In such racially-charged times, it seems many artists are breaking their silence and speaking out about social injustice.
India.Arie is the latest to raise her voice with regards to #BlackLivesMatter. Though the soul singer hasn’t released an album in nearly three years, with a heavy heart, she shared her feelings about what’s going on with a brand new song, “Continue to Breathe.”
Debuting the song by way of a video that features her guitarist and a number of friends, “Continue to Breathe” isn’t about reassurance. It’s not necessarily about instilling hope. Rather, Arie just wants people to know that, as life goes on, so, too, must they continue to be strong.
“So much injustice in this life, and it happens right on your TV screen,” India sings, with her friends serving as a makeshift backup choir on the song’s soulful chorus. It’s therapy to the sound of an acoustic guitar, and it reminds listeners to persevere in the trying times. All they can do, whether holding down the ones who came before or trying to keep their heads up for the generation to come, is keep breathing and keep marching.
Speaking on the song, India tells ESSENCE that she hopes to remind the Black community of their worth and usher in a spirit of healing. “My mission all of these years has been to spread love Healing Peace and Joy through the power of words and music,” she says. “I am working on a new album called WORTHY – but with the climate of our country, I couldn’t wait for an album release to share this song called ‘BREATHE.’ Just like the rest of the country, I am hurting and wondering how we can heal – and so I’m offering what I have. May this song remind the black community that I love so dearly – that we are WORTHY, Our healing is in our hands, and never ever forget about your HEART. Love is the most powerful energy in the universe and all we have to do it use it. In honor of our brothers, lets continue to BREATHE.”
Watch India.Arie’s “Continue to Breathe” video below.
–Words by Bradford Howard