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India.Arie refocuses her music career around a spiritual message

The singer-songwriter comes "out of the spiritual closet" with her newest album, SongVersation.
(Photo: India.Arie)
(Photo: India.Arie)

After a four-year reflective hiatus, Grammy-award-winning singer-songwriter India.Arie just released a new album, SongVersation, and it reflects Arie’s new career focus—to share a spiritual conversation and message that inspires love, healing, and joy among listeners.

She brought that message to New York last weekend with a show at The Beacon Theater on Saturday, November 2, and we caught up with the spirit seeker to find out more:

How did your four-year recording hiatus influence the message of the new album? In so many ways. The hiatus from the music industry gave me time to grow as a producer. During this time away, my real goal wasn’t to make an album—it was to take time to assess my life. In that time I grew up and experienced a spiritual transformation. I am finally at a place where I am not afraid to say anything in my songs that I feel is true to me. I was afraid to say so much in the past songs. World renowned spiritual music producer, Stephen Halpern, gave me the term “out of the spiritual closet,” which is where I feel I’m at now.

It sounds like sharing the spiritual message is as important as sharing your music now? My spiritual life is the center of my life, and it’s become the fundamental tenant of my profession as a writer–to spread love, healing, peace, and joy through words and music.

SongVersation refers to a spiritual conversation you’re looking to inspire. What do you hope that conversation is about? SongVersation is a spiritual conversation I am having with people. I tell my audience every night that it is not a concert—that we are all a part of the SongVersation…. The words and music inspires a community spirit among the musicians on stage and the audience joins in as the fourth wall is broken down and we all share!  —Jennifer Kass

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