It was prom night and we were all invited to join Sudan Archives as she celebrated being crowned the Natural Brown Prom Queen — the name of her latest LP — during her Homecoming Tour. The stage was outfitted with balloons, as Sudan Archives graced us, fellow prom attendees, with her presence, wearing a black crop top, pink pleated mini skirt, and black thigh-high stiletto boots, in addition of course to a prom court sash and her violin. The boots were short-lived, as halfway through her performance, the singer and self-taught violinist, opted to continue the prom night without them.
Even the lighting of the stage and the venue attributed to the feel of being at the school dance inside a gymnasium, and we partied with Sudan Archives from the time the music started until it stopped, nearly 75-minutes later. Joined on stage with her bassist and keyboardist, she opened with “Home Maker,” the opening track of Natural Brown Prom Queen, before transitioning into “Copycat” – a track that showcases her full set of skills: violin, singing, and rapping. Her vocals are always smooth like butter over the beats.
Unlike with other tour dates, there wasn’t much conversation between the Queen of the Prom Court and us prom attendees between songs. However, there was really no need for chit-chat because Sudan Archives allowed her stage presence and talent to do all the talking. Each time she asked if we wanted “More violin?” the crowd would burst in agreement, and she would grace us with violin solo after violin solo.
The tracks from Natural Brown Prom Queen and Sudan Archives’ debut LP, Athena, served as the soundtrack for the prom dance. From “Confessions” and “Glorious,” to “OMG Britt” and “Selfish Soul”. The multi-instrumentalist also performed songs from her debut EP, Sink (“Paid” and “Oatmeal”).
The passion for music could be felt in every word that she sang, in every note of her violin, in every move of her head, and down through her hips and legs. Through her live and artful storytelling, Sudan Archives showed why she is the reigning prom queen who gave us the privilege of taking part in her court.
cover photo credit: Ally Green