Media Production Fellow
Okara Imani is a Daughter of the Moon, Libra, vocalist, and writer. She studied music classically for a bachelor’s degree and has been raised under the influence of all manner of funk, jazz, alternative, and punk sounds.With these influences, accompanied by the moods, motivations, and moments of her 28 years on Earth, she is so grateful to hear and be heard by you, teach and be taught by you, to inspire and be inspired by you in the hopes that she may serve as your mouthpiece and mirror into self.
My creative background began in an artistically expressive household; my father being a singer/songwriter with a small studio in his “man-cave” and my mother quite frankly mastering any visual art or craft she fancied dabbling in. I began my music education playing trombone in band, then transitioned into a solely vocal discipline from choir to show choir in high school. Pouring sweat and tears into the physically and technically challenging show choir competitions and winning solo trophies there, I decided to take the leap into post-secondary music academia.
I continued into a Bachelor’s Degree in music, vocal concentration; comprised of technical courses, vocational studies in pedagogy and music therapy from a previous major, 4 years of private vocal coaching, lead and supporting roles and committees in Opera Ensemble, and regional classical vocal competition placement. Additionally, and most importantly, my potential in vocal jazz performance was noted early in my degree program, and I had the honor and privilege of being taken out on professional gigs with professors in the instrumental jazz department. This was the most valuable and impactful moment in my professional career because it was truly the beginning, even before I fully believed I could succeed.
My mission as an artist is rooted in a continuously developing understanding of myself, thus fostering a larger capacity for understanding and appreciating the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of my fellow human. I strive for authentic and open expression in order to be a conduit for this expansion of perspective for my audience. This is something that I’ve been told has succeeded in the past 1+ years of performing my original music before live audiences, in organizations’ programs and being booked in venues around the city as a singer/songwriter and poet.