MADEatREC Featuring Namarah

MADEatREC ft. Namarah

MADEatREC is a series focused on highlighting cool sh*t our members are creating, planning or collaborating on. Think of these spotlights as an inside look into the life of a creative entrepreneur at REC. This next feature is with: Performing Artist/Teacher/Singer-Songwriter Namarah. Scroll to check out our conversation and learn more about how Namarah is handling being a full-time creative entrepreneur.

Can you introduce yourself — tell us more about who you are, where you’re from, and what you do creatively?

Hey everyone! My name is Namarah and I am a performing artist, teacher, and creative. I use my skills and experiences to create moments of impact on the stage, in the studio, and honestly in everything I do. I’m from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and grew up in a pretty explorative environment so I infuse my background of dance, musical theater, music, visual art, and public speaking to produce manna. Manna is my art form, using my ideas and everything within me to serve hope and inspiration for anyone who needs to dream and feel again.

In our interview feature your opening words are “Performing is a lost art,” can you elaborate on that?

I REALLY CARE ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE DO ON STAGE. Like, for real. When you watch the greatests to ever do it; MJ, Prince, Beyonce, James Brown, the list goes on and on… what these artists do on the stage is not easy to replicate. But they all invite you into their world and you get SUCKED IN. It’s because they have created a culture around their performance, a tone and atmosphere. Something you immediately feel when you even say their name. They are a literal vibration that people know and experience when you attend a show. To perform on the stage you have to master the flow of the room, to know and feel the space and decide how you want to shift the energy and emotion of the people there. It’s learning how to be meticulous and vulnerable, magical and sensational, and it all is so unique because the only one who can decide how it’s supposed to flow is the person who holds all the attention in the room; the performer.

Do you have a day job or are you all in as a creative entrepreneur? Working as a creative is both taxing & freeing. How do you balance maintaining creative freedom while staying focused on your personal growth/career goals?

I’m all in. And man, taxing and freeing is definitely the wording LOL. The biggest key has to be who you spend most of your time talking to. The best advice my mom gave me was understanding there are 5 types of people you should give your time to – the mentors, the mentees, the companions, the confidants, and the fans. Each relationship is necessary for balance and the percentage you give them may change but always know where to put each person when it comes to how you move in life because they will make or break your focus.

From knowing you and being able to get a small glimpse of you in both your creating and performance rehearsal zone — from my perspective it almost feels like watching 2 different people…can you talk about the difference in your approaches when it comes to creating vs rehearsing?

Ya. I definitely shift into a different zone but it’s all me. Honestly, what you see on stage is who I am when no one is watching. That’s the girl who dances all over the house singing and moving and rocking out. It’s my superhero form, haha. But when I create, it’s super cerebral, I am visualizing a lot of what I do and writing it down. I experience life and take note of it in voice memos, I live life and process it all the time. It’s just kind of how I move. I am always creating something in my mind… I’m just learning how to filter the good ideas from the gold ones. Once I find a golden idea it goes into rehearsal and that’s what gets polished and presented on the stage.

Who are some of your inspirations (in any medium)?

Vocals – Whitney Houston, Ella Fitzgerald, Christina Aguilera, Nat King Cole, Stevie Wonder, Cece Winans

Performance – MJ, Beyonce, James Brown, Justin Timberlake

Songwriting – India.Arie, Lauryn Hill, Prince, The Bible (No Cap), Shakespeare, James Baldwin, Life, My friends and Family

In an ideal world where do you see your career in 5 years?

5 years from now I am touring internationally and finishing my second book. My second album will be out as I work on my third, collaborating with musicians and creatives who understand the spirit-led art that I create. I am partnering with organizations that focus on arts education and divergent thinkers and speaking in spaces where a creative and boundary-pushing black women is welcomed and celebrated. I am developing other artists to be their authentic selves and working collaboratively with artists on visual works either as a songwriter, actress, or artistic director. I see myself doing very much of what I am doing now… 5 years from now, it has grown and matured and I am able to teach others to do what I have done.

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