BPL Podcast Programs

Black Performance and the Music of Sharon Udoh

by Adult Services Library Associate Christian

Photo taken from Counterfeit Madison’s second record, Opposable Thumbs.

Last week we had Sharon Udoh on the BPL Podcast where she spoke with adult services librarian Jeff about her professional career as an Enrollment Coordinator at ACPA (The Arts & College Preparatory Academy) and diversity in education. While we got to know about what she does in the daytime, Udoh is an enigmatic figure that has multiple layers to her artistry.

Sharon Udoh is a person known well throughout the art and music scene of Columbus for her various ventures as a musical performer. She is best known for the work in her band Counterfeit Madison, where she has put out two records and several EPs and singles. (available through the CLC or bandcamp). On the podcast she discussed a third album, stating “…when I recorded my third album, which hasn’t been released yet and I don’t know if it ever will be” with laughter. Despite the purgatory state of new Counterfeit Madison material, Udoh has still kept busy with other projects in the musical landscape.

She is seen continuing the legacy of Black performance by covering the likes of Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, and Sade–musicians that reflect the truth of American life through their underrepresented voices. While discussing the work of Nina Simone, Udoh declares “it is my undeniable belief that we cannot move past these American fears without deep personal and individual revolution.” Through her artistry, Udoh is adding to the narrative of black performance as a movement of liberation and equity.

Still image from Sharon Udoh’s appearance in the music video for Clipping’s song, “All In Your Head”.

Udoh has also appeared on experimental hip hop group Clipping’s record, There Existed an Addiction to Blood, on the song “All In Your Head”. As the song crescendos, Udoh’s sings her beautiful gospel over the drones and buzzes within the song’s production, showcasing her diverse range of musical identity.

There’s no way to box Sharon Udoh. Much like her eclectic professional career (wherein she has bounced from C++ coder to dancer instructor), her exploration in music is boundless. Her musical identity is reflective of the legacy of Black performance.

For more…

Sharon Udoh has recently collaborated with Chamber Brews, composing a piece entitled “Dig”, which can be found the Johnstone Fund for Music’s facebook page.

For more more on Black artistry, be sure to check out our Black Performance in America: A Celebration program with speakers Hanif Abdurraqib, Dionne Custer Edwards, Dr. Mark Lomax II, and Paisha Thomas on Thursday, April 8, 7:00pm – 8:00pm.