Solange Knowles penned a heartfelt tribute to Junie Morrison following the death of the Ohio Players and Funkadelic legend Thursday.
In the eulogy, posted on Knowles’ Saint Heron site, the singer writes about discovering Morrison’s music for the first time and how it influenced her then-in-the-works album A Seat at the Table. “I remember the first time I heard Junie Morrison‘s ‘Super Spirit,'” Solange wrote. “Q-Tip played it for me one night in his studio in Jersey. No song had ever made me feel quite like it. It tapped into places and spiritual frequencies that I couldn’t even put into words. I listened to it on loop for an hour, each listen hitting me deeper and deeper.”
“I went home immediately and listened to every song I could find of Junie’s, as well as revisiting and diving deep into his work with The Ohio Players and Parliament. I was blown away by his brilliant musicianship, chords, melodies, and his ability to make the most obscure changes in songs flow from one to the next like he could do it in his sleep, any night of the week. His music found me during a really hard time. During a time of a lot of self-doubt about my own music and career. Any time those feelings would rise, I’d put on ‘Super Spirit’ and try and to manifest it into that moment.”
Solange wrote “Junie” for her acclaimed 2016 LP, one of Rolling Stone‘s 50 Best Albums of 2016. “The more I learned about Junie, the more I learned how much of his gift he shared through his musical contributions to others; how we have all in some way or another been touched by his contributions to funk music, and about his wealth of inspiration to other musicians. The more he came up, the more I heard the words underrated and under-credited. But the greatest lesson I learned about Junie Morrison is that the magic was endless … and the truest testament to real authentic magic … is that it can’t be made … it just is.”
In a 2016 interview with Fader, Morrison discussed his initial reaction to Solange’s Seat at the Table tribute. “She communicated to me that she wanted to tell me the story of how much my track ‘Super Spirit’ made an impression on her and inspired her to name her creation, ‘Junie,'” Morrison said.
“She wanted me to hear her creation and speak to me about it. My initial reaction to hearing the song itself was the same as I had while listening to the rest of A Seat at the Table – Wow! This young person has a whole funkload of talent.”