Jamila Woods Performs A ‘SULA’ ON The Late Show

‘LSD’ hit singer, Jamila Woods who released “SULA (Paperback),”, a single inspired by American novelist Toni Morrison, performed a beautiful rendition of the song on Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show. “On a difficult night, we thought we would end with a beautiful song.”, the host said. The performance was telecast on January 6th.

Woods mesmerized with her performance. The singer began the performance seated, accompanied by subtle strumming of the guitar as the camera zoomed in on her. As the performance progressed, she took the centre stage revealing a full-fledged band. It included a whole string-section that provided a great cushion effect to Justin Canavan’s guitar chords enhancing it to a notch higher than the studio version.

The singer crooned the chorus of the song, “I’m better, I’m better, I’m better,” was her first refrain. I’m not sorry that I cut you out.” Woods performance provided some respite to the audience considering the extremely scarring events at the Capitol. 


Story Behind ‘SULA’

The name of the track, inspired by Toni Morrisson, comes as no surprise is the name of the protagonist from her 1973 novel. The 2019 album by Woods titled LEGACY! LEGACY! Received acclaim being the singer’s only second album. She honored artists of color with track titles like “BALDWIN,” “BASQUIAT,” and “ZORA.”

Woods explained why she wrote the song in a press release last year. She said: “It’s the first Toni Morisson novel I ever read and it inspired the first chapbook of poems I ever wrote. The novel shows the evolution of a friendship between two Black women and how they choose to navigate society’s strict gender roles and rules of respectability.

“On Sula, Toni Morrison wrote, ‘living totally by the law and surrendering totally to it without questioning anything sometimes makes it impossible to know anything about yourself.’ Returning to the story several years later, it gave me permission to reject confining ideas about my identity designed to shrink my spirit. It reminded me to embrace my tenderness, my sensitivities, my ways of being in my body. This song is a mantra to allow myself space to experience my gender, love, intimacy, and sexuality on my own terms.”, she continued.

The Hardcover Rendition

Woods shared a different rendition of the song “SULA (Hardback) through a music video for the same track. The original version of the track inclined towards delicacy and was more basic compared to the new rendition. The latter had a peppy, higher tempo vibe sounding more pop-ish.

Jamila Woods is a Queen and fans cannot get enough of her! Stay tuned for more updates.

By: Aatira Kakroo