DIME is excited to present its first ever Night of Voice on Thursday, April 19th in our Underground venue. The event will feature performances from DIME Faculty DeAnna Johnson, Antea Shelton, Liz Belluni, Katie Else and DIME Detroit students will also hit the stage to showcase their talents!
We had the chance to sit down to talk to year one vocals student, Jamiliah Minter (Jah-Mil-Ah), about her journey in music, her biggest musical influences, and what we can expect to see at DIME Detroit’s Night of Voice!
What is your background in music and education? When did you start studying at DIME Detroit?
I started in DIME in August, 2017. My background in music is mostly classical, because for about six years I practiced strictly classical music. I also was apart of a group called Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, we practiced everything from gospel, pop, spiritual, and secular music. “From Beethoven to Beyonce,” as they would say often. That is where my journey in music education began, and where it became more than a serious hobby. I practiced there from 13 years old until I was around 19.
What are some of your musical influences?
I would say Janelle Monae, definitely Miguel, Micheal Jackson, Lalah Hathway and Stevie Wonder. My favorites tend to switch up a lot, but the artists that I just named always leave me with a “how did you do that?!” expression when I listen to them.
You are scheduled to perform at DIME DETROIT’s Night of Voice on Thursday, April 19th. What can we expect to see?
The overall night will have a lot of different feels! You’re going to get some love songs, some spiritual songs, and everything in between. It will be full of surprises, so, to be honest, you really shouldn’t expect to see anything that you are thinking. As far as my performance is concerned, I will be doing a solo performance.. I don’t think I should say too much about it… you have to come to the show to see it!
Do you have a stage name that you currently perform under?
At the moment, I am teetering between a couple of names. I’m leaning towards a name that I received during my visit to Africa: “Amenan.”
Are you working on releasing any upcoming projects?
Yes, I am! I’m currently working on releasing my first EP called “Unsaid EP”. As people, I feel that we think so much more than we actually say. It’s kind of like the tip of the iceberg theory, there is so much that lies beyond the surface. So this EP will expand on that concept. I plan to release it early 2019.
How has DIME DETROIT shaped you as a vocalist?
I’m learning more about the technical aspects of singing, like how keep my voice in better shape, and how to be healthy as a singer/performer. The program forces you to be more responsible as a person and as an artist. When you have deadlines, your instructors will not cut you any slack. I feel like I’m evolving into a new version of myself, and it’s crazy! I’ve only been here for a couple of months, but it feels like two years with the amount of information I have retained.
Where do you see yourself post-graduation?
I’m really into live performance, so I definitely see myself in that world. I’m going to Los Angeles and New York for a couple of auditions this summer. I am also a dance teacher, so I definitely want to combine the two together. Graduation is so far away, but I know that everything that has happened to me seems to have fallen out the sky. I got chance to perform with Foreigner, Josh Groben, Thornetta Davis and a lot of others. I haven’t really sought out these opportunities, but being ready and prepared for anything has gotten me really far, so I can only imagine where I will be in a couple of years with God’s plan.
What advice would you give to a student that’s considering DIME Detroit?
You have to really decide if music or arts is really what you want to do. Having the right balance is critical. It can be really hard at times, but if it’s something that you love, it’s easy. You have to be willing to put in the work, you have to be willing to take criticism, to get on the stage and face your fears, all of it. You have to be built for this but it can be so rewarding at the same time.