ZORA Live | Jamila Woods

Live Recording

A VAM STUDIO Production

Chicago-based soul singer, poet, teacher and activist Jamila Woods has announced her second LP LEGACY! LEGACY! to be released May 10th via Jagjaguwar.  From the tracklisting for her first project since her breakthrough LP HEAVN, it’s clear that the album is influenced by many people that inspired Woods over the course of her life. Poet Hanif Abdurraqib points out in her bio that “ More than just giving the song titles the names of historical black and brown icons of literature, art, and music, Jamila Woods builds a sonic and lyrical monument to the various modes of how these icons tried to push beyond the margins a country had assigned to them….And so, Legacy! Legacy! A song for Zora! Zora, who gave so much to a culture before she died alone and longing. A song for Octavia and her huge and savage conscience! A song for Miles! One for Jean-Michel and one for my man Jimmy Baldwin!” The album features production from return collaborator Oddcouple along with Peter Cottontale, and up and comer Chicago producer Slot-A with features from Saba, Nico Segal, theMIND, Jasminfire and Nitty Scott.

"You can watch/hear a new song from the album “ZORA” now. Directed by Vincent Martell of VAM STUDIO and filmed in the Johnson Publishing Archives at Chicago’s Stony Island Arts Bank, the video features Jamila performing a live version of the song, surrounded by artifacts from the historic Black-owned publishing company. Of the song Jamila states: ”My weaponry is my energy... An antidote for the feeling of being judged on first glance. A salve for when people think they know you better than you know yourself. It's about refusing to be essentialized and not allowing your identity to be put in a box. You contain multitudes. You are ever-evolving.  A song to get free from stereotypes & assumptions, inspired by the writing of Zora Neale-Hurston.” Director Vincent Martell adds "In our society, a black body unapologetically taking up space is revolutionary in itself. Jamila goes even further by rocking out to a song named after Zora Neale Hurston in a library filled with hundred of thousands of pieces of black literature. The production is a celebration of black people living in their essence and that undeniable energy transmits on camera."

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Director - Vincent Martell
Producer - Jordan Phelps
Director of Photography - Hannah Welever
Steadicam Operator - Brian Romano
1st AC - Jana McLain
Gaffer - Mawie Talion
Sound Engineer - Dorian Gehring
Film Editor - Jordan Phelps
Key Costumer- Whitney Middleton
Second Costumer - Sal Yvat
Makeup - Krystyn Johnson
Production Assistant - Maame Addae

Band - Musical Director + Keys - AMI
Bass - Erik Hunter
Guitar - Justin Canavan
Drums - DJ Abernathy
Backing Vocalists - Tramaine Parker, Ayanna Woods, Allie Bradford

Special thanks to Tusk Chicago, Alyx Harch and No Merit for providing wardrobe and to The Stony Island Arts Bank for venue.

Read Pitchfork’s Review on Zora HERE