Jamila Woods releases new Toni Morrison-inspired song, “SULA” (listen)
Jamila Woods has released her first new song since 2019's excellent LEGACY! LEGACY!. Every song on that album was inspired by a different artist of color, and this Toni Morrison-inspired song is no different. Via press release:
Focusing on Morrison's depiction of the relationship between Sula Peace and Nel Wright, Woods finds freedom of spirit in its text. "It's the first Toni Morisson novel I ever read and it inspired the first chapbook of poems I ever wrote," says Woods. "The novel shows the evolution of a friendship between two Black women and how they choose to navigate society's strict gender roles and rules of respectability. On Sula, Toni Morrison wrote, 'living totally by the law and surrendering totally to it without questioning anything sometimes makes it impossible to know anything about yourself.' Returning to the story several years later, it gave me permission to reject confining ideas about my identity designed to shrink my spirit. It reminded me to embrace my tenderness, my sensitivities, my ways of being in my body. This song is a mantra to allow myself space to experience my gender, love, intimacy, and sexuality on my own terms."
It's a stripped-back song with little more than Jamila singing over some clean electric guitar (by Justin Canavan), and it's a great dose of indie-soul. Listen: