When Adia Victoria Can't Speak, This Is What She Writes

Email a Friend
Adia Victoria in "howdoyoudo" short film.

Adia Victoria is one of the most compelling performers I've seen this year. Much of what she has to say is about growing up black in the American South. It isn't pretty. For an audience member, her concerts feel uncomfortable yet cathartic. Just watch the first song of her Tiny Desk concert and you'll get an idea of what I mean.

Now, here's something unexpected from this surprising singer: an animated, non-musical video that gives you an even better idea of what goes on inside her head. In this 8-minute cartoon you'll hear Adia Victoria's observations on life as a child and beyond, including a diatribe on the shape of her nose.

The animation, called "howdoyoudo" and created with artist Andrew William Ralph, includes five short stories that often deal with her insecurities. They're like peering into her unspoken mind and seeing a cartoon. For Adia Victoria, it harkens back to watching Sesame Street in the '90s. "I write when I cannot speak," she says. "Here, a peak [sic] at my myriad silences."

Adia Victoria's album Beyond the Bloodhounds is out on Canvasback.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.