In her wonderful r&b protest songs, the American poet, activist and soul singer addresses deeply rooted racism with her powerful lyrics and golden voice. The investigation into the murder of African American Mike Brown by a police officer was the foundation of her acclaimed debut ‘HEAVN’.
Each track on her new album bears the name of a culturally significant black American figure. By doing this, the singer wants to demonstrate that – despite the undertone of turmoil and pain – black history leaves a powerful and resolute cultural legacy. Jamila searches for the roots of black artistic expression. ‘ZORA’, the first single from the new album, refers to the American writer Zora Neale Hurston. Her ‘How It Feels To Be Colored’ left an indelible impression upon Woods and thus became the inspiration for the song. ‘EARTHA’ refers to singer & activist Eartha Kitt, ‘BASQUIAT’ stands for the prominent painter, and ‘MILES’ for the legendary jazz trumpet player.
She took the words ‘Legacy! Legacy!’ from a poem by Margaret Burroughs. ‘I just knew those words were the name of my next album,’ says Woods in an interview with Dazed. ‘Honouring all the people who came before, and asking the question: What will your legacy be?’