Listen to Sidibe’s New Track for Hints of Prince & Janet Jackson
Many artists are inspired by the legends in their field and never get to meet them, let alone share their art with them. For singer Sidibe, her R&B groovy tunes garnered the attention of one of her biggest idols: “The Purple One” himself, Prince.
Sidibe’s new single, “Strangers,” has the vibes of old school Janet Jackson a la “That’s The Way Love Goes.” Her EP, “You Got The Luck,” managed to make its way to Prince who handpicked her song, “I’m Only Dreaming” as his “Purple Pick of the Week,” which was a personally curated playlist with music that caught his ear and support. It’s also been said that Sidibe was Prince’s last cosign before his untimely death last year…
“When I think about Prince sharing my song I am still in a state of disbelief,” Sidibe told us. “It was literally a dream come true and a gift I will cherish forever. I’ve had a fascination with Prince for some time, so knowing he really felt my song and connected to me musically is still crazy to me. He’s by far one of my biggest influences. Just all around. He’s almost mythical.”
Besides Prince, Sidibe is also influenced by greats like Sade, Anita Baker, Michael and Janet Jackson, Joni Mitchell, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder — her music blends together her authenticity and sheer talent, with her self-professed hopeless romanticism, making for a perfect love jam you can listen to on repeat.
Do you try to emulate any other iconic singers? Who do you look up to as an artist?
I don’t try to emulate other singers in a literal sense, but I’m definitely inspired and moved to channel the feelings their art evokes in me. The artists I admire the most are not only talented, but they are authentic and true to their own voice. I look up to many, but I would love to have a career like Sade. She’s credible and respected and she has maintained her privacy with an added sense of allure. She’s a timeless lifetime artist.
What is “Strangers” about? What inspired you to write it?
“Strangers” is about the pain and confusion that comes when a relationship ends. And if you’re still in love with that person, there can be an element of hopefulness. I think we’ve all been there, when you go from extreme intimacy to suddenly having that person treat you like a stranger. “Strangers” is about my experience. If you listen to the lyrics, you will know my story.
“Strangers” has a pretty epic guitar solo — what do you think Prince would say about it?
Yes! I love the guitar in “Strangers”! My friend Nate Mercereau played on the track and he’s beyond incredible. We are also writing together for my new project. Ironically, he’s played for Sheila E. and many more. So I think Prince would have dug it. It’s intense, emotional, skillful and tasteful — all things Prince appreciated.
Were you inspired in any way by Janet Jackson’s “That’s the Way Love Goes” since this has similar vibes?
I wasn’t inspired by Janet’s “That’s the Way Love Goes” but I love that song and I love how it’s written. It’s slightly somber while still staying sexy and light. I appreciate that about Janet’s music in general. It’s feminine and open as well. I hope to infuse my music with a similar euphoric feeling. Although it is about a difficult experience in life, “Strangers” still has a lightness to it. Even in the midst of heartbreak, I still want to feel sexy when I’m sad. So it has to groove. I feel that way about my life and my music. I can be in a “heavy” place, but the heaviness of life doesn’t have to hold me down or set me back. It all serves a higher purpose. It’s all about expanding while keeping the love and joy inside of you alive. Life has a natural rhythm. I find it’s better to go along with it.
What are your plans for 2017?
This year I have more material coming out and I’m working on a full project. So I’ll be in the studio writing and recording as much as I can. But my other focus is performing. I’m starting the process of building my live presence and refining my live show. I love connecting with the band and the audience. I’m really excited about that.
For More on Sidibe: