Meet Farah Pierre, aka Cleo J’Adore, a 25-year-old Haitian songstress from South Florida. I first had the pleasure of hearing her perform a few years ago at an event put together by Jason Fleurant. Hearing her sing a capella is a beautiful and memorable experience.  Here’s to hoping she does more of that in 2016.  Get to know her in this interview then connect on Soundcloud, Facebook, or Twitter.

Tell me about your background and upbringing. When did you begin to sing?

I am a Zoe girl — 25 years young, with two amazing & crazy older brothers — born and raised in West Palm Beach. My father was a pastor from Okap, Haiti with his own church in West Palm Beach. He was a strong, wise and intelligent man with the biggest heart. My beautiful mother is from Saint Michele, Haiti.

I’ve been singing since I could remember. At church, I would go up and sing with the choir, my cousins, god-sister or friends, whomever. I was really introduced to music and its components through my private school music teacher, Mr. Evans. He taught my class everything he could — at least that’s what it seemed like — and he was so animated and passionate about music. I remember he’d get so lost in playing the piano, sometimes he would look like a madman, but his passion for music was so infectious. I do believe I caught some of it and haven’t been cured since!

What draws you to music?

The feeling, mainly. The connection it brings as the words and the instruments grasp a hold of whatever truth is inside of you. I also love it for the healing it brings… it’s medicine. Any emotion you may feel or moment you may come across in life there’s always a song with the right lyrics, tone, instruments, and tempo to connect with those monumental moments. Think about it. There isn’t much out there in the world that can connect people from all over like music can and that to me is beautiful… and I like beautiful things. So basically, I’m drawn to music like I’m drawn to Michael B. Jordan.

Who are some musicians/singers who’ve inspired you?

Miss Jill Scott, give her love y’all give her love! After my mother, of course, I can most definitely credit Jilly from Philly with making me the woman I am today. Her music, her message and the way she carries herself have made an impression on me. She is my favorite artist always and forever… I love her! My #1.5 favorite artist (because I couldn’t bare to make her #2) is Erykah Badu for her creativity, having no limits in her music making, and her unapologetic down to earth ways. There was something about Eartha Kitt’s, Etta James’, Nina Simone’s, & Prince’s spirit that inspire me and Bill Wither’s & Muddy Waters’ depth have also touched me musically. Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle, Lauryn Hill, Sade, Beyoncé, Lisa Fischer, & Sister Merry Clayton — their vocals, entertainment & performance skills, along with their work ethics — are inspirational. Frank Ocean, well, that kid there is just something special.

What do you hope to accomplish with your music?

I hope to reach a place of self-actualization. I hope to be able to truly leave my mark on this world… to leave behind a legacy that inspires in the way that I’ve been inspired by others before me. I want to reach a place in my artistry where no validation is needed. A place of no inhibitions, good vibes, and undeniable authenticity. I will do all of this.

Where would you like to go with your talent?

All over the world! I can’t wait for the day I start touring. I want to touch lives and meet new people. I want to hear stories and experiences. I want  to create my own stories and experiences. I would like to work with different artists with varying styles in writing and composing music. People seem to like to box themselves in when it comes to music, not me. I want to dive into the sea head first and explore. Most importantly, I would like to go straight to the top. I am going straight to the top (words are powerful).

Do you have any upcoming performances scheduled in South Florida?

I’ve been on a long hiatus from recording music so no, I don’t as of yet. Sure enough, God willing, that will change soon. 🙂

What are some of your favorite spots locally?

Keke’s Breakfast Café, La Rose Haitian Restaurant, the beach, and there’s nothing better for me than being at home. I’m truly such a home body in all honesty these days… I’m either at work, the gym, or at family member’s/friend’s house, kickin it. I don’t need much to have a good time.

We’re both Haitian, what’s one of your favorite Haitian dishes?

I love a good plate of lalo, with sos pwa and white rice — but the lalo has to have some beef and crab. Also, I love Haitian macaroni and cheese, praise God for the Haitian palate!
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