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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
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."

Grant Holub-Moorman coordinates events and North Carolina outreach for WUNC, including a monthly trivia night. He is a founding member of Embodied and a former producer for The State of Things.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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