Silk and Gravel, Ms Hays,6th studio album funded by SAMPRA is her attempt to share a Musical journey that enables catharsis. Silk and Gravel is reference to not only the quality of her voice but the subject matter of the Music itself.
Says Ms Hays, “ This is a purge album. I discovered when the restrictions lifted, I could no longer burden myself with painful narratives I experienced and was privy to. The subject matter isn’t always nice to easy to digest, but how else to heal?”
The soundscape is bold and dramatic, as the last few years were for so many. One could even go as far as suggesting it is cinematic, and as varied as the individuals for whom Music was subsequently penned for.
There are two sets of artwork. One is very glamorous ( Silk)as this is how women of colour who do not sing popular music are usually depicted. This visual portrayal has followed Ms Hays from the start. Even though a great deal of her Music is very far removed from jazz or even blues.
The alternative artwork (Gravel), created by Ms Hays’ 23 year old daughter, is an attempt to break out and free. In her own words, “For context, the reason I opted to black out your eyes is because it is a purge album. Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit; in his play/ film he placed 4 strangers in a room. The room was an allegory for hell. The strangers saw and experienced themselves through they eyes others, denoting the phrase ‘Hell is Other People’. By blacking out your eyes, you are removing your perception of yourself from others, thus purging them. And metaphorically moving out of that hell.”