The Woman On The Moon
As otherworldly and mystical as Earth’s moon, Odessa embodies her art and creates multi-media experiences for her audience.
Another rare unicorn, Odessa moved here to Nashville very early in her life and essentially grew up here, though personally she reminds me more of a mystic gypsy with a vivid third eye than a unicorn.
She began her creative journey in music when the people around her gave her the confidence to express herself artistically by reassuring her that whatever album or project she touched would turn to gold. Having grown up around music and always feeling an artistic itch, Odessa creates her own music and immersive experiences alongside her audio pieces.
Constantly surrounded by music growing up, the importance of music was ingrained in her brain, and she did not realize that not having music in someone’s life was an actual thing. Consequently, she and her brothers have always had a strong passion for music, playing games trying to figure out who the influences for a song were, referring to it as “treasure hunting.”
While Odessa certainly has played her fair share of instruments in her life, her main focus right now is polishing her voice.
Taking lessons, even in a short amount of time, has helped grow her voice. And because there are so many, I will list her musical influences at the end of the article in a “movie end credits” style.
These days Odessa is formulating a huge immersive experience event for her EP.
The tracks essentially tell the story of Odessa, but Odessa uses her artistic license to tell it through a love story of a goddess who has her heart stolen by a sultan. Alongside the music, Odessa envisions having visual and experiential aids, like differently themed rooms such as in a Haunted House, but more Alison Wonderland style. The audience will traverse through the differently staged rooms and eventually come to the end of the immersive art maze to see Odessa performing her tracks live and in her full Odessa garb, which she basically wears every day anyway.
Another incorporation Odessa would like to have is projection mapping, which is like having a projector “but times a billion.” The projector also interacts with the movement in the room, similar to what artists sometimes have at psychedelically themed shows (HOME’s Kari Leigh Ames specializes in psychedelic projections). With projection mapping, Odessa can create the true fantasy feeling she’s aiming for, which is to have people out of their everyday element yet still comfortable. For those familiar with performance art, that is the essential concept except revolving around Odessa’s music.
In short, she says, “I just want people to experience it.”
Her goal is to collaborate with different artists, such as aerial dancers, to add to the EP installation.
In her artistic time of need, Odessa came to HOME by way of one of her closest and most supportive friends, Karizma (who also has an article). The duo have a bubbling chemistry, supporting each other in their music endeavors while bringing out the weird inside both of them.
Odessa is more than happy to host her immersive experience at HOME.
Here, she can clearly envision the event. The vibe here overall makes her feel like she’s meant to do something in this space. Though, the only hard part is having the patience to build her brand to a point that would reach the most people who need the experience the most. It’s important for people to know who Odessa is.
So, let’s explore who Odessa is. While she has the voice of an angel (my words, not hers), experiences are more important to her than just hearing music. With both audio, visual, and experiential aspects, she feels as though people can better understand what she stands for. She doesn’t perform shows; she creates experiences.
One specific track off her experiential EP is titled “Orange Can,” which sheds light on mental awareness and addiction.
When she was younger, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and her doctor prescribed her medications that would help her manage the disorder. Eventually, she felt like “a pill popping mess,” as though “life was an orange can.”
With the song, she hopes to bring awareness to people who have not personally or adjacently experienced mental disorders. Unfortunately with mental disorders, there is no definite “healing” that entails the end of a prescription, like there is with pain medications and a broken limb. Mental disorders are an ongoing battle, though thinking otherwise is a common misconception. Sometimes, side effects of medications cause seizures, or even a phantom pain will creep along. Truth is, there is no magic cure for a mental disorder. Another common misconception is limiting the identity of a person with a mental disorder to only their disorder. Odessa puts it well when she says, “we’re more than this, but we are this.”
By using a giant orange pill bottle in her EP exhibition, the audience can relate to whatever it means to them personally, whether it be a vice such as food or tic tacs. Again, the giant orange can is all about expressing an experience for the audience. Also by using a giant orange bottle, Odessa feels like she’s able to talk about mental health awareness while not pointing a finger giving advice to people.
She believes that what truly matters is knowing your truth and what you’re feeling.
Additionally, Odessa feels pressure as a black woman to handle her struggle well. Growing up, she was taught that you can do it all and still be there for other people. She was also taught that having stress is normal and even good to have because it means you’re filling your plate and working as hard as you can to support those around you. Reality is, you have to take some time for yourself, sometimes by learning to say no.
Odessa is not slowing down, so keep an eye out for her to see what amazing things come next.
Earth Wind & Fire
Portuguese jazz music
Florence + The Machine
Website > https://www.iamodessamoon.com/
Bandsintown > https://www.bandsintown.com/a/13367833
SoundCloud > https://soundcloud.com/iamodessamoon
Twitter > https://twitter.com/iamodessamoon
Instagram > https://www.instagram.com/iamodessamoon/
Written and interviewed by Andra Ingram