Famous Nova Scotia reggae performer to pay tribute to High Priestess of Soul

Nina Simone, known as the High Priestess of Soul, had a career that spanned five decades and included 40 albums.

In addition to her legendary voice, she was also a dedicated musician and activist.

His work continues to inspire musicians around the world.

This weekend, Symphony Nova Scotia will be joined by local reggae star Jah’Mila in a tribute to the iconic singer at Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax.

Jah’Mila spoke to CBC Information morning in Halifax about what Simone means to her.

His conversation with guest host Preston Mulligan has been condensed and edited for clarity and length.

3:54Halifax reggae icon Jah’Mila on what legendary music icon Nina Simone means to her

This weekend, Symphony Nova Scotia will be joined by renowned local reggae star Jah’Mila as they pay tribute to the iconic singer at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax. Jah’Mila spoke to guest host Preston Mulligan about what Simone means to her. 3:54

How did these concerts come about?

The last few years have been really cool to establish a relationship with the Nova Scotia Symphony Orchestra. It all started when I participated in an Orchestrated Neighbors program through Music Nova Scotia. And through this program, I was able to collaborate not only with orchestra musicians, but also with different artists in the community who make different types of music.

I did a song with Zamani and SHiFT FROM THA 902 Todd Googoo from Cape Breton, and that was the start of my relationship with Symphony Nova Scotia.

We continued to do the reggae fusion show, and it was a smash hit. The conductor was Daniel Barthélemy-Poyser. During this show, we did an interview and they asked me who my favorite singer was, and I said, Nina Simone. I believe that was the birthplace of the idea.

What does Nina Simone represent for you? Why do you love him so much?

I love her so much because she is so resilient. She’s a revolutionary. And she represents something in the community. She has always been an ardent fighter for rights. She has always been a household name in my community and in music and I have always been aware of her.

I guess the first song [of hers I heard] was the very popular I feel good. It’s one of the ones I fell in love with at first, but now my favorite Nina Simone song is Don’t let me be misunderstood.

She’s such a powerful singer and such an interesting person. And as you mentioned, its impact goes beyond all that. His activism is a big part of our legacy. Is it something you can identify with?

One hundred percent. Nina Simone is the artist who said “it’s the artist’s responsibility to reflect the times”.

Of course, music has several purposes. There is entertainment, there is self-therapy. But there is also the responsibility of the people who have a platform to use it for the collective good. There’s no doubt that Nina Simone has done that with her music, and her music is more relevant now than it ever was before. I feel so blessed to be able to sing it.

I look forward to seeing you tonight and tomorrow at Rebecca Cohn with Symphony, Nova Scotia.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to stories of success within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project that Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

(Radio Canada)

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