If you’ve been waiting for a song that makes you feel seen during these unprecedented times, “Waiting For the World (Tired)” might just become your newest anthem.
Candice Hoyes, known professionally as an “artist-cum-activist,” is a woman in jazz wanting to spread the message of Black activism and joy. And she’s doing a damn good job at it. “Waiting For the World (Tired)” is more than just a song that will stick in your head; it’s a mantra that will become embedded into your consciousness.
“I wanted to make the type of song I needed to hear as a young Black girl. This poem (“Tired” Langston Hughes, 1930) to me is about collective transformation and Black agency, futurity. It describes accountability perfectly,” Hoyes tells me about the inspiration behind her newest single. Having had the pleasure of working with her for previous articles, I was excited and (may I say intrigued) to learn about the inner workings of her creative process.
The poem that she mentions, which is what she interpolates, is a descriptor of what our current world looks like today, or as Hoyes describes it, “a fundamental crisis that we have to disrupt.” Hoyes thinks we should not allow ourselves to blindly accept what has been given to us, but instead “cut into the problem.”
As Hoyes elaborates on her journey to creating the song, she describes visiting Langston Hughes’ brownstone back in 2019, which was being used as a community center in Harlem where there were poetry slams, writing sessions, and even her debut for the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, where she performed with Joel Ross. A longtime fan of Hughes, Hoyes’ writing for the song was born out of the experience that she had at the brownstone’s cookout party. Working with GRAMMY award-winning pianist Sullivan Fortner and producer Casey Benjamin, Hoyes’ mission to “make music for Black joy, ease, long drives, and finding her groove” was accomplished with the soulful track we have today.
As she writes, “Releasing it has helped me deeply. Through the feelings of rage as a Black woman in America, as a mother, watching so many families displaced, losing their loved ones. Watching the victories in Georgia because ordinary people organized in their communities. Releasing music that fortifies people, connects them to Black futurity and history is a deep joy. I love the reach of being a recording artist and knowing that folks are streaming the music around the world. It feels like a genuine connection that will never end.”
“Waiting For the World (Tired)” is out now on all platforms. Listen here.
Top Photo Courtesy of Candice Hoyes; Photographed by Carolyne Lorée Teston
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