Artist Spotlight: Salliefoyeh

Welcome back to our artist spotlight. This week we got a chance to speak to the amazing Salliefoyeh who recently performed at our inaugural One Sound Open Mic night. 

 

Hey Salliefoyeh, it's great to have you here! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself


Hey thanks for having me! Umm, I'm a singer and a writer. I have a heart for social justice and worship, I've got a travelbug and I am in love with nature. 

 

Wow, that's really good! Seems like there's many sides to you. How long have you been doing music?

 

I've been doing music for about 6 years now

 

Ok that sounds like you're relatively seasoned in this. How did you get started? What inspired you to begin?


I started at a school talent show on the nudge of a friend when I was in sixth form. I also won a spoken word poetry competition in sixth form, which gave me great opportunities and birthed in me a love for performing and sharing my gifts.  I gained confidence through performing at various events in uni and meeting loads of other musicians.  

 

Ah that sounds like a dream! Your talent was awakened by your friends encouragement. I hadn't realised you also did spoken word although being a songwriter, I should have figured lol. You must have had some influences which led to you starting. Who would you say is your favourite Christian/gospel artist?


At the moment, Bethel Music, and in particular, Steffany Gretzinger and Amanda Cook. They are the strongest lyricists and have the purest hearts I've ever encountered I think. Their anointing is serious.

 

Wow, I'm not familiar with Bethel music, I'll definitely have to go and check them out and taste and see for myself! Still on the subject of influences, what is your favourite album and why?


This is a wild question. Is it favourite album by Bethel? If so, The Undoing and Brave New World. If just my favourite album in general... I can't answer that lol! 

 

lol that's cool. So we know you do poetry & songwriting, how many songs have you written so far?


A lot! I haven't counted lol. In terms of songs that are out or have been recorded, I have six so far.

 

Singer, songwriter & recording artist! Do you play any instruments? If so which instruments do you play? 


Yes, I play guitar and piano. I wish I could play either double bass, bass or cello though. 

 

I'd love to hear you on the guitar soon, I think it's the greatest instrument of them all (not that I'm biased or anything lol). Double bass, bass and cello are pretty heavy too! If there was 1 artist you could work with, who would it be and why?


The first person who came to mind was Sufjan Stevens. He's a multi-instrumental genius. Does things musically that I haven't heard anyone else do ever. 

 

Ah I checked out his stuff and he does seem to be really talented and quirky. Can you tell us 1 quirky thing about yourself?


Umm, I get super competitive when playing games! Like, ugly competitive lol. 

 

Erm isn't that just normal? lol. Ok here's a good one for you; if you could go back in time, what year/era would you travel to and why?


Oooh. Good question. It would have to be the 1950s/1960s. All the horrors of that time aside, I'd give anything to sit in a smoky jazz bar and hear Miles Davis or John Coltrane play. That's musically though. In general, back to the time when Jesus was walking the earth. Stirs my heart to even think of it. And I'd like to still have my 2017 mind so that I could fully appreciate it! 

 

Good shout, I can co-sign on both of those! If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take 3 items with you, what would you take and why? 
 

I've got the cop out answer. A 5ltr bottle of water, my phone and a boat. 

 

That was a cop out but we'll allow you this time :) Who would you say is your biggest influence?
 

Musical? Lauryn Hill, Corinne Bailey Rae. 

 

Nice, those ladies are amazingly talented! Lauryn Hill especially is one of the most underrated singers around in my humble opinion! Apart from music, what would you say is your biggest passion?

 

This shouldn't be a hard question, but it feels like one. Writing, or the written word. The faith. Serving. 

 

That's noble, a servant's heart is something which God wants from us all especially when we're working for him! Moving on to the future now, what does 2017 hold for you?

 

Some beautiful things I hope. More gigs for sure, a new release by God's grace. And new songs to reflect where I'm at and where we're all at. 

 

Wow we cannot wait for the new release! Maybe we'll get a chance to talk about it again around that time! Do you have any upcoming gigs/dates to share?
 

Yes, Thursday 30th March, I will be at The Cockpit in Marylebone. A few more unconfirmed dates too so follow my twitter or IG page for updates: @sfoyeh

 

 Is there anything else you'd like to share?
 

No. I had a lot of fun doing this though, thank you for the great questions and the opportunity 🙂 

 

Thank you for your time and agreeing to join us. You can check out Salliefoyeh's social media here: Salliefoyeh - FB: Salliefoyeh Twitter: salliefoyeh. IG: Salliefoyeh, and you can also support her by purchasing her debut EP on iTunes here: Beautiful - EP by Salliefoyeh on Apple Music - iTunes

 

Devotional: Focus!

"Turn full your soul's vision to Jesus, and look and look at Him, and a strange dimness will come over all that is apart from Him, and the Divine 'attrait' by which God's saints are made, even in this 20th century, will lay hold of you. For 'He is worthy' to have all there is to be had in the heart that He has died to win."

