to express myself freely and do not hold back. I learned to handle my nerves and channel it into my stage presence. Especially playing in a band, or whether I am playing behind a singer or I am the singer out front, everyone’s individual energy contributes to the band’s whole sound!
Where do you see the R&B genre going, and what are your thoughts on current trends in the music industry?
I really love R&B right now, it has branched out to so many different facets, and many incredible artists are bringing their originality to the table, which at one point I thought was missing. When I am listening to an original sound, I can tell the creator really thought outside of the box and took musical risks. Listening to that truly inspires me! That original sound usually pioneers and sets a precedent for many artists after that. There should be no reason that many artists should sound the same. Everyone has their own unique experience, so I think the music should reflect that. I think in any creative process, people should take their time and really make sure every little detail is how they want it. Nowadays, this process is rushed because of pressure from labels or the pressure to make a quick hit. Some of the greatest albums took a lot of time to create.
What are your hopes and aspirations for you and your music?
My hopes and aspirations really are to show people, through my music, that it is okay to be in touch with your emotions. I’ve had many people say about my project, “I’ve never heard something like this before,” despite all the R&B that’s out there nowadays, so I hope to keep growing in my own sound and uniqueness because I feel I have something to say musically that’s not really out there yet.
For more information about Miss Washington and her EP, “F.A.T.E (Deluxe)”, visit misswashingtonmusic.com.