Conya’s Pocketful of Purpose


I’m hoping that my music will inspire people and serve a purpose for somebody.

The INDIEgator: Do you consider yourself a mainstream Artist?

Conya: No. And it’s ironic because I know a lot of personal friends of mine who are on major labels and they’re like “I can’t wait to get out of this contract because I’m going to go independent”. The thing is, to their advantage they probably have a lot larger following because of the machine behind them. I do have notoriety but it’s not at that level yet, I don’t think so. Michael Baisden has been supportive throughout the years and if it wasn’t for him, to be honest with you, a lot of times I wouldn’t even hear my music in my home now with the exception of The Wave (Smooth Jazz). I thank God the person over that outlet has given me a lot of love. But before that station picked some of my music up, it was only through syndicated radio that the people were able to hear me.

Many Program Directors will say they love my music but can’t play it because it’s not in the Top 10. I feel that even me on my own, without a huge machine behind me, being able to make it in the Top 100 or Top 20 on Urban AC is an accomplishment. I don’t blame the DJs. I just blame the

system because it’s institutionalized and they need to really work on changing that. There are other people like Traci Latrelle at WHUR that are supportive but I also understand there’s only so much so many people can do with the way the whole system is setup.

The INDIEgator: As long as you’ve been doing music, after all the accolades, billboards & awards, what’s the number one reason you’ve chosen to stay Indie versus signing with a traditional label?

Conya: I’m glad you asked that because just so you know, I have gotten several opportunities and offers to be signed with majors but what they wanted was just ridiculous. They wanted to buy up my entire catalog of all my previous records, everything I put my hard earned money, time and effort into. The money they offered in return I could have earned by selling 10,000 copies on my own where I would have had to sell 100,000 copies in order to make the same amount under them. It just didn’t make sense and wasn’t conducive for me. Not to mention how much debt I would have been in with them as everything is recoupable. So getting the deal wasn’t

the problem.

The INDIEgator: What other type of challenges have you had to battle as an Independent Artist? How did you overcome them?

Conya: Imagery. It’s always been an issue with people telling me I need to dress a certain way in order to be accepted or I need to get my hair straightened. And that’s not me because then they’re trying to create an image that does not reflect who I am. I’ve gotten that a lot and I’ve had to be able to just say ok and go my separate way. When it comes to the type of music that I do, I’ve had some people say I need to have songs that are more commercial, that what I have is not radio enough. I’ve proven them wrong every time. I’m like this is me and if it’s a good song, and If people are exposed to more good music, then they’ll gravitate to it; if they don’t like it then they won’t. After Michael Baisden played my music a lot of other DJs came on board.

The INDIEgator: Speaking of challenges, one of your other jobs is as a Teacher in the Cleveland Public School system, teaching children with special needs. Does that get tough emotionally or how do you make that work?

Conya Doss Conya: I’m not going to say I’m immune to it but I’ve learned how to adapt to certain situations. When I first got to the Cleveland Public School system, it was just so disheartening. I didn’t realize so many issues were taking place with so many families. It was quite amazing like are you serious? I decided to try to do my part and what I could to make a change and I think I’ve done fairly well with a lot of kids. It’s challenging because I feel some kids shouldn’t even be in the Special Education program. When I see a lot of the times (their issues) being environmental, that bothers me. The only thing I can do is take it up with the School Psychologist and advise them to retest the child because he or she does not belong in the program and they don’t need to be labeled. Once they get into that program, it’s so hard to get out of it.

I find also, it’s not even the academic aspect that I have to deal with lately, it’s the emotional and I’m like “Wow, I’m not cut out for this.” It’s pretty deep stuff that I wasn’t exposed to when I first got into this. I’m working with older students now and I’m exposed to so much more. I just want to take them all and fix it but I can’t. So I do my part. I try my best to nurture and guide them and do whatever I can within my control to help them out.

The INDIEgator: On top of all that, you’re  involved with different causes around the world. What’s the main thing that made you want to get involved with those organizations or causes?

Conya: I just think that we can do our part to make people aware. We complain too much in the States and people don’t realize how lucky we are. The things we complain about are minute. When you get to travel the world or have friends that travel and work for United Nations or World Vision and they inform me that they don’t even have working water in particular parts of the world… they rely on rain which is not pure and in turn can cause other diseases… It makes you realize the things we take for granted.

The INDIEgator: Some people would find it challenging having to wear so many hats including Mom, Musician, Teacher, and Philanthropist… How do you keep your sanity?

Conya: I pray. I’m serious and sometimes I just have to take a minute for myself. With that everything falls into place and some things are just out of your control. I was watching the 50 Cent interview with Oprah and he said it the best. Either you’re going to pray about it or you’re going to worry about it.  You can’t do both. So that’s the whole thing. I pray about it and there is the human factor like what if it doesn’t work, but I still pray. I kid you not.

The INDIEgator: Let’s switch gears and talk hair and fashion briefly. Over the years you have maintained a natural, ethnic beauty about you. Is that intentional or just your style?

Conya: It’s specifically just my style. People can go back and look at pictures of me from middle school to high school and they’ll see it’s still the same thing. I tried the straight look in the “Only You” video and I’m not knocking straight hair but I have blown out and fried my hair a couple of times and it’s just not me. I’m about being free for me in what is comfortable for me. Though sometimes keeping your hair natural is not the easiest thing.

The INDIEgator: Who influences your fashion style?

Conya: I have an Aunt that I’ve always admired. She could wear anything, could just go into the stores and buy everything. Just looking at her fashion and the clothes she would wear in her heyday was so amazing. She’s 70 years old now but when I look at all her pictures she just had a style and I

aspire to be like her. Actually I went up in her closet and now have what I call my brown Shaft coat. I took it to a leather store and the guy told me to “never get rid of this coat because you will never find leather like this again.”

The INDIEgator: Are you interested in doing any Modeling?

Conya: I’ve done a little for college projects and stuff like that but that’s never been my forte. I had a magazine tell me once I needed to fit into a size 1 2, 3 or 4. I was like that’ll never happen. I’d rather get away from that whole toothpick figure stuff. It’s not realistic.

Keep Reading This Article: ----<< PREVIOUS - - - - - - CONTINUE >>

About the author

Kitty Y. Williams
Since moving to Houston, CEO Kitty Y. Williams (MissKittyTV Networks, LLC) has brought positive media exposure to Entertainers, Business Owners, Authors, Filmmakers, Community Leaders and other unique individuals Worldwide. Beginning with MissKittyTV in 2006, she filmed exclusive interviews, showcases, web cam episodes and events around the city, sharing with the world via YouTube. In 2007 she started her Kitty Williams LIVE radio broadcast on BlogTalkRadio, interviewing guests and showcasing music from several independent entertainers. (Read More on LinkedIn)

Related Articles

Fans of The INDIEgator Magazine