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I M A J
Imaj–Don’t forget that name. I am thrilled to introduce a very talented African-American country singer/songwriter, visual artist, published novelist and humanitarian for world peace for February’s Spaz Spotlight! Imaj is a very busy young woman whose career is on the high rise. Imaj is not only talented, she has a very intelligent and creative mind of her own which is why we are dedicating our spotlight to her this month! Make sure to scroll down and read our full SPAZ interview!
IMAJ is an African-American Country singer/songwriter, visual artist, published novelist and humanitarian for world peace. ABC’s Debbie Denmon dubbed Imaj “Dallas Little Gem.” Good Morning Texas says Imaj is the next “Diva-in-the-making in the music industry!” TV 33 and Pink Memo labeled Imaj a “Pop Culture Trendsetter.”
Imaj brought in 2012 with a bang this January. She performed a two-night exclusive concert at The Black Academy of Arts & Letters to a sold out audience. Imaj has also opened for Lorrie Morgan was Gretchen Wilson’s special guest for CMA Fest where she received a standing ovation. CNN’s Soledad O’Brien calls Imaj, “Terrific!” Country legend Collin Raye says Imaj is “Country’s next big star!” NBA Champions Dallas Maverick’s GM and President Donnie Nelson Jr. (who Imaj fondly refers to as uncle Donnie) says, “IMAJ is one of the most talented young entertainers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Her passion for success is rivaled only by the size of her heart.” Charley Pride was at a loss for words when Imaj hit her F6 vocal range and immediately gave his blessings to her. More than just a singer, Imaj is a multi-talented artist who sings in 6 different languages, writes her own music, has published a 1930′s novel of literary fiction called, HARLOW, had her art displayed in the Dallas Museum of Art and her ultimate goal is to use her gifts to inspire world peace.
At only 22-years-old, Country Darling IMAJ is world-renowned not only for her prodigy talents but she’s most known for her passion for inspiring love and solidarity in everything she does. Imaj has campaigned Against Bullying, performed for Children’s Hospitals, opened for several Charity Galas and has recently began volunteering and writing music with hospice patients.
From a very young age, Imaj traveled the world with her parents (including father, Phillip Michael Thomas of Miami Vice) who always taught her that every Earthling mattered; from the grass beneath our feet to the animals to each and every human being; all of us are brothers and sisters who must live together on this ‘pale blue dot’ we call home. This was the start of Imaj’s endeavor to inspire World Peace.
1. A cool fact. Your dad is Philip Michael Thomas (Tubbs) of “Miami Vice.” Tell us what it was like for you growing up and how he helped inspire your career.
My parents have always been very positive, cultured people. Each of them travelled the world and developed names for their selves before they met. When they got together and had me they made their rounds about the planet again. My father, like Einstein, has always believed in the power of imagination and my mother is extraordinarily self-driven. Being raised in an environment of infinite possibility and having the means to nurture these ideas is what molded my mindset that I could do anything and be anyone I wanted to be. My parents are also very giving people who live the “do unto others” cliché that so many of us abandon as rhetoric. The actual experience of doing unto others – feeding the hungry, clothing the poor and the like – is what initiated my love for our Earth and humankind.
2. How has music changed your life? Who have you worked with or hope to work with in the near future?
I feel, the power of music is its universal language. I’ve had fans from all over the world tell me about their love of “Blush” many times in a different language. Also, music can inspire any wave of the spectrum of emotions and feeds into all forms of art. Classical music has been a great inspiration to me while writing my novel Harlow.
As far as name people, I was Gretchen Wilson’s guest singer for CMAfest and have opened for country legends like Collin Raye and Lorrie Morgan. I’d love to work with Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift. What I admire most about these two is their honesty which is very apparent in their music.
3. You’re not just a professional country singer. Tell us about your novel “Harlow” and how that got started.
Harlow was originally a screenplay I wrote when I was 19. The tag line is: In 1937 England, a bi-racial girl is confined to her father’s castle in a labyrinth of secrets, surfaced by the hidden agendas of a global elite. Shortly after writing the screenplay, I was encouraged by producers to write the novel.
I wrote Harlow to discover myself and have found that who I am is what my environment has sculpted me to be. I feel this can be said for all human beings. So, the inspiration for Harlow, the character, was that symbiosis of being the story of humankind and the ‘me’ which individuated from it. Harlow is also very close to my heart because once I began writing the novel I became the character, the wanderer of her world. I was Harlow. This book that people are reading: I lived it. Down to the minutiae of how many birds Harlow counted from her French windows one morning to what shade red she turned when she got her first kiss.
Harlow and I have lived parallel lives in that I was born to the silver spoon and grew up in a bubble in the creative utopia my parents created as home. Harlow was born to the silver, raised in the dystopia of intolerant 1930’s England, confined to the castle her father created as home. Writing the novel has opened my eyes to the resiliency of the human spirit and the depths of true love. It’s been like painting a mirror. I hope in reading the novel, SPAZ readers will be able to discover their own reflections.
We’re working on the Harlow audiobook which will be released on iTunes soon. SPAZ readers can listen to a Chapter preview on http://www.harlownovel.com Harlow is now available in paperback at Barnes & Noble bookstores nationwide and Amazon.com
4. What has been one of the most memorable experiences in your career thus far?
Wow, there are so many. One of my most memorable was bringing in 2012 with a bang for my concert at TBAAL in Dallas. I had five costume changes and a sold out audience! I also performed a song I wrote on guitar with a hospice patient I’ve been volunteering for which was one of the highlight s of the night for me. We closed the show with my song, “Love Only Love” (you can listen to it on my YouTube). Everyone brought out their cellphones for this. I’ve always been fascinated with science and the fact that we’re all made of stardust. We were literally the Milky Way that night. It was incredible! Can’t wait to do it again!
5. What advice do you have for those who want to pursue a similar career?
The same advice I’d give to someone choosing any other path in life. Do what you love and never look down on anyone. Many humans, most especially those in the industry, feel that to be extraordinary you have to be at the top of some hierarchy, above others. This is untrue if only because, as life has it, the only constant is change: someone will always come along and be “better” or “worse” off than you. So, as I understand it, extraordinary people never stand on the inferiority of others. They stand alone. Regardless of who you are or what your status may be, at the end of life all that will matter is how much you loved.
6. What can we expect next!? Future goals/aspirations?
My ultimate goal is to travel the world performing and learning from different cultures. I feel all of us should circumnavigate in some way at least once in our lifetime; it can give you a greater sense of awareness. This clarity of thought can be such an enormous contribution to the consciousness of our planet. And of course, my highest endeavor is always to be happy.
7. Are there any exciting projects or upcoming events that our readers should SPAZ about?
Haha! Yes, actually. My next show will be at the House of Blues on February 25. Also, we’ve been running an Instagram Contest called “Peace & Love, Imaj” for about a month now. You can learn more here: http://bit.ly/ImajContest The winner will be announced on Valentine’s Day.
We’ll put on more Instagram Contests with cash-value prizes in the future, so be sure to follow me on Instagram @Imaj. My whole tour can be found on my official Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/imajofficial
8. If our readers want to keep up with your work, what websites/social media accounts can they connect to?
Official IMAJ Links:
Music Website: http://www.iamimaj.com
Novel Website: http://www.harlownovel.com
Music Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/imajofficial
Novel Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/harlowthenovel
Nashville Management Group
HOW’S THAT FOR TALENT????? We wish you the best of luck, Imaj! Can’t wait to watch you succeed and accomplish many more things!!!