If I am not for myself who will be?

ONLē Talks with Fola Sade (@iamfola_) by Jasmine Wilson

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Fola Sade walks in with her long flowing dress, oversized denim jacket, and warm smile to greet me. I can feel their light and buoyant energy as we speak with each other. Fola has a very distinctive and visceral sound that is inspired by Aretha Franklin, John Tyler, Santigold, No Doubt, and most importantly her friends in the community. “Anything with  soul in the music that I can feel really inspires me,” she says. “Anything with authenticity and a story just makes me want to start singing.” Her smile as she talks about her collaborations with friends and their influence on her music lets me know just how much community means to her and how big of a role it plays in her life. Fola hopes to reach a lot of people with their music, nationally and internationally. “It's like I’m following a feeling,” they describe. “A magnetic energy that I’ve always had. A feeling that isn't linear. It's timeless. That's why I trust it so much.” From our conversation, I got the sense that Fola listens very closely to her emotions and intuition when making music. This is something very evident when she performs, as the audience is enraptured by her deep billowy and soulful tone. 

Who are you? 

My name is Fola Sade. My stage name is Fola. My instagram handle is @iamfola_ 

How long have you been doing music and what's the story behind how you began?

As long as I can remember, I've always loved music and singing. I loved the arts. At first I couldn't sing [laughs] , but as I got older I just grew into it. At age 15, I joined a program called “Beats not Bullets” and they opened me up to recording my music. And they really upped my career because I met the people that I still work with today. My team and everything. 

And how would you describe your music?

I would definitely say alternative, experimental. I like to tap into jazz. I definitely like Latin rhythm and influence for sure. Definitely soulful. 

For sure very soulful. What is the message you're hoping to put out into the world with your music?

I hope to put out a message of freedom. I believe that I’ll have many messages with many songs, but I ultimately believe in the air of freedom and love. It's really about passion, individuality, and authenticity. 

I love that! What would you say is your main motivation that keeps you going on this journey?

Hmm, I would say that since I’m such a fluid person some days it is my emotions. Some days it's being in the energy of other artists and collaborating. Sometimes it's just the sky, for some reason [laughs] you know? Sometimes I just find inspiration in random things. A pattern on something will just make me feel something. All the sensations can be inspiring. All of the senses. Staying present can be really motivating. But at the same time, so can not.

Where can we go to look for your next project?

My next project will definitely be on all platforms!

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