Young country singer-songwriter and humanitarian, Imaj, has made her stand against inequality in the music industry and is here to fill, what she calls a much-needed void, specifically in country music. Daughter of 80s TV icon Micheal Thomas, Imaj’s passion for country music grew through her Mother’s love for Dolly Parton. Today, she has been part of LeAnn Rimes’ tour and aims to use the power of her music and lyrics to improve equality all around the world as an African-American country singer. We got to know how her journey began and what she has planned for her future.
Have you always had a love for country music? Can you tell us how your journey into the country music world started?
Yes! I’ve always loved country. It’s just what feels most natural to me when I sing. Perhaps I got my love of Country from my mom who grew up on Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt. I think it filtered in that way.
Something which you are passionate about is bringing equality through your music. Is this something which has always been something which you feel strongly about?
Yes, we’re all human beings and have to share our world. It’s important that our quality of life progresses to something that recognizes everyone as equally deserving of love and kindness.
Can you tell us how you use your lyrics to support this? How do you decide what themes/topics to include?
Whatever is pertinent to the climate of the times is what gets included in the lyrics. For example, “Different Kind of Country” talks about the next generation following in the footsteps of past civil rights activists who sought to create a better, more intelligent life for us all. That’s exactly what we’re doing. We see what’s going on and we stand up for what’s right.
I have read that you believe in the power of music as it has helped in some way with mental illnesses which have affected your family. Can you tell us a little bit about this?
Yes, I was a keynote speaker for the Cam Busch endowed Arts for Health series in Chattanooga, TN. In my speech, I spoke on how music helped to calm my brother during a mental break for a moment in time. Whether it’s music, visual art or any form of art, having an outlet for the ebbs and flows that mental illness, thrusted upon people who are affected, can really help to soothe their spirit. Although, I don’t have a degree in art therapy there are professional art therapists that can attest to the healing power of art.
You have toured with the likes of LeAnn Rimes! What was that like?
Yes, I opened for her in in Colorado. She was amazingly humble and kind. She had a glow about her. She’s incredibly beautiful in real life – inside and out.
After your upcoming performances at the Texas State Fair for example, what should we expect to see from you next?
We have some big surprises coming soon! I can’t wait to share with you all. In the meantime, follow me on Instagram and Facebook to be the first to know what’s next.
Here at BELLA magazine our tagline is Beauty Defined by You. What would you say beauty means to you?
To me, beauty has always been something that opens your spirit and makes you feel connected to all that is.
You can keep up to date with the things Imaj gets up to by following her on Instagram @imaj. We loved getting to know IMAJ and hearing how music isn’t only her passion but something she uses stand up for what she believes in. Imaj is performing at the Texas State Fair on Sunday, October 14.