It’s Downtime, our regular series asking artists to share their cultural recommendations.
Known for her ability to seamlessly shift between pop, ambient and alternative R&B, Lafawndah’s productions are fluid and intentionally hard to pin down. Her latest album, The Fifth Season, sees her push deeper into experimental territory without losing her heightened sense for drama and interpretation. Fittingly, as the world begins to reorient itself after months of lockdown, Lafawndah’s selections strike a distinctly contemplative mood.
Li Ziqi’s YouTube channel
Li Ziqi is a Chinese food and country life blogger. Her YouTube channel is my safe place. I love watching her cover the largest range of skills, from putting together the most elaborate meals for her grandma, to growing food and building structures from scratch. She brings me immediate peace, and her other 58 million fans seem to agree with me.
The Woman the Boy BecameWritten by Kae Tempest
This is the original poem of my song You, at the End. I read it when I was on tour with Kae and it struck me immediately. It’s a new myth, a story of someone bigger than life, not quite right for this one yet more in touch with it than most. It’s really incredible to put a poem in music. You should read the whole collection called Hold Your Own.
Noname's book club
Noname has my favourite Instagram account. She just took a very radical turn and I’m here for it – abolition and anarchism are her motto. And her mission seems to be to share knowledge with the most people possible and open conversations that, until very recently, were not happening on a bigger scale. She started a book club a few years ago and you can join it through her Patreon. Every month she chooses a book and invites someone to choose one too, then holds an open Zoom session to discuss the text. She’s a ruler. Less pop stars, more leaders please.
The Fifth SeasonWritten by N. K. Jemisin
This is the name of my next record so let’s talk about the book that inspired it. The Fifth Season is the first volume of a sci-fi trilogy called The Broken Earth. The story takes place in a world with a single continent, called the Stillness. In this world, once in a while there is an apocalyptic season, The Fifth One, which gives this civilisation a volatile reality check. This story gave the record a premonitory taste considering the moment we’re collectively undergoing.
The Fifth Season is out now via Latency