For local Denver R&B singer Sista Soul, music is a way of life—a form of self-expression that transcends the mundane and elevates the listener to a level of almost religious bliss. Because music has been a part of her life and her family history, she finds solace in writing and singing.
“I have always loved music, the sounds, the emotions, the worship in music,” Sista Soul, also known as Jeannette Cooper, told CULTURE. “I started making music almost 10 years ago. I would write and then go back and reflect on the words I wrote. I always felt my music and words were very powerful and would move people. So, I started recording and learning how to create my own songs. It has been quite an amazing journey.”
“I am an over thinker. So creatively, cannabis has allowed me to be free—to block out my own thoughts and be free with the music and let go . . . ”
Sista Soul makes R&B and explores soulful sounds and harmonic melodies to convey her musical message. Her debut album, Celebration, was released earlier this year, and it led to new fans and an influx of positive feedback. Her sound is inspired by previous classic jazz and R&B, creating an emotional yet simplistic sound.
“Some of my biggest music influences are Anita Baker, Mary J, Erykah Badu, Lauren Hill and Lalah Hataway,” she explained. “I love music with a message and music that makes you feel oh-so-good.”
As someone with a musical family history, Cooper cites her parents as responsible for providing her with much guidance and direction in the musical game. “My biggest influences are my mom and pops,” she explained. “They introduced me to music, and some very good music too. They introduced me to life, to many experiences.”
Since her mother was a musical performer, Cooper became a singer and dancer at a young age to follow in her mother’s footsteps. “I used to watch her rehearse and daydream about being her,” Cooper explained. “My father did some singing in his days and has always been supportive of me loving music. I remember road trips where I would sing the CD from beginning to end.”
While she feels the R&B genre could be stronger in Denver, she has also noticed a lot of support from her fans and peers.
“The music lovers of this genre are what keeps it moving,” she explained. “It is the fans the support the music, play it, request it and support the live shows.”
In terms of cannabis legalization, Cooper feels that cannabis should be legal everywhere in every way, and she has relied on cannabis as a creative tool in the past. “I am an over-thinker,” she explained. “So creatively, cannabis has allowed me to be free—to block out my own thoughts and be free with the music and let go, which is one of the best ways to create music—free.”
Catch Sista Soul around town at some of her upcoming events, and look out for her performances continuing throughout summer. Sista Soul’s album, Celebration, is available on Spotify and iTunes.
CATCH SISTA SOUL LIVE
- Five Points Jazz Festival, Denver, May 20; com
- Dazzle Jazz, Denver, May 27; com