One of the most versatile songstresses to bless global music, Erykah Badu has made her way down under for the second year in a row, with shows across Australia and New Zealand. According to the hype, she’s got a seventh album in the works, and with over seven million album sales in the United States alone, it’s an understatement to suggest that she’s got a committed fan base, no doubt due to her consistent innovation, passion and exquisite inner and outer style.
One of the most forward-thinking and creative artists in music today, Badu is a fantastic mix of unconventional yet unapologetic womanhood; she is a leader on one truly evolutionary path. It’s with poise and grace that Ms Badu has forged her own path in soul music. An iconoclast in what has become neo-soul genre, she has remained a significant force in hip-hop, contemporary R&B, jazz and funk since she burst into our lives 15 years ago with the release of her first album, Baduizm. If you don’t have it, get it – and pick up Mama’s Gun while you’re at it. They’re the sorts of albums you’ll be passing down through generations, much like Nina Simone’s It Is Finished and ‘Nuff Said! were before.
In an interview with Rolling Stone’s Steve Baltin prior to Boston’s Rock the Bells festival, she discussed her own expectations of herself. “As a performance artist, in the spirit of Yoko Ono, in the spirit of Josephine Baker, in the spirit of Nina Simone, I know what kind of reaction I expect or want to get. I know when the audience and the artist become one living-breathing organism. It’s happened a couple of times, but I want it to happen all the time.”