Ozara Odé performs with purpose

Ozara Odé
Photo by Hakim Wilson

Ozara Odé captivates the audience as she portrays Nina Simone. This rising star dreams of taking on the big screen in the near future.

What inspired you to get into the entertainment business?

I was actually inspired to get into the entertainment business to draw attention to the causes that are most near and dear to my heart-addressing and putting an end to domestic violence by promoting love, and to allow my artistry to bring in funding for my programs that utilize the art’s to heal, men, women, and children coming out of prison.

What has been your most proud moment thus far in the business?

My proudest moment was my first full production of my play, Ozara as Nina: The High Priestess of Soul in 2011, which has lead to the present opportunity to run my play at an off-Broadway theater — Theatre 80 — in NYC later this year. When I received the email I was pleasantly surprised to see that my vision to end up on Broadway is coming to fruition.

What has been the most difficult thing you had to overcome?

Self-doubt and listening to naysayers had me stopping and starting and sometimes not even starting projects. One day while consoling another artist, the following words popped out of my mouth, “Focus on your purpose, and not your distractions.” I stopped talking and immediately wrote the words down, because I knew I was going to need to remind myself of these very words … on a regular basis while on this journey.

Please tell us about your project about Nina Simone.

The Nina Simone project stemmed from my lack of knowledge of who this incredible woman was. I went to college and majored in vocal jazz. I was never introduced to Nina Simone. I was unfamiliar with her work until 2005. In 2008, I wrote a play paying homage with the desire to introduce Dr. Simone to those who were unfamiliar with her work, and serve as a bit of nostalgia for those who love her music and appreciated her views on life, love and liberty.

What other projects do you have in store for your fans/supporters?

I have a cover album titled, Ozara Odé in the Key of Nina that readers can find online at ozaraode.com. The collection of songs includes “I Love You Porgy” and “Feeling Good,” my favorite is “Brown Baby.” It was recorded in front of a live audience at 800 East Studios and engineered by Chris Alpiar and Sean McLeroy. They can also keep their eyes and ears open for my original music CD titled, Finally, in early 2016, as well as a 15-16 U.S. city tour with my play and then our desire is to run it overseas!

Where would you like your career to be in the next five years?

I would love to be in the position to produce more plays, as well as producing other emerging and talented playwrights. I’m nearing completion of my first screenplay and would love to see it on the big screen. Lastly, but not really, I desire to have a facility that mentors and trains our youth in the area of both writing and production in music and theater.

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