Jazz Singer Alicia Olatuja On Embracing Her Natural Curls

Alicia Olatuja
Photo Credit: Harrison Weinstein Photography

When we first laid eyes on Alicia Olatuja, she mesmerized us with her lead solo performance of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir for Barack Obama’s second inauguration in 2013. After breaking into the national spotlight, classically-trained songstress formed her own jazz-based ensemble and released her first album, Timeless. This spring, she released her sophomore effort, Intuition: Songs From the Minds of Women.

[SEE ALSO: Amina Smith On Pushing Natural Hair Boundaries In Broadcast]

Her work celebrates women composers like Sade, Tracey Chapman, Brenda Russell and more, just in time for Women’s History Month. “It’s called ‘Intuition’ to tap into what we think about women, that intuitive gut instinct; but also songs from the minds of women that show we’re still intellectual beings with powerful thoughts creating something special,” she told Hype Hair.


Alicia Olatuja
Photo Credit: Harrison Weinstein Photography

Not only is Alicia welcoming the spirit of female greatness on this new project, but she is also embracing her signature curls when she performs. Her unwavering admiration for her natural kinks and coils was seen on a national level at the inauguration.

“I was told by a lot of people that you don’t want to wear your hair natural, because it doesn’t have an elegance to it. It’s more of a street look, urban or whatever. I was like, ‘This can’t be true.’ Black hair is the most diverse hair there is,” she said. “You can pretty much pull off any look you go for because you have natural hair. I was like, “I’m going to wear it in a flat twist on the side and make it big and chunky with a big bun on the side.”

Alicia swears by Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla collection. “It’s incredible. I love it because they have an awesome slip in their conditioner that really makes the detangling process so much easier,” she said. Alicia will perform at the Atlanta Jazz Festival on May 25, and you know she’s already planning her hair strategy for the unforgiving humidity of Southern Georgia.

To check out what she comes up with and to learn more about her upcoming show, visit aliciaolatuja.com.

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