The Kid Should See This

Color Is a Beautiful Thing, Nina Simone animated

Singer, songwriter, and civil rights activist Nina Simone sings Color Is a Beautiful Thing. The music video visually reimagines the song under the direction of Sharon Liu, with animation by Nicolette van Gendt and Duncan Gist. It’s a track from Simone’s 1982 album Fodder On My Wings, reissued in 2020.

With simple repeating verses and what sound like a few non-lexical vocables, the song might feel tailor-made for children, but it also carries with it the import of Simone’s the emotional and sociopolitical messages. Pitchfork’s Sheldon Pearce writes:

The album contains some of the most poignant ballads of her entire catalog, some songs that could double as rallying cries, and others that feel like fun sketches made for her own amusement. It is a record as unsteady, daring, damaged, and sensational as she was.

nina with her piano
nina simone
The animated version is reminiscent of Henri Matisse’s La Gerbe.

Next, watch a 1988 video of Simone performing Color Is a Beautiful Thing in English, French, and German in Hamburg, Germany.


Then watch more videos of the great Nina Simone: Love Me Or Leave Me and Ain’t Got No, I Got Life.

h/t Swiss-Miss.

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