Ingrid D. Johnson is a Winnipeg-based singer-songwriter with a deeply soulful rhythm-and-blues feel that evokes girl pop singers of the early ?60s. She recently released her debut full-length album What About Love? with her band The Funky Fresh Crew.
A Jamaican who immigrated to Canada with her family at the age of four, Ingrid’s contribution to her new country has been commendatory. Past work with the Canadian Red Cross, the RespectED Violence and Abuse Prevention program, Voices Manitoba Youth In Care Network, UNICEF, and finally her work as the spokesperson for the clients of the Laurel Centre (a community resource centre that counsels sexually abused women with addictions) has allowed her to respond to the pain of her own past in a healing way. In the Closet Productions (?A Voice for the Voiceless?) further promotes her mission to create music and art for positive social change.
Recently she took the time to answer some of Wanda Waterman’s questions about creative inspiration and social conscience. See the first part of the interview here.
A Focus on Relationships
I write about relationships because everything in life has to do with relationships. Life is not life without relationships; It’s about our relationship with God or our lack of relationship with him, our relationship with others, and the relationship we have with ourselves. we’re designed to relate to and with others. That’s why relationships are so important. I like to write what I know and how that evolves over time.
Most of the time when I perform, people tell me that my music is very inspiring and that my songs are very catchy. I also remember a lady coming up to me at the Fringe Festival in Winnipeg with tears in her eyes. She said that I touched her heart and she had not expected that to happen. It’s all very encouraging to me and makes me want to get better and better as an artist.
I create because I have something to say, something to express. I create because creating gives me a sense of purpose. I also create because I love it and I would not be me if I did not create.
I will always be creative, no matter what. However, public support is very important, so it is always great when people book me for live shows, buy my CDs and books, subscribe to my YouTube channel (ingriddjohnson), and ?like? my Facebook page.
On the Horizon
I want to promote this album and my company’s mission and vision as much as I can by performing live with my band, The Funky Fresh Crew. I hope to tour across Canada, the US, and overseas someday soon. I hope to sell more CDs and books, make some new videos, secure some licensing deals for my songs, and start writing my first novel. I want In The Closet Productions to be successful. I want to make more music in the future, as well.
Speaking For Those Who can’t Speak For Themselves
I’m compelled to speak up for those who can’t speak up for themselves, because That’s one of the core principles of my Christian faith. I also do it because I know what it is like to be powerless, to be voiceless, and I can empathize.
If I could say one thing to abuse survivors, it would be this: You are not alone. What they did was wrong. You are not to blame. don’t bury what happened to you anymore. Tell someone you can trust. Talk about it and don’t let bad coping habits control your life.
Inspiration: Getting It, Giving It
I am inspired by the parables, proverbs, and prophecies in the Bible. When I read them I know that I’m deeply loved by God and that all things are possible with his help. Classic films like Little Women and various indie films like Deepa Mehta’s Water have inspired me. I also love listening to great vocalists like Billie Holiday, Etta James, Ray Charles, Sade, Anita Baker, and many others.
I’m a Christian. It’s not my religion?It’s my lifestyle, meaning my faith is not based on rituals or man-made traditions. It’s based on one principle, and That’s love. So when I write, I write from a truthful and loving place. I write songs that will help people, inform people of important social issues, uplift people, and inspire people to positive social change. I write songs, I pray, that will have a positive impact on people in society.