The game of capitalism isn’t a kind one and touring musicians know this all too well. It’s this fact that makes the latest album by Haitian-American musician Leyla McCalla such a revelation. That album is called Capitalist Blues - a bright and honest collection of musings that skew towards the observations of how silly capitalism can be.

What sets McCalla’s work apart from others is that she doesn’t allow her personal politics to limit her worldview, rather she does the exact opposite. Throughout the album, she highlights the obvious dangers of capitalism but also notes how we’re all participants and how there is a sense of willfulness towards being part of such a system. A great portion of the album is in Creole, and even with that, it’s clear what each song is about due to the emotions she’s conveying track-to-track. Ken Grand-Pierre met up with McCalla before she played a Lincoln Center event in New York. Together, they discussed how Capitalist Blues came to be.

“I never got taught how to manage money, at all.”

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