All Articles Tagged "esperanza spalding"
When it comes to standards of beauty in the black hair community, one of the hot button issues arises from how much of the aesthetic we chose for ourselves comes from norms of attractiveness that have been imposed upon us by mainstream pop culture. In fact, one of the reasons that many women of color decide to go “natural” is in an effort to embrace their own definition of beauty and not to succumb to definitions that seem to be almost strictly decided externally.
As much as there is empowerment in, and a need for, embracing our own unique charm and comeliness, the fact is that we live in an increasingly diverse global village where cultures rub off on each other all the time (I love a Japanese man with locks) and sharing and emulating each other’s differences does not always have to be regarded as a pejorative phenomenon.
Take, for instance, Lady Gaga on the cover of Vogue’s huge September Fall Fashion issue. Wearing an intricately designed purple Marc Jacobs’ gown, Gaga sports a highly stylized blonde fro – a rather scene-stealing hairstyle, given the theatrics of the photoshopped hourglass figure she cuts in her couture dress.
One can imagine that the gravity defying, bodacious coif donned by Gaga must have taken quite some time to assemble by her team of stylists — a look inspired, no doubt, by the amazing properties of afro-textured hair. Our hair has the uncanny ability to assume shapes and heights and fullness that other ladies that lack the same texture dream about. This particular look, I like to call “The Halo Effect.” These are not traditional afros. Soft, full, unstructured and cloud-like, they give an ethereal vision of loveliness that is almost other worldly.
Here are some of our favorite stars over the years sporting their own natural (or not) ”halos”.
Earth angels, indeed.
Kelly can pull off straight or textured hair with aplomb, but there is something about big “halo” hair that makes her look fresh-faced and dewy.
I think we’ve all been there: stuck in traffic just burning to get in the house to sit down somewhere after going through a hard day or hard times in general. But instead, you’re staring at the back of the head of a stranger in their rusty car moving inch by inch. You know what you need? According to jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding, you need to hear your jam. And not the jam on your iPod, but the one on the radio that you never heard but can’t stop tapping your foot and singing the wrong lyrics to. We’ve all probably been guilty of making up some lyrics, right? As she says, “You can’t help singing along, even though you’ve never heard it, you keep singing it wrong!” And this song, “Radio song,” will indeed keep you moving.
Love the lyrics and the way this song changes every few minutes to surprise you (the pianist was working hard!). I wouldn’t deny it if I was stuck in a car (too bad I take the subway). But I think I’ll go find it and add it to my playlist because it just screams summer! It definitely sounds like a spirit lifter to waltz down the street with (in some wedges with your shades on?). Yep, “this song’s THE one.” Check it and let us know your thoughts:
But what do you think? Pass or play?
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When you win a Grammy and a resounding response is, “WHO,” you want to make sure that never happens again. With that in mind, Esperanza Spalding’s new album Radio Music Society is widely “mainstream jazz” so that it appeals to more than just jazz fans. The result? An album where the only real theme is, “I want them all to love me.” I don’t know that she can reach the pop world and this album certainly won’t do it but if you’re an R&B fan, you’ll definitely want to give this a listen.
Esperanza starts off with “Radio Song” which basically addresses those who don’t know who she is by basically saying, “Even though you never heard it, you keep singing along…this song.” It is quite uptempo and serves perfectly as an introduction to what most of the album will sound like. Here’s the thing about her voice: I think it is fairly strong but because she’s trying something new, it often sounds a little like…a Broadway singer. Most Broadway singers are good singers but I’m sure that isn’t the intent with her voice. As we go on, there are songs like “Cinnamon Tree,” “Hold On” and “Smile Like That” which offer a good and bad look at love. Then there’s “Land of the Free” and “Endangered Species” (which features vocal beast Lalah Hathaway) that tackle social issues. She even covered Michael Jackson’s “Can’t Help It” which quite frankly, people will hate or love – I guarantee there won’t be an in-between with that one.
Without a doubt, my absolute favorite track is “Crowned & Kissed.” Yes, it is a love song (though many lines in the song could be references to a Higher Power) but it isn’t even about that; the horn section epitomizes musicianship to me. They take the song to another level. In fact, if you find that you can’t get into Esperanza the artist (and I strongly encourage everyone to listen to her previous albums), just listen to the accompanying music. If that doesn’t make you sway, then maybe you just haven’t learned to fully appreciate music just yet.
Esperanza Spalding’s Radio Music Society is in stores on March 20th. Pick it up and add a little something more to your collection!
Looking for a list of winners from the 84th Academy Awards? You’re in the wrong place. Only fashion lovers are allowed to venture any further into this post because, lets face it, fashion is the
only main reason we tune in to awards shows. This year, women and men of color were heavily represented and, for the most part, did not disappoint. View our gallery of attendees to find out who they wore and solidify your favorite look of the night.
Judging by her Grammy and some live performances we’ve seen over the last year or so, there’s no denying that Esperanza Spalding is talented. But she’s really outdone herself with her newly released single, “Black Gold.” A tribute to Black History Month, the song is a collaboration with songtress Algebra Blessett.
The song is truly inspiring and the visuals are equally beautiful. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
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- Boy, Bye!: 6 Stupid Reasons to Turn a Man Down
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The extraordinarily beautiful Esperanza Spalding has been catching a lot of heat from all those little girls (and grown folks!) with Bieber fever because she snagged the Best New Artist Grammy over the teen crooner. Well, the Biebster might have to face the wrath of the Big Hair Don’t Care Club! Little man did the ultimate no-no…touched Esperanza’s hair during an interview!
Check out what The Grio says about it:
As if enduring death threats from angry hormonal tweens weren’t enough, Grammy Award winner Esperanza Spalding had to incur another act of violence via Justin Bieber — he touched her hair.
The two sat down with the Associated Press after Spalding’s surprising Best New Artist win. The jazz musician showed the depth of her patience and character by bearing an interview with Bieber in the first place — since when does the loser get more camera time than the person who walked away with the award? But the awkward moment escalates to absolute cringe-worthy when the interviewer asks the pair “how do you feel about each other?” Bieber replies “I like you hair,” patting Spalding’s ‘fro like a memory foam mattress.
Now I’m probably preaching to the choir on this one, but for the painfully uniformed and ignorant, please heed this simple PSA: DO NOT TOUCH A BLACK PERSON’S HAIR.
Read the rest of the story and watch the video of the follicle faux pas over on The Grio.
Who is this woman that sent Justin Bieber fans into an angered tizzy last night? If you haven’t been up on your new artist game lately, you might have missed Madame Spalding. Not only did this 26 year old bassist/jazz singer perform at the Nobel Peace Prize concert in 2009 she also honored Prince this past summer at his BET tribute. But, as with anyone, there’s a back story to her rise to Grammy earning career. Here are five things you didn’t know about Esperanza Spalding.