July 24--Kinston native India Sadie made her singing debut at the Kinston-Community Council for the Arts as a high school student singing Mariah Carey's "Hero."
Now living in Hollywood, Calif., the 36-year-old has returned briefly to Kinston to introduce her first CD, IndiJAH, and sign autographs.
Two of the songs on her CD -- "All My Life" and "Flashback" -- were recorded by her brother-in-law, Frederick Teach, a music producer in Kinston for about 30 years and former owner of Sounds Unlimited, once a music store.
"I wrote all the lyrics to all the songs," Sadie said. "... These are the first copies to be released to the public."
Under the category of world music, Sadie's songs are considered "futuristic" sounding and a combination of pop and classical reggae, she said.
"I just incorporated my own style," she said, adding her inspiration comes from Carey, Gwen Stefani, Whitney Houston and reggae artists.
Sadie's autograph signing will be held from 1-5 p.m. Thursday at Vernon Park Mall and is a send-off for her second audition for the NBC television show "The Voice" in New York City on Saturday.
Sadie passed the first audition in Las Vegas in mid-June. Filming of the winners of the second audition will begin at the end of August for the new season, when Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green will be returning to judge.
The daughter of Ernest Rhodes and Maureen Crouch was known growing up as India Sadie Rhodes.
"I've been singing as far back as I can remember," she said.
She was named after her aunt, India Rose, who was lead singer in a Kinston band. Her grandmother, Myrtle Rose, sang with The Israelites Gospel Chorus in the 1950s-1960s.
A chorus student at Kinston High School, Sadie said she entered the Miss Kinston pageant twice and was awarded Miss Congeniality her second time around.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology at Elizabeth City State University in 1998 and spent five years living in Virginia. Then she moved to Southern California in 2003.
"All my life I've been involved in music and singing," Sadie said, "and I've always wanted to pursue that dream."
She worked as a manicurist and currently does modeling and wardrobe consulting for other models to make a living while she pursues her dream.
Some of the highlights of the past 10 years include starring in Traci Bingham's show pitch for FOX reality television series "Gimme My Reality Show;" rehearsing and recording with a live band under Errol Bennett of Kingston, Jamaica, at Ruff House Company studio in Los Angeles; and singing alongside Andrew Bees of Black Uhuru, the first reggae band to win a Grammy Award.
She also sang background for reggae artists Michigan & Smiley and performed at the California African American Museum for a Bob Marley Tribute where she sang his songs & chanted spoken words.
She currently makes appearances at the Lighthouse Lounge Cafe in Hermosa Beach, Calif., singing with reggae band Detour Posse.
She once volunteered as a runway model at Twelve & Highland, a restaurant and lounge in Manhattan Beach, Calif., to raise funds for sarcoma cancer.
Currently working on a master's degree, Sadie hopes to combine her musical endeavors with a business degree in health systems management to help women artists.
"I want to start a nonprofit organization," she said, "to help young women who are aspiring to be artists."
She envisions not only identifying community needs, but providing resources and solutions, she said.
"I'm just trying to pursue my passion for the arts," Sadie said, "as well as my passion for humanity and helping others."
Margaret Fisher can be reached at 252-559-1082 or Margaret.Fisher@Kinston.com. Follow her on Twitter @MargaretFishr.
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