Fast-rising singer-songwriter Porcelan, born and raised in the Westwood area of South Memphis, Tennessee is today’s contemporary R&B it girl.
Spurred by the encouragement of a fifth-grade teacher who heard her voice early on, along with long car rides with her, school-aged Porcelan found herself performing for school graduation ceremonies. Soon thereafter, she uncovered another musical gift, writing. “I started writing poetry in middle-school and realized I was good at it,” Porcelan recounts.
Her debut album, Mood Ring, arrived earlier this year and impressive is an understatement. With this project, Porcelan brought forth some of her best work this far. Not only that, Porcelan will also be re-releasing her debut Christmas album, Joyful Hearts: A Season of Love, this Holiday season. A most contemporary-sounding Christmas set which further displayed her knack for composing vibrantly soulful songs amidst thoroughly-pleasing, contemporary production.
In our exclusive interview with Porcelan, we chatted with the songstress about her upbringings, debut album, and plenty more. Check it out below.
Can you tell us a bit about your background? What was it like growing up in Memphis?
Growing up in Memphis was more of growing up in church for me. I was surrounded by gospel and soul music my entire life. That is what shaped me to be the person I am today. I’ve always had a love for it. The culture here is so different, rich in history, art, music and so many other things is contagious.
Memphis has obviously spawned many rap stars over the years—did you face any challenges in the early stages of your career as an R&B singer?
An R&B singer in a rap dominated world isn’t easy. I have almost always seen more rap being noticed than R&B, that’s just the way it’s been for a while until now. The culture is shifting and now R&B is taking its place which I am truly proud of. I experienced having to work much hard before but I am able to truly do what I love comfortably. I am so excited that awareness is shifting. The one thing I have truly loved though is being apart of the diversity here. Memphis has so much more to off in music. I’m happy that that’s finally showing more and more.
What was the process like working on Mood Ring amid the coronavirus pandemic?
It’s was just a new way of creating. A true artist must be able to adapt I feel. Although I love creating with others, I also enjoyed doing it peacefully in my home. An artist can create anywhere. So it was a new process that I experienced I actually feel that the pandemic allowed my thought to come through clearer because we were quarantined. It’s felt like the world stopped so everything could slow down. So many things came to at that moment, that inspired more ideas and feelings to write from.
What was the inspiration behind the concept of your new project? Is there a reason why you held onto it for so long?
The inspiration for “Mood Ring” is simply me not wanting to be boxed in. To give some variation in ideas, feelings, and thoughts. It’s was to say that I’m mood, and I’m not always the same. As well as expressed many common emotions in a relationship. I held on to it because I wanted the sequence right. I kept feeling as though something was missing. I wanted things to feel and be right and until I felt that in my music I would continue recording. I eventually felt that satisfaction of sound and vibe. So, I was able to confidently release it.
How did the collaboration with Stevie Wonder come about?
Stevie and I have worked together in past. He was apart of my first big performance. We are close friends and he truly believes and supports me. From a mentor side, he has been amazing to keep me positive. We started working on this over the quarantine. I would send him music and he would give me feedback each time.
This was just one of those moments and he was proud to be apart of it. I had no idea he would pick this song. So I was shocked I felt so accomplished. At that moment, I was given something no one could ever take from me. I accomplished something because of try support, and hard work and that’s not easy to do.
Upon listening to this project, what are some things that you want your fans to take away from it?
I would like my fans to take from this that I am coming from a real place. I want them to feel like we are friends. We come from the same obstacles in life and struggles through relationships. I want them to feel motivated, optimistic, vulnerable, but still strong.
From “The Real Thing Don’t Change” to your debut album, what were some experiences or things that helped you kind of carve out this more re-defined image of who you are?
I think growth has to happen. You can’t really time it, you just feel and know when it’s right. I ha e learned so much over the years I just started to apply it in everything I do. When it finally clicked for me I heard in my music and the feeling I got from it let me know I was going in a direction that felt meant for me.
What are some personal goals that you have set for yourself outside of music? Is there anything you’ve learned these past few months during the pandemic?
I would love to get into acting. Becoming an overall brand is the goal. It’s so important to be diverse in the business. I would like to get into other business ventures that help better shape me as an entrepreneur. Actually! I’ve gotten more into painting something I’ve always wanted to try, and it’s been amazing. I’ve truly enjoyed just creating based off of how I feel, everything that inspires me in music inspires me through art.
What’s next for you? Any upcoming projects in the works?
I am relaunching my Christmas album which I’m excited about it as well continuing to promote my new album Mood Ring.