India Arie’s work joins the growing family of contemporary protest music from artists like Beyonce, D’Angelo, Kendrick Lamar, and Blood Orange, who have come up with music that has inspired the Black Lives Matter movement. India Arie is well-known for singing songs with deep and powerful messages that perfectly capture her self-assurance and positive spirit. India Arie was born on October 3, 1975, in Denver, Colorado. Arie’s parents encouraged her musical talent in her younger years. Arie’s debut album, Acoustic Soul, was released on March 27, 2001. Acoustic Soul’s album did well, having debuted at number three on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and number ten on the US Billboard 200. The album was also certified platinum by the RIAA. In September 2012, Arie was featured in a multi-platform media project campaign called “30 Songs/30 Days” to support Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. India Arie is known for her unique musical style and following her own rules. In the course of her musical career, Arie has released six studio albums and eighteen singles. She has been nominated for various accolades, including the Grammy Awards, where she won four awards, and she has sold over five million records in the US and 10 million globally. Here are the top ten India Arie songs.
10. Chocolate High
“Chocolate High” is from Arie’s Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics album. The track is a metaphoric, joyful song that pays homage to African American love. “Chocolate High” features a neo-soul sound. India Arie is content and proud of her dark skin; this track well reflects this. Arie doesn’t sing alone in this track but collaborates with Musiq Soulchild on this duet which sounds simple yet so infectious.
9. Little Things
There are so many things I love about this song. But most of all, I love the lyrics and the powerful message it puts across. The song is about appreciating and being content with the little things one has in their life. According to Arie, people tend to overlook the “little things” while focusing on getting what they desire. “Little Things” is contained in Arie’s second studio album, Voyage to India, as the first single. The track charted at number 89 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Little Things” won the Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative Performance; this was the first Grammy award earned by India Arie.
8. Strength, Courage & Wisdom
“Strength, Courage & Wisdom” is from the Acoustic Soul album. It isn’t easy to come across a therapeutic and empowering song about positive self-image as this song does. This song encourages people to be confident and feel good about themselves. “Strength, Courage & Wisdom” features a neo-soul sound and a funky groove that will get your head shaking.
7. Steady Love
The number seven song in our countdown of the ten best India Arie songs contains one of the most sentimental music videos you will come across. The video features David Banner as Arie’s love interest, and the two showcase perfect love chemistry. The song puts across the point that there is nothing in this world like the feeling of “steady love.”
6. I Am Not My Hair
“I Am Not My Hair” is from Arie’s third studio album, Testimony Vol. 1, Life & Relationship. The track was written by Arie, Drew Ramsey, and Shannon Sanders. The original version of this track features Arie as the only singer. The song also features an acoustic guitar and prominent bass over a mid-tempo drum track. “I Am Not My Hair” was nominated for the 2007 Grammy Awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song.
The next song on our list is “Words” from Anthony David’s third studio album, Acey Duecy. India Arie is featured in this beautiful love song. This ballad is about the love a couple feels for each other. According to the couple, they don’t want to only speak the “word” to each other; actions should follow the words. The track charted at number 53 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. “Words” was also featured in the LOGO television series Noah’s Arc, season 2.
“Video” is Arie’s most successful song on the Billboard Hot 100, where it charted in the top 50. This track is the first single from her debut album, Acoustic Soul. Samples of “Fun” by Brick and “Top Billin” by Audio Two are incorporated into the song. “Video” was nominated for four Grammy Awards which include Best R&B Songs, Record of the Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Song of the Year.
“Wonderful” is a dedicatory song to pay tribute to Stevie Wonder, one of her inspirations. In this song, India Arie expresses gratitude for what he did for her and how he helped her on her musical journey. The simple track features a piano and a pounding drumbeat. “Wonderful” is a timeless track that ages like fine wine.
2. Brown Skin
“Brown Skin” was written by India Arie. The track is from her debut studio album, Acoustic Soul. This sexy, sultry song is about celebrating black love. India Arie appreciates dark-skinned people in this track and encourages them to love their skin colour. “Brown Skin” is a catchy song that can stir up your emotions. Although the track did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100, it became Arie’s highest-charting single in the UK, peaking at #29.
1. The Magic
The number one song on our list is “That Magic” which comes from the album, Worthy (2019). “The Magic” features Arie singing about the splendid connection she shares with her man. In the song, she mentions how he makes her feel when he touches her. Lyriq Bent is featured in the video for the song. India Arie sings both the lead vocal and background vocals effortlessly. The guitar, drums, and xylophone are the musical instruments featured in the song. “The Magic” is a great and flawless song, thus deserving the number one position on our list.