Leyla McCalla On World Cafe : World Cafe Although the topics are heavy, McCalla's music is danceable. This is a treatment informed by the artist's Haitian roots and adopted New Orleans traditions.

Leyla McCalla Has The Capitalist Blues

Layla McCalla On World Cafe

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Leyla McCalla Sarrah Danzinger/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Sarrah Danzinger/Courtesy of the artist

Leyla McCalla

Sarrah Danzinger/Courtesy of the artist

Set List

  • "Money Is King"
  • "The Capitalist Blues"
  • "Heavy As Lead"
  • "Mize Pa Dous"

As you may guess from the title of her third solo album, Leyla McCalla tackles social and economic issues pretty directly on The Capitalist Blues. The multi-instrumentalist and Carolina Chocolate Drops alumna sings about everything from injustice and poverty to her daughter's experience with elevated levels of lead. And although the topics are heavy, the music is danceable — a treatment informed by the troubadour traditions of McCalla's Haitian roots and the Cajun and Zydeco traditions of her adopted home in New Orleans.

In this session, McCalla talks about her parents' work as Haitian human rights activists and how the history of her people and the attitudes of her parents inspired her to tackle social issues through art. And McCalla performs live. Listen in the player.

Episode Playlist