Future of Black Girls in Music

SZA (left) and FKA twigs (right) are boldly redefining the future of Black girls in music

SZA (left) and FKA twigs (right) are boldly redefining the future of Black girls in music

SZA? FKA twigs? If their names are not unconventional enough, their music certainly is. Several critics and fans alike have used phrases like “experimental R&B” and “avant-pop” in an attempt to describe their sound, but neither of those descriptions is as yet able to truly do their music justice. While their sound may not necessarily submit to easy, or straightforward categorization, there is undoubtedly a certain neo-futuristic element to their music that has propelled both of these small town girls to stardom. However, beyond merely rewriting the sound of music today, SZA and FKA twigs are—perhaps even unbeknownst to them—redefining the traditional cultural expectations of what Black girls in the music industry should sound and look like.
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An African City

An African City

An African woman… With a pot on her head… Half naked, except for strings of beads hanging from her neck. We’ve all come across this image, or at least some variation of it before, whether on TV or somewhere online. Replace the pot on her head with a hand-woven basket filled with rice or fruit. Add a little baby strapped tightly around her back with the help of a long piece of brightly colored and patterned cloth, and perhaps yet another young child holding on to this dark-skinned woman’s hand as she calmly stares back at you from whatever screen you’re gazing at her from.
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