Show Link | Map | Add to Google | Add to Calendar
At a time when it seems every manifestation of black self-affirmation—Black Lives Matter, black self-care, Black Girl Magic—is being assailed by prickly sorts antagonized by most things black and self-affirming, Black-on-Black love has become medicine for the melancholy, an elixir crucial to keeping the African Diaspora sane and forward-moving. Shelley Nicole—the mainspring behind Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe—is simultaneously a product, a witness, and architect of Black-on-Black love, a calling that has informed all of her work as a singer, writer, composer, actor, poet, musician, and healer. It is the taproot of her latest work, I Am American, a collection of songs written by her and produced by award-winning guitarist, composer, and producer Vernon Reid of the band Living Colour.
I Am American harkens back to the Golden Age of classic albums that embraced collaborative energy from diverse, paramount artists. The album is forged from the connective tissue of rock, soul, blues, jazz, and funk into a seamless, genre-defying blend while tackling the hard questions of women reclaiming their cultural identity, their psychic refuge, and their personal agency. The project is part of the continuum of audacious, self-confident, and eclectic Black sisterhood that extends from Rosetta Tharpe to Nina Simone to Betty Davis to Labelle to Joan Armatrading to Meshell Ndegeocello.