We had the good fortune of connecting with Dejah Symone and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dejah, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
Deborah McDuffie, composer/producer, said “Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.” She became one of my greatest influences the day I heard her say that. I used to worry about being palatable to others, but the essence of an artist’s individuality is what makes the art special. She pushed me to create exactly what I wanted to see in this world— for myself, and for those who will fully embrace it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am an artist. I sing, write/produce, and play a couple of instruments. I’ve been creating music since I was about 4 years old. I started posting covers and freestyles on SoundCloud in 2018. In March of 2020, I released my debut single, “Good 4 U” followed by my second single, “Breeze” which was released in November 2020. Those songs are cohesive in nature, highlighting the truth of love in different seasons. Releasing those parts of me felt risky because I’m so private, but I was ready to share these stories with my listeners. Music gives me a way to bear my heart in ways I would never consider outside of song. That is beautiful to me. I’ve learned to be intentional in everything. I make music about life, love, and anything in between. I want my music—the notes, the instrumentation— to reflect that so clearly that my listeners will still feel what I’m feeling even if I took the lyrics away. I want to remind people that the ability to feel things so deeply is a gift worth sharing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am fascinated by the simple joys in life. My best friend and I have that in common. If she were visiting, I would take her to the most beautiful places my city has to offer. We love creating in the park. I would bring a couple canvases, some paint & brushes, a blanket, my guitar, (and of course some Caribbean food ) and we’d spend the day at a park on the water, creating anything we wanted under the sun. We’d hit up the local thrift stores and find all types of one of a kind pieces that best represent us. We would let each day carry us on an adventure, exploring wherever our hearts led. In my view, the best places to check out are the places that allow you to peak into a different reality. I love hanging out at parks in the historic district, beaches, and bookstores. All of those places have something in common: they are full of stories and realities that are not my own, and I’m only there to experience what’s already been created.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wish I could write an essay about each person who has mentored me or encouraged me along my journey! So many people play such a vital role in my story and I couldn’t do what I do without them. I must give a special shoutout to Artist & producer, Fonzo, who also happens to be my cousin. He has encouraged me so much. I had already been writing and singing for years, but he really challenged me to strengthen myself as a producer. It wasn’t until then that I realized just how much control I have over creating a sound that is uniquely my own. We collaborated on my first two singles of 2020. In that, I grew so much in being able to communicate and create exactly what I see in my mind. I always leave our studio sessions feeling a little more educated, inspired, and energized. Even outside of music, Fonzo and I would talk about life—in general— as it relates to our individual perspectives, visions, and art forms. . Those moments really helped shape my artistry & solidify my confidence.
image credits: @naislay