Known for exploring the complexity of human hurt in ways that are both personal and universal, Janiva Magness is a widely praised blues and soul singer. Magness writes from a serious place, and fittingly, her music isn't to be taken lightly: She often weaves a difficult personal history into her songs, but, as her new album's title suggests, Magness pushes through tough times on Stronger for It.
Stronger for It arrives in the wake of a difficult year for Magness, who lost several people close to her and ended her 17-year marriage. Yet, as she explains in today's episode of World Cafe, she shaped those experiences into songs. She also discusses why she gravitated toward blues in the first place — a decision which may seem obvious to fans, but has a surprising answer. Here, Magness talks about Stronger for It and plays some of its songs live in the studio.