Guest Author - Shelia M. Goss
When I spoke with Lina, it felt more like a conversation than an interview. She’s down to earth and her positive vibe can be felt not only through her music, but also through the phone line.
Shelia Goss: When did you decide that you wanted to sing professionally?
Lina: I was singing professionally before I decided to. It was a situation where I just ended up doing it. I was going to release myself & other artists before getting signed with Hidden Beach.
Shelia: You write your own lyrics correct?
Shelia: Were any of your lyrics inspired by any of your past relationships?
Lina: Yes. I wrote about myself. There was some soul searching going on. It was my outlook on life and other people’s situations.
Shelia: If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?
Lina: I would be a journalist. Well that is, until I started watching CNN during the Michael Jackson trials. I grew out of it and became a recording artist. If I were to be a journalist now, I’ve seen the other side, so I would be empathetic.
Shelia: How would you categorize your sound?
Lina: Lee Bailey said it best, “sexy soul”. It’s been categorized as neo-soul, but as an artist, it comes from an internal point of view and it’s soul music, no matter what genre it is.
Shelia: You have a song on your CD with Anthony Hamilton. How did that come about?
Lina: Anthony & I were both on Atlantic. We were contacted to do a Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack duet together. We remained friends and I told him the next time he came to LA, we needed to do a song together. He changed some of the lyrics and did a great job.
Shelia: Are there any other artists you would like to collaborate with?
Lina: Kanye, Common, Lauryn Hill. I worked with Wyclef with the group City High. I was the girl in the group at first and then decided to go solo. I would also like to collaborate with India Aire, Jill Scott, and Norah Jones and most definitely with Mary J. Blige. She’s such a passionate person.
Shelia: Do you ever get stage fright when performing live?
Lina: I get nervous sometimes, but I don’t get stage fright. With the Inner Beauty Movement, there’s a spiritual war that goes on. There was a time where I thought I couldn’t do it because of the negative spirit that I felt in the place. But I stepped out on faith because God had already confirmed it.
Shelia: What do you want the listener to walk away with after listening to The Inner Beauty Movement?
Lina: I want people to walk away loving themselves without depending on their things. I want them to embrace the struggle that makes them strong and who they are. In order to help others, you have to be whole, so there’s no problem with taking a moment to be selfish. To not let things or their position in life to determine who they are. Ask themselves a couple of questions. Who am I? What’s my purpose?
Shelia: Your song, “Leaving You” is an inspiring song. The lyrics are deep. To paraphrase, “I’m leaving you, for me…”
Lina: “Leaving You” expresses that you have to be able to love yourself. Don’t need validation from someone else.
Shelia: Who are some of your favorite singers?
Lina: Roberta Flack, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sade, Mary J Blige, and the others I mentioned before.
Shelia: How has your life changed since your success?
Lina: It’s kind of hard to tell who are really your friends.
Shelia: What advice would you give other young ladies who want to follow in your path?
Lina: Go within. Ask yourself questions. Do you want to do music? What’s the reason? Is it to share knowledge? Is it for attention because you want the fame? Before you sign a deal, know your worth. Black women are a victim of not knowing their worth. Believe in yourself to go for the best.
Shelia: If your life was a reality TV show, what would it be called and why?
Lina: A country girl…because I’m real country.
Shelia: Is there anything else you would like to say to your fans?
Lina: Thank you. My fans are a part of this movement as much as I am. I realize I do my part as far as music. I write the songs and sing the songs, but the Inner Beauty Movement cannot happen without my fans.
I appreciate all of my fans…where they are coming from on a conscious level…they are leaders and not followers…original…creative…brilliant minds…I want to thank them for all the letters.
Lina’s CD - The Inner Beauty Movement contains 18 tracks. Lina has the type of voice that reminds you of some of the old school artists. I put her in the same category as Phyliss Hyman (which by the way was one of my favorite artists). My favorite cut on the entire CD is “Leaving You.” She tells a lover that she’s leaving him, but not for someone else, but for herself. Now that’s deep. There are other songs on the CD that will speak to the heart as well. Another favorite is the song featuring Anthony Hamilton, “Around the World.” “This Time,” “Smooth,” the opening song -- “My Fix,” and “It Could Be” are others that I found myself playing over and over again. The Inner Beauty Movement is a CD that can be enjoyed by yourself or around a significant other. I don’t know if it should be categorized as neo-soul or easy listening, because to me it was just plain old good music.
If you like good music with some meaningful lyrics, then The Inner Beauty Movement, would make a nice addition to your music collection.