Finding Truth in your Roots: Staying True to Yourself in the Industry

by Rika Benton-Martin

by Rika Benton-Martin

Being yourself sounds like it should be an effortless task, but in reality, learning how to honor your needs and stay true to yourself requires ongoing practice and commitment. Women in general are constantly being pressured to fit into different molds throughout most of their lives. Women in entertainment are ever more so encouraged to alter aspects of themselves to achieve success. The ongoing pressure, both in our careers and personal lives, to make choices that conflict with our core principles and values can definitely get overwhelming at times.

The voices of women who have come before us serve as one source of strength upon which we can rely to keep us on track. It’s important to lean on our sisters-in-sound as much as possible while also forwarding their message to others and reminding each other that we’re never alone. Here are some words of wisdom from three artists who demonstrate the power of living authentically on a daily basis.

Know Your Worth

“Now I realize that this record business really needs me. No one else is trying to take a chance or do something different.” - Erykah Badu

Your individuality is your biggest asset. What you have to contribute to the world will make a difference. Do not be discouraged by the opinions of others, and take pride in what you bring to the table. Vision is more important than sight and what is true yearns to be expressed! When we are brave enough to be honest with ourselves and our work, the world benefits from our contribution.


Listen to your voice

 “In my experience, as a young black artist, you have to fulfill an archetype, or be a token - and I was unwilling to do that.” - Solange

Your truth lies within you, and it can only be discovered once you allot the time and space to listen to your inner voice. Take time to be introspective, and don’t feel guilty about carving out some you-time. In order to find answers, you have to listen and trust yourself. Be confident and patient in your journey. By sharing your authentic experience, you’ll allow others to connect with you and create long-lasting bonds.


Stand Firm Under Pressure

“My biggest thing overall is don’t ever feel like you need to change who you are in order to satisfy society’s standard of beauty. Don’t change who you are or the way you look because society says this is the way you should look. No. You need to look however you want to look. You need to do whatever makes you happy. Be yourself.” - Amara La Negra

Being true to yourself means being honest about what you feel, value and desire, while staying firm when communicating these thoughts with others. Stand by your decisions, trust your intuition, and always do what you feel is right. Find confidence in whatever is deeply true for you and be free to share that with others.

Planting your seeds in the music industry can be a difficult feat, but by consistently tending to your needs and staying rooted in your core principles, the fruits of your labor shall be plentiful. Just wait and see!