Pardon The Introduction: Singer/Songwriter Ingrid Woode

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Tuskegee University Graduate and R&B singer Ingride Woode (@i_woode), won a 2009 People’s Choice Awards Songwriting Competition, worked with Queen Latifah, has written for Grammy Award winning vocalist Lalah Hathaway, toured in three countries though out Europe this past 2011/2012 winter, and recently independently released her debut album Too Weak’s Notice through her production company IWOODE Productions. VIBE had the opportunity to sit down with Ingrid Woode to learn more about her career and how to give a “Two Weak’s Notice.” VIBE: How’d you start making music? I started making music when I was a little girl. I started messing around with my parents and my sister’s old records. I was born in the ’80s so by that time cassette tapes had come around, so I started making little mixtapes. My mom is a musician so there were instruments all around the house. I started playing the piano on my own and then I took piano lessons. I was classically trained as a child. Then I went off to college and that’s where it started. What made you decide to study science instead of music? When I went to college I was working on starting Plan B. Plan B was to be a veterinarian. When I finished undergrad, I decided to focus on making music. After I graduated, I took a break and used the science degree to buy music and equipment. I’m using that degree now to invest in music, to travel for music and buy instruments recording equipment. I’m using the science degree now as a means to finance the dream. How was it working with Queen Latifah? What type of knowledge has she shed on you? How is that relationship? When I first met her it was overwhelming. Then the event that took place was literally like you do what you do in your bedroom. It sounds nice to you and it sounds nice to your mom and your family. Then that opportunity took what I was doing in my bedroom and shared it with the world and it let me know that the world enjoys what I do as well. When I first met her, it was all of those emotions. It was the person I used to listen to in my Walkman on the bus on the way to school. It was very surreal. She’s like an older sister and she gave a lot of advice. Even now still we keep in contact and connect. She lets me know to be confident about what I do and go out there and get it. If it’s meant for me to do and to have, then I have to really work for it. It’s crazy seeing somebody who you have grown up with right there in front of you and then your working with her. What was the best piece of advice that she’s given you as a musician? To be myself. When I’m myself and I’m doing the best that Ingrid can do then I’m not going to fail. When you go out there and you try to do what other people want you to do or what you think someone else wants you to do it may work, but eventually your going to get tired of upholding that facade. The greatest piece of advice that she has given me so far was to do me and to be confident about doing me and not be so timid or worry about what other people think. Tell me how the collaboration with you and Layla Hathaway came about. She put on twitter, “ I’m working on my album, if you’re a writer or a producer send your material to my email address.” So I sent some of my songs and I hadn’t heard anything. I waited a week. Then I decided to send one more song. Then the next day I got a call back and it was from somebody from her team. Her producer said, “We really like your music. Do you write to other people’s music?” I told them I hadn’t but I said yeah sure. So he sent me an instrumental. We spoke on the phone and he said he had a song called “We’re All in This Together” and he kept singing the hook over and over and said, “Do something with that.” I finished the entire song and recorded it all in one night but I didn’t want to seem too eager so I waited one day. Then I sent it to him and he gave me a few suggestions so I switched a few things around and she loved it and the rest was history. I had never written anything for anyone else before, I just sent the music and did my best and it worked out.

Ingrid Woode – ‘AXION’ from ingrid woode on Vimeo.

Since you wrote for Layla, have you reached out to more artists via Twitter? I wouldn’t say directly from that but it has kind of helped me earn more respect. More people have started paying attention a little bit to what I gave. If you could write and/or produce for any artist who would it be? I have this killer song for Janet Jackson. I have the best song and it’s really for a male or a female artist; like Tim McGraw or Taylor Swift. People like Musiq Soulchild and Jill Scott. There’s this one bass guitarist named Steven Thundercat Bruno with that Ingrid sound. With this album, were you giving a two weeks notice or receiving one? I was in the process of giving one. It was based off a straight up emotional decision. I think I was supposed to be off of work that day and I went in and weird things happened. My mom was sick, and sometimes when you think someone close to you is about to pass or a scary situation really puts things into perspective. Not that I hate what I’m doing, but I’m supposed to be doing something more. I went in there and started writing my notice, but as soon as I was about to send it I didn’t. It was based off of 100 percent emotional decisions where I had to really sit back and think about the things in my life that really needed a two weeks notice. It was a lot of things in my life that needed a two weeks notice. The basis behind the album was when you realize that it was time for a change. There were a lot of things in my life that needed to change and it changed my perspective. Most of the R&B songs that I listen to are about love and happiness but your album was very dark. Is this dark side your style? That’s where I was during that period of time and in the midst of getting to a new season or a new period of life. I guess around that time it was pretty dark and sometimes you feel like you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, then sometimes its pretty dark and you have to write about how you feel. Sometimes you have to write about how you want to feel, but its still kind of in that vein of being straight up in that darkness. My favorite song on the album is “Dangerous.” I thought you had a feature on your song. I was blown away. I had to play it back to make sure it was really you. You definitely pulled off the British accent very well. I appreciate that. That’s one of my favorite songs off the album as well. I liked the part when you said, “I stopped shopping for deals and let deals shop for me.” How do you make labels come to you? Well, it’s not as literal. When you do stuff just because it’s in you to do. When I did the peoples choice joint, I submitted that song, but in the back of my mind I was thinking there was going to be a whole bunch of people doing this and I don’t know if I’m going to win. I have some time and a camera and a really good song. I’m just going to put it out there and it worked. Even with that Layla situation, I sent some songs in and I didn’t hear anything back. Then one day I sent them another song then I turned the television on the next day and I got a call back. So it was kind of just saying when you do things because they’re in you to do. Not because you’re searching. When you put things out there that’s when things really start to happen for you. So it wasn’t meant to be super duper obnoxious. What can we expect from you in the future? I’m doing all of this through my production company I Woode productions. Through that, I want to put out my own music out and produce for other people. I want to write for other people. I will have more things going on where you see me in other people’s credits for writing and producing. There’s this gospel artist down in Atlanta who I’m working on her album. I’m not sure if it’s coming out this year or the top of next year. I’m also into visual art and I love videography and photography, but my main focus is music.

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