As enthusiasts of remarkable talent and anticipation of the release of her sixth album, ‘A pocketful of Purpose,’ we jumped at the opportunity to catch up with the artistically gifted US artist, Conya Doss. As exotic as her name suggests, this sultry yet captivating Ohio-based vocalist, is renowned for incorporating the influence of diverse genres, with her refreshing yet soulful tone, to produce an inimitable resonance that is pleasing to the ear.
Multifaceted in the true sense of the word, this Singer, Teacher and Mother, has deservedly gained numerous accolades worldwide. However, although she has received awards and nominations from Vibe to BET and enjoyed the coveted honour of charting in the Billboard charts, she still remains self-assured, yet grounded! Flavour touched base with Conya to talk about her new album, the secret to multitasking and why she considers herself to be a scaredy cat!
Well thank you for your continuous support. I have been singing forever and have six albums out. I love the process of writing, collaborating and connecting with the music to produce something that I think people will appreciate. I’m a teacher as well and feel I’ve been blessed with a music career, as well as the educational aspect.
It is extremely hard to pigeonhole your genre, but how would you describe your musical style?
I think it is a compilation of the wonderful, great music that I have grown up with; ranging from Jazz and Rnb, to Soul and Pop. Whenever I create music I see it as art, but if I had to use one word, it would be soul music.
How does it feel to be placed in the same category as iconic artists such as Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill?
It’s an honour, as I admire and respect them all as established artists, so to be mentioned in the same sentence is amazing, but ultimately I want people to recognise my music and unique style and say, ‘ Oh, that’s Conya!’
Your newest single ‘Don’t change’ has just debuted the Billboards Hot RnB/Hip Hop Songs Chart, how would you it in five words?
Hot, Refreshing, Encouraging, Inspirational and Soulful!
I realised in the interim of the last project and with my own experiences; that we shouldn’t take anything for granted. During troubled or great times, music has always put me in a different place. I grew up listening to artists, whose music served a purpose for me and I want to do the same for others. I called it a ‘pocketful,’ because although it won’t cover everything, I hope it touches on certain aspects poignant to certain listeners. The album has Soul across the board, as well as Jazz. The songs touch on meaningful subjects, that may be outside of the spectrum of what people generally talk about, but of which everyone can relate to. This album is different because I have grown and music has grown with me. I strive to do better in my area of music and as a mother now, I think that my perspective of life has totally changed!
You seem to be the master of multitasking, what other skill or talent would you like to possess?
I’d love to be a competent rock climber, but I am a scaredy cat! Alternatively, I’d be a nomad: travelling the world, expanding my mind and getting an even better appreciation of the things I have.
What is your most coveted or cherished moment to date as an artist?
There have been so many, but it would have to be when Billboard magazine approached me and said that my song had charted. I was like ‘are you serious?’ That was quite amazing, but just to receive an accolade nationally like that, (without the financial machinery that some artists have), was quite an accomplishment.
It would have to be two people; Prince and Stevie Wonder!
You have been described as one of ‘Cleveland’s best kept secrets,’ can you divulge another one?
Wow, I just think I am one of the pioneers and a soldier for Soul music. I want to keep music alive, ensure that all genres are accepted and carry the torch to show appreciation to the people I grew up with. The whole term of RnB is dying, because now what I consider to be Pop music is being labelled RnB. I don’t what to knock anyone’s grind, but think we should label genres correctly, so as not to confuse the young ones.
You have already accomplished the dreams of most, what would you like to accomplish in the next couple of years?
Essentially, my focus remains on music, education and concentrating on being the best mummy I can be. I want to serve as a tool for others, by expanding and gaining as much knowledge about being independent, to pass on to people that may come behind me. Fingers crossed I will get back over to London, which we are trying to make happen this summer. I expect to create another project making hot music and hopefully collaborate with people like Stevie Wonder, Prince and Rafael Saadiq..
For those interested in following the Conya movement, click here.