Artist AZRA Reflects On The Meaning Of “Freedom” After Wrapping Up Her Pride Festivals Tour

By AZRA

Freedom, as Webster dictionary would define as the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Ok, great. But really, if I asked five people on the street what freedom means to them, they would have their own definitions of freedom defined and described through their own lenses of current perspectives and realities.

To me, freedom means being able to express myself internally to my inner being and externally to the outside world including everyone and everything in it – it’s being heard. And when you think about expressing yourself, this concept not only includes obviously doing an act to show your emotions or etc… but it also includes individualism, being yourself and acceptance.

Being invited to perform at various PRIDE Festivals during the last month of June to support the LGBTQ community and connect with other individuals who are brave enough to stand up for what they believe in, definitely enlightened and reaffirmed me that we are stronger together. I have always felt connected with the LGBTQ community not just through my friends and family who are LGBTQ, but also through my own personal life long struggles of coming out my shell and becoming the artist that I am.

“Being myself and accepting myself for who I am no matter the pressures of my environment around me. This is what the LGBTQ community and Pride events inspire us with, to be ourselves and accept others no matter the challenges, shine through, and move forward together, as one.”

I had the honor to celebrate pride month with thousands of people in various states performing at the festivals. First weekend I shared the stage with Lisa Lisa at Queens Pride in New York where, despite the rainy weather, people came out to celebrate pride. Next up was headlining at Capital Pride where they dedicated a whole weekend doing parades and concerts all over D.C.

Despite the fact that the Pride parade route had to be moved due to protesters, the overall weekend was full of enthusiasm and acceptance. The following weekend, we headed to Baltimore where all pride comers and participants were full of energy and excitement. My June tour concluded with Philly Pride where so many people with various colors, personalities and united intentions were all gathered at the Penn’s Landing Pier ready to rock out and celebrate love. Philadelphia had good vibes all around and it was awesome.

My favorite part of this Pride Tour was all the moments where I got to connect with the people at the concerts before, after and during my performances. Getting to hug, shake hands, laugh with, take selfies and have conversations with the community reassured me of why I am doing what I’m doing and empowered me to continue to create and perform great music for people.

Rocking out to  “Shine” “Gravity” “Right Here” and “Just Break Free,” all songs from my latest EP Freedom was super exciting. I can’t wait to come back to Pride to perform and continue this journey with others of spreading love, acceptance, and freedom. Pride events may last a day or a weekend, but the energy and the purpose of what Pride stands for, will carry and grow with everyone for a lifetime.


 

 

AZRA is an American artist, singer songwriter based in Los Angeles, CA. She has recently released her latest EP titled “Freedom” earlier this year in March. Since then, Azra has completed her Southern California tour with The Plain White T’s in April 2017 and recently shoot in the stages at various Pride festivals. Azra’s life long goal is to inspire people to be their authentic selves and live in their true form. You can find her on Social Media @TheAzraOfficial ; Azra’s music is available on Spotify and other downloading and streaming sites: smarturl.it/freedomep   

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