Posted January 13, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Art+Culture
 
 

Zakiya Harris, Professional Shape-Shifter

zakiya harris-mg_music1_3814
zakiya harris-mg_music1_3814

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The Oakland singer-songwriter discusses the spiritual underpinnings of her music and many, many hustles.

By Nastia Voynovskaya for the East Bay Express

Five years ago, when everything in Zakiya Harris’ life seemed to have turned upside down, “shape-shift” became her mantra. Amid the Great Recession, the Oakland singer-songwriter and entrepreneur’s eco-justice nonprofit, Grind for the Green, lost its funding. She went through a divorce that led to the dissolution of her hip-hop duo, FIYAWATA, which she had started with her ex-husband. Then, the bank foreclosed on her home. Finally, to make matters worse, a bike accident left her badly injured, and resulted in a scar on her upper lip that still reminds her of that difficult period.

“This isn’t to be dramatic, but [my solo music project] was born out of the darkest night of my soul,” Harris said in a recent interview at the Impact Hub, which she co-founded. “Music to me is something that comes from really big life challenges.”

Read The Complete Story At the East Bay Express