Hamilton pop/R&B artist LifeandtheTribe explains why she's exactly your type on her latest single.
Aisha Barrow began writing her latest single "Type" over two years ago on December 7, 2018- the resulting R&B/pop anthem is rife with the kind of self-assured confidence that only Barrow could deliver, describing the artist's relationship with colourism as a dark-skinned Black woman. Released under her moniker LifeandtheTribe, the singer-songwriter finished creating the track in a single night.
"I have to thank Garret Lajoie for helping me get the song to where it is," said Barrow. "I had the chords and the arrangement of the song mapped out, and I knew exactly how I wanted it to sound, but my production skills just aren’t there yet. With his help, we were able to get the song sounding exactly like how I had envisioned it in my head. It’s a far more commercial sound than I am used to, but I’m really very happy with it." "Type" is a particularly vulnerable piece of art from the musician, as it describes her relationship with the colour of her skin. "The lyrics are specifically about my experience with colourism: prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group," said Barrow. "I wrote "Type" during a moment of frustration after scrolling down my timeline and being inundated with data and messaging that seemed to corroborate the “unworthiness” of dark-skinned Black women. Data that states that we get paid less and that we are found to be the least attractive to the opposite sex, etc. The lyrics hold a very special meaning to me, I wrote "Type" as a way to take control of my personal narrative as a dark-skinned Black woman. The lyrics specifically explore my rejection of the sort of cognitive dissonance that occurs as a result of the targeted messaging towards dark-skinned women that insists that we are not enough despite knowing otherwise."
After performing the single live for a couple of years, the artist recorded her song in her make-shift bedroom studio. "This pandemic has forced us all to become creative and self-sufficient with how we produce our art," said Barrow. "I had every intention of going into a studio to record the song, but considering the circumstances, I had to make some concessions with my initial plan. I’m sure I’m not alone in that."
Barrow hopes that "Type" can be as therapeutic for her listeners as it was for her. "Writing this song felt so personal and cathartic for me, it felt like a sort of release of so much of myself that I’d been holding back, but I know that at its essence this song is about community," said Barrow. "I know that my experience with colourism is not solely my own. My music is about creating a space in which dark-skinned Black women feel seen in all our multitudes, so I hope with "Type" they feel just that."
You can help support LifeandtheTribe by following her socials, or by purchasing her music from the Bandcamp link below.
Guelph Museums' Black Heritage Month online performance- February 26 2021 @ 7pm-8pm, on: https://www.facebook.com/guelphmuseums/live