Nina Simone

City of women: new writing @ in praise of ... spanning jazz, disco, neo-soul and ah, Nico

'Sisters, beware ... A man is lurking among us ...'

(description follows the order that I published the work on the site)

Writing on Nina Simone's melancholy lament 'He needs me' with her glorious piece of music - total/perfect construction - 'Good Bait' - Versions: 'So in love' (Shirley Bassey, Julie London and more) - disco divas, Loleatta Holloway & Gwen McCrae/Vanessa Kendrick - the super-talented new voice, Jamila Woods singing of escape, and also being satisfied where you are/where you find yourself in the current moment. And then Nico being Nico; totally present, sharing her strong sense of self via her incomparable cover of the Dylan song 'I'll keep it with mine.' 

Children of the Indigo: ‘Fall through’ Mick Jenkins, prod. THEMPeople (The Healing Component, Cinematic Music Group, 2016)

Resistance at the point of listening to (new) music. Sometimes reactions can be so intense they stop you from listening further; telling you, no, this is not yours, it’s not for you - and then, other times something keeps you there with that same music, despite your instinct to leave.

It was months back now, so I can’t remember what it was that kept me at a remove when first listening to Mick Jenkins’ The Healing Component (it was probably related to the beat, so wafery/illusory like paper being burnt, the flame curling in on itself, refusing any sense of home: the same beat that provides the unstable foundations of the modern hip-hop aesthetic, where the edges are forever privileged over the centre). 

Then I heard this song and my favourite ‘Fall through’… which made me realise. 

I see the light

Don't you feel the soul?
That's the truest well
Of all the things you know, do you know yourself?
Well enough to trust the way you go
When you don't, know the way
See the light, still hesitate
See the light, hesitate

Contemporary poetic: opening up the conversation about love, politics and remembrance.