Inspiration: Nina Simone

From time to time we will post little articles about artists we admire, respect and have been inspired by. Artists who seem to share a similar “Boring ethos” that is unwavering and truly unique. These articles aren’t meant as all encompassing overviews or biographies of these artists, but more as little snapshots to share what motivates us as creatives and a company.

Nina Simone, aka “The High Priestess of Soul” is known globally for her music. She was an American singer, songwriter, pianist and arranger. Her music spanned a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. Throughout her career, Simone assembled a collection of songs that would later become standards in her repertoire. Some were songs that she wrote herself, while others were new arrangements of other standards, and others had been written especially for the singer. Her first hit song in America was her rendition of George Gershwin’s “I Loves You, Porgy” (1958). It peaked at number 18 on the Billboard magazine Hot 100 chart.

Simone’s consciousness on the racial and social discourse was prompted by her friendship with black playwright Lorraine Hansberry, the influence of Hansberry planted the seed for the provocative social commentary that became an expectation in Simone’s repertoire. One of Nina’s more hopeful activism anthems, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” was written with collaborator Weldon Irvine in the years following the playwright’s passing, acquiring the title of one of Hansberry’s unpublished plays. Nina Simone’s social commentary was not limited to the Civil Rights Movement; “Four Women” exposed the eurocentric beauty standards imposed on black women in America, as it explored the internalized dilemma of beauty that is experienced between four black women with skin-tones ranging from light to dark. Nina Simone explains in her autobiography “I Put a Spell on You”, the purpose of the song was to inspire black women to define beauty and identity for themselves without the influence of societal impositions.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nina_Simone

Many years after her passing, she continues to provoke ongoing cultural dialogue and questions that need to be asked — keeping her activism and voice alive (especially in this day and age). Thank you Ms. Simone. I am reminded of this (i.e. your) power every time I hear one of your songs.


Sean
Founder, Partner

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