All posts tagged: Nina Simone

Film Review: What Happened, Miss Simone?

May 21 / 16 Hello again. I did promise a film review right? I just saw What Happened Miss Simone a few weeks ago. I saw it twice actually. She was called the Priestess of Soul. Not only was Simone a singer, but also a very accomplished pianist, whose voice crossed to jazz, blues, folk, r&b, pop, and gospel. The biographical documentary film, directed by Liz Garbus, focuses on Simone’s early years, the ups and downs of her career and personal life. You see rare archival footage of her performances, interviews from her daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, an actress and singer, close friends, and her former husband and manager, Andrew Stroud. During an 1968 interview, Simone was asked what is free to her and she said that freedom to her is no fear…”If I could have that half of my life, no fear.” Born Eunice Wayman in Tryon, North Carolina, she began playing the piano when she was three years old. She changed her name to Nina Simone, Nina” (from niña, meaning “little girl” in …

Creative Spotlight: Nina Simone

April 11 / 16 I first heard of singer, songwriter, composer, and activist  Nina Simone in the 1993’s Point of No Return, but I really didn’t get to hear her until recently, when I watched the 2015 documentary film What Happened Miss Simone? which is featured on Netflix. This documentary features interviews from her ex-husband, Andrew Stroud, their daughter Lisa, and others. The documentary goes beyond who Simone really was. That’s when I really began to hear not only her music, but the woman behind it. Born Eunice Waymon, Simone began playing the piano at very young age. It wasn’t till the early 1950’s that success came to Simone. She was playing at a bar & grill in Atlantic City, this is when she adopted the stage name Nina Simone (niña meaning “little girl” in Spanish, while Simone taken from French actress Simone Signoret). She knew her mother wouldn’t approve of the fact that her daughter was playing the devil’s music (her mother was Methodist minister) so she used this very stage name so she …