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Trusting The Process With Imanigold

In order to honor your journey you must first believe in your story and trust your process. April Kae who is also known as Imanigold embodies what it means to embrace your calling and focus on the process rather than results. She shares with us her journey as a musician and an artist by choosing to share her story in a way that honors her art form and speaks to the unfolding of her evolution as a creative.
Your music focuses on the “process” rather than results, with each song that is produced your listeners are invited to connect with you on an intimate level as you share with us your experiences, thoughts and adventures that lead up to your creation. Can you tell us why the “process” is important to you and why you choose to highlight such an intimate part of your musical development?
To me, to be a woman of color and artist takes a certain amount of audacity. This is to say, by putting our work out there, by implicitly or explicitly asking the world to engage with our work, we are taking up space, we are saying that our stories matter, we are saying that we matter, that our lives matter.   And to say our lives matter is a big deal, it’s an important and revolutionary statement. So, to share my process, to broaden the scope of what I put into the world, is to give greater expanse to this project of proclaiming the value of my life and the lives of those who I share experiences with. 
How did music play a role in your life growing up?
My parents met in a band, so music was always a given growing up. My earliest memories are of my mother quizzing me on Miles Davis’ repertoire, of listening to her practicing scales with her choir, of trying to decipher the sheet music that papered nearly every surface of our apartment. When I was 10 years old, I picked up a classical guitar we had laying around and started learning songs that I heard on the radio. Though I’d been writing melodies and lyrics long before that, at the time, teaching myself guitar was one of the most empowering things I’d ever done. It truly helped me define myself as a young woman, as a self-sustaining person, full of potential, with so much beauty and energy to share with my community.
You talked about your creative process as telling a story and your music is apart of that story. Can you tell us what your story is and who is Imanigold? How does she define herself?
Imanigold is the name I use for my creative project, I am April Kae. And though the line between the two is quite blurry, it’s an important distinction to me. Imanigold is a collective of artists and thinkers, it’s what I use to group together all of the minds that contribute to this project. We are photographers, social media experts, graffiti artists, all sorts of people have contributed to what Imanigold has produced. Right now, the project is working to define itself in its first incantation, as we release more work (videos and music on the horizon) this definition will crystalize and expand. I’m looking forward to seeing what it becomes.
How has music attributed to your evolution as a creative but also as a woman?
As a musician, I’ve often found myself the only woman in a band, workshop, or project.   I’m reminded of my favorite poem, “won’t you celebrate with me” by Lucille Clifton. She writes, “won’t you celebrate with me / what i have shaped into / a kind of life? i had no model. / born in babylon / both nonwhite and woman / what did i see to be except myself? / i made it up”. I love this poem because it celebrates the ingenuity inherent to be being a black woman. We are so often the “first” or the “only”, and this can be empowering. And I try to embrace this empowerment, as difficult as it can be. Music is my chosen tool for making my mark as a woman and as a creative, it is a medium I use celebrate what I have shaped into a kind of life.
 trusting the process with imanigold
Do you have moments where you struggle with creating music? If so how do you heal through that process?
Often, almost always. It’s a rare and beautiful day when making music is easy. But I love this struggle, and I certainly respect it.

There are two things I rely on to keep me going. First, I remember to write. I am at the point now where I can comfortably fill several page in a notebook without it taking much effort. Some of what I write is brilliant, some of what I write is garbage, but the point is, it doesn’t matter. I write to remember that it is in my nature to create, that this is what I am supposed to be doing.

To second thing is faith (Imani). I am on the right path, everything is working as it should be.
So many people are focusing on being perfect, yet perfectionism continues to prove to us that it is not attainable. What is your perception of perfection? Is trying to live up to such a standard worth it?
I find myself using the word “perfect” regularly. Just as often, I find myself frustrated with images I see that are meant to fit some very specific yet seemingly arbitrary definition of perfection. But when I say that something is perfect, I mean that it is the best version of itself that it can be.

And I try to do this too, I try to be the best version of myself that I can be. But sometimes it can be hard to tell when I’m working improve myself for my benefit or for the benefit of others. And this is where self-awareness comes in. To know that I am improving myself with integrity, I must work to get to know myself better, as I am right now, as I am from all angles, the rigid and the soft.

What future projects can we expect from you?
You can expect updates to once every three weeks, which is exciting. I recently re-launched the site and am looking forward to using this platform to share my creative process in a new way.

But writing this ep is the real all-consuming project. I’m committed to putting together a set of songs that I love. I want to write the type of music that I want to listen to, that is honest, and that is technically strong. I sometimes worry that I’m setting unrealistic goals for myself, but then I write something that sounds exactly like I want it to sound.   Those moments give me faith (Imani) in my work, they serve to remind me that what I am fighting for is worth it, and reassure me that I am on the right track, that this ep will be incredible, in due time. I just have to be patient.
 trusting the process with imanigold
Respect Your Struggle believes in empowering beings through the mind, body, soul and spirit. For you, how do you nourish yourself through these 4 elements as a form of self-care and healthy practices?
Mind: I always have an opinion, and if I don’t, it’s because I acknowledge that I don’t have enough information to form an opinion. I have a deep interest and concern for global economics, I read, I listen. I challenge myself to be around people that challenge me.

Body: Yoga, green smoothies, loving myself. I’ve learned the body tends to feel healthier when the mind feels healthier.

Soul: Writing. I write everyday, at least three pages. It’s a beautiful habit.

Spirit: Engaging with the world in a meaningful way. Mentoring, sharing my privilege. Taking in beautiful art, images, ideas, tastes. Remembering that I am alive and that life is gorgeous.
In 1-2 sentences. What does Respect Your Struggle mean to you?
To see the beauty in every aspect of me, and the beauty in every aspect of you.
Follow Imanigold below.
Instagram: @loveimanigold
Twitter: @loveimanigold

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