Saidah Denise is a woman who knows how to take the lead and lead the way. I salute my sister for her leadership on the Love Project. Denise has teamed with west coast vocalist Kamilah Mahasin Shuaibe to co-found The Love Project, an arts platform intended to mobilize creative women to inspire community building. The Love Project album proceeds help victims of sex trafficking. Learn more at inspireloveproject.org.
Hailing from Harlem, New York, Saidah Denise Cotton is quite the songbird. She’s performed live at Webster Hall, Penn’s Landing and the National Black Theater. Her ability to captivate an audience is distinctive beyond measure. In July of 2011, she debuted an album entitled The Glass Window (produced by HAZali) that continues to reverberate with a global audience. Denise’s sound is deemed fresh and eclectic in part because she’s found inspiration from a range of artists in a plethora of genres. From Billie Holiday to Bjork, Beyonce to Judy Garland, she even cites Coldplay as a favorite band. Although she appreciates many kinds of music, hers defies the box critics may insist it should fit into. She fuses elements from RnB and Neo Soul with production techniques in Trap, Jazz and Trip Hop. Denise experiments with the sonic energy she releases to the world around her. The endgame is to innovate styles and evoke emotion by creating a sound audiences will wholeheartedly identify with. Early on, she was beguiled with her father’s Jazz collection. He wasn’t merely a fan; he was a practitioner, having played the piano, saxophone and flute. She followed his footsteps into the world of music after attending Stanford and The California Jazz Conservatory. Challenged by life and it’s complicated circumstances, Saidah had to “manufacture an artistic world of her own” as she reconciled it with religion, seeing herself as a creative spirit. Music was, and still is, the outlet for that creativity. Denise has revolutionized her composition to embrace a new faith- Islam. These fresh sentiments were aptly captured in tracks Crown and Vocal. And she won’t stop there.