VFAC 004 Announcement! Kevin Coval Feat TASHA & Jamila Woods - Benefiting YCA
This release is for all the Spoken Word/R&B/Soul fans out there!
It’s with great admiration, respect, and privilege that we announce our newest release, VFAC 004, featuring Kevin Coval on Side A and Jamila Woods on Side B. These two absolutely bleed Chicago red and blue and we couldn’t have asked for a better pair to work with. VFAC 004 will be benefiting a charity very close to their hearts, Young Chicago Authors. YCA is an incredible organization that has done, and continues to do incredible work with youth in this city. Please see below to learn more about Kevin, Jamila, and the YCA. Also make sure you follow Paul Branton and his fantastic artwork. We were lucky to have him donate the artwork for this release!
Side A: Kevin Coval - Snow Day
Side B: Jamila Woods - Muddy Waters Goes Electric
*(Autographed Postcard by Kevin Coval & Jamila Woods will be included with every record purchased. Hand signed and numbered /1000. Postcard features cover art by Paul Branton). All records will be pressed on Chicago Splatter (Red/Blue).
80% of all net proceeds from this release go directly to Young Chicago Authors!
Here is a little background on Kevin, Jamila, and YCA!
Kevin Coval is a poet and community builder. As the artistic director of Young Chicago Authors, founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, and professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago—where he teaches hip-hop aesthetics—he’s mentored thousands of young writers, artists, and musicians.
He is the author and editor of 10 books, including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and Schtick, and co-author of the play, This is Modern Art. His work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, The Drunken Boat, Chicago Tribune, CNN, Fake Shore Drive, Huffington Post, and four seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. Coval’s forthcoming collection, A People’s History of Chicagodropped in April 2017 on Haymarket Books. (Bio from http://kevincoval.com/kc/?page_id=2)
Raised in Chicago, TASHA started out where many notable Chicago artists have- participating in Young Chicago Authors at just 15. “It was writing and performing that allowed me to appreciate and love my blackness,” says TASHA. In 2016, TASHA released her first project, Divine Love. Armed with an electric guitar, she seamlessly incorporates poetry into her sets; speaking on Black joy, self-love, and radical softness. Her work for nonprofit, BYP100, is also a source of inspiration for TASHA’s art. She believes in a world without police and prisons, and uses her art, above all else, as a vessel for revolution, liberation, and love.
Jamila Woods’ cultural lineage–from her love of Lucille Clifton’s poetry to cherished letters from her grandmother to the infectious late 80s post-punk of The Cure–structure the progressive, delicate and minimalist soul of HEAVN, her debut solo album released in the summer of 2016 on Closed Sessions. “It’s like a collage process,” she says. “It’s very enjoyable to me to take something I love and mold it into something new.” A frequent guest vocalist in the hip-hop, jazz and soul world, Jamila has emerged as a once-in-a-generation voice on her soul-stirring debut.
Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Woods grew up in a family of music lovers. It took a surprise poetry class with a high school arts program for Jamila to finally find her metaphorical and literal voice. “Through poetry, I realized you are the expert of your own experience,” she says. Her poetry studies continued in college and in her professional career with Young Chicago Authors.
Music–like poetry– is personal. “It became a way to stop hiding, to actually be the most honest with myself through writing,” she says. “It helps me check in with myself.” And that honesty translated to HEAVN, an album she describes as a collection of, “nontraditional love songs pushing the idea of what makes a love song.” You’ll find the bits and pieces of her past and present that make Jamila: family, the city of Chicago, self-care, and the black women she calls friends.
Jamila is an artist of substance creating music crafted with a sturdy foundation of her passions and influences. True and pure in its construction and execution, her music is the best representation of Jamila herself: strong in her roots, confident in her ideas, and attuned to the people, places and things shaping her world. (Bio from http://www.jamila-woods.com/about)
Young Chicago Authors:
Through creative writing, Young Chicago Authors helps young people from all backgrounds to understand the importance of their own stories and those of others, so that they can pursue the path they choose and work to make their communities more just and equitable.
YCA exposes young people to hip-hop realist portraiture and teaches them how to create their own authentic narratives through a variety of arts education programs both in and out of the classroom. These programs include free Education Partnerships for qualifying Chicago schools, free weekly writing workshops and open mics for young poets, journalists, and emcees, and Louder Than A Bomb, the largest youth poetry slam in the country.
In Chicago’s contemporary landscape, there is a desperate need for a space dedicated to the voices of young people who face violence and segregation on a daily basis, a safe place that provides a platform for youth expression and celebrates the narratives of teens from every corner of the city. Young creative people need mentors to guide their writing to a level that sparks real change in themselves and their communities. YCA’s programs serve as an introduction to and immersion in a vibrant literary community that transcends cultural and socio-economic boundaries. (Bio from https://youngchicagoauthors.org/about)