Interviews

Published on July 14th, 2020 | by MuzikScribe

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Fundisha TheArtist: Redemption

Now let’s hop right into your latest single “Tough Skin” — Tell me about this particular composition? How did it come to fruition?  

I was immediately drawn to the beat, which was actually made for my daughter. This hot, up and coming producer in Atlanta named Wili Hendrix came to our home and made beats for the whole house. I swapped beats with my daughter because I had to have it. It was immediately a vibe for me. I remember my mom told me I had to have tough skin to be in the music industry. As I got older and experienced life and relationships, I realized that I needed to have tough skin in order to love. This is something I instill in my children, and my current train of thought to continue to love. I wanted to have a song on the EP with the whole family. After I laid my first verse, I knew this was the song.

“Tough Skin” comes courtesy of your exceedingly overdue, brand new solo EP, Thorns — Conceptually, what does that title represent both to and for you?  

Thorns is a representation of the ups and downs that come with love. I have learned that in order to truly love, you have to learn how to embrace the thorns that come with it. You can’t be hypnotized by the beauty of the rose and run away from it when you feel the thorns. You have to learn how to encompass it all. It is a perspective that has helped me deal with heartbreaks and betrayals in relationships, people that I Iove being laid to rest, dealing with my children, the list can go on and on. With the help of God and Jesus being the perfect example, I have learned to embrace my thorns.

And, what all exactly can be expected from your eagerly awaited new solo outing? 

You can expect to get raw emotion and pen game that was cultivated by life. Thorns is a therapeutic project that sings about the pitfalls of love and relationships, and what it truly means to love.

Any specific details; i.e. favorite selection(s), producer(s) credit(s), cameo appearance(s), etcetera, that you can reveal and / or divulge regarding said set at this particular point in time?

I am particularly excited about this project because it is a family affair. My 14 year old son produced the first song on the EP called “Rewrite.” My son, Jahi, who is an up and coming amazing singer, songwriter and producer, produced 4 songs on the EP. “Tough Skin” features my whole legacy, and my hubby DJ Shakim who laces the song with his skillful scratches.

How then does this new solo entry either differ and / or compare to previous Fundisha works?

What I would say differs on this project would be maturity. I have matured on so many levels, and that is exemplified in my music.

All of that being said, what all had / have you been up to, both personally and professionally speaking, over the course of the past nearly two decades? 

I have been experiencing life on a level that I would have never imagined. Since my deal with So So Def Recordings, I got married, had two more children, I continued to try and pursue and make music, but my focus shifted to raising my children. I fell in and out of love with music, because I had so many disappointments that I felt like a failure. I lost my Mom in 2009, and other loved ones throughout the years. I found a new love and went back to school after my mom went to rest, and I received a degree in Interior Design. I now have a business called ‘Walk On Water’ Interiors that I will be launching this fall. I have developed a strong relationship with God, who is the foundation of everything that I do. Music will always be my love, and no matter what has happened in my life I am always led back to it. It is who I am, and cannot be denied. So here I am once again back where I belong, doing what I was born to do.

In 2002, you dropped your hit single, “Live the Life,” featuring and produced by JD, which also appeared on the soundtrack to the film, Hardball, and was the, then, introduction to what was supposed to be your So So Def / Columbia Records’ debut — But then nothing else ever materialized? What exactly happened to cause that album to be permanently shelved?

The infamous question: what happened to the artist Fundisha who was signed to Jermaine Dupri? My recollection of what happened is So So Def was moving from Sony to Arista with L.A. Reid. I did a showcase in New York with the artist who would be moving to the new label, and maybe a week later I got a call or text – I can’t remember which one – what was said is L.A. Reid wasn’t feeling me as an artist so I would no longer be on the label.

I understand, too, that there was not one but two different projects; Lessons and later Daughter Of A Preacher Woman, that never saw the light of day — How come?

Lessons was actually the album that was supposed to be released on So So Def. So when they dropped me, it was never released. Daughter of A Preacher Woman is still in the works. It is something I started working on after my Mom went to rest. My vision for the project shifted into a Gospel project that was divinely given to me by God. I never imagined or had a desire to do a Gospel project, but when it came to me I knew it had to be done. It has been a process, but I want to make sure that it is put out correctly for the world to hear.

Do you think Lessons will ever be released to the general public?

Will Lessons be released? *Fundisha laughs* If Jermaine gives me permission to do so, I would love to release it. Especially because of two of my favorite songs on that project, “Left Eye” and “Never Taught Never Told.” Daughter Of A Preacher Woman will be released. That is the next project that I am in the process of completing.

Switching gears here, how has not only the industry itself, but even more-so you as an individual, either changed and / or evolved since your whole inception into music?  

Evolving in this new culture of music and dynamics is quite different from when I was signed. I find it very challenging, yet enabling, because you have the power to be independent and put whatever music you want out. The challenge is trying to get your music known by the masses…without having to sell your soul by portraying yourself in a false light just to get followers, likes and attention; without being on a reality show or creating gimmicks.

Longevity, what do you attribute yours to?

Any longevity that I may have would have to be from the grace of God…along with the undeniable gift that God has given me that I have learned to embrace and own as part of my identity.

What do you want people to get from your music?

What I have always wanted is for people to feel what it is I am singing. What good is a song if you can’t feel it? I want them to be inspired, uplifted and feel the presence of God.

Is there a hidden meaning / message in any of your music? 

Never hidden, but very much evident as with this project, Thorns, as I sing on love and relationships. My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is always at the forefront.

As a songwriter, where do you actually draw inspiration from?  

Inspiration is drawn from my life experiences, along with others.

Please explain your overall creative process…

My creative process varies. I could start with a beat or I could start with lyrics. Sometimes I can hear an entire song in my head – music and lyrics – and it is exciting to hear it completed when what I heard in my head actually comes to life.

Do you have any other outside / additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from entertainment?   

Interior Design is one of my passions. I want to be successful in that area, and create environments for people to enjoy.

What has been your greatest career achievement(s), at least thus far anyway?  

My greatest career achievement has been my voice being heard by others. That is all I ever wanted is to share this gift with the world.

What’s an average day like for you?

An average day is never average for me. No matter how much I try to plan my days, it is filled with agendas that are not only mine, but this household of creatives that pull on me on a daily. I love it. We all are working towards using our gifts, and leaving this world empty; Momager, wife, mother, interior designer, praise and worship leader, singer, songwriter, graphic designer, minister…the list can go on and on.

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans… 

My interaction with fans I would say I am trying to get used to social media and maneuvering communications that way. My interaction with fans would serve best in person, and I plan on expanding on that as I began to step out and let my music be heard in a live setting.

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? Why? 

My favorite part is being able to do what I love. It is a roller coaster ride of experiences that I was made for. My least favorite is all the disappointments and closed doors that you experience. Now I know that what is meant for me will be for me. As I step back out, I stand on the promises of God and that he is redeeming my time.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Keep God first to lead and guide you, and by all means pursue your dreams; do what you love, and don’t ever stop!

And, lastly, what’s next for you, Fundisha?  

Only God knows what is truly next for me, however I am optimistic and excited about what my future may hold.

Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention?  

Just want the world to be on the lookout for this amazing legacy of artists / singers, songwriters, and producers God has blessed with me; Taye, Amira Shani, Jahi, Najee and Shamba. Look out world here we come!

Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?

To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Required…as music continues to be instrumental in this world and our lives, we need to be accountable for the content and messages that are being portrayed. Music is impactful, influential and people are listening.

 

 

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