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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Candice Hoyes on Sharing Her Unique Influences at The Root 100 2022 Celebration

The R&B singer discusses her creative influences and the significance of performing at the Apollo Theater.

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Photo: Mylo Butler

What makes an artist unique? Their music? Their voice? Their personality? Their interests? The way they carry themselves?

For me, the trait that makes Candice Hoyes unique is her self-awareness. She is keenly aware of the things that have made her the artist she is today. This is why she was the perfect choice to be included in the lineup of performers for the upcoming Root 100 celebration at the Apollo Theater on December 8, 2022.

When asked to describe her music, Hoyes said, “It’s Octavia Butler meets Kaytranada meets Sun Ra, with a touch of Minnie Riperton.”

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When it comes to the genre of music that Hoyes creates, she is not tied down into one box or particular sound. While her voice is as soulful as it gets, the production surrounding it pulls from a multitude of genres that create the soundscape for her beautiful voice.

“I’m approaching everything from a mixed genre perspective,” said Hoyes. “Digging deeply into jazz and always expressing stories of womanism and Black futurity. I’m very inspired by archives, which is where one of my most recent releases, “Zora’s Moon,” comes from. It was inspired by a sample of an interview that I found in the Library of Congress of Zora Neale Hurston talking about her girlhood and where she grew up.”

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She continued, “I’ve thought about those tender moments and how the interior experience motivates so many of the most powerful Black women artists and their artistic output.”

This is what I meant when I said that Hoyes is keenly aware of the traits that make her unique. Hoyes gains inspiration not only from legends in the music industry but also legends from Black literature and history. She is always looking for more expansive and capacious ways to tell the stories that matter to her and Black people.

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Hoyes’ eagerness to learn and try new things comes across in her most recent project released in 2021, Blue Lagoon Woman, which is a four-track EP that gives listeners a preview of the inspirations that Hoyes pulls from.

CANDICE HOYES - ZORA’S MOON [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Although Hoyes’ influences are eclectic and come from a variety of different genres across a multitude of creative outlets, if I were to describe her music in one word it would be Afrofuturism. This particular art form does not have one specific definition or fit into one particular box, it can be expanded upon and always grow into something new and fresh, just like Hoyes’ music.

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“There are multiple definitions of what Afrofuturism is, and they all have elements of truth to them,” said Hoyes. “Using my influences with the training and experience I have in more structured aspects of music, and then combining them with my imagination and sense of history are some of the features that I attribute to Afrofuturism.”

She continued, “I have great respect for the wisdom of the past while always giving myself the space to not be beholden to anyone’s definition or to really even fit into something. Keeping the musical commitment and gravitas to having a message and self-expression and liberation is really all that I think is important.”

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This is the type of creative energy that Hoyes plans on bringing to the Apollo Theater when she performs using her beautiful and alluring voice.

“I love that The Root is taking this celebration into the Apollo because these are two institutions, one that is contemporary and constantly moving us forward, and another that is rooted in where we come from, and I get chills thinking about the combination of these two things converging,” said Hoyes.

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If you think Candice Hoyes’ creativity will captivate you, make sure to come to see her live at the Apollo Theater on Dec. 8 while we celebrate The Root 100 honorees!

In the meantime, listen to her most recent EP, Blue Lagoon Woman, and keep an eye out for new music coming from her and her band, Nite Bjuti, in 2023.