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Venus Sings by Reza Rites

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NOW ONLINE: Venus Sings Radio / VenusSings.com Annual List of the “Top” Women in Music

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

***
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

***
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

***

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

***

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

***
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

***

* 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.

***

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.

Year-End Discoveries, Analyses and Throwback Tunes: Venus Sings Radio / VOW Playlist, March 24, 2012


The song “Disparate Youth” by Santigold is definitely one of the songs I rocked this year.  It was released as a single as well as part of her album, “Master of My Make Believe” – both in 2012.  It was also a track I dropped on the March 24, 2012 edition of Venus Sings Radio on Voices of Women on WRIU.  I was inspired to play it, in part, because Santigold was one of the artists I enjoyed hearing during my March trip to Austin, Texas – to South by Southwest.  Quantic, Alice Russell, Nneka, Tiger Lily, and Zuzuka Poderosa were other artists I saw and/or heard perform during my SXSW adventure. 

Venus Sings Radio on Voices of Women 
March 24, 2012 (and every 4th Saturday)
9-11 AM on WRIU / 90.3 FM / http://www.wriu.org

  1. Ceu / Cagote / Vagarosa
  2. Ceu / Comadi / Vagarosa
  3. Estelle / Let’s Fall in Love
  4. Estelle / Thank You
  5. Quantic & Alice Russell and the Combo Barbaro / Look Around the Corner
  6. Nneka / Heartbeat / Concrete Jungle
  7. Quantic & The Combo Barbaro ft. Nydia Gongora / Un Canto a Mi Tierra
  8. Tiger Lily / Hair Piece
  9. Nneka / Suffri / Concrete Jungle
  10. Nostalgia 77 ft. Alice Russell / Seven Nation Army (the grant phabao remix)
  11. Santigold / Disparate Youth / Master of My Make Believe
  12. Zuzuka Poderosa / Celular
  13. Janelle Monae / Violent Stars Happy Hunting / Metropolis: The Chase Suite, Special Edition
  14. Etana / Beautiful Day
  15. Zuzuka Poderosa / Chama o Bombeiro
  16. Isa GT / Alerta / The Paul Marmota Remix
  17. Sade / Soldier of Love / Soldier of Love
  18. M.I.A. / Bad Girls
  19. Bomba Estereo / Cumbia Sicodelica
  20. Ana Tijoux / Shock / La Bala
  21. Etana / I Am Strong
  22. Zili Misik / Karnaval 2012

Rivers, Raspberries, and Fertile Ground: The August 25, 2012 Venus Sings Radio Playlist

On the August 25 edition of Venus Sings Radio on Voices of Women, I played the official version of the song “I Follow Rivers” by Lykke Li. Above you’ll find “The Magician Remix” of the song (complemented by an animated version of the video). Click here to see the official video and here to see other videos posted on the Swedish artist’s site.  Otherwise, below is my full playlist from the show. 

Venus Sings Radio on Voices of Women 
August 25, 2012 (and every 4th Saturday)
9-11 AM on WRIU / 90.3 FM / http://www.wriu.org

  1. Amel Larrieux / Lucky to be Me / Lovely Standards
  2. Amel Larrieux / Wild is the Wind / Lovely Standards
  3. Ceu / Rosa Menina Rose / Vagarosa
  4. Lykke Li / I Follow Rivers / Wounded Rhymes
  5. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings / Mama Don’t Like My Man / I Learned the Hard Way
  6. Etta James / All I Could Do Was Cray / Etta James Rocks the House
  7. Leela James / A Change is Gonna Come / A Change is Gonna Come
  8. Aretha Franklin / Day Dreaming / Aretha Franklin 30 Greatest Hits
  9. Janelle Monae / Oh Maker / The Archandroid
  10. Cindi Lauper / I Don’t Want to Cry
  11. Corinne Bailey Rae / Till It Happens to You / Corinne Bailey Rae
  12. Erykah Badu / Time’s A Wastin / Mama’s Gun
  13. Amy Winehouse / Love is a Losing Game / Back to Black
  14. Esperanza Spaulding / She Got to You / Esperanza
  15. Sylvia Stiplin / Turn Me Away
  16. Sade / Soldier of Love / Sade
  17. Melissa Czarnik / My Raq / Strawberry Cadillac
  18. Melissa Czarnik / Anattitude / Raspberry Jesus
  19. Etana / Beautiful Day
  20. Etana / I Am Strong
  21. Fertile Ground / Live in the Light / Acid Jazz: The Essential Album
  22. M.I.A. / Paperplanes / The DFA Remix
  23. Santigold / Disparate Youth / Master of My Make Believe
  24. Omar ft. Angie Stone / Be Thankful / Acid Jazz: The Essential Album

Uncovered Treasures and Music by Women: The July 28, 2012 Venus Sings Playlist


Finding this playlist from July 2012 was as bad-ass as this song, Bad Girls, by global performer M.I.A. It was posted to Youtube in February 2012.

