Jamila Woods 'Zora'

Jamila Woods Honors a Cultural Icon With New Single “ZORA”

Chicago-based singer, songwriter and poet Jamila Woods‘ new album LEGACY! LEGACY! is set for release on May 10, 2019. Along with the announcement, she has released her newest single “ZORA.”

The second the track starts, it immediately sounds like a Jamila Woods song. With her distinct voice, smooth and like a lullaby, a steady drumbeat and touches of a dreamy harp sample in the chorus, you are instantly pulled in. Her songs have a contemporary R&B sound while letting the soulfulness of her voice and her message shine.

The lyrics celebrate individuality and refusal to be put into a box. Ultimately, the song is a send-off to those who judge and assume they know everything about you. Lines like “Your words don’t leave scars, believe me, I’ve heard them all” and “My weaponry is my energy” shows a woman not afraid to be herself. The abrupt ending feels like a final slamming of the door in the face of judgment and ignorance. Considering the message of the song, it’s a solid ending.

The track takes the point of view of Zora Neale Hurston. She is one of, if not the most significant black female writer of the 20th century. She played a huge part during the time of the Harlem Renaissance, writing two books of folklore, an autobiography and numerous short stories and poems. Hurston published her masterwork Their Eyes Were Watching God in 1937.

“ZORA” is a beautiful testament to Hurston’s legacy, letting the words speak for themselves and not getting overwhelmed by overproduction. Woods is a true wordsmith, paying tribute to her influences while establishing herself in her own right.

Check out the live session performance of “ZORA” below. As we mentioned earlier, the album will come out in May. Woods has named each track on the album after iconic black cultural figures. Also, you can learn more about Zora Neale Hurston at her official website.

Featured Image: Twitter (@jamilawoods)

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