After a tumultuous few weeks in which women have spoken up, shouted out, and stood up in the face of a whole new level of adversity, music seems to be the only salve. We live in troubled times, friends. That is for certain.
Enter Charity Ekeke, the songstress who’s been compared to everyone from Sharon Jones to Whitney Houston. Her latest release, She, takes on everything from teenage prostitution to birth control to the Syrian migration with grace and an unwillingness to forgive. Ekeke’s voice is that of women around the world who are rising up against their circumstances in an often overbearing patriarchal society.
The irony? Most of the songs on She were written 20 years ago. That’s right; the same issues that seem so topical now aren’t new at all. If that fact depresses the hell out of you, just listen to her ethereal vocals and feel hope. Feel possibility. Feel justice.
Recently, Ekeke was kind enough to take a few minutes to chat about She and its core message.
Your music has a distinctly feminist slant. What is the message you want to communicate to women through your songs?
These songs came up from my subconscious due to my frustrations about the struggles and unfairness that women around the world go through. Those songs, I wrote over 20 years ago, [and] still, here we are. Not much has changed. They say the more things change, the more they stay the same. That may be what it is.
I was really surprised to see how relevant those songs are today. These are things that were important to me at the time that the songs were initially written and are still important today. Something as simple as equal pay has not been accomplished, especially in a country like the US.
I think it is important to be true to yourself in whatever you do. My message to women around the globe is not to give up hope. The accomplishments of women before us are the reasons we can do what we do today. Those struggles do pay off. They have to keep their eyes on the prize and know what their priorities are in life.