Nana Adjoa | photo courtesy of the artist
Black Inspirations: Nana Adjoa on Mavis Staples
For the month of February, in celebration of Black History Month on XPN, we’re presenting a new series called Black Inspirations. We’ve asked contemporary Black artists to share some of their influences from the Black music vanguard. The series continues today with a testimonial from Nana Adjoa.
Singer-songwriter Nana Adjoa hails from Amsterdam, is trained in jazz, and inspired by soul. The 2020 XPN Artist to Watch, released her full-length debut Big Dreaming Ants in September, chose to reflect on American legend Mavis Staples, whose career spans gospel, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and Civil Rights activism. Here’s what Adjoa had to say.
I got to see her live once in Rotterdam, and her voice brought tears to my eyes the first song in to concert. Her unique and deep and soulful voice and her whole being is just full of life. Strength, compassion, sorrow and joy. You can hear it in her earlier recordings with The Staples Singers, and you’ll hear and feel it in her latest records now. She really shows that talent doesn’t age.
Below, listen to Nana Adjoa’s favorite Mavis Staples songs, chosen for Black Inspirations on WXPN.