The Visionary’s Manifesto Presents Maimouna Youssef “Vintage Babies”
The sweet taste of honey, a field of golden wheat swaying in the rays of a lazy summer day, a clear night sky sprinkled with stars, constellations and galaxies beyond our understanding or maybe that feeling you get when meeting someone who touches places in your body and mind that makes you become more present and intimate in the moment. These are just some of the sensations that describe the empathic music of our next candidate for The Visionary’s Manifesto, the exquisite and melodic soulful creation of God who calls herself Maimouna Youssef. Maimouna has aligned with DJ Dummy among other creative geniuses and manifested a harmonious journey entrenched in song and deep word that will immerse the listener in a series of body writhing tunes titled “Vintage Babies.” We here at heART of Cool have gone behind the so-called veil of the artist as she has allowed a rare but powerful resonating interview in keeping with her high vibrational spirit and intention to spread universal love. I Got a Feeling (the actual title of one of the beautifully written songs on the debut album “Vintage Babies”) that you will become a fan of Maimouna Youssef and perhaps along the way your own spirit will be encouraged, so let us begin our journey with this soulful woman of vision.
HoC: When did you realize that music would be one of your unique gifts to the world?
MY: Well my mother noticed that I could sing before anyone else, she could tell by the way I cried. I knew was that singing felt good inside, the tone and vibration that resonated throughout the halls of my body with each note I sang caressed and soothed my insides like a warm blanket for the emotions. Music was my closest friend as it was comforting and reassuring. The constant in an uncertain world it was personal, I don’t think I thought about the fact that I would have to share it until I was a little older. Even when I would perform with my mother as a child, I would close my eyes tight and block everyone out because I was singing for my own enjoyment and for the connection it gave me to something larger than myself. I wasn’t trying to be famous, I just wanted to find peace. It wasn’t until others started to fill my head with this idea that one had to be famous and wealthy to really have any value in this world thatI started to think about music as a career path.
HoC: You exude such a divine nature, was there a moment in your life that deepened your spirit in such a way that it brought upon this new path?
MY: I started to understand capitalism and my ambitions grew strong to break free from poverty using this tool of music. But there was one problem most people who are very ambitious have a desire to achieve success by any means necessary that wasn’t the case for me. I had a lot of boundaries that I wasn’t willing to cross and sacrifices that I wasn’t willing to make. I had a sense of justice in my heart. I suppose I was born with it. Righteousness would haunt me in my dreams, I was bound by it. I had to live in a way that my soul considered righteous or I couldn’t stand to be inside of my own skin anymore. I would rather climb out and float away than live in conflict with myself and my source. I am most happy when I am just singing for the joy and the spirit in a relaxed setting without a lot of pomp and circumstance. I can’t say there was just one moment being raised in a very spiritual household my mother and grandmother are both water pourers for the indigenous sweat lodge ceremony. They are both singers who used their voices for healing, I was always in ceremony in one form or another for most of my childhood. The elder women in my family brought me into the divine order naturally but outside of my upbringing the next event in my life that was a spiritual milestone for me was the birth of my son. His birth deepened my entire existence and gave more meaning to my sound and my life in general. My travels bring me closer to myself, aware that I am a spiritual being having a human experience, so I try to be as tuned in to the God Frequency as possible. There’s so much noise in the airwaves spiritually so I make a conscious effort to check in with myself often.
HoC: You have an amazing new project in collaboration with DJ Dummy called “Vintage Babies” can you tell our audience about what it took to complete such a vast body of work?
MY: We completed the album rather quickly, it didn’t even take a year to create. If we combined all the separate sessions into one, I’d say we completed it in 3 ½ months tops. When Dummy and I got together we were very focused on creating the best music from all that we were experiencing in that moment. I had suffered through a series of disappointing breakups both professionally and personally leading up to the recording of this album. There was a lot that I needed to purge, I was hurting and didn’t want to put forth poison to the world. I wanted to use alchemy to turn this pain into gold so instead of telling my story from the limiting viewpoint of a temporarily situation, I wanted to tell it from the viewpoint of endless possibilities that I believed all is in divine order and that through God all things are possible. Dummy gave me the soundtrack to tell the story and the guidance to shape it in a way that was most palatable for the masses. It’s easy working with DJ Dummy, we get a lot done when we are collaborating because we’re both laser focused individuals and we don’t play around with getting in and get out of the studio, lol.
HoC: Many of us who are fans would love to know what it’s like being on stage as a skilled performer and furthermore what is your life like behind the scenes in-between touring locations?
MY: The stage is freedom. I have lots of fun on stage as I love to perform. Sometimes I get nervous before going onstage but only if I’m performing new material that I’m not comfortable with yet. I also get nervous if I must wait a long time before my set. Once I’m up there in front of the crowd though, the fear goes away. I am at home when I am on-stage, I feel free to do as I please in my house because I’ve paid the mortgage already (smiling). The audience and I become family and we thoroughly enjoy each other. Otherwise I’m a home-body in general although I do travel a great deal. I enjoy going to museums, movie theaters and skating rinks with my son we do a lot of fun activities together and when I need some “me time” I partake of spa days.
HoC: You have involved yourself in many heartfelt causes from working in the community with youths to spreading breast cancer awareness. Why is it so important for an artist like yourself who has achieved such a high level of success to give back to the community?
MY: It’s an honor to be able to have influence and inspire other people even if I were not an artist I’d still be an activist advocating for humans in need. It is who I am at my core, an empathic soul born with a sense of justice in my heart. Music is just one of the ways I express my heart to the world.
HoC: What would you like your fans to know about you on a personal level?
MY: I give so much of myself through my music and people are free to extract what they like from it. I think one thing that surprises people when they meet me is that I’m funny or at least I think I am, I like to have fun and be silly and enjoy a good laugh. My music covers very heavy topics sometimes and people tend to think I am very stoic and composed and although I can be that way at times it’s not my general disposition. For the most part I am very relaxed and down to earth.
HoC: So many talented people look at your journey and all the achievements in such awe. What advice would you give to those who feel it is their calling as it relates to the entertainment and music industry?
MY: I would also encourage a person to follow their calling whatever that may be. It’s a beautiful thing when you know what your calling is. So many do not have that clarity about their path but just because something is your calling doesn’t mean that it’s going to be without trial and error and at times even hardship. Those barriers are just lessons to prepare you for your blessings and a blessing can feel like a curse if you’re not prepared for it. I love when artists have the courage to be very honest, I always hear fans complain about artists being carbon copies of another. I tell my mentees it may be safer to do what you know but its greater to do what you feel in your heart, you can feel your way to freedom. When I’m onstage it’s all about the feeling, right and wrong don’t exist when I am in that sacred creative life-giving space. The last thing I’ll say is you can only figure out your calling when you’re living your authentic truth.
To learn more about this amazing artist please follow Maimouna Youssef on her social media platforms on Instagram @mumufresh and also on her fan page @teammumufresh.