Day 77 - Black Myself: Amythyst Kiah
A hugely powerful, relevant and uplifting anthem for our times by Amythyst Kiah, a favourite artist of Southern Fried Festival audiences. Here, she performs the GRAMMY-nominated song with Our Native Daughters (Amythyst Kiah, Rhiannon Giddens, Allison Russell and Leyla McCalla) at last September's Americana Music Association Awards show. Performed in Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium, the iconic original home of the Grand Ole Opry, the sight of four black women receiving a standing ovation in this fomer bastion of white southern culture is hopefully a sign of better things to come.
Born in Chattanooga and now based in Johnson City, Tennessee, Amythyst Kiah’s commanding stage presence is matched by her raw and powerful vocals; a deeply moving, hypnotic sound that stirs echoes of a distant and restless past. Her eclectic influences span decades, finding inspiration in old time music, alternative rock, folk, country and blues.
Our Native Daughters released their massively acclaimed album, Songs of Our Native Daughters in 2018. NPR described the opening track, Black Myself, as "the simmering defiance of self-respect in the face of racism” and it was deservedly nominated for a Grammy in the Best American Roots Song category. The group was also nominated for Duo/Group Of The Year at the 2019 Americana Music Association Awards and International Album Of The Year at the AMA UK awards.
"When I talk about Black Myself, I try to preface it with this goes beyond being a song about black people in America. It goes beyond that. It’s an American story, a shared trauma that black and white people share. Standing on someone’s neck to keep them down and you can uplift yourself, that is an abusive relationship, and it negatively impacts everyone involved."