I read once that Hemingway, as a creative exercise, would limit himself to writing stories containing only six words.
I want you to try as well. Reply with your six-word stories. Channel your frustration at __insert world/society/community/individual__ into something creative. Don’t put too much thought into them, just write and see what comes out. Think of it as a haiku of sorts. More open-ended. It doesn't have to make sense to anyone but you.
- Angolan bride sells parents for dowry
- She leapt up bypassing the fire
- Not a war crime; a legacy.
- Woman as a nation. Now prisoner.
- Woman first roared. Man did cower..
- “Sorry I was bloated.” I shook.
And with the New Year, we’ve got new topics to mouth off on.
Hey guys, after an extended sabbatical, we at Smart + Angry have decided that it’s time we returned to our old stomping grounds and present to our readers (in case that you haven’t forgotten us and left the site for dead) an entire slew of new music and movie reviews, political diatribes and social commentary.
With that being said, let’s dive back in with a new series I’ve christened: The Fem Five List.
In 2013 there is no single, viable excuse to not have sufficient knowledge of musicians from around the world. All it takes is a few taps on the keyboard on Google and about .05 seconds to dive into an entire ocean of global singers and songwriters that only 20 years ago, would have remained unknown outside their communities and target audiences. Personally, being a huge supporter of my fellow sisters out there, I was ashamed at the lack of my own knowledge of some of these astounding talents. Well, now here I present to you a beginner’s guide to some of the most inspiring, raw, talented ladies working it out there on the world’s stage. Take note, these ladies aren’t your average pop starlets.
1. Elif Caglar
This sultry crooner has been huge on the Turkish jazz circuit. The 32-year-old songstress began her studies at Istanbul’s Bilgi Unviersity under Turkey’s most prominent jazz musicians, before finishing her Master’s at Queen’s College in New York City. Caglar’s talents blossomed in the big city and she now has the awards, and enamored fan base, to back her up.
2. Anoushka Shankar
The surname gives it away. Anoushka’s famous father, Ravi Shanker (R.I.P.), began teaching his little ingénue to play the sitar at age nine. Fast forward 22 years and Anoushka’s album “Traveler” was nominated for a Grammy along in the same category as her father’s last album where she and her half-sister, Norah Jones, accepted a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award in his honor. Highly talented in her own right, Anoushka has garnered no less than three Grammy nominations, as well as Woman of the Year (2003), a Top 20 Hero by the Asian edition of Time (2004) and 2012’s Best Artist at the Songlines Music Awards. A singer, sitarist, actor and activist, Anoushka’s work extends beyond the shadow of her famous last name and she joins her older sister Norah as an influential fem powerhouse in her own right
3. Souad Massi
A good friend of mine remarked once that Souad Massi’s single, “Ghir Enta”, sounded like “Arabic baby making music.” I’ve yet to find a better description. Massi has been on the international music circuit for years, beginning her career in her home country of Algeria. She reminds me a lot of Manu Chao—using several different influencers from African beats, rock, Western country, French and Arabic and the Berber language of Kabyle. Her 2003 album, Deb, sold widely on the international market and gave us this precious gem...happy listening folks:
4. Fatoumata Diawara
Turning her back on her family’s wishes for her to settle down and lead a proper life, Diawara did what any artist would and ran away to Paris to join a theater group and eventually become a musician. The 30 year old is deeply connected to her roots in Mali, singing many of her tunes in her native Bambara against her guitar and African beats. Another noted activist, she recently joined in with her fellow countrymen to record a song for peace amongst the growing Islamist threat in the country, and will appear in concert for International Women’s Day. You can catch Diawara here in the States for her month-long tour, starting March 30 in Berkeley.
5. Laura Izibor
Likely the best-known artist on this list, Izibor is a 25-year-old R&B singer from Dublin who’s opened for India.Arie, John legend, Estelle, and the queen of R&B herself, Aretha Franklin. Izibor’s talents extend beyond her soulful voice, and she’s a killer composer, producer and pianist in her own right. Now cozy up under a warm blanket with your loved one (be it man, woman, or cat) and turn on Izibor’s Spotify station for a romantic night in.
Until next time,