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Arts & Culture

Nikki Morgan’s '30 Something' Is A Quilt Of Memory, Faith And Hope

Morgan in a yellow dress lying calmly on her side on a wooden bench.
Courtesy of Nikki Morgan
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Blending oral history and music, Morgan stitches together expectations, dreams and realities of being a certain age

Like SZA’s groundbreaking R&B album "Ctrl" (2017), Nikki Morgan’s "30 Something" puts to bed the gendered expectations of adulthood. On her first full-length album, the Wilkes County artist weaves her lilting music together with intimate vignettes of women reflecting on their age.

She first collected the interviews for a now-abandoned film project. The reshaped interstitial illustrations now mirror a format used in recent albums by SZA and Solange. The interludes could also be framed within Morgan’s religious context. With two Pentecostal preachers as grandparents, she witnessed the formats of testimonial and homily, in which members of the congregation share the pulpit with the preacher to tell personal stories.

Nikki Morgan guides host Frank Stasio through "30 Something."

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