5 Questions with Naomi Cowan
Reggae singer Naomi Cowan refuses to limit herself with just one aspiration. As she pushes the pedal to advance her music career, she totes around other fundamental aspects of her life philanthropy, her faith and making her parents, reggae superstars Tommy Cowan and Carlene Davis, proud.
Today, as Cowen releases the video for her single Paradise Plum, we get to know a little bit about her in this week's edition of 5 Questions With ...
Who came up with the concept for Paradise Plum's music video?
The concept for Paradise Plum was a collaborative effort between myself, Kia Moses and Jason Panton.
How do you think your parents feel about your more secular approach to music?
I think my parents are happy that I'm doing music. They're happy to see that I've found my way into music on my own experiences not because of any feeling of obligation. They see my love and passion for it, and how I've invested my time to my craft, into my voice. They've even seen the leap of faith I took in moving back to Jamaica from Canada.
In terms of the 'worldly' approach, I think they just feel excited that I would creatively want to take this direction. I think they're encouraged to know that because of the foundation that I have, and my spiritually, they believe that I will make a difference in the mainstream market. They don't see it as a negative thing. They don't see it as 'she's backsliding'.
They think it's creative, different, innovative, disruptive because we know that the Bible says we're a light in the world.
Christians need to be everywhere. We can't just be in niche markets. If I were to become an accountant or do any other profession, nobody would really be pushing me and saying, 'Boy, as a lawyer, you can only work for Christian companies or clients.' Nobody does that with any other profession, but we somehow do it with music and the arts, and that shouldn't be the case. We should be able to feel comfortable in our skin, with our own lifestyle inspired by God, anchored in our faith, and use it the way he instructs us to.
If you could mimic the trajectory of any recording artiste, who would it be, and why?
I've thought about that. They're so many people. But so far, I think John Legend. He has managed to strategically utilise all the aspects of who he is as a creative actor, singer/songwriter, composer. And then, of course, he's won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony (GOAT). That's really cool. I think it's dope that he's built a team, and he's obviously built a brand where he's able to transcend different boundaries.
I have different interests and things that I love doing, with music at the centre. He reminds me of that. And on top of that, his voice. The songs he has created have all become significant to different things in people's lives. You don't go to one wedding where you don't hear a John Legend song. He's created music that is timeless. As an artiste, I respect trends but also want to be timeless. He encapsulates all of that.
Is there anyone you dream of collaborating with in the future both locally and internationally?
Locally, so many! Agent Sasco, Sean P, Jesse Royal, Lila Ike, Sevana, Alaine. Internationally - Corrine Bailey Rae, Daniel Caesar, Alicia Keys, Sza, Matt Corby.
If there were any other role for you besides singing, what would that be?
I have other interests that I actively participate in. I love community outreach. I love doing any kind of charitable work. Since 2010, I've made it a very intentional part of my life - I just started to serve. I volunteered for years at a girls' home called Mary's Child. In Toronto, I've been a part of several initiatives including leading a feeding of the homeless activity with my church. Even now, I'm one of the speakers on the We Inspire Girls tour. I'll be closing off the tour next week in St Elizabeth. I'm also an ambassador for We Transform, an initiative by the Ministry of National Security.
I'm also looking at launching some YouTube content in the near future, just to diversify my brand to let people know who I am as an artiste overall. I think that makes a huge difference at least for me, when it comes to artistes and musicians that I admire. I love being able to connect with them (fans) at multiple points.
Bonus: What follows ' Paradise Plum'?
I already have my next single lined up. It's just a matter of time when we're releasing it. I am working with a producer in the UK on this particular release.