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Jamila Woods

Jamila Woods’ cultural lineage–from her love of Lucille Clifton’s poetry to cherished letters from
her grandmother to the infectious late 80s post-punk of The Cure–structure the progressive,
delicate and minimalist soul of HEAVN, her debut solo album. “It’s like a collage process,” she
says. “It’s very enjoyable to me to take something I love and mold it into something new.” A
frequent guest vocalist in the hip-hop, jazz and soul world, Jamila has emerged as a once-in-ageneration
voice on her soul-stirring debut.
Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Woods grew up in a family of music lovers. It took
a surprise poetry class with a high school arts program for Jamila to finally find her metaphorical
and literal voice. “Through poetry, I realized you are the expert of your own experience,” she
says. Her poetry studies continued in college and in her professional career with Young Chicago
Music–like poetry– is personal. “It became a way to stop hiding, to actually be the most honest
with myself through writing,” she says. “It helps me check in with myself.” And that honesty
translated to HEAVN, an album she describes as a collection of, “nontraditional love songs
pushing the idea of what makes a love song.” You’ll find the bits and pieces of her past and
present that make Jamila: family, the city of Chicago, self-care, and the black women she calls
Jamila is an artist of substance creating music crafted with a sturdy foundation of her passions
and influences. True and pure in its construction and execution, her music is the best
representation of Jamila herself: strong in her roots, confident in her ideas, and attuned to the
people, places and things shaping her world.

My Talent Sessions

Thursday, May 17

9:30pm EDT

Friday, May 18

11:30am EDT