We had the good fortune of connecting with REDWOOD and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi REDWOOD, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Aside from music being the light and love of my life, I’ve been blessed with the gift to touch others through it. I transmit love through my art and my performing and I’m very grateful to be able to positively impact others. Whether it is giving some one a momentary escape from all of life’s trouble, or being able to reach someone with music in a way that brings healing, release, reflection, insight or discovery. Art, and music in specific is such a powerful and metaphysical part of this human experience, that being blessed with the talent and passion to create it is the only thing I can see myself committing my life’s work to.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a pianist, producer, singer and songwriter. I have been formally trained as a jazz pianist and have been singing the majority of my life–but I formulate my own musical sound and identity from my many influences. I don’t like to put my art in one box. Since high school, I’ve had opportunities to perform with prominent jazz artists and grow as a musician. In the past years I’ve gotten really involved with producing and performing on more of an alternative R&B tip. One big moment for me was getting the opportunity to perform with the band The Internet in 2018. It was one of the most exciting experiences I’ve ever had, and it motivated me to pursue a career as not just a ‘musician’, but an ‘artist’. It affirmed that I could stand on my own and pushed me to the next level in my opinion. The road to where I currently stand, just having released my debut album “Red 2 Go”, has not been easy. It has taken a lot of hard work, failures, and moments of doubt and uncertainty. But in persevering, it has been rewarding. It has given me a fire for life that I don’t believe I could draw from any other earthly source. A valuable lesson that I’ve learned is to be yourself. Unapologetically and genuinely. There’s nothing more powerful than that, and it shows. But the most important lesson I’ve learned in life and my mantra is #grow4ever. Never stop striving, learning and growing. The beauty of life is in the process and the journey of striving for greatness. I want the world to know that REDWOOD creates sounds to make you feel good–to make you feel love. And love is the most powerful thing in the world if we can only grasp onto its true spirit. I want the world to know that I’m coming to change it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was coming to visit my hometown Washington DC, our first stop would probably be the Wharf or the Rock Creek Trail in Georgetown, to enjoy some peaceful and beautiful views of the water and the city. Then maybe we would grab a bite to eat at Wisey’s, one of my favorite spots. Catch a show at the beautiful Kennedy Center one day/night, visit the free Smithsonian museums (especially Air & Space museum) one day. We’d definitely have to take a trip down to U St while we’re there, catch some live gogo music SOMEWHERE–(many venues no longer exist but there is always gogo in DC, often outside). Most importantly, I’d have to introduce them to the infamous Mumbo sauce which we could find at virtually any carryout around the city! Paired w/ chicken or fries, mumbo sauce is our pride and joy and our go-to. Some other food-spots I’d have to put them onto are America’s Best Wings (truly America’s best wings), the Uncaged Chef (ridiculously delicious dishes), Nu Vegan (vegan soul food) and Everlasting Life (my favorite healthy place–vegan soul food). There are so many places to eat, but we’d also have to take a trip to Rita’s for a cold sweet treat!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to shoutout Ms. Dee Dee Bridgewater. Her mentorship and guidance is what pushed me to start living and creating unapologetically as my authentic self. Her encouragement and tough love at times has been life-changing. As a young Black women pursuing a music career, there are so many things that I have to overcome among my peers, and so many moments of feeling alone. But she has helped me to find my way and my place in this journey and I will be eternally grateful for that. Also my family deserves a huge shoutout! They have supported me at every turn, every point. I have never in my life felt that my dreams were impossible to achieve. I know that is no small statement, and I owe so much of that to my loving parents and family.
Photos #1 & #8: daysoze Photos #2,3,4: Desmond (quotalens) Photos # 5,6,7: 50calphotos