Meshell Ndegeocello Reworks Nina Simone on “Pour Une Âme Souveraine”

Meshell reworks Nina Simone with help from Sinead O'Connor, Toshi Reagon, Valerie June and others.


Mark your calendars for October 9, when the multitalented Meshell Ndegeocello drops her 10th  (!) studio album POUR UNE ÂME SOUVERAINE (“for a sovereign soul”): A Dedication To Nina Simone.  The album brings together songs that the iconic Simone made famous, both songs that she wrote or were written for her.  Meshell brings a great group of singers to help her in this endeavor, folks like Sinead O’Connor, Lizz Wright, Valerie June, Tracy Wannomae, Toshi Reagon and Cody ChesnuTT.

Nina Simone was a huge influence on Meshell, both musically and politically.  Her music was highly instrumental in the fight for equal rights in the United States.  “She wanted success, was pressured to make hits, but her own sound was still irrepressible,” explains Meshell. “She had things to say, she protested. She was a loud, proud black, female voice during a time when black female voices were not encouraged to make themselves heard.”

The challenge in making the album was for Meshell to find her own voice, giving the songs her own subtle spin while, at the same time, honoring Nina.  Everyone who’s familiar with Simone knows that there are multiple versions of the same songs, so the goal wasn’t to recreate them, but find a way to make them fresh.  Hopefully, that’s what Meshell has been able to achieve.


1. Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

2. Suzanne

3. Real Real feat. Toshi Reagon

4. House of the Rising Sun feat. Toshi Reagon

5. Turn Me On

6. Feelin’ good

7. Don’t Take All Night feat. Sinead O’Connor

8. Nobody’s Fault But Mine feat. Lizz Wright

9. Be My Husband feat. Valerie June

10. Black is the Color of My True Loves Hair feat. Valerie June

11. See Line Woman  feat. Tracy Wannomae

12. Either Way I Lose

13. To Be Young, Gifted and Black feat. Cody ChesnuTT

14. Four Women


Meshell Ndegeocello Tour Dates

07/20: New York, NY @ Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall

07/28: New York, NY @ The Fats Waller Dance Party, Annunciation Park on Bruce Paltrow Field

08/04: Oakland, CA @ Art & Soul Festival

08/11: Burnaby, CA @ Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival

08/27: Big Indian, NY @ Women’s Music Summit, Full Moon

08/28: Big Indian, NY @ Women’s Music Summit, Full Moon

08/29: Big Indian, NY @ Women’s Music Summit, Full Moon

08/30: Big Indian, NY @ Women’s Music Summit, Full Moon

08/31: Big Indian, NY @ Women’s Music Summit, Full Moon

09/07: Pittsburgh, PA @ City of Asylum

09/08: Pittsburgh, PA @ City of Asylum

10/19: Durham, NC @ Duke University, Reynolds Industry Theater

10/20: Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall Theater

12/07: Los Angeles, CA @ UCLA Live


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Rob Fields is the founder and publisher of Bold As Love Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @robfields.


  1. LISTENING POST: Meshell Ndegeocello feat. Valerie June — “Be My Husband” | - July 19, 2012

    [...] a track that will give you a taste of Meshell’s upcoming album inspired by the great Nina Simone, Pour Une Âme Souveraine: A Dedication To Nina.  Valerie June was a great choice for this track [...]

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