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Artist Spotlight: Chaquis Maliq and the Power of Refusal

Hello BWB fam,

Today I am pleased to present to everyone singer, songwriter, producer, and creator of the EccentroSoul 1 Woman Band, Chaquis Maliq. The track she has shared with us today, titled "You Can't," is a powerful testimony in the form of song about "black women’s resilience and evolution..." in the face of systematic disenfranchisement animated by a simultaneous envy and refusal of our talents, our culture, and our minds. In the song, Chaquis responds to the neurotic fixations black women are often confronted by with another refusal, one that rejects said fixations in all its forms, and enshrines her work as an unassailable force beyond the reach of her detractors' vampiric preoccupations. Read on to view the full artist statement, and gain some insight into the writing process for "You Can't."


Say what you will

Say what you won't

I'mma keep still

Cuz my pride is free will

You can't be me

You can't see me

You can't feel me

You will never thrill me

I got rhythm in my walk

Freedom in my talk

I got strong bones

To go with my skin tone

You can't cover my song

You can't be my friend

Can't be my foe

You're misogynist

I'm everything you wish

You can't be me

You can't see me

You can't feel me

You will never thrill me

You can't

You can't

You can't cover my damn song

Statement From the Artist:

Black Women’s resilience and evolution is the backbone of “You Can’t”. Though the lyrics may seem simple―the complexity resonates with binary and non-binary sisters of the familiar narrative in domestic violence and death/sexual violence by the hands of men, the omission from history in order to discredit and rewrite herstory and our stories, the inequalities in qualified business opportunities along with compensation, and even the local governments policing women’s reproductive systems to enslave women and girls. This list has the room to continue, but the exhaustion in typing this doesn’t intrigue the patriarchy. However, the envy of Black Women is compels the world to spin. Thus….. “You Can’t” be us is the distinctive message in this song.

"You Can't" went through an odd process before it reached its final cut. The song originally started out as an uptempo tune, but I felt it lacked authenticity once I played it as background music in outdoor public events. It had an En Vogue 90's feel. (Which isn't a bad thing, especially because they are an inspiration, and we are from San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area.) But, I realized that a "bop" with profound lyrics can often allow listeners to totally disregard its message. So, I played around with the chords until my soul responded to a new melody. Once I felt the shift to relinquish the original version, I played the song as my EccentroSoul 1 Woman Band set-up and all the fire that was missing was revealed. From there I knew I had to record it and release it for Women's History Month (2018).


Want to discover more about Chaquis? Visit her website at: or check our her Spotify at:

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