Official Biography (courtesy of Inna Rae)
Hailed as the artist who makes you think, InnaRae started writing poems at the age of ten...songs, by fifteen. And if the bricks on the buildings of Alabama Projects could talk, they'd follow her words through the ills of poverty and into the appreciation of the human spirit, knowledge of purpose, and love of beauty. Living out her formative years in a housing project of Paterson - NJ produced an attachment to and responsibility for the people left behind when moving away. Through her writings, InnaRae returns "home" and delivers a reconstructive power that encourages others to discover that absolutely no circumstance can diminish the life and light that shines within each soul.
Currently, this effort is embedded within the African concept Sankofa. Sankofa defines the process of Africans going back to our roots, searching out, and acquiring what would be helpful to move forward in life. In InnaRae's case, she reached back into the lives of her elders to ferret out the missing voice of her grandmother, Irene Johnson. Irene had a beautiful spirit and desired to dance, write and sing. But very little of this potential was actualized in her lifetime. Shortly before Irene (Rena) died in July 2006, InnaRae wrote 15 songs inspired by the conversations she had with her grandmother while growing up. She recorded twelve of them for the latest release titled Rena's Moan.
Created to enjoy in one sitting, Rena's Moan is an intimate and deep-seated portrayal summing up only a portion of her grandmother's experiences in human form. Each song tells a story that strikes a delicate balance between facing her demons and transforming them into something that can be of great value to others. Generally speaking, this work covers many a woman's struggle with being in the mid -1900s. Stifled by a rape, economic hardship, and institutionalized racism, grandmother Irene's smothered voice was never heard, recognized or appreciated. It is InnaRae's hope that those who share in her battles, her disappointments, her spirit, her joys... will listen with a sense that they are not alone in the undertaking of authentic self-expression. Her work will also serve a community of thinkers who wish to peek into the hearts of women from all walks of life.