Music Monday: Amelia Jones’ Top 5 Songs by Black Artists

Amelia Jones shares her thoughts on her favorite songs by Black artists.


Photos by Amelia Jones

Words by Amelia Jones

  1. At Last – Etta James
  • Etta James was born in 1939 in Los Angeles, California. She grew up singing gospel music in her church choir and was launched into stardom in 1955. She released “At Last” in 1960, which went on to become a Grammy-award winning song. James is known for her heart-breaking ballads and “At Last” really just encapsulates the timelessness of her music. This song is just so beautiful, so moving, so timeless. I think that’s why I love it so much. No matter how much time goes by or how much the music industry changes, this song will always be emotional. 

2. Deep Brown Eyes – Bedside Kites

  • Bedside Kites is an indie rock band out of Tampa, Florida. “Deep Brown Eyes” was released in their EP “Songs to Pass the Time” in 2019. I love the simplicity of this song. It’s got an indie/acoustic vibe so it is just the perfect song to add to your “chill” playlist. 

3. Bonfire – Childish Gambino

  • Childish Gambino, also known as Donald Glover, is a 39 year old American artist. He is a singer, actor, producer, songwriter, director, and rapper. Not only are his professions so diverse, so is his music. It ranges from soft, chill songs like “Redbone” to upbeat hype rap songs like “Bonfire.” Bonfire is one of my favorite songs ever because no matter how many times I listen to it, it will never get old. It’s the perfect song to get ready to and I definitely recommend listening to it in the car with your friends. 

4. Drew Barrymore – SZA

  • Solána Imani Rowe, famously known as “SZA,” is one of my favorite artists of all time. Her album “Ctrl,” has been in the Billboard Top 200 ever since its release in 2017, which holds the record for any black female artist’s debut album. There is literally not one bad song on the album but “Drew Barrymore” is just my go-to. It’s so easy to sing along to and really represents the vibe of this beautifully crafted album. 

5. NW3 – Bakar

  • Abubakar Baker Shariff-Farr, “Baker,” is a British singer whose music I would describe as indie-rock. I’m in love with his voice and the way he sings. You can hear his thick British accent mixed with his calm, raspy voice. I just love how specific it is, his music definitely stands out. This song has a really nice, chill beat to it. It’s a happy and hopeful love song.