Detroit-based singer-songwriter Silence Is The Noise (Jewell Bell) has returned after a three-year hiatus with “Nappy,” a striking “love song for black women.” The song is a positive, empowering ode dedicated to uplifting black women and celebrating physical characteristics that have “historically been derided by white supremacy and make black women who they uniquely are.” Bell uses her soulful voice – which can hold a candle to the greats like Nina Simone, Beyonce, and Jill Scott – to embolden black women around the world.
“I am all too aware of the invisibility and marginalization of black women,” says Bell. “In writing ‘Nappy,’ I felt like it was something that I would not only want to listen to and feel strengthened by, but also for the women whom I love as well as black women globally. That affirmation of our beauty, strength, humanity, and visibility has always been a driving force in my life.”
“Nappy,” which was written and arranged entirely by Bell, touches on both the physical and intangible characteristics of black women. In the chorus, Bell sings, “I’m happy to be nappy/Thicker lips, thighs, and ass cheeks/Got soul that has carried me this far.” The message is simple: no matter what society or anyone else has told you, you’re perfect the way you are. Bell’s soul is evidenced in her gorgeously gritty voice, brushed with the wisdom of the world and personal experiences that have only made it stronger.
After making time for grieving and self-care following some personal losses these past three years, Bell is back stronger than ever and ready to share her voice with the world. She says the time off helped her grow as an artist and plans to follow up “Nappy” with an EP later this year. Listen to the single below.