When fashion, art and music come together, a truly revolutionary force is begging to be reckoned with and considered a valuable result of human ingenuity. This revolutionary force comes in the form of Laura Mvula, a British songstress with the genius of a style maven and the creative spirit of a visual artist. Simultaneously occupying the space of visual and musical artist expressively makes Mvula a particularly innovative cultural producer. Black Girl Magic shines through the reaffirming power of her lyrics and the style in which she appears aesthetically. Her alternative, neo-soul vibe infuses melodic riffs with subtle call to action (or inaction as in “Can’t Live with the World”) amongst the cleverly written words of her lyrics. The unique blend of soul, pop, jazz and R&B makes Mvula’s music appear an unexpected creation of sonic power and talent. It also strengthens her expression of Black excellence to the highest of all standards. This playlist of curated tracks will take you on a journey toward Laura Mvula fandom and into a universe of human ingenuity.
Essentially a freedom song of sorts, “Overcome” exists as a message of joyousness in spite of oppression. It is a perfect complement to Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright”. Our modern answer to “We Shall Overcome” is the basis of this song.
“Sing to the Moon”
If ever there were a non-obvious lullaby, “Sing to the Moon” would be it. Seemingly an epilogue to the uplifting “Overcome”, the melody breathes power into the acknowledgement of something bigger than this earthly life.
“Can’t Live with the World”
The self-care anthem, “Can’t Live with the World” is basically expressing the obvious truth that you can’t live with the world on your shoulders.
The song that brought Laura Mvula into existence for me through a Discover Weekly playlist, “She” brings resiliency into a soothing light. The calm nature of the song allows you to connect with Mvula’s musical spirit at the same time as giving you the feeling of invincibility.
“Cause my skin ain’t light…” echoes subtly throughout Mvula’s poetic lyrics about identity politics. The song is fundamentally defining the characteristics of being comfortable in your own skin. It also touches upon the theme of understanding that Blackness, especially Black womanhood, is at the center of the universe and rejecting opposing forces that believe their position at the center of the universe gives them license to police others.
Charity Gates, Digital Content Editor