Everyone has a moment when they realize life is just, short. Mine was nearly four years ago, when I lost my mother to cancer. Since then, I’ve been on a mission to live well; to be my best self, in every facet of my life.
Freedom. Fate. Fulfillment.
These words embody the attitude that Inohs Sivad has adopted to fuel her life. They’re a declaration, expressing her newfound feelings of empowerment. In the two years since the release of No Goodbyes (2011), on which she paid tribute to and celebrated the life of her mother, Deborah Orr who passed away from cancer in 2010, Inohs experienced life in a way that made her “grow up” like never before. Fourward is the result of lessons learned, put to words and music with a sound that is simultaneously edgy and smooth.
Assessing life. Choosing the next step.
Fourward is Inhos' fourth CD in 10 years as an independent artist. It’s the product of taking stock of her life; accessing her past; the bumps in the road and the smooth turns. She feels free of the baggage she's carried for years. Insecurities have been released, negative relationships let go, some bad habits fixed. And, she's embracing the freedom that accompanies growth. With that freedom comes the safe space to contemplate her future, with hopes of continuing to fulfill her dreams.
She's now walking in the second half of her life, and in making this album Inohs has exposed the mediations of her heart. Determining that the first half of life was the set up for the second half, the result is a sense of peace with her fate, whatever it may be. Which leads to fulfillment. Through the work put into making Fourward, she can look fate in the face with gratification. Her goal is to live in the most powerful way possible. This album marks her benchmark in life.
Music without limits
Having grown up listening to a variety of music from Bruce Springsteen to Metallic to Peebo Bryson, Luther Vendorss, LTD, James Brown, Chaka Khan, Minnie Ripperton, Stevie Wonder, Donnie Hathaway, Mahalia Jackson and James Cleveland, Inohs embraces all the music she's heard over the years with Fourward.
Fourward is a much harder hitting project than her previous three albums No Goodbyes, Changes (2007), and IS (2003). Though, it’s more reminiscent of the rock slant of IS, thanks to the heavy metal guitar influence of Inohs’ new music director, Deus Christian of the heavy metal bands SBU and C2F. Inohs welcomed the familiar connection with the guitar, having begun her musical journey on a 12-string acoustic that’s heard throughout her debut album.
Fourward offered a sense of renewal, and Inohs boosted her creativity by adding new songwriters to her team - LaVell Williams, Dana Anderson, and Tomi L (on “Glass”). Along with Deus Christian, Chris Donaldson and Naomi Daniel the team created an album that plays to her reflective/story telling lyrical side, while keeping to her signature soul alternative fusion of rock, soul and funk. The album includes “Forward,” the hard-hitting title track, “Glass” and “Pearls,” which come with "in your face" messages; the sexy “Burn,” the hopeful “Epic,” the rock infused “Drive,” “Bridge,” an honest love song, “Over” speaks of an ended relationship, the uplifting “Spirit,” reggae laden “Good Feeling,” and Inohs’ funky, rocked out version of Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative.”
Rounding out the sound are musicians Deus Christian (guitars, bass), Chris Donaldson (drums, percussion, intro and backing vocals on “My Prerogative”), Duán Dawkins, Sr. (drums), LaVell Williams (lead vocals on “Burn,” backing vocals), Shinda Ewell (backing vocals), and Naomi Daniel (backing vocals on “My Prerogative”).
In her 10-year musical journey as both an artist and a producer, Inohs has made impressive collaborative moves. She can be heard backing funky soul artist Amp Fiddler on Afro Strut (2006), and on Rap group SelfMeYi’s “Urban Suburban.”
Inohs’ love of electronica was tapped when, for its compilation disc, Third Ear (United Kingdom) picked up “Somewhere Else,” a track from her self-produced partially released Mrs. Norman’s House. And, her live performances continue to display a warm stage presence, which was nurtured early on at Detroit’s once open Camillian Café where her regular shows packed the house.
Over the years, Inohs has attracted top-notch musicians, including guitarist Randal Wilson; Trio Nomadian bassist Damon Warmack; Joe Hayden, Soul Clique bassist; Jazzhead drummer, the late Ricky Hudson; GT bassist for Flint, Mich.-based funk band Funkilinium; Lawrence Washington, bassist for R&B singer Charlie Wilson, and drummer Nate Winn, to name a few.
Along with these players, at one time or another, she’s performed at the Ford Arts, Beats & Eats, Dally in the Alley, Noel Night, Red Ink Gallery (Flint, MI), 1515 Broadway, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History Friday Night Music Series, Urban Organic Experience, FOX2 News Weekend Edition, and the Zebra Room (Windsor, Ontario).
Inohs continues as the driving force behind her record label, SoundThought Recordings established in 2004. Including Inohs, the label now boasts four artists, Bashiri Asad (“Living the Dream,” 2012), Drizz (“Soulful Rain: Love Sessions, Vol. 1,” 2013), and Zanye (“Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” single released in 2013, full-length album to be released in 2014). SoundThought Recordings music creates the soundtracks for life, and is gaining speed in Europe and Japan.