Today’s Song: Emanuel’s Beautiful “Black Woman” Is a Moving Love Letter of Strength & Celebration

Emanuel "Black Woman" © Matt Barnes
Emanuel "Black Woman" © Matt Barnes
An intimate outpouring of love, honor, and devotion, Emanuel’s beautifully breathtaking single “Black Woman” is a stunningly tender, deeply moving ballad to Black women everywhere.
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Stream: “Black Woman” – Emanuel

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“I get least of you. I get the very minimum. And I’m saying, you know, fake it with me. Is that too much for the Black Woman to ask of the Black Man?” – Nikki Giovanni

An intimate outpouring of love, honor, and devotion, Emanuel’s latest single is a stunningly tender ballad to Black women. Stirring, cinematic, and aching with visceral emotion, “Black Woman” rises from haunting depths to reckon with past societal misgivings and celebrate the strength, beauty, spirit, and contributions of Black women everywhere.

Black Woman - Emanuel
Black Woman – Emanuel
Cocoa-butter kisses, wipe my tears away
I wanna feel you like cold water dripping down my face
I wanna fly high like the stars that I see
Like the birds in the sky, like the birds in the sky
How do you reconcile, rectify, free your mind?
Bonadage, they have me in shackles
How do you smile when you’ve got nothing to smile about?
How do you love when you’ve got no one coming back to the house?

Released October 9, 2020 via Universal Music Canada, “Black Woman” is the elegant lead single off Emanuel’s forthcoming sophomore EP Alt Therapy Session 2: Transformation, out December 4. The new record is set to arrive just five months after Emanuel’s Alt Therapy Session 1: Disillusion introduced the world to the up-and-coming Toronto artist. Previously praised as “unassuming and unbreakable,” Session 1 is a gorgeous R&B-influence record embracing a wide spectrum of emotion: “Emanuel’s artistry is full of depth, color and passion: He lays his heart and his soul out for all to see, hear, and feel,” Atwood wrote upon the EP’s summertime release.

Emanuel "Black Woman" © Matt Barnes
Emanuel “Black Woman” © Matt Barnes

“Black Woman” proves a breathtaking follow-up to Emanuel’s last record and an incredible foundation for Session 2.

Raw and overwhelmingly heartfelt, the artist submits himself to a higher power in a dramatic, sweeping ode immersed in past misgivings and a desire to cherish, behold, and bestow honor and love. Accompanied by a poignant electric guitar, he sings seemingly directly to Black women, as if trying to transmit his message directly into the ears and hearts of all who hear his song. When at one point he begins singing, “How do you love? How do you love the way you do?,” his expressive voice resounds with the deepest reverence – turning an unassuming lyric into a haunting mantra. His chorus is bittersweet, yet full of evocative depth:

Black woman, sometimes
Sad woman, but all of the time
She’s a queen from another place
Why are you so displaced?
Shе’s a goddess walking on earth, baby

“‘Black Woman’ is about reconciliation and also celebration – celebrating how strong our women are and how they hold us up,” Emanuel explains. “People might think this song was written as a response to the moment right now but it’s saying the exact same thing it was saying when it was written a year ago: ‘I see you, I recognize you, I appreciate you and I love you.’”

“The biggest message I would want to be received by this song is ‘Wake up and see the queens around you and see these beautiful women and the work that they do and stop hindering them.’ On a personal level, for other black men who have active black women in their lives or who encounter black women in their life, I hope this song inspires them to take stock to see if they hold any negative filters when they view black women, to take stock of how black women are treated, and to really appreciate them for who they are. The message of ‘Black Woman’ is a display of love to try to wake people up.”

The message of ‘Black Woman’ is a display of love to try to wake people up.

Alt Therapy Session 2 - Transformation EP - Emanuel
Alt Therapy Session 2 – Transformation EP – Emanuel

For Emanuel, there was no question that this song would be included on his forthcoming debut album ALT THERAPY (which his individual “Session” EPs are all building toward). His art’s exploration and embrace of Black identity was introduced in part through his first few songs, but this marks his most direct and meaningful effort to date – one that leaves no doubt in the listener’s mind about the song’s subject matter or the artist’s feelings thereof.

Superwoman, powеr comes from the sun
Lovely woman, my only one
Mother of creation, all the nations
Sing your praise without knowing
Black woman, sometimes
Sad woman, but all of the time
She’s a queen from another place
Why are you so displaced?
She’s a goddess walking on earth, baby, yeah

Speaking to Atwood Magazine, Emanuel dives a little deeper into his track’s inspiration and its personal significance. “‘Black Woman’ is a song that was inspired by and about the plight of the black woman!” he says. “It’s a love letter. It’s centered around appreciating their contributions to my life and the world. It begs questions about their mental and emotional fortitude whilst moving through a life “marked” and utterly disenfranchised – “how do you love, when they don’t love you back.” I also wanted to touch on a personal level about feeling guilty about not showing up for these wonderful women. I feel I had to reconcile and unlearn a lot of toxic and cowardly behavior.”

What did I do to deserve you?
Why do I always desert you?
How do you feel when they don’t feel for you?
How do you love when they don’t love you back? No
Emanuel "Black Woman" © Matt Barnes
Emanuel “Black Woman” © Matt Barnes

“Black Woman” is a powerful, memorable, and moving celebration.

The song floods the airwaves with an earnest and unwavering respect for Black women – recognizing a culture and history full of pain and disempowerment, and committing to do better and be better. Emanuel’s love is undeniable; his commitment is steadfast; and his emotional message is sound: Shе’s a goddess walking on earth…

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Stream: “Black Woman” – Emanuel

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Black Woman - Emanuel

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? © Matt Barnes

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