Are you walking the "Calf Path"?

Are you walking the "Calf Path"?

hy do you do that? What's the reason behind that? What's your rationale?

Three different questions, asking the same thing, trying to understand the fundamental reason behind actions. I came across this poem by Sam Walter Foss last year while listening to a sermon and I found it to be profound. It highlights (in a very humourous way) the dangers of following tradition/precedent without asking the important question of 'why' by detailing a calf's journey 300 years ago. Check it out below: 

Musicality: The secret ingredient? Part 1

Hey, my name is Tochi and I’m a guitarist. I’ve been playing since around 2004/2005 and I primarily play acoustic guitar. I’m not the best guitarist, but I have been privileged to play in some amazing situations with some amazing musicians. In this blog, I just want to explore the concept of musicianship/musicality which I think is the secret ingredient that can elevate your playing to greater heights.

 

One of the great jazz guitar teachers Ted Greene provides a cautionary word which is definitely important to remember as musicians. He states the following in his introduction to the classic ‘Chord chemistry’, "...you might like the sound of a chord or chord pattern given in the section on moving voices, and you might fit it into a blues...however, be careful not to delude yourself into thinking something is great just because it is different. The desire to be different can be a healthy thing as long as it does not become more important than the desire to play music that is enjoyable to listen to."

https://www.scribd.com/doc/2088025/Chord-Chemistry-by-Ted-Greene 

He talks about the decision making process a musician goes through when arranging a song, and highlights that there is a need to make choices that lead to enjoyable music rather than just music that is different. While the desire to play music which is different is not necessarily bad, I think that playing music which is enjoyable to listen to is infinitely more important. I think the skill of 'musicality' is one which helps with making that happen.

Musicality is something that I’ve heard some great musicians describe/talk about and is also something that I’ve observed when I’ve witnessed some of the greats while they play. I think it’s very possibly the secret ingredient  that helps to bridge the gap from 'decent' to 'great' as a musician. More than imparting good technical ability, the great musical teachers are concerned with imparting deeper values; an ability to understand the music and be intentional when making choices while playing a piece of music. 

I would like to have a closer look at what musicality is, and perhaps explore some of the skills which form part of musicality and how this applies to us as gospel musicians, working on honing our craft for God’s glory.

The desire to be different can be a healthy thing as long as it does not become more important than the desire to play music that is enjoyable to listen to.”

 

Definition

The Oxford English Dictionary defines musicality as:

1: Musical talent or sensitivity:  2: The quality of having a pleasant sound; melodiousness:

Webster’s dictionary’s definition is somewhat similar:

1:  sensitivity to, knowledge of, or talent for music

2:  the quality or state of being musical : melodiousness

These definitions highlight ‘sensitivity’ which is an interesting concept which recurs in both definitions and is something we’ll come back to a bit later. In doing some digging online, I came across a great definition at this site (https://www.musical-u.com/blog/what-is-musicality/) which explains it as follows:

"Musicality is a set of “inner skills” which let you freely and confidently express yourself in music.”

This definition brings to mind that it’s a set of skills, which give you freedom and confidence to be expressive in playing. This is somewhat similar to the more traditional and perhaps classical idea of ‘Musicianship’. I’d even argue that Musicality is essentially a colloquial version of this word.

For me, ‘musicality’ or ‘musicianship’ is essentially skills which give a musician the ability to make correct musical decisions in the moment when playing or singing a song. Another idea which is somewhat synonymous with this is the idea of having the right ‘feel’ for music which many have claimed cannot be taught. A prime example for me is the illustrious and great guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. I love his playing because his decision-making is impeccable. This is demonstrated in the video clip below where he plays over a simple motif and shows how to play the right thing to enhance the music everytime.

In the iconic album ‘Gospel According to Jazz chapter 1’ - his impeccable decision-making is also evident. In every single song, every single solo, he makes the right musical decision every time, and harking back to Ted Greene’s idea, it makes the music that much more enjoyable to listen to. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9mlQTQxeFA - Lord I want to be a Christian

This track is a prime example of 2 masters demonstrating their intense musicality and this comes out in how they play together. In the "Lord I want to be a Christian" track, notice how for the first 3 minutes, the track is pretty much just saxophone and guitar. While the sax is leading, Paul Jackson Jr does some little but beautiful and tasteful moves on the guitar to fill the spaces. Then in the call and response section, he mirrors Kirk Whalum but with a bit of extra spice added. This is musicality in action. 

In conclusion, while having a knowledge of many chords is great, and knowledge or progressions, riffs and songs is great, I think that greater skill is having the skill of musicality or musicianship which helps with making good choices when deciding what/how to play. It would be better to know less chords but understand how to use them in the best way than to have a plethora of chords with no clue on their usage. If you want to make the next step in your musical journey, maybe, just  maybe musicality is the missing secret ingredient. 

In part 2, we’ll look at some of the core musicianship skills which I think are most important. I hope you enjoyed the blog - let me know what you think below.