Shorlette Interviews shirlette for After Ellen

shirlette ammons on collaborating with Indigo Girls & Meshell Ndegeocello for “Language Barrier”

Durham, North Carolina-based shirlette ammons is master of the backslash—that is to say she’s a poet/musician/activist. One of those busy few with a message and method who seems to find time in the day the rest of us assumed a fable Beyonce’s team imagined.


photo by Tim-Walter via

On her second release Language Barrier she’s partnered with a stellar collection of artists—from the Indigo Girls to Meshell Ndegeocello and Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso—to create a rounded and surprising collection of singles altogether enjoyable and surprising in their spectral range. She’s also releasing the album as a dual collaboration, the first with her business partner Shorlette, who happens to also be her twin sister and co-owner of their label SugarQube, as well as indie Durham local label Churchkey.

One of my favorite tracks on the album (“Language Barrier Segue), features German rapper sookee. It’s a beautiful example of shirlette’s ability to be both thought-provoking lyrically and musically minded in a such a way that invites an audience to want to listen and participate.



Ahead of the release of the album on Friday shirlette, creative juices flowing, sat down with Shorlette and recorded the answers to some of our questions.


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