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Baltimore music maker inspired by his father and grandfather

Stacy M. Brown | 9/1/2017, 6 a.m.
While in his mother’s womb, Imani Wj Wright got a jump-start on life and a fledgling music career.
Baltimore musician Imani Wj Wright says that throughout his life he has gathered a lot of his inspiration from his father and grandfather. Beside his music career, Wright is also the co-owner of “NoveltyMi” clothing store where his clothing line “Swano Thinking” is sold. (Left) Imani Wright and photographer Jessica Carpenter modeling items from “Swano Thinking” Jessica Carpenter and Wright Productions

While in his mother’s womb, Imani Wj Wright got a jump-start on life and a fledgling music career.

Wright says his father would later inform him that while Wright’s mother was pregnant, the elder Wright would read to him every day, and then play tunes from Miles Davis’ ‘Tutu” album. Now, 18-years-later, the father’s nurturing has paid dividends.

“Being a saxophonist and someone who is deeply inspired by the style of jazz within my art, Miles Davis is by far my number one influence,” said Wright, a writer, producer and vocalist who, at 18, is on the fast track to musical stardom.

Courtesy Photo

Wright’s latest release, “Consistency,” has been labeled as smooth and sultry, a down-tempo song that offers up an easy-going atmosphere— fusing a bit of nostalgia with something fresh.

The Baltimore artist’s achievements already include a scholarship at the Peabody Institute and The Lyric Opera House of Baltimore. A “Male Singer of the Year” winner in high school, he has also enjoyed a stint at American University with the Washington National Opera.

“I realized my gift when I was about seven, after writing my first poem which eventually would turn into my first song called ‘Cries to the Heavens,’” Wright said. “I performed at Sudbrook Magnet Middle School when I was 10, and did so acapella in front of about 1,000 people and that moment truly catapulted my confidence and drive as a musician.”

A bio of Wright noted that it’s his voice that matters most, describing it as a golden, fluid instrument that effortlessly glides among blues, soul and R&B flavors while conveying a wealth of emotion with each uttered phrase.

It has led to such inspirational singles as “Appreciation,” and “Window.” Still, Wright says he doesn’t go into the studio simply looking to create a hit song.

“The characteristics of a hit are very circumstantial. I’m not sure if there is a direct formula,” he said. “And, if there is a direct formula, why use it? This is art. The purpose of art is to find new formulas, different ways to please the ear. I don’t ever know if a song is a hit and honestly, that is never my concern. But, I do know if I put ample time into the track, I do know if I got lost and heavily engrossed with the song.”

He added, “once it reaches the people, then we’ll see how it hits them.”

Currently, Wright is keeping busy working on a new album called, “Transmogrify,” which will also feature him playing the saxophone.

Wright says he has been fortunate to able to work with artists like Bilal, Khalid, Claude Coleman and the trombonist, 4Tae. He plans to collaborate with Mr. Cheeks from Lost Boyz and Buddy Wike from the 1990s group, Intro in the future.

And, as if music hasn’t been enough to keep him busy, Wright also co-owns a clothing store called “NoveltyMi,” where his clothing line that he named, “Swano Thinking” is sold.

With all the hard work, Wright says he gathers a lot of his inspiration from his father and grandfather.

“Both of them are men who have molded me into the person I am today,” Wright said.

“They are two men who love family and are always hungry for knowledge. They have made me realize how important it is to do these two things— obtain and share,” he said. “Once you’ve gained that knowledge, share it with those willing to listen, and provide it for the betterment of your community and essentially, the world.”