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Jamila Woods: "I want my words to have the most impact possible"

By Marc Zisman |

We sat down with American poet and singer to talk about her second Qobuzissime album “Legacy! Legacy!”, a groovy tribute to Betty Davis, Eartha Kitt, Miles Davis, Jean-Michel Basquiat, James Baldwin and many more.

Living or dead, Jamila Woods summons them all. The Chicago soul sister united 12 artists who have influenced her second album, the well named Legacy! Legacy!, the follow-up to the brilliant Heavn of 2016. A song, a name, a tribute, each of these twelve figures make up the foundation of the album: Betty Davis, Zora Neale Hurston, Νikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, Frida Kahlo, Eartha Kitt, Miles Davis, Muddy Waters, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sun Ra, Octavia Butler and James Baldwin.

A concept album that never feels heavy or preachy thanks to the Chicago native retaining her distinct style. She spends half her days as a poet (she is the artistic director of the Young Chicago Authors, a center dedicated to young poets), and the other half as a musician. Above all, as the worthy heiress of Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill, Jamila Woods surrounds her words in ultra-refined modernised neo-soul groove. Woods talks to Qobuz about her deep-rooted attachment to Chicago, her relationship to poetry, the role of the artist in society and about the initial idea of Legacy! Legacy!


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