How much is India.Arie worth?
|Net Worth:||$5 Million|
|Date of Birth:||October 3, 1975|
|Country:||United States of America|
“Color has a great significance because I feel it. If I wear white, I feel a certain way – very calm, clear. I wear pink and it makes me feel a certain way; really loving and more open. Yellow is a lot of energy and orange is very sensual. But I feel it when I put those colors on; that’s why I wear colors. It actually works. It’s not something I learned from a book or anything. It’s just something that works for me.” — India.Arie
Who Is India.Arie
Growing up, India.Arie was encouraged in her love for music. Her mother, Joyce, is herself a former singer; Her father is former ABA/NBA basketball star Ralph Simpson. The family moved from Denver to Atlanta when India was 13. At the encouragement of her mother, India began playing the guitar while attending the Savannah College of Art and Design. Involvement in the Atlanta music scene led to the formation of an independent label, which released a compilation CD featuring Arie’s first songs.
Full name: India Arie Simpson. Born: Oct. 3, 1976 in Denver, Colorado. Lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
An India.Arie song on a compilation led to a second-stage gig at Lilith Fair, where a Universal/Motown music scout spotted her and made an introduction to then-Motown CEO Kedar Massenburg. She eventually signed with Motown, and after working on it for two years, her debut album, Acoustic Soul was released in 2001. It debuted at No. 10 on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart and #3 on the R&B album charts. Within months, Acoustic Soulwent on to sell two million copies.
India.Arie followed the success of her debut in 2002 with the release of Voyage to India. Debuting at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the R&B chart, the album eventually earned a Grammy for Best R&B Album. One of the singles from the record, “Little Things,” also won a Grammy the same year for Best Urban/Alternative Performance. Soon after its release, Voyage to India was certified gold, having sold over half a million copies.
‘Testimony’ and More
India Arie’s third studio album, Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship was released June 27th, 2006. Originally Testimony was originally planned to be a double album, but was split up into two separate releases. Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics was released in March 2009. Then, after taking an extended break, India released her fifth studio album, SongVersation, in the summer of 2013.
‘Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship’
If it’s possible for an artist who sold a over two million copies of her debut album to be underrated, then India.Arie definitely is. Despite her first release, 2001’s Acoustic Soul going double platinum, to many, India lacks the superstar status of an Alicia Keys or Mary J. Blige. This album may not change that perception, but with it’s lush melodies, extremely personal and heartfelt lyrics and pearls of wisdom, it definitely proves that the quality of India’s first album wasn’t a fluke and that she’s among the most talented R&B;/Soul artists of this generation.
It’s very clear in listening to the first handful of songs on India.Arie’s third album, Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship, that India had just been through a difficult breakup. Her pain and sorrow is imprinted all over multiple songs, including the sorrowful second track, “These Eyes,” where she sings:
All this cryin’ all this fightin’ simply ain’t my style, Though you’re one of the most important people in my life; I loved you from the day we met, I know you love me too; But at this point walking away is the best thing we can do.
It’s intelligent, articulate lyrics that are the album’s hallmark; India possesses an uncanny knack for perfectly putting her thoughts and emotions into her song lyrics and then perfectly singing them with unbridled emotion. Another example is “Good Mourning,” where she mourns the end of a romantic relationship: “Good mourning independence or is it loneliness?; I know I said I wanted this but I have regrets; I prayed for God’s will to be done, The very next day you were gone.”
Listening to the songs is like listening to an audio version of someone’s diary. The words and feelings are so intensely personal, it make you wonder how and why someone would be willing to put so much of themself out there for the entire world to see and hear. But it’s this boldness and frankness that makes Testimony such a breath of fresh air compared to most American R&B; and Soul music these days. The songs connect with the listener in a way that most artists could only dream of.
Classy and Dignified
Despite the early emphasis on a broken relationship, the entire album isn’t all gloom and sorrow. After the initial five tracks, there’s several songs that deal with India’s recovery and healing from the breakup. Among them are the optimistic “There’s Hope” and also “Private Party,” about re-finding joy by spending some ‘me’ time alone.
