It’s Thursday. And you know what that means. I give you a blast from the past. Today I want to focus on Nina Simone.
There has been an uproar on twitter (follow me by the way) and blogs about Zoe Saldana being chosen to play Nina Simone in a movie about the pop superstar’s life. People were mostly angered by the fact that Zoe’s skin is much lighter than that of Nina. There have even been open letters to Zoe, like the one HERE, where she is criticised for her ignorance towards the issue. Can we just let Zoe be great?
I digress. This post is about Nina. She was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music. Simone aspired to become a classical pianist while working in a broad range of styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. As a child, she wanted to be a concert pianist but was denied a scholarship at the institution where she wanted to study. She later started performing at a nightclub where she was discovered. The rest, as they say, is history…
Nina has inspired many artists of our generation, including the likes of Christina Aguilera, John Legend and Lauryn Hill. Even South Africa’s very own Lira, has cited Nina as her main inspiration. Here is a video of the talented vocalist singing her hit, ‘Feeling Good’. This is not an official video. It was created by students in a motion graphics class. It is suitable nevertheless.