Esperanza Spalding’s signature instrument is the timeless and unaffected bass—an apt emblem for an artist whose concept of engagement centers less on the zeitgeist of social media and more on considered conversations and uninhibited creative expression. Since winning a Grammy for Best New Artist in 2011, Spalding has evolved this dialogue to incorporate acting, staging and directing, which, together, extend beyond entertainment to stir our collective capacity for constructive change. How has music’s place in your life changed over the years? This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Two Buy Now Related Stories Music Issue 49 Tove Lo The pop star reflects on the big feelings behind her biggest hits. Music Issue 49 Róisín Murphy Five questions for an art-pop icon. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Beauty in the Beat How rhythm shapes our lives. Music Issue 46 Hun Choi DJ Hunee outlines his dance floor philosophy. Music Issue 46 Lil Silva A superstar collaborator steps into the spotlight. Music Issue 44 Sigrid Scandipop's fresh face on stagecraft and The Sims.