Usher is breaking the “Chains.” The Grammy-winning singer has teamed up with Nas and Bibi Bourelly on a powerful new song to raise awareness for the victims of racial injustice and police brutality.
The song’s release is accompanied by “Don’t Look Away,” an interactive experience. Using facial recognition technology with a camera-enabled device, viewers will be able to look into the eyes of the unarmed victims and control the video stream. The song will immediately stop if the viewer turns away.
Usher spoke about the message behind the music. “In writing this song, I was motivated by the events involving prejudicial injustice that are still happening today,” he said in a statement. “The reality is that racial bigotry diminishes the lives of too many people in our country. We have to come together as a country to solve these problems and this is one way I can contribute.”
He continued, “I chose to introduce the song through the ‘Don’t Look Away’ experience because it is important not only to feel the issue but to face it. The pain and suffering that these victims and their families have endured is something we must never forget. When we look away from this problem it gets worse. To fix it, we have to face it.”
Usher will perform “Chains” for the first time at the TIDAL X: 1020 concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Oct. 20. Families of the victims appearing in the “Don’t Look Away” experience will be in attendance, and proceeds will benefit groups which promote social impact and change.