Since her entry into the entertainment industry, Anika Noni Rose has established herself as a renaissance woman. She appeared in films such as Dreamgirls and For Colored Girls, and was the voice of Tiana, Disney’s first African-American movie protagonist, in 2009’s The Princess and the Frog.
Rose is also no stranger to the stage. Along with television roles in Power, Bates Motel and The Quad, the Florida A&M University graduate has appeared in several Broadway musicals, garnering a Tony Award nomination for A Raisin in the Sun and winning a Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance as Emmie Thibodeaux in Caroline, or Change.
Currently, Rose stars in Maid, a limited drama series on Netflix based on Stephanie Land’s memoir of the same name. She plays the role of Regina, a successful attorney who hires an abused single mother named Alex as her maid, and learns more about herself, as well as the world around her, in the process. Rose was so moved by the struggle that Alex experiences as a single mother that she wrote a song about the trials and tribulations that many moms face on a daily basis.
“I was inspired after I read one of the Maid scripts. I immediately wrote lyrics in the form of a long poem,” Rose tells ESSENCE. “A few months later I called my amazing friends Phil Lawrence (Bruno Mars/Smeezingtons) and Davy Nathan (Patti LaBelle), both of whom wrote music for Jingle Jangle, who helped turn it into what it is now.”
In an additional move of solidarity, Rose is donating a portion of her proceeds to the non-profit domestic violence prevention organization Jenesee Center which spreads awareness of violence against women, girls, men and boys and advocates for all people to have the basic human right of peace in their homes and relationships.
“I’m excited and proud to put ‘So Much More’ out for all of the women who’ve been made to feel less than for their life journeys,” Rose says. “For all the mothers–by birth and otherwise–who’ve been our personal heroines in spite of all their struggles and difficulties. And for every woman still fighting.”
Listen to Anika Noni Rose’s new single, “So Much More,” here.