WOTM 54 Featuring Naomie Inas
“Having a visual impairment can be very limiting. Your vulnerability can make you feel timid and afraid to try new things or go to new places. But I’ve learned to channel my vulnerability into my music and just be real about my sight loss.” ~Naomie Inas
I have an anecdote for you…
The best job for you if you can’t see well is a fitness instructor. That’s what I did for ten years and it was great not focusing on small details but rather people’s form. One of the best things about being legally blind for me is the increase in all my other senses especially intuition. This intuition boosts helps me to adapt to my surroundings.
Always an independent person who loves to rise to the challenge, I’m a natural-born risk-taker. I didn’t grow up in a positive environment and due to my visual impairment, felt I had to excel at everything I did. As a young person filled with pain, it was easy for me to connect to music and express myself constructively.
Having a visual impairment can be very limiting. Your vulnerability can make you feel timid and afraid to try new things or go to new places. But I’ve learned to channel my vulnerability into my music and just be real about my sight loss.
Since I was born with poor eyesight and adapted accordingly, I didn’t realize my view of the world was limited. It was when people asked why I held my book inches from my face that I realized I don’t see the same as others. My visual impairment is Ocular Albinism and I also was born with Oculocutaneous Albinism. So my appearance is different from the rest of my family and ethnic peer group.
You Don’t Look Visually Impaired
The challenging part for me is many people can’t tell that I am in fact visually impaired by looking at me. Some come to notice when we sit down in a dim restaurant to order food, lol. When they see how I function, then they get an idea that I can’t see too well. So it’s been a mixed bag of tricks when it comes to getting assistance from service workers I encounter day-to-day. I take it in stride.
The most significant thing for me is my ability in music production. While I trained as a vocalist for many years, I’ve never trained to use the keyboard. First, I have to spend time learning all the functions on any instrument or equipment I acquire. This enables me to work from memory and decrease visual strain which then increases my creative flow.
I’m not going to lie and say being a visually impaired musician is easy. For the passion of it all, it bears many disappointments. Some hiring bands won’t hire you when they find out you can’t drive yourself to rehearsals and gigs. I’ve personally experienced being passed over for many opportunities. Since I have such a determined spirit about my craft, being left out of those opportunities only propelled me forward. There’s nothing like the feeling of doing my thing and crafting what I feel as an artist. That’s what I am here to do.
A little about me the recording artist:
My stage name is Naomie Inas. Inas is my Arabic middle name given at birth. I was born Naomie Hamilton to Rita and John Hamilton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I grew up in the middle suburb of Bensalem and became emancipated at age fifteen and left home.
My heritage is a bit mixed since my father is a second-generation Haitian-American and his mother was Hispanic. Though my mother’s heritage is unknown it is believed to be also West Indian. I have a unique sound which appeals to my urban roots. Relaxed funky grooves and sensitive lyrics with a bit of an edge, telling my story, mainly of love.
At age six I began singing and made my solo debut in my high school talent show. I won first prize for singing “I Don’t Wanna Cry” by Mariah Carey. After my first debut, I went on to perform for various open mics and local talent showcases. I trained in formal jazz technique and classical over a span of three years. Then I branched out into more mature singing by performing covers with live bands. I also sang in an a cappella ensemble for several years then started recording demos and writing my own lyrics. The skill of writing lyrics was one of which, I had always done since I was a child.
My Artistic Process
I write all of my music from inception to production. “I usually have a melody in my head and I work the music out the best I can. I’m a self-taught music arranger. I’ve always made music though, even as a girl. It was a matter of figuring out how to use the equipment to get the grooves in melodies living in my head out and into an audio picture I could share with the world.”
I use my music as personal therapy before putting it out into the world. My hope is for my music to reach and inspire as many people as possible. Especially those with visual and other challenges to encourage them to be anything they desire. Because sight is mostly internal, having limited or no vision will cause you to adapt to your world to accomplish things.
As an independent recording artist; I’m working very hard on my album. This album will be my second effort in the last ten years and will be released digitally in the coming months. I have recently launched my publishing for my music writing and production with my new page www.naomieinasmusic.com. You can go on my page and listen to my new tracks, join my mailing list and support me by buying songs which are available on all online distributors like iTunes, Amazon Music, CD Baby Spotify, Tidal and more…
WOTM 54 Featured Image Description:
In this photo, Naomie has a certain je né sais quoi that makes her look like a star. Fashionably elegant and sporting a blond bob, she is wearing an open cropped jacket with a fur-trimmed collar. In muted shades of brown, her outfit includes a bra with a coordinating skirt and a long pendant necklace. She is standing with her left hand against a red brick wall.
- Three-quarter profile of Naomie with one shoulder exposed. A pop art filter (sort of overexposed effect) creates hues in red, blue, white, pink, purple, green, and orange. In this photo, Naomie’s hair is upswept and looks black.
- Naomie is performing in this photo. She is wearing a gray tank top and gray skirt. The neckline and straps on Naomie’s tank are trimmed in black. Her arms are raised as she dances to the rhythm of the music. A set of drums are behind her and to her right is a man playing the keyboard against a backdrop of red drapes & spotlights.