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Born and raised in Detroit, Vahn Black grew up surrounded by the sounds of Motown, Jazz, Techno, and Gospel music. This sonic melting pot aided in Black to cultivating her sound, pulling inspiration from artists like Sarah Vaughn and J Dilla. An early interest in animation and Adult Swim would pull her deeper into music making. The Adult Swim bump beats produced by Flying Lotus would eventually inspire Black to finally explore music production on an Akai XR20 drum machine. From there, a sonic love affair began to bloom.

Black began singing at 6 years old and gained her initial music training in the black church by singing in choirs and taking piano lessons. As a teenager, Black attended the Detroit School of Arts where she received both jazz and classical training. Black continued her music education at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, receiving a B.A. in classical music performance and modern composition.

Black's interest in music research and her passion for telling the stories of the Black Forgotten is at the center of her sonic and visual art. Her latest work centers the stories of black women musicians of the Harlem Renaissance whose stories have often been disregarded or even erased.

Jada Nycole Ellise headshot

As a composer Black has lent her artistry to various art mediums from short films to interactive performance art. In 2014 Black placed runner-up in the Detroit Jazz Festival's Youth Vocal competition. She has also performed as an opening act for artists such as Anthony Hamilton, Chrisette Michelle, Elle Varner, and soul legends Frankie Beverly and Maze. In addition to performing center stage, Black has also supported jazz vocalist Kathleen Bertrand as a background singer.

Black released her self-produced debut Temporary Colors on June 19, 2020.


Additional information for all pieces here




GRANTS and fEllowshipS

2022 - National Black Arts Festival Grant Recipient




Luv n Chaos (2022)



"K-Town Funk" (featured artist)

"Foolish" (featured artist)


"Garden" by Flwr Chyld (2020)

Credit: featured artist


"Luvaroq" by Elujay ft. Serpentwithfeet (2021)

Credit: vocal production

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