One of the most impressive things about Testimony is how fresh it sounds, meaning how different it is from every other R&B;, Soul or Pop CD out there. You won’t hear any of the same production flourishes here that are many other contemporary releases. Instead of enlisting the hot producers of the moment, which would have given her music the same feel and flow of about 90 percent of the other popular artists out there, India produces much of the music herself, keeping the album relatively free of stale or familiar beats or trademark production nuances.
As for the album’s musical style: India’s debut album was called Acoustic Soul, and that title perfectly exemplifies the style of her second album as well. The album relies heavily on acoustic guitar, India’s vocals and little else. While some albums are so overproduced that they resemble a woman with too much makeup on, Testimony is like a pretty girl who has on just enough makeup to accentuate her already lovely features.
Although it’s unlikely that Testimony will achieve the sales success her first two albums did, this release is just as – if not more – creative, classy, dignified and distinct as her first two albums. It’s easily one of the best R&B;/Soul releases of 2006.
‘Testimony Vol. 2: Love & Politics’
The title of India.Arie’s fourth studio album, Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics, may be a little long, but its also highly accurate. That’s because on the album sister India testifies about two things: romance and social issues. And although the love songs find India in a good place spiritually and emotionally, the political and social commentary songs show a different side of her: they reveal the soul of a woman who’s very concerned with poverty and the well being of the people of the world. The album, released in the U.S on Feb. 10, 2009, is the most global-oriented music she’s released to date.
Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics, which is the sequel to India.Arie’s 2006 album, Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship, is almost evenly divided between the “love” and “politics” songs that make up the album. The “love” half is exemplified by beautifully happy relationship songs, among them: “Chocolate High,” a strong, sexy duet featuring Musiq Soulchild that has a very nice vocal chemistry; and “Therapy,” a bright & sunny track about love being the best medicine. “Therapy,” which features roots reggae artist Roy “Gramps” Morgan is a good example of how India is expanding beyond her distinctive “acoustic soul” sound and delving more into world and folk music. In addition of Gramps Morgan, a couple of other world music artists contribute to the album: Turkish pop singer Sezen Aksu whose lovely voice appears on “The Cure;” and Dobet Gnahoré, a singer, dancer and percussionist from the Ivory Coast, who’s featured on a cover of the Sade song “Pearls.”
In addition to featuring world music artists on the album, India also showcases a new, more global outlook in her lyrics. Probably the best example of this is “Ghetto,” a Spanish guitar-flavored track about how poor people in the U.S. are no different or better off from those in so-called ‘third world’ countries: “There are places in Havana that remind me of Savannah; parts of West Virginia that might as well be Kenya/Parts of New York City, parts of Mississippi, parts of Tennessee look like another world to me. The ghetto might as well be another country,” she sings.
Another worldly “message” track is the sad yet poignant “Pearls,” which tells the separate tales of women in east and central African countries who struggle through difficult lives. “And it hurts like brand-new shoes,” India sings. Some message of social commentary songs have a tendency to be heavy-handed or overbearing. But to India’s credit, she manages to make the ones on this album mostly inspirational and uplifting, even when the lyrics are slightly cliche and a little too simplistic, such as on “The Cure,” a song about loving your fellow human being: “The worst disease in the world is not cancer, it’s not AIDS … the worst disease in the world is hate; the cure for hate is love,” she sings. If only it were that simple.
Maybe the most interesting – not best, just most interesting – song on the album is “Psalms 23,” on which a cooly defiant India sings about how she won’t be defeated by people out to see her fall: “I see money come between my best friend and me, I see old friends become new enemies, I’ve been through a couple of litigations, I’ve been through character assassination. They tried to put this stick in between my wheels but they can’t stop my motivation, nothing will.”
Overall, the album’s balance between the two types of songs is excellent, mostly due to smart track sequencing, and as always, India’s lyrics are intelligent, thoughtful and engaging. The music veers aways from the R&B;/Soul of her first three albums, but instead of being a drawback, the change reinforces India’s growth as an artist and person.