Chill Corner: A Look at R&B artist India.Arie
India.Arie, born India Arie Simpson, is an American R&B singer who achieved commercial success in the early 2000s. She had musical talent since her younger years, but after her family moved to Atlanta in the ‘80s, she realized her connection to music at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).
Her music is quite different from typical R&B, due to her frequent utilization of acoustic folk style, making for a refreshing sound. Her lyricism is excellent, as the subjects of her songs widely vary.
She has released five studio albums, including “Acoustic Soul” (2001), “Voyage to India” (2002), “Testimony 1: Life & Relationship” (2006), “Testimony 2: Love & Politics” (2009) and “Songversation” (2013). She also released a Christmas album in 2015. Arie has won four Grammy Awards, one of those being Album of the Year (“Voyage to India”) in 2003.
My favorite albums released by India.Arie are “Acoustic Soul,” “Voyage to India” and “Songversation.” Her debut album “Acoustic Soul” established her as a different breed of R&B singer, as she heavily utilized acoustic guitars and folk styles. It received universal acclaim, and garnered many Grammy nominations in 2002.
The song “Video” describes how she doesn’t feel pressured by societal norms. It features the staple acoustic guitar and a vibey-soul sound. The song “Simple” sends a clear message – that she loves her significant other. This song has a different, more upbeat sound.
The song “Nature” is about how she would rather sit and admire nature than get caught in the hustle and bustle of life.
The album “Voyage to India” was released relatively soon after her debut album, so many were concerned that Arie wouldn’t continue her huge momentum. However, “Voyage to India” stayed true to her debut album’s style, and continued her success, achieving a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album.
The song “Talk to Her” tells men to always treat their love interest with respect. The acoustic guitar provides an interesting vibe that makes you want to keep listening.
The song “Can I Walk with You” is about a woman whose significant other challenges her to be better and makes her feel happy. It has a more playful and happy sound. The song “Get It Together” stresses that you have the power to be what kind of person you want to be, good or bad.
The album “Songversation” is Arie’s most recent R&B album, released in 2013. It has a mix of tempos, with some very slow songs and some songs with boom-bap beats. The song “Moved by You” is about the wonderful feelings that her significant other gives her.
The song “Thy Will Be Done” has a very different sound from the other songs on the album. It has a strong reggae sound, and is more upbeat. It’s about using her talents and religious conviction to help others in the world.
India.Arie introduced a unique sound to the world of R&B with her focus on folk styles that pay homage to different world cultures. Her soulful and calm sounds make for a pleasant listening experience.