I'm a real rebel with a cause - Nina Simone
Nina Simone always manages to work her way back into my playlist every couple of weeks (or days, really). Her music has that perfect mix of rich texture, soul and groove to either cry or dance to. She was an incredible woman, often outspoken, stubborn and difficult. Or at least, being a woman who did whatever she wanted to do meant being labeled difficult. She's not often smiling in photos of her that I've seen, which makes this photo all the more intriguing but it always made me think about why it's unnerving or why I see her as so stern and a little scary in watching her performances. It made me think of this poster and how much being told to smile makes me insane. I love to smile and I love to laugh, and what's so beautiful about the photo of Nina Simone above is that it looks like such a geniune expression of emotion. She's not smiling because that's what female performers (or females performing) are meant to do.
It's hard for me to pick a favourite Nina song, but this one came up when I was looking for quote inspiration recently and I can't get enough of it. Despite the songs being originally from Hair (which a Rolling Stone record guide described as what straight people thought the 60s were like) she totally kills this cover and manages to make it completely non-cheesy. Empowering, even. Hope this gets your week off to a chair dancing start!