It has been five years since the 31-year-old bassist, singer, and composer Esperanza Spalding beat Justin Bieber by winning the Grammy award for Best New Artist, which also created a large outrage for his most loyal fans. The Beliebers began to vent their disappointment by posting on her Wikipedia page things like “WHO THE HECK ARE YOU ANYWAY?” Even though those posts did not faze Spalding, the one thing that did was the fact that the Grammy win made her brother cry. “That was the biggest achievement of all, because he’s so serious,” she says.
After a three-year break from music, Esperanza Spalding has released her fifth album: Emily’s D+Evolution. Rolling Stone called it “potent” and “seductive,” Pitchfork said that the album was “noisily complex” and “”gorgeously so,” and the New York Times’ review called Spalding “ingenuous and unbound.”
The album talks in the voice of her alter ego, Emily (which also happens to be her middle name), which discusses the strong desire to start over. Her sound is insanely different because her trademark jazz genre changes into this rock and mid-70s R&B hybrid.
Spalding called this album “a state of mind to be channeled in difficult situations.” “I was so afraid they wouldn’t like me, and I didn’t want to deal with that letdown, so I was going through this whole rationalization of why I shouldn’t go. And all of a sudden I heard this [voice say], ‘You know what? Fuck the fear, live your life! Why would you not go, just for some bullshit fear?’ That night, she ended up writing “Funk the Fear” which is a reminder to the world not to play safe.
What’s funny is that never wanted to be a vocalist. She said “it just happened that way after joining the band.” Her voice commands so much attention just like her fashion choices, which are sending little signs to the fashion world. Even though she doesn’t think she has a style, she heavily focuses on what to wear to match the theme of her outfit.
Nevertheless, you should definitely check out her new album on iTunes. It’s worth the money, and it’s definitely worth the wait.
(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Michael Dorf Presents)