Some people spend most of their lives trying to figure out their purpose and what they were meant to do. Others were born into their craft with a passion that drives them to do one thing and one thing only. There is a freedom that comes with knowing your purpose and singer Mahogany Fame has ALWAYS known what that was. I spoke with the young starlet and we chatted about music being her therapy, her dream collaborations, how she deals with naysayers and more. Check out my interview with her below.
Keyauna Chantel: You’ve been doing music for a long time. How did you get started and first become interested in music and being a singer?
Mahogany Fame: I’ve been singing all my life. I would say I got started because my grandfather was a professional singer in New York and that’s where I took interest. I worked with him for a little while before he passed as a little girl. Then just being around choirs and people who were also in the business, I felt like it was what I was meant to do. So that’s where I found my love for music.
KC: You’re from Baltimore, Maryland. Did that environment play into it too? I know there’s a lot of talent in Baltimore especially right now. I see so many people doing their thing in Baltimore.
MF: Of course, Baltimore, there are a lot of talented people here like you said. We find a positive in music in Baltimore. The environment isn’t the best but for the people here that are musically talented or talented in the arts in any way, it’s just like a stress reliever for us so it’s awesome to be around those people.
KC: Now I saw you perform during the summer at the DMV Brand Experience and I enjoyed your performance. Tell people who don’t know you what kind of music you do.
MF: I do pop and R&B. I love pop. I tend to gear more towards pop music just because its more upbeat, more feel good music and that’s the type of music I love to write. So if you see me perform or catch a show I will probably be doing more of a pop performance or covering pop artists’ songs.
KC: I looked at some of the things you’ve done recently and I saw your song “Hate It”. I think that’s a dope record. Talk about the inspiration behind that song.
MF: Thank you! “Hate It” was a song I wrote when I was feeling the feelings that the song expresses lol. It came from an unhappy place but it was great to get it out on paper and be able to express how I was feeling at that time though music. I didn’t know I would get such a great response from the song but it’s great to know that I did and it came from somewhere that was so real and exactly how I was feeling at that moment.
KC: It felt like you wrote it because when you hear the songs like Mary J. Blige’s, the Keyshia Cole’s and K. Michelles who when you hear their songs you feel like they must have wrote them because it seems so genuine when they’re singing and pouring their heart out. I kind of got that feeling when I heard “Hate It”. So do you write your own music or do you have people that write with you?
MF: I do. As of right now all my tracks I’ve written myself. I would love to collaborate with other writers and see what kind of ideas we could come up with. But as of right now I have been writing all of my music.
KC: I think that’s good because like I said, it adds a genuine feel to it. When you’re at that moment and you were feeling like that it was so real for you that you poured your heart out in the lyrics and I think that resonates with listeners. However, are there any dream collaborations you would like to have come together?
MF: I would say Chris Brown. I would love to do a song with him just because I think everything that he puts out and every single that he raps on is extremely dope. It would be a blessing to cross paths with Beyonce if I could ever collab or do something with her. As far as hip hop artists, I would love to do something with Wale or Chance the Rapper or Wiz Khalifa. Those are my tops picks of people that I would love to work with right now.
KC: It’s one thing to stand and sing which is fine, and for some people that’s fine, but you incorporate a lot of movement and dance into your performances. Is that a really important part of performance for you?
MF: Yeah, when I perform I want the crowd to feel good. I want the crowd to have a nice time. And yeah standing there and singing is sometimes needed and called for but I like to give a show and I like the audience to feel like they’re having a party and having a fun time. I want the crowd to move with me and everybody to be having a good time. So that’s why I incorporate dance a lot in my shows and in performances so that everybody can feel what I feel.
KC: I didn’t know you when I met you at the DMV Brand Experience this past summer. I was doing red carpet interviews but I ducked into the performances when I could and remember you from that night because you were moving and dancing and it made the performance more memorable.
MF: Thank you! We had so much fun at that show. The venue was great. The environment was great. The vibe was great. The people who were there were just awesome. There was so much talent there that night.
KC: Speaking of that event, how did it feel to perform at the historical Fillmore Silver Spring? You mentioned Wale, whose from our area here. He’s one of the popular artists to come from the DMV and come back and perform there. How did it feel to be on the stage after so many that have done great things in past?
MF: It felt awesome. It was very inspiring. I would say any stage that I step on I just try to give my all. I try to give everything. I try to give all of me to the audience. But it is a big plus to know that such amazing artists graced the same stage that you’re on. And it gives you a little drive too when you’re on that stage just to be as great and go above and beyond to challenge yourself and do things that you wouldn’t normally do.
KC: Some people get into music to express themselves, but some have other motivating factors for doing it like wanting to be a role model. Is that something that crosses your mind when you think about making a bigger impact in the future?
MF: Of course, I love to inspire people. Everyone, little girls, little boys. To just want to be the best at whatever it is they love to do and educate yourself in that field and just go for it. Don’t stop dreaming and don’t stop anything that you want to do just because someone says you can’t do it or people don’t believe in you. You have to believe in yourself. I believe that anything you wanna do, it will happen and you will be great at it if you believe in yourself and give it one hundred percent.
KC: Have you had those moments or those people in your career so far that have been naysayers or moments when you feel a little discouraged? How did you get through those moments.
MF: Of course, I believe every artist has those moments. As far as naysayers, I really don’t pay them that much attention. I really feed off of positive energy. So, the people who do support me and are rooting for me are the only people I tend to gravitate towards. Criticism that is constructive, I do take that and listen and try to reinvent myself and do things differently when I do shows or make music. As long as its positive I’m pretty much happy and excited to work. There have been times when things weren’t going the best that they could go and I felt a little down but music is what gets you out of that. When you love to do something you won’t stop doing it. Even when you’re in your darkest moments that’s what will bring you out of it. So I just write a song and tomorrow’s another day.
KC: What’s next for you? Where can we see you perform next?
MF: I have a performance on November 26th in Columbia, Maryland. I’ll share more info on that on my social media pages so look out for that @MahoganyFame on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube and @MahoganyFame_ on Twitter. We will be busy in the next two months but I’ll post everything as we go and give you guys time to come out and see me.
Check out Mahogany’s video for “Hate It” below.