This week’s Music Monday is a mellow but uplifting mix of Afrofuturistic R&B, hip-hop, and electro-centric indie. Lizzo’s new track, “Scuse Me,” opens the mix with its message of self-love and affirmations. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, tell me what you see/It’s that, oh my God, it’s looking heavenly,” and “I don’t need a crown to know that I’m a queen.” Petite Noir follows up with “MDR” and his beautiful proclamation of love.
After a 10-year hiatus, Sacramento-based Blackalicious released Imani Vol. 1 last year. Its incredible title track may not be a brand-new release, but its message of love, hope and overcoming challenges is worth hearing time and time again. Its tremendous optimism is much needed in a world which can be so unkind. While there is yet to be a video, we would be remiss if we did not shine a light on their brilliant work.
The incredible Kadjha Bonet has a brand-new album. The soulful songstress has a voice reminiscent of the smoothness of Sarah Vaughn layered over an amazing hybrid of soul and jazz with tinges of psych. Bonet’s velvety voice is the perfect theme to a mellow Sunday afternoon.
Zimbabwe-born Eska’s slightly retro vibe fits right in. With unique yet subtle timing (most likely influenced by Eska’s sensible math degree), the music falls somewhere between Laura Nyro and Roberta Flack’s soul and progressive female-led artists like Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell, as well as Genesis and Quincy Jones. The plus-size chanteuse’s stunning visual style and Afrofuturist-boho aesthetic are a joy to take in as we celebrate an amazingly talented, empowered, full-figured role model.
Brooklyn’s Space Captain keeps the mix mellow with the gorgeous song “Two.” The jazzy R&B collective is signed to Tru Thoughts alongside Bay area-based The Seshen and other brilliant acts. The sound reaches into psychedelia, soul and electronica, creating gorgeous sonicscapes. The genesis of “Two” came during a rehearsal, and it was written live as the band jammed. Check out the live rooftop performance to get a vibe for what Space Captain is all about.