Jazz phenom Cécile McLorin Salvant sat down with Soul Sisters a week before flying out to Los Angeles for the Grammy Awards, where she was nominated for – and would win – Best Jazz Vocal Album, for her latest LP For One to Love. Without knowing she will take home the award she tells us that her goals for the evening will simply be “to get a little drunk and to hopefully meet Kendrick Lamar.”
Before that humble proclamation (that we certainly hope came true), the 26 year-old reveals what musical influences inspired her sublime voice (everything from Marvin Gaye to Appalachia), how she’s been experimenting with re-appropriating the racist, late 19th century genre called “coon songs” (“I think it’s really important to vividly feel that feeling of not being comfortable“) and how her personal feminism is expressed throughout her work, if only by the very act of creation.
“For me, feminism is the freedom of choice, of choosing your life, and of deciding how you want to be as a person,” she explains.
“As a woman, if you are making art then that is already a feminist statement in and of itself. Even if you are maybe doing things that would not be considered ‘feminist’…the action, the intention, of even just creating art, I think, is a feminist act.”
Check out the full episode below, hosted by Billboard writer/content creator Jessie Katz and Parlour Tricks singer Darah Golub, and be sure to subscribe to our iTunes channel for all future episodes: