Who is SassyBlack?

Maybe she’s that kid still listening to Mariah’s “Butterfly”. Or the jazz singer-songwriter charting her course through university. Today she’s one to watch as she transforms Seattle music with her multi-layered musical flow and genre-defining cool. SassyBlack’s fully stepped into the spotlight and she’s never been more self-assured.
“It’s taken a long time, like, pretty much all my life to be this empowered and comfortable,” says SassyBlack. “But yeah, I’ve always probably been this person internally to an extent. I’ve always been someone who likes the spotlight, someone who wants to be on stage, someone who likes to talk.”
“And so now, with this persona as SassyBlack, I’m able to be all of the things. Be someone who’s acting and writing, and singing, and producing, and telling awkward jokes and dressing as I want. I get to be all the sides of myself at once, by myself.”
Literally wearing her influences on her sleeve (check out the reference to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” tattooed on her left forearm), SassyBlack draws inspiration from musical giants as diverse as Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones and the Eurythmics. Blending silky-smooth vocals with a mesmerising sonic landscape, she casts her spell from uniquely curated genres she calls hologram funk and psychedelic soul.

“I say psychedelic soul because I am going to take you on a trip, a spiritual and physical and emotional trip. When people attend a SassyBlack show, sometimes they think they’re gonna get hip-hop, or R&B or soul, not realising that I have my own interpretation of that. You might get a song that's more of a bossa nova and then you might get something that’s definitely like more Cameo funky.”
“You could get anything from me at one of my shows. It really depends on my mood and where I’m at, but it will always be soulful. It always comes from my spirit and my soul, no matter what kind of music I’m amplifying.”
Identifying as queer also gives SassyBlack a confident calm that keeps her grounded for whatever life throws at her. In her words, queer is about being “unique, and weird, and beautiful and outside of understanding”.
“I identify as queer because it embodies all of me, every single side of me,” she says. “For me it works perfectly. It works perfectly for my orientation, my identity – it just wraps me all up.”

"If you’re confident in who you are, you can accomplish anything. They say lead by example, so I'm leading in my own way – by doing things the way that I wanna do them."

– SassyBlack

Get inspired

Learn how visionaries around the world are changing their communities and inspiring us through art, design, innovation and technology.

Meet other creators

Show us what you’ve got #createdonsurface

See more on Instagram
No Data Available
No Data Available
No Data Available
No Data Available

More about SassyBlack

Visit Microsoft in Culture to get more of her story and meet other people who inspire us to make a difference.

Learn more