Sanovia Garrett can vividly recall the sense of empowerment she felt in the second grade when given the opportunity to sing and perform in a play at her Muncie, Indiana based elementary school. Her teachers told her they needed to find the “best singers in the school” to play the role of Mrs. Claus. When she was selected for the role, she eagerly embraced her new title as “the best.”
“I was proud of that moment,” Garrett recalls. “I don’t remember a thing I sang, but I remember feeling like (being on stage) was something I could do for the rest of my life.”
Looking back, Garrett realizes that she may not have sounded quite as spectacular as she thought she did as a child, but feels her confidence allowed her to shine.
“It must have been that youthful zeal and promise, ya know?” Garrett laughed. “The feeling when no one can tell you that you’re not good, even if you aren’t.”
Zeal and Promise
While Garrett’s talent has vastly improved due to years of training and practice, such as singing in a church choir as a child and performing at creative venues as an adult, she has managed to keep the same zeal that she had as a second-grade student well into adulthood.
Garrett continues to write her own music and perform in Indiana and beyond. She describes her sound as a fusion of neo-soul and soul-rock, with a heavy gospel foundation. The source of her inspiration has shifted away from youthful bravado. Her tunes are inspired by the triumphs and setbacks she experiences as a young, millennial woman who is actively seeking to live out her purpose.
“Throughout my journey into creative living, I have often wanted answers to be clear and to usually come from other people. But, everything we need is already inside of us,” Garrett said. “When finding your purpose, it’s gonna feel stupid and scary. It’s gonna feel crazily brave. But something about it is gonna feel so right.”
Garrett acknowledges that some of the choices she makes don’t make sense on paper. She recently took to social media to write about her decision to turn down an employment opportunity even though she needed money, writing: Don’t waste an organization’s time because you need money when you know your destiny is calling … Stop saying yes. Stop settling. Believe. And take a lot of deep breaths, because you’re going to need them.
At the end of the day, she hopes being open about her life through her music and social media posts will inspire others to realize their destinies.
Destiny is Calling
Garrett believes that in order for individuals to find their purpose, they first have to leave their comfort zone. She believes women have a tendency to get stuck in their own minds, worrying about what could go wrong rather than walking in faith.
“The answers are there, inside your temple, but we are often too afraid and not courageous enough.” said Garrett. “One of my favorite scriptures is in 2 Timothy 1:7 which says ‘God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and of a sound mind.’”
Garrett says travel helped her get over her fears; she once nicknamed herself “nomadic Novi” because of her tendency to be on the go, living in Philadelphia and New Jersey over the course of a couple of years.
“(In Philadelphia) I literally found myself because I began to see artrepreneurs and entrepreneurs younger than me putting on events, making albums, traveling and doing what they love to do,” Garrett said. “Being home sometimes puts you in a space where you’re almost caught in a loop, or a comfort zone, that you almost don’t even realize that you’re in until you leave. I am not saying that this is the truth for all people, but it was a reality for me. I had become so okay with where I was only because I didn’t realize that I could have more. Moving has caused me weariness, but it has also caused me to dream and believe again.”
To Dream and Believe
Garrett says her journey as a musician has always been a matter of faith, both in herself and in a higher power. Even as a teenager who wrote lyrics about the heartbreaks she experienced due to boyfriends, there was an element of spirituality behind her music.
“Here’s the thing. God is in everything that I do, even when I do not acknowledge it.” said Garrett. “There is always a spirit behind the lyrics I write, regardless of if I mention my specific faith, Christ-follower, or not. I know where my help behind the pen lies. By human strength alone I wouldn’t be this creative. God in the beginning created the Heavens and the earth, right? The Bible begins with creativity and I take my example from that. Take nothing, take darkness and make it something, make it light.”
Garrett says her spirituality is constantly evolving and worship, to her, is more of a lifestyle than a song.
“(I am) not just leading at the church. I am learning that I am Church. I am light. I am joy. I am all of these things,” said Garrett. “I think that’s one of the greatest gifts I have been given by God, to become.”
Garrett is currently in the process of creating and releasing her first album titled “She Used to Be.” Her deadline to raise funding is December 13th, 2018. She plans to release the album on March 16th, 2019. Learn more and support her on Kickstarter here. Listen to Garrett’s music on Soundcloud here.