February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003
Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, pianist and activist in the Civil Rights Movement. Her musical styles varied from classical, jazz, blues, folk, gospel to R&B and pop. Between 1958 – 1974 Simone recorded more than 40 albums.
In 1964 Simone changed record distributors and left Colpix to sign with Philips. This change saw her openly address the racial inequality that was prevalent in the United States with her song “Mississippi Goddam”.
The song was released as a single and was boycotted throughout certain southern states. It was a key moment in her political radicalisation.
From then on, a civil rights message was standard in her recording repertoire and became a part of her live performances. Simone performed and spoke at many civil rights meetings and when reflecting on this period in her autobiography, she wrote “I felt more alive then than I feel now because I was needed, and I could sing something to help my people….”
Favourite song: “Sinnerman”
Favourite quote: “There’s no excuse for the young people not knowing who the heroes and heroines are or were”
Favourite fun fact: Nina was a child prodigy starting at the age of three, playing piano by ear.
Strong minded, empowering and at the forefront of a radical movement, we at Paolita felt inspired by Nina Simone and named a bikini set the “Nina” as homage to an unforgettable woman.