Sudan Archives made her television debut with a performance of “Selfish Soul” on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Monday night (September 19), but the surging singer-songwriter and violinist looked right at home. Sudan commanded the Ed Sullivan Theater stage alongside her bassist and three backup singers.
“Am I good enough? Am I good enough?” she posed in the chorus. Short answer? Yes. After coolly introducing her new audience to her signature violin-playing, she sang straight into the camera, “I don’t want no struggles, I don’t want no fears.” She didn’t struggle at all to fearlessly deliver in the national spotlight.
The evocative rendition comes after Sudan released Natural Brown Prom Queen, her sophomore album following 2019’s Athena, on September 9. The Cincinnati-bred artist dropped the lead single, “Home Maker,” in March, marking her first solo offering in three years.
“Selfish Soul” arrived in May. The textured track is “about women and the celebration of hair. It’s about representation of different hair textures and embracing all colors and textures of it,” she explained in a press release that coincided with the accompanying music video meant to show that the traditional American standard for beauty and beautiful hair is “not what all beauty is.”
Sudan’s proper TV debut came on Colbert, but she gave a riveting Tiny Desk Concert in 2020 — recorded days before the US was locked down due to the then-burgeoning coronavirus pandemic.
The natural-born performer has been getting even more comfortable in unapologetically expressing her truths on the festival circuit this summer. Her headlining Homecoming Tour kicks off September 24 in Solana Beach, California, and will stretch 38 dates across North America and Europe. See all dates here.