Singer, rapper, poet, social activist, Akua Naru today releases her highly anticipated, soulful new album The Blackest Joy.
The 11-track project is her third studio album and the follow up to 2015’s The Miner’s Canary.
The American raised and now Germany-based artist and activist, Naru, intertwines elements of African traditional music with her modern Jazz rap style.The Blackest Joy is a stunning musical journey with themes of race, identity, the role of women and femininity. It takes the listener through compelling stories of triumph through tribulation and the arrival of power and joy through struggle. It is a composition of music to celebrate the black joy and an aesthetic homage to the power of the human spirit in its strength to overcome.
Each track brings in references from pop culture figures like Serena Williams in the song “Serena”:, “Lost in a fever got me queening like Serena.” Other tracks such as “Baldwin’s Crown” succeeds in mixing elements of Jazz and African drum beats as well as using funk and soul rhythms. Akua empowers listeners on tracks like “Black Genius” and “Made It”, the latter featuring Grammy-nominated Soul veteran Eric Benét.
The accompanying video premiered on alternative black culture giant, AFROPUNK who wrote, “a poetic narrative that shines brightly through warm harmonies and an energetic melody, …Naru narrates perspectives of the black experiences through tongue-and-cheek lyricism that bursts with nostalgia, power, and struggle, but ultimately joy.”
Akua celebrates womanliness on “My Mother’s Daughter” and the beauty of romance with “(Love) Right Now.” Her adoration of African grooves is highlighted on “Sweat” featuring Ugandan musician Sandra Suubi.
Through her music, this gifted artist is committed to spreading the idea of multiculturalism while celebrating the culture she was born into. Through the release of The Blackest Joy and on her international tour which kicks off in the United Kingdom on May 1, Akua will bring her message to the masses. She adds, “The Blackest Joy is an album that celebrates the beauty; the bounty of black joy. The Blackest Joy is a journey along the spectrum of black expression- from joy and love to the possibility of hope.”
In a recent sold-out show in Brussels, fans chanted, “AKUA!“ in a crowd of over 1000 people. Fans gave rave reviews such as “Awesome crowd for a beautiful and talented artist!” and “Love definitely has a sound and it’s yours, thanks for the amazing show.”
The Blackest Joy is on these streaming services: Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and Amazon Music.
Akua Naru Online