ESSENCE.com's "New and Next" column spotlights the brightest new talents we think you should know. This week we meet rising futuristic soul duo, THEESatisfaction.
Who is THEESatisfaction? When Stasia Irons (Stas) and Catherine Harris-White (Cat), the Seattle duo known as THEESatisfaction, connected as college students, they were two young women who shared a love for all things alternative and Afrocentric. Rather than the rappers on the radio, the pair looked to the likes of Erykah Badu, Georgia Ann Muldrow, and beyond for their musical fill. “We were looking for different types of music to indulge in other than what was being offered,” explains Cat. The two friends packed their playlists, and bookshelves (they love African-American feminist sci-fi writer, Octavia Butler), with songs and ideas that couldn’t be found on their local mainstream radio station, ultimately influencing their self-described soul/funk/sci-fi sound.
The 'awe natural' sound: On their debut album awE naturalE, Stas and Cat have created the perfect blend of girl power lyricism with hip-hop, R&B and futuristic soul. “There’s no filler, no B.S.,” says Stas. “It’s really like a tweet of an album: you get everything in a small amount of time.” The video for their first single “QueenS,” directed by writer and filmmaker dream hampton, provides a view of Black women that isn’t seen in the media as often as we’d like. “We wanted to give the world something that we see on the regular: Black women having fun and enjoying each other’s company. Not necessarily one shade of Black woman either, all different kinds of Black women from all different walks of life…and being stylish,” explains Stas.
While enjoying the success of the album and video, the duo is focused on creating music and getting ready to tour. Though they’ve heard from critics, they aren’t focused too much on the negative feedback or the praises and advise of other artists to have the same mindset. “Stay true to what you feel in your heart and your soul,” says Cat. “Do what makes sense to you first and foremost.” Stas shares that there is freedom in crafting your own lane and remaining authentic. “Since we’re not boxed in, we have so many places and directions we can go. It’s awesome to that amount of creativity.”
Where you’ll see them next: The duo is in the middle of a summer tour. Click here to see if they’ll be in a city near you.
Watch THEESatisfaction's "QueenS" video, directed by dream hampton, and let us know what you think: