Searching for “Heavn” on Debut Jamila Woods Album

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Chicago-based soul singer/songwriter/poet Jamila Woods is well known for her collaborations with Chance the Rapper on hit song “Sunday Candy” as well as future single “Blk Girl Soldier”  She has been praised for months now, for showing depth as a solo artist, for being a do-it-all poet who makes freedom songs for females, as well just simply being multifaceted. As such, it is no wonder her debut album has been garnering so much attention of late.

Heavn is meant to be a soulful compilation that catapults Woods to stardom, or at least somewhere along the way. With fellow artists appearing throughout the album, including guest stars Chance the Rapper, Saba, Lorine Chia, and Donnie Trumpet, the 13-track masterpiece-in-the-making explores more than the cliché and the commercially accessed – she delves into her love for Chicago, from its expressways to the lonely notes of girlhood. “HEAVN is about black girlhood, about Chicago, about the people we miss who have gone on to prepare a place for us somewhere else, about the city/world we aspire to live in,” Woods says in a press release. “I hope this album encourages listeners to love themselves and love each other. For black and brown people, caring for ourselves and each other is not a neutral act. It is a necessary and radical part of the struggle to create a more just society. Our healing and survival are essential to the fight.”

The new darling of the year, Jamila Woods has officially moved out of the just a welcome guest presence on another’s work, to leading with a soulful and singular voice that brings chills to the skin. Producers on the different tracks include Ayanna Woods, Dee Lilly, oddCouple, Kweku Collins, Carter Lang, Peter Cottontale, Nate Fox, Loshendrix, Jus Cuz, Saba, and Jus Love; most tracks feature 2 producers each, though HEAVN is wholly Jamila’s production. You can find the whole album available online for streaming already, for free off SoundCloud. Her message highlights a call for hope and peace within the socio-political framework she explores in her singing.