By: Nikita Batra//
Meet Tiffany Majette a.k.a. Orion Sun: A Philly-based artist/producer whose name came from wanting to be an astronaut and the sight of Orion in her hometown sky. Inspired by composers like Henry Mancini, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nancy Wilson, the singer chases music that’s meditative and magic– music that forces the listener to not be present and provides an escape. She shares her own feelings, “When I listen to Nat King Cole, I’m like ‘What year is it? Where am I? Does it matter? It’s still beautiful.’ So when I’m composing beats, it’s a lot about environment for me, and it’s very visual.”
The artists that introduced Majette to the fact that ‘black people play guitar’, however, were Brian McKnight and Lauryn Hill. Once she’d started making music, her biggest inspirations became Frank Ocean for his nostalgic feeling, Daniel Caesar for his church background and voice, Kanye West for 808s and Heartbreaks, and most importantly, her grandma for giving up her career to raise her mother.
These inspirations carried Orion Sun throughout her life and music career to the historic Black Lives Matter movement in 2020. On May 30th, she participated in a protest in Philadelphia for the rights of her people and community. That day she suffered at the hands of police brutality. Majette recalled that she was badly injured and had trouble grasping the situation as the lines between police brutality and police murder were blurring– her experience was police brutality, George Floyd’s was police murder, and neither were acceptable. In her Facebook post to fans she reflected,
“it hurt because i was just slammed to the ground a couple times and got my arm twisted. the people i was/am fighting for were murdered. why are people numb to the death of my people.”
Majette expressed how she felt the soft ballad “mama’s baby” bleed out of her after the traumatic event, and upon completion, a sense of peace came over her. She released the song in an attempt to share that peace with others, and directed the earnings to Breonna Taylor’s GoFundMe page. The singer continued to write,
“even when people can look at the world burning and feel nothing because the fire hasn’t touched their skin, there are people feeling deeply and fighting in their own important way for the change that is inevitable2.”
It is for this reason and so many more that we all take this month to remember Black History and support those like Orion Sun that live it every day of the year.