Just an attempt at writing something lighter than my usual political/ social commentary and academic critiques. Considering submitting to some blogs/ publications. Feedback welcome : )
In an era of music where the likes of FKA Twigs, Sza & Dawn Richard are celebrated by die hard fans it’s high time we celebrate some new talent and keep the momentum going for a movement of multidimensional music created by women of color.
Here are some of my personal favorites.
The facts: she released her debut EP: Purrr! In August 2014 and has already opened for the likes of Asher Roth and Wale.
Her sound is a mixture of Jhene Aiko’s soft vocals and Nicki Minaj’s bravado & quirk. She’s equal parts dainty and dastardly, and I’m totally here for it.
Favorite track: ‘No Police’
Favorite lyric: ‘Watching Brandy/ sippin’ Brandy/ Panties on the marble floor/ guess my pants is fancy’
The facts: Lion Babe (comprised of Lucas Goodman & Jillian Hervey) dropped their debut EP ‘Lion Babe’ in 2014. They’ve been featured in the New York Times who described the duo as ‘dynamic’ and ‘sensual’ as well as Rolling Stone. It doesn’t hurt that they already have a collab with Childish Gambino under their belt.
Their sound evokes memories of the very best of 90s neosoul. Imagine an Erykah Badu album produced by Yeezy in his Keyshia Cole ‘I Changed My Mind’ days.
Favorite track: Jump Hi ft. Childish Gambino
Favorite lyric: ‘Tie me down/ tryna hold me up/ but the walls ain’t high enough/ and they play so hard/ and the game so rough/ but i still can’t give it up’
The facts: Her debut mixtape ‘Cut 4 Me’ earned her the praise of many in 2013 landing her on multiple end of year lists and even garnering praise from the likes of Bjork & Solange Knowles.
Her multi layered production compliments her soft voice and wide vocal range in a magical way. Think Amel Laurreiux, but raspy.
Favorite track: Bankhead
Favrorite lyric: I’m keeping you close, you know it. And I’m taking my time to show it. You’re touching me like you’ve had it all along, Feels like you’re right.
The facts: Jazzy’s 2007 debut album ‘Oh Jazzy’ is still on replay 8 years later. Why you ask? Cause its the best of the 90s/ early 2000s R&B we all love and miss by a voice we haven’t heard it from before.
Simultaneously airy and soulful boasting some of the most lush harmonies you’ll experience, you’ll get the best of your Nivea/ 702/ Mya feels back each and every time you hear Jazzy, only better.
Favorite track: Make Up
Favorite Lyric: I need to stop playin with you, cause I’m startin to get the blues. all this back and forth with you, why I don’t know the truth?
The facts: From having a song featured on Grey’s Anatomy to having a major label deal with Columbia records at one point, Imani has been around the music biz block, but my favorite album will always be her 2007 release ‘The Black & White album.’
Her sound is ecclectic and versatile with an undeniable clarity in her vocal tone and a lovely twang compliments of her NYC roots. There’s a smooth Sade like vibe to her calmer moments and a Janis Joplin-esque rasp to her high energy cuts.
Favorite track: Woke Up White
Favorite lyric: I walk up in a store/ I don’t get hard looks no more/ I’ll go rob a bank real fast/ and surely they’ll blame your black ass