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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 Zeek Burse.

If you’ve listened to charismatic Philly singer-songwriter and performer Zeek Burse, you know what a wide range of influences he draws from. For our Black History Month series, he honed in on someone who was an artist as much as an activist and an incredibly accomplished instrumentalist and songwriter: Nina Simone. Here’s what Zeek had to say.

“I chose Nina Simone, simply because she’s always performed and sung with conviction and intent. Nina said ‘an artist’s duty is to reflect the times.’ And I believe she did that and more.”

Below, listen to Zeek Burse’s favorite Nina Simone songs, chosen for Black Inspirations on WXPN.

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