Chastity Brown: A Refreshing Sign Of The Times

Chastity Brown

Chastity Brown transforms despair and tension into beautiful music that draws from blues, soul and Americana. She sings about the pandemic, racial injustice (she calls Minneapolis home – the riots were just steps from her house), and more – but she somehow makes you feel good while singing about the bad.

Brown is a black, queer woman who grew up in a musical household – her father was a blues musician. Her voice is melodic and easy, and turns life’s struggles on their head. Heavy topics turned into a welcomed escape.

Her new album, Sing To The Walls, released on June 17th, evolves her signature sound and harnesses her innate ability to soothe.

“It’s a love album, in a way I didn’t plan on,” says Brown.

Brown spent the lockdown channeling her despair. Beginning the writing process seeking self-preservation, she turned inward and wrote songs to temper the broad existential crisis faced by everyone, but particularly black and brown folks. Since 2017, Brown has written over 100 songs – 10 of which made it on to Sing To The Walls.

Except for “Golden,” a stern analysis of white complacency and a cathartic release of post-uprising rage, Sing To The Walls is an album about love and connection; a dedication to the beauty and warmth of life, even amidst a pandemic, even in a city that’s experienced so much pain and upheaval.

“I think it’s an audacious response,” says Chastity. “Like how funk music came after Malcolm, Martin, and everybody got murdered in the ‘60s. Then the ‘70s popped off, and there was funk! This isn’t funk, but it’s rooted in that same kind of response. I just want to feel good. Straight up.”  

Amongst Brown’s North American dates, Philadelphia will be able to find her at The Philadelphia Folk Song Society on June 24th. 
    • Karl Michelfelder is a Philadelphia-based journalist, disc jockey, and philanthropist. After attending Temple University with a degree in communications and a minor in journalism, Karl (under the moniker DJ Carl Michaels) immersed himself in all that is Philadelphia. He worked as a label and store manager at the famed 611 Records, toured the country, and […]

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