Imani Lauren plays the sax, keys, drums, and now guitar – this girl has it all.

At just 21, Imani Lauren is a self-taught musician and singer whose brilliant covers have deservedly received a large following on social media, with a fan base of 42,000 on Instagram, the self-described “Saxbae” is just getting started. Imani creatively meshes some of music’s most iconic musicians with those who have more recently hit the charts, using her innate ingenuity and dedication to instrumentation. I was able to catch up with Imani to get to know her a little better and see what gratitude means to her.

How did you get started and who encouraged you?

Coming from a very musical family, I started with the keyboard about five years ago. There was always one somewhere around the house, so I just started teaching myself. While attending Harambee Institute of Science and Technology in Philadelphia, which is a very Afrocentric school, I was introduced to playing djembe, an African drum. That’s where why love for playing music started, and everything just came together. Singing wasn’t something I really wanted to do, but my mom recognized I had a voice and pushed me to focus on perfecting my craft. From there, I began singing lessons and just learned to love it. Shortly after, I picked up the saxophone, started watching different YouTube videos, and in no time, I was able to play music by ear.


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