Venus Sings Radio on Voices of Women 
July 28, 2012 (and every 4th Saturday)
9-11 AM on WRIU / 90.3 FM / http://www.wriu.org

  1. Sonantes / Frevo de Saudade / Sonantes
  2. Sonantes / Carimbo / Sonantes
  3. Ocote Soul Sounds / Vendende Saude e Fe / Coconut Rock
  4. Sade / Soldier of Love / Soldier of Love
  5. Alicia Keys / Unthinkable / I’m Ready
  6. Adrian Younge / It’s Me
  7. Los Rakas ft. Goapele / Ready to Play
  8. Yusa / Conga Pasajera / Haiku
  9. Sylvia Striplin / Can’t Turn Me Away
  10. Zhane / The Vibe
  11. Nneka / Heartbeat / Concrete Jungle
  12. Ceu / Bubia / Vagarosa
  13. Sade / Skin / Soldier of Love
  14. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings / Window Shopping / I Learned the Hard Way
  15. Estelle / Thank You
  16. Nikka Costa / Cry Baby / Pebble to Pearl
  17. Chaka Khan / I Feel for You
  18. Alice Russell and Quantic ft. the Combo Barbaro / Look Around the Corner
  19. Santigold / Disparate Youth / Master of My Make Believe
  20. Ceu / Retrovisor / Caravana Sereia Bloom
  21. Maria de Barros / Mi Nada Um Ca Tem
  22. Zili Misik / Carnaval 2012
  23. MIA / Bad Girls
  24. Janelle Monae & Estelle / Do My Thing / All of Me
  25. Native Sun / Out of the Box ft. Akala / Indigenous Sound Waves

Small Gifts from VenusSings.com and WRIU: The September 22, 2012 VOW/VSR Playlist


A treat when listening through electronic devices, Nneka is nearly spiritual and absolutely transcendental live. Check her out for yourself in the video above and tune in to Venus Sings Radio every month to hear – or request – other selections by the Nigerian-German artist.

Venus Sings Radio on Voices of Women 
September 22, 2012 (and every 4th Saturday)
9-11 AM on WRIU / 90.3 FM / http://www.wriu.org

  1. Melanie Hall / Somebody Come Get Me
  2. Amy Winehouse / Wake Up Alone / Lioness: HIdden Treasures
  3. Adrian Younge / It’s Me
  4. Corinne Bailey Rae / Paris Days and New York Nights / The Sea
  5. Quantic & Alice Russell and the Combo Barbaro / Look Around the Corner
  6. Jill Scott / One is the Magic Number / Who is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds, Vol. 1
  7. Goapele / Closer
  8. Erykah Badu / 20 Feet Tall / New Amerykah, pt. 2: Return of the Ankh
  9. Ceu / Amor de Antigos / Caravana Sereia Bloom
  10. Jovi Rockwell & Mr. Vegas / Can’t Stop Now / Guns Don’t Kill People, Lazers Do
  11. Nneka / Lucifer (No Doubt) / Soul is Heavy
  12. Ceu / Retrovisor / Caravana Sereia Bloom
  13. Adele / Rolling in the Deep / 21
  14. Lily Allen / Everything’s Changing
  15. Jazmine Sullivan / My Foolish Heart / Fearless
  16. Lykke Li / Get Some / Wounded Rhymes
  17. Janelle Monae & Estelle / Do My Thing / Estelle: All of Me
  18. Isa Gt. and Dutch Rhythm Combo / Alerta
  19. Lykke Li / Dance Dance Dance / Youth Novels
  20. Ana Tijoux / Shock / La Bala
  21. Tiger Lily / Ohmygoodness
  22. Janelle Monae / Violent Stars Happy Hunting
  23. Santigold / Disparate Youth / Master of My Make Believe
  24. MIA / Bad Girls
  25. Ana Tijoux / Sacar La Voz / La Bala

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