Stones Throw’s own Sudan Archives has made waves in music for her unique, innovative violin playing that bolsters her infectious blend of R&B, pop and hip-hop. Following the release of “Home Maker,” a beautiful reflection of domesticity as an act of self-care, back in March, she returns with “Selfish Soul.” The single and accompanying video celebrate Black hair in all of its glory, paying homage to the labor, care and innovation that goes into each strand.
Drums rumble and Sudan’s playful violin evokes the joyful, triumphant nature of protest chants and political folk songs. She sings ”’Bout time I be my selfish soul,” standing defiant to the unfair expectations placed upon Black hair. The accompanying video, directed by Trey Lyons, is a gorgeous celebration of Blackness. From braids to waves, all hair types are celebrated in the stunning visual. Sudan also breaks out some wild cards, including playing violin upside down on a pole.
Speaking on the inspiration for the song, Sudan explains:
I feel like there’s an American standard of what beautiful hair is, and I wanted to show in this video that’s not what all beauty is; to showcase different hairstyles and different types of women and their hair. I was inspired by India Arie’s “I Am Not My Hair,” one of the first songs I heard about this subject. She talks about extensions and weaves and natural hair and nappy hair, and that she’s not her hair; she won’t conform to the comparisons that would come up if you had a weave or sew-in or natural hair or Afro – that doesn’t represent her.
Below, watch the video for “Selfish Soul.”