Interviews

Conya Doss: Pocket Full of Soul

There is a lot of passion and soul in Conya Doss’ lyrics, voice, sound, life mission and her profession as a teacher. She is a helper in the classroom as well as on the track. Her new album “Pocket Full of Purpose” is filled with just that… purpose and responsibility. At a time when we feel soulless, Doss continues to be the beckon of hope for those that seek a healthy remedy to the mundane and repetitive sound of the radio. I had the opportunity to see what Conya Doss was all about. Check it out.

It works hand in hand… Teaching and music. I am also a happy mommy and my son is only 2 now. Being able to juggle those duties is because of prayer and guidance. I have a pretty strong support system, but its hard work, I never get a lunch break.

“Pocket Full of Purpose”… is a combination of blessings and tragedies. My father died and I was pregnant. It taught me how to not take anything for granted. I had major thyroid surgery also. My son was and still is a blessing. He has come into my life because I lost special people. Later, my great-aunt passed away. I used to like to sit with her and talk to her. She showed me that a pocket full of change was worth something. Her experiences were so valuable. I hope my knowledge will serve a purpose. When your health is compromised and you lose people you love, your perspective changes. These series of events led me to this point.

The Wise Lady… She’s (great-aunt) a person that came up during the ‘Great Depression’. She always told me, “to have a good heart and help people.” She was very political and she said her vote counts to make change. Things that she said came into fruition. She was always into eating healthy and bettering herself. I learned a lot from her.

Center around the Son… I always had a certain outlook which centered on helping other people. Now I have another outlook which is centered on my son. I can’t do the things I used to do for others. They don’t even ask for loans anymore.

Music While Raising the Son… I used to be able to record at any given time. Now with my son and teaching, I have to record before work in the morning. If he (son) knows I’m far away from him, he’ll wake up and start to cry. He wants to sing on the microphone, so it’s harder to bring him; hopefully he’ll get better as he gets older. I have to go to another studio sometimes. It’s been more difficult because producer’s schedules are tight.

My music… comes from my previous experiences. It comes from my own personal experiences. I love learning from other people. I like to watch people.

I’m inspired by… Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Sade, Jill Scott, Mary J. Blige, Michael Douglas (Doobie Brothers)

Music isn’t black or white… Doobie Brothers “Minute by Minute” is my song. I don’t believe Michael Douglas is white. I think Michael Douglas is just light skinned. He did “Yah Mo B There” with James Ingram. Bobby Caldwell was also another one I couldn’t believe. They were truly soulful singers. They appreciated the music more then we do.

A World Losing It’s Soul… When I was growing up I was exposed to different types of music. You could learn and grow from different types of music. I look at my niece now that can sing, but she does it without the soul. She listens to artists with no soul. It’s what people are being exposed to. What I know to be soul is different today.

Country Soul… Charley Pride, Mahalia Jackson, Bonnie Raitt were artists that we listened to when I was younger that had SOUL. I listened to Pop, Country, Gospel, Jazz and R&B.

Embracing Good Music… R&B, I think is almost disrespected. It’s almost bad to be affiliated with R&B. I just don’t think there are a lot of outlets providing for the R&B genre. I remember going to the record store and barely finding the R&B section. They don’t want to be in that box. They think it narrows their audience but people of all races embrace good music.

Blacker the Berry the Sweeter… I decided to go independent when they said I was too “black”. I was highly offended. That’s when I moved forward and went independent. It’s a freedom that I enjoy. Any mistake I make I can take for myself and learn from it. When I was signed, certain things fell by the wayside. Being independent you can control your own creativity. With majors you could be shelved. The positive is that when you’re with a major you have a machine to support you. I don’t like when certain people can directly speak to me when I could have someone speak on my behalf. I don’t like the fact that I have to do my own accounting when I break points down with producers.

Life Without Music… I can’t imagine life without music. OMG! If I wasn’t making music I would be incorporating music into my classroom.

Teaching the Kids… I would leave teaching if I completely hated it, but I couldn’t see that. I love working with kids. I would run a youth group for kids. I teach students with learning disabilities.

Vision of the New Face of Music… Jesse Boykins III, Lola Brown and Duran Bernard; I have a vision of them being the next hot thing … hidden gems.

Favorite Candy…Cotton candy is my favorite candy.

Favorite Gangster Rap Songs… Ghetto Boys “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” and Ice Cube’s “Stay True to the Game” are my favorite gangster rap songs.

Favorite R&B Album… “Songs in the Key of Life” by Stevie Wonder is my favorite album of all time. Stevie Wonder was a story teller. I was really little and I could see a little nappy headed boy described in “I wish” vivid.

Place to think… I have a chance to think when I’m driving. I have time to think on my way home from work.

My Secret Hobby… I collect dolls. I am the only young black woman at the shows. I had a great aunt that had a Shirley Temple doll. I fell in love with dolls after that.

Cooking It Up… I can make really good Indian food. In college, I gravitated to students from overseas, especially India. They taught me how to cook some of their native dishes.

My Mission… I would like to continue to grow and to push other artists. I would like people and artists to say Conya Doss inspired my life.

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