Chastity Brown talks music and songwriting in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder

Chastity Brown
Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter, Chastity Brown.
Photo by Nate Ryan, courtesy Chastity Brown

Minneapolis-based musician Chastity Brown has been called a storyteller. Brown, who is originally from Tennessee, says maybe it’s her southern roots.

“I feel like everyone sings in the south and harmonizes. It’s different from Minnesota. It took me a long time to make friends here. Then I realized people don’t really hug,” she said. “Folks are generally quiet. I joke about this with audiences, but I had never heard the term ‘Norwegian’ as an American identity until I moved here … “

Minnesota Now heard a short section of her song “Golden” — a song she wrote just days after George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police.

“The uprising was beginning and all across there were curfews. I was on social media and I saw a story my nephew posted, he’s a young rapper and artist in Harlem and he is also a nurse,” she said. “He was on his way home from work and was beat up by four police officers. And it just — with what we were experiencing here — to see my blood, literally my sister’s child on the ground — having done nothing — like classic; I mean, it’s like a broken record at this point. I just broke.”

Brown says it is something that connects Indigenous, Black and people of color. “How in this gorgeous and loving way, feel connected to each other, even if we don’t know each other. You can see that repeated in our music.”

Brown said her music is a part of how she experiences her life. “I am grateful every day that I can express how I feel through music. And this song represents that juxtaposition of my life.”

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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