Booty-Popping and Politically Motivating: A Venus Sings Music List

By Reza Corinne Clifton
(Reza Rites / Venus Sings / Reza Wreckage / AmbitousBlackFeminist)

PROVIDENCE, RI – Booty-popping, body rocking, party starting. Love-making, soul shaking, politically motivating.

As a radio and event DJ, I am often asked to select and play music that makes a listener dance, sing out loud and bond with a neighbor. As a digital storyteller, I use music as one of the mediums through which I communicate my own ideals related to justice, equity, tolerance and plurality. And as an #AmbitiousBlackFeminist, I look to and love to elevate the voices, struggles and accomplishments of women, including female musicians.*

So what does my music collection look like? Who do I identify as top musicians? Below is a list showing artists/songs/albums that I might label as “hot,” “revolutionary,” or both based on selections played in 2012 and 2013 on my radio show, Venus Sings Radio.

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I. Santigold. In 2012 she released Master of My Make Believe, a full-length release following her debut album Santogold (which was the early spelling of her name).

The Album is Master of My Make Believe.
The Year it was released is 2012.
The Song(s) I Played on Repeat for a While: Disparate Youth, Pirate in the Water.
The Song(s) I Play on Repeat Currently: This Isn’t Our Parade, Freak Like Me

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I.** Ceu. In 2012, Ceu released Caravana Sereia Bloom, a full-length release following her albums Vagarosa and Ceu – which was her debut album.

The Album is Caravana Sereia Bloom.
The Year it was released is 2012
The Song(s) I Played on Repeat for a While: Retrovisor, Amor de Antigos
The Songs I Play on Repeat Currently: Falta de Ar, Asfalto e Sal

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II. Estelle. In 2012 Estelle released All of Me, a full-length release following her albums Shine and The 18th Day – which was her debut album.

The Album is All of Me.
The Year it was released is 2012
The Song(s) I Played on Repeat for a While: Thank You, Cold Crush
The Song(s) I Play on Repeat Currently: Do My Thing (featuring Janelle Monae), Freak

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III. Janelle Monae. In 2010 Janelle Monae released The Archandroid, a full-length release following her EP Metropolis: The Chase Suite. In September (2013) she’ll be releasing The Electric Lady, her next full-length album.

The Album is The Archandroid
The Year it was released is 2010
The Song(s) I Played on Repeat for a While: Tightrope, Dance or Die
The Song(s) I Play on Repeat Currently: Locked Inside, Neon Valley Street
Single off upcoming release: Dance Apocalyptic

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IV. Ana Tijoux. In 2012, Ana Tijoux released The Bala, a full-length release following her earlier solo albums 1977 and Kaos. Prior to Kaos, she released music under group projects Vida Salvaje, Aerolíneas Makiza, and Casino Royal.

The Album is La Bala
The Year it was released is 2012
The Song(s) I Played on Repeat for a While: 1977 (off of 1977), Shock
The Song(s) I Play on Repeat Currently: Sacar La Voz, La Bala

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V. Nneka. In 2012, Nneka released Soul is Heavy, a full-length release following her earlier albums, Concrete Jungle, No Longer at Ease, and Victim of Truth.

The Album is Soul is Heavy
The Year it was released is 2012
The Song(s) I Played on Repeat for a While: Heartbeat (off of Concrete Jungle),
Lucifer
The Song(s) I Play on Repeat Currently: Camouflage, Soul is Heavy

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* I do not exclude male artists when I’m DJ’ing events. However, I do co-produce a radio show called Voices of Women which is limited to just that.

** Santigold and Ceu were tied for the number one spot on my list.

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This article was originally published in Issue 2 of “3 AM is the New Black.” It is being re-released here just in time for the Holiday season. Click here to learn more about #3amblack and to find links to purchase your copy. 

About Reza Rites (Venus Sings/Reza Wreckage/the #AmbitiousBlackFeminist)

Reza Clifton has many nicknames because she is a writer, digital storyteller, and cultural navigator based out of Providence, RI. This means she works and makes her income in several different ways, including but not excluding sending and publishing written work, multimedia stories and interviews with artists and community leaders; DJ’ing at professional, cultural and family events in different cities; giving speeches, workshops and lectures on college campuses and in community sites; and curating and producing community and nightclub arts events.

Reza is also the producer of radio shows on two university-based stations, WRIU (wriu.org, 90.3 FM) and BSR (bsrlive.com), Brown Student and Community Radio. She also produces a syndicated radio program and video podcast series called the Reza Wreckage 10 in 10 (www.vimeo.com/channels/rezawreckage10in10), and she is the publisher/editor of 3 AM is the New Black – a zine-style journal documenting the intersection of high art, street art, and critical social discourse (www.venussings.wordpress.com/3-am-is-the-new-black).

You can follow her writing, multimedia stories, adventures as a DJ and notes from her collaborations with artists and community members on www.VenusSings.com and on www.AmbitiousBlackFeminist.com.

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