Modele is not your everyday singer. Her sound is not one you can put in a box. Her style of music is a blend of Jazz and Soul with a touch of Reggae riding on traditional African rhythm. She combines inspirational, motivational songs characterized by a strong sense of personal style and an immense depth of lyrical content, woven together in musical pieces. In her words, “When I write songs, I do so with the aim of reaching the soul of the listener, striking a chord in their hearts and bringing buried emotions to the surface, so they can be dealt with”
Yada Magazine got a chance to interview the multi-talented singer. We hope as you read it you would be blessed by her story. Enjoy.
YADA: The last time we saw you in the music scene was when you did the “Maga no need pay” song with Banky W and others. How does it feel to be back?
MODELE: Well it feels great, I feel blessed to be back to music production. However, I would have not really been gone from the scene, I have just been behind it: working, building quietly. So I have been doing a lot more writing than performances.
YADA: You have a hot new single out with rapper and producer, IBK. How did it feel working with him?
MODELE: Elevation Song is a miracle, which took 2 years to birth. I met IBK at Cobhams’ studio in 2008. We have since become good friends and always knew we would work together someday. The process however had to weather many storms as I went on to have my second child and wean him before returning to the studio. In all I think the song has been worth the wait.
YADA: What inspired the song?
MODELE: It has been 7 years since the last music production and in that time, I have gone through different phases; highs, lows, achievements, grief and so I felt that the next song would have to be a strong statement, especially in terms of the lyrics. I had a session with my mentor and he was reminding me that in life, we do not stop because of our pain, we proceed inspite of our pain and become better for it. “We keep moving on…” he said. His words directly inspired the lyrics.
YADA: How will you describe your sound?
MODELE: I would describe it as abstract and organic, which really isn’t much of a surprise because I am inspired by the abstract; you know things that do not conform to status quo.
YADA: What is your creative process like?
MODELE: Most times, it begins unconsciously; part of everyday life, nature, conversations I have had with people, stuff that I have gone through, products of deep musing on issues that have bothered me, my relationship with God etc. Words or phrases form in my head from all of these from time to time and I write them down and put them away. From time to time, I am exposed to a beat in the studio or in an existing song. I find that I am able to respond creatively to most beats, but some, more than others. At those times, I reach into the archives of those thoughts and emerging phrases I have put away and build them into tune, adding rhyme and other elements that give it wings and let fly. I often find that it helps when I spend time praying I find that the creative juices flow and I am less unsure of the ideas that pop up in my head.
YADA: You have a unique look when it comes to your style. Can you give some fashion/style tips to our female readers?
MODELE: Thank you. I have always wanted to express my roots in my dressing since the language of my music does not always focus on that. Hence I chose to express ethnicity in one element or the other; the turban, the beads, the modern African look. Basically I think that our style and outlook conveys a message, whether we intend to pass that message across or not, so it is best to live conscious of the ‘message’ we want people to get when we show up and actively work towards it.
YADA: How do you balance your family and your career?
MODELE: The work-family life balance has been a challenge and I owe it to God’s grace that it all holds together. I have a loving and supportive husband who drives me to fulfil my potential so that helps me a great deal. He makes great sacrifices to permit me to pursue career. I am also indebted to the selfless friends, nanny and extended family that I have been blessed with who support me when I should be falling short.
YADA: What non-music projects are you involved in?
I am currently involved in informal mentorship of a few upcoming artistes. I also manage a blog which allows me to communicate my heart on issues and explore other forms of writing. You can visit modelewrites.blogspot.com to read.
YADA: Is there going to be a concert or a tour anytime soon?
MODELE: We plan to have a concert in the near future…details will be available on www.modeleonline.com. So please look out for updates.
YADA: A final word for our readers.
MODELE: There is a plan for every creature God made including you and I. There is something unique to you that makes you flourish and radiates the glory of God in the most amazing way. Find your uniqueness, nurture it, keep at it, God will breathe on it and someday you will be celebrated for it. Let us be the change that we desire, rising up to put action behind our words, building better lives, better homes and a better nation. God bless!
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