Rising artist Tianna Esperanza has shared her debut track “Lewis.”
The song slinks and struts through its powerful message propped against a relaxed-jazzy beat. Esperanza’s lyrics fall off the tongue as she savors every word on the track, emphasizing lyrics with a spoken-word-like cadence. Her sultry tone evokes a long-lost era of jazz helmed by acts such as Nina Simone. Her grandmother is punk rock icon Paloma McLardy who founded the 1970s band The Slits and later played with The Raincoats.
The track serves as an homage to Lewis H. Michaux, the owner of Harlem’s historic African National Memorial Bookstore. Esperanza, a 21-year old London-based bi-racial artist, finds herself inspired by Michaux’s work.
“Lewis woke me up to the reality of classism, racism, and religious oppression, and where they connect American people of all races,” she said in a statement. “I began to think about how that struggle was interwoven in the fabric of my multiracial identity and I felt empowered by Lewis to own my voice.”
Esperanza was inspired by a spoken-word recitation by Michaux featured in the 2011 documentary The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975. Her unique voice shines through on this debut single as her influences empower her subject matter. Esperanza’s music burns with a slow and fiery passion.