Solange Remembers Late Funk Legend Junie Morrison, the Inspiration Behind Her Song ‘Junie’

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Funk legend Junie Morrison, the multi-instrumentalist member of the Ohio Players and musical director of Funkadelic, died on Saturday at age 62, his daughter announced on Thursday. History will remember Morrison for his experimental songs like “Funky Worm” and contributions to P-Funk (he co-wrote Funkadelic’s “One Nation Under a Groove”), but his cultural influence was reintroduced to a newer generation just last year. Solange named “Junie,” one of the best songs on her tribute to black art A Seat at the Table, after Morrison. At the time, Morrison praised the unexpected callback — which Solange surprised him with days before releasing the album — saying of Solange: “This young person has a whole funk load of talent.”

Shortly after the news of his death, Solange reflected on her emotional discovery of Morrison’s music and how hearing Junie’s song “Super Spirit” for the first time inspired a last-minute addition to her album. “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,” Solange wrote in a personal remembrance. “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.” It stayed with Solange so much that even when she thought her album was finished, “Junie” (which samples “Super Spirit”) poured out of her one night:

“I wrote the song to honor the brilliant Junie Morrison and the impact his work and story had on me, while wanting to challenge my own relationship with ‘sharing your magic.’ … The greatest lesson I learned about Junie Morison is that the magic was endless and the truest testament to real authentic magic is that it can’t be made, it just is. When that kind of magic exists, it will happen again and again, no matter what the potion of players are. He had it in his hands. He was very appreciated. He was the ‘Super Spirit’ indeed.”
Solange Remembers Late Funk Legend Junie Morrison