creating your own // is a she plants love series, where we spotlight courageous people who have chosen to live out their passions.
Our gal RaShonda Reeves is a fiercely kind soul with a mesmerizing voice. RaShonda is an accomplished Pianist, Singer, Composer and Voice-over artist from Michigan. Trained as a classical and gospel pianist since the age of 7. She grew up playing piano at churches, weddings, as well as city, state and national competitions.
After getting her Bachelors in Music at Howard University, RaShonda moved to New York City to study at NYU's Graduate Music Business Program where she continued her piano studies and exploration of jazz piano. Copyright analyst for a major label by day and pianist/singer songwriter by night, RaShonda wears many hats.
She can be found on random nights playing piano karaoke of Badu albums at Sid Gold's Request Room on 26th street or at P.S.1 MOMA performing mini-operas with fellow artists. From The Legendary BBKings and Joe's Pub to Resurrection Catholic Church in Harlem on 151st, she plays anywhere she feels led.
I can listen to her sing endlessly... her music is soothing, like that soft melody playing somewhere in the background.
Q&A with RaShonda, musician, friend, sister and daughter.
Tell us about the turning point in your life that led you to creating your own?
Last year I discovered an organization called “The Black Artist retreat” after meeting the founder on my way to a practice session. I took the flyer from her and quickly placed it in my bag thinking I wanted to go. I ended up forgetting about the retreat until one day I was home, feeling burned out. I said to myself -“Man I really need a retreat or spa day." I went to clean out my bag and out fell the flyer. It just so happened the deadline to confirm and attend was that very day. I had such an amazing time meeting the 49 other artists (musicians, poets, writers, architects, graphic designers, etc), that I left with a feeling that I needed to challenge myself to get more in touch with my creative side. I bought a moleskin and a box of pencils and began to write songs about my life and everything I had been holding in. I’ve been writing for over a year now and there’s still so much to say!
You have 15 minutes for your morning skincare regimen, what does it look like?
I’m a super laid back girl when it comes to life and beauty regimens. I use to have light splotches on my face as a kid, but my parents took me to a dermatologist that pretty much resolved all of that! Rarely do I get pimples or deal with skin discoloration. So the morning is pretty much shower, washing my face with just water and applying a slight amount of coco butter to my face and body. I woke up like this? lol
An inexpensive yet fulfilling self-care ritual that you have mastered?
I wake up every morning saying thank you for another day and immediately read my meditations and affirmations before I leave my room or check my phone.
One book you have recently read and loved? I’m really digging?
QuestLove’s “Creative Quest”. He really hones in on how the minds of creatives work and how to effectively get the results you seek as an artist
How has music influenced you and an artist you are feeling right now?
Music has always been a passion of mine. From a young age I saw how many opportunities learning instruments brought to me in terms of experiencing different cultures and environments. I'm a very transient individual; I love traveling and meeting people from different walks of life. I've found that music allows me to communicate with people in ways I would never be able to engage with them verbally. As an artist, music helps me channel my purpose and desire to uplift and encourage others. I feel a responsibility to use my musical gifts to help inspire and change the world for the better.
A podcast that keeps you motivated when you are on the go?
I'm not big on podcast, but I do like listening to "The Read" when I need a good laugh
Share an advice with someone else who’s trying to create their own path, happiness, conscious lifestyle etc.?
Meditate! Spend some time getting to know yourself and to listen to your inner voice outside of others. I find a lot of people treat others better than they treat themselves or just don't really know what makes them happy outside of other people. As someone who has a tendency to overthink things, I've found that being still is the best way to get me to chill out and focus on the things that really matter to me.