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“I Want To Influence Folks To Have Compassion For Each Other Even When They Don’t Agree”

“I would love to bring people across the board together right now. We’re so divided and it’s a dangerous thing. If I could influence folks…


“I would love to bring people across the board together right now. We’re so divided and it’s a dangerous thing. If I could influence folks to listen to one another and have compassion for each other even when they don’t agree, that would be worth something.”


A Conversation With Arleigh Kincheloe of Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds


I had the pleasure to interview Arleigh Kincheloe. Known far and wide as the impossibly big voiced leader of acclaimed soul collective Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, Arleigh has made an astonishing leap forward with Sister Sparrow’s new LP, GOLD. For nearly a decade, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds have been hailed for their explosive brand of modern soul, equally celebrated for their three studio albums and electrifying live performances. Kincheloe grew up amongst an intensely musical family in upstate New York’s Catskill Mountains, co-founding Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds with her brother Jackson at just 18. The band based itself in Brooklyn and soon earned a rep as one of the hardest working outfits anywhere in the world, playing upwards of 150 shows each year including headline dates, sold out residencies, and top festivals. “Sister Sparrow, Arleigh Kincheloe’s nom de disque, is a soul queen,” raved The Washington Post, while The Baltimore Sun simply noted, “Arleigh Kincheloe has one of the biggest voices in the business. Prepare to be blown away.”

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

My parents are musicians, so I grew up singing with them. I think it clicked for me around age 9 that I wanted to be a musician.

Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your music career?

Once my brother and I hung out with Dave Matthews in the back of a bar after hours. That was pretty insane.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’m working on bringing the new songs from my upcoming album, Gold, to our stage show. We’re experimenting with some exciting new sounds.

Do you have a personal story about “ghosting” that inspired you to write your song? Can you share it with us?

I was getting late night texts from an ex one night, and the next day we wrote “Ghost”. It’s too messy to get into but it did involve some light ghosting.

Why do you think ghosting: has become more of a “thing” recently?

I think the use of cell phones really makes ghosting possible. We rely on texting so much, I think it’s just an easy way for people to be passive aggressive and disappear.


How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

If I can move one person with one song or performance, I can feel pretty good about it. Music helps me through all my tough times, so if I can do that for anyone, that’s good stuff!

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to bring people across the board together right now. We’re so divided and it’s a dangerous thing. If I could influence folks to listen to one another and have compassion for each other even when they don’t agree, that would be worth something.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Keep listening to other people’s music. Try covering something different, you might surprise yourself!

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I’ve been doing this for over 10 years now, and it takes so much energy. Conserve it. 
2. Don’t wear high heels. Self explanatory. 
3. Less is more. Just because you *can* hit all the notes, doesn’t mean you should. Leave them wanting more. 
4. Write stuff down. I wish I had kept a consistent journal in the first few years of doing this. I would love to read it now. 
5. Don’t date your coworkers. And if you must, make sure you have a “if this doesn’t work out” plan of action. I did, and we were able to survive it. But it was definitely messy.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview and be in touch with some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she just might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

That’s a tough one! If you had asked me last week I would have said Aretha Franklin. But on a lighter note, I would love to meet Tina Fey!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Facebook.com/sistersparrow
Insta: @sistersparrowdb
@sister_sparrow
Sistersparrow.com

Originally published at medium.com

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