Everyone has a moment when they realize life is just short. Mine was nearly four years ago, when I lost my mother to cancer. Since then, I’ve been on a mission to live well; to be my best self, in every facet of my life.
Freedom. Fate. Fulfillment.
These words embody the attitude that Inohs Sivad has adopted to fuel her life. They have become a declaration, expressing her newfound feelings of empowerment. In the two years since the release of No Goodbyes (2011), on which she paid tribute to and celebrated the life of her mother, Deborah Orr who passed away from cancer in 2010, Inohs experienced life in a way that made her “grow up” like never before. Fourward is the result of lessons learned, put to words and music with a sound that is simultaneously edgy and smooth.
Assessing life. Choosing the next step.
Her fourth CD in 10 years as an independent artist, Fourward is the product of Inohs taking stock of her life; accessing her past; the bumps in the road and the smooth turns. Inohs feels free of the baggage she's carried for years. Insecurities have been released, negative relationships let go, bad habits fixed. And, she's embracing the freedom that accompanies growth. With that freedom comes the safe space to contemplate her future, with hopes of continuing to fulfill her dreams.
She's now walking in the second half of her life, and in making this album she's exposed the mediations of her heart. Determining that the first half of life was the set up for the second half, the result is a sense of peace with her fate, whatever it may be. Which leads to fulfillment. Through the work put into making Fourward, she can look fate in the face with gratification. Her goal is to live in the most powerful way possible. This album marks her benchmark in life.
Music without limits
Having grown up listening to a variety of music from Bruce Springsteen to Metallic to Peebo Bryson, Luther Vendorss, LTD, James Brown, Chaka Khan, Minnie Ripperton, Stevie Wonder, Donnie Hathaway, Mahalia Jackson and James Cleveland, Inohs embraces all the music she's heard over the years with Fourward.
Fourward is a much harder hitting project than her previous three albums No Goodbyes, Changes (2007), and IS (2003). Though, it is more reminiscent of the rock slant and strong guitar sounds of IS, thanks to the heavy metal guitar influence of Inohs’ new musical director, Deus Christian of the heavy metal band (??). Inohs welcomed the familiar connection with the guitar, having begun her musical journey on a 12-string acoustic that is heard throughout her debut album.
Fourward offered a sense of renewal, and Inohs boosted her creativity by adding new songwriters to her team ⎯ LaVell Williams, Dana Anderson and Tomi L (on “Glass”). Along with Deus Christian, Chris Donaldson and Naomi Daniel the team created an album that plays to her reflective/story telling lyrical nature, while keeping to her signature soul alternative fusion of rock, soul, and funk. The album includes “Forward,” the hard-hitting title track, “Glass” and “Pearls,” which come with harsh messages; the sexy “Burn,” the hopeful “Epic,” the rock infused “Drive,” “Bridge” an honest love song, “Over” about an ended relationship, the uplifting “Spirit,” the reggae laden “Good Feeling,” and Inohs’ funky, rocked out version of Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative.”
Rounding out the sound are musicians Deus Christian (guitars, bass), Chris Donaldson (drums, percussion, intro and backing vocals on “My Prerogative”), Duán Dawkins, Sr. (drums), LaVell Williams (lead vocals on “Burn,” backing vocals), Shinda Ewell (backing vocals), and Naomi Daniel (backing vocals on “My Prerogative”).
Inohs continues to be the driving force behind her record label, SoundThought Recordings established in 2004. The label now boasts four artists, including Bashiri Asad (“Living the Dream,” 2012), Drizz (“Love Sessions: Soulful Rain, Vol. 1,” 2013), and Zanye (“Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” single released in 2013, full-length album to be released in 2014). SoundThought Recordings artist’s music is gaining speed in Europe and Japan.