Tag Archives: protest songs

Sons Of Kemet Release A Powerful, Political Jazz Record To Dance To

Sons of Kemet have never been known to stay stuck in the same path. The band is more of a collaborative effort, that has changed through the years, but guided by the brilliant jazz mind of Shabaka Hutchings. On Black To The Future (Impulse!, 2021) the saxophonist and clarinet player has with him Theon Cross on tuba and Edward Wakili-Hick and Tom Skinner on percussion. In addition, the jazz music they create is, on some tracks, fused with spoken word, song, and rap.

The opening track sets the theme. Under a build-up of horn instruments and percussion, poet Joshua Idehen performs a powerful spoken-word piece that explores the past and present of his people’s oppression. He’s certainly angry and tired which he makes clear.

“Thank you
For refusing me that inch
Because now I do recognise your yardstick
The scales have toppled
The curtains have collapsed
The blonde baboon’s arse is bare in the open
And I am a field negro now
I do not want your equality
It was never yours to give me
And even then it was too minor, too little, too late
Pull the balaclava over my heart and set it running
My revolution rides a black horse and it is stunning”

Another track, Hustle, has a deep, strong beat to it that makes one want to stand up and march in rhythm. The chorus, “Born from the mud with the hustle inside me”, repeats in such a way that it becomes a mantra that one can imagine thousands of people chanting on the street while demanding change.

For those that think jazz can be heavy on the ears, have no worry. This is not as experimental as Hutchings could easily have made it. This is more dance-able and if anything, full of fire. A subtle type of fire that will make you want to move your way in rhythm to the protest.

✊ ✊ ✊ ✊

Ailaan: Music From The Farmers Protests (Video)

This article was originally published by The Indian Culture Forum and republished here with permission.

The farmers have shaken the government with their protests, now continuing for over three months. They’ve challenged the regime with their blockades, sit-ins, marches, as much as they have with their songs and music. This is not new. Historically, agrarian movements such as Tebhaga have given us a rich tradition of music that articulates farmers’ struggle, resolve, and demands.

Ongoing protests are no different as songs in solidarity have been produced in hundreds, adding a contemporary zing to traditional forms, creating new musical interventions, and standing up against the regime that has tried to censor them deploying all its auxiliaries. This episode of Waqt ki Awaz, in solidarity with the protesting farmers, is a tribute to the poetry and music from the farmers protests.

✊ ✊ ✊ ✊

New Collective Of Musicians And Activists Created In Response To Police Brutality At Peaceful Protests

What started in the UK has now grown into a global movement with participants and teams in the US, Brazil, Holland, Germany, Austria, and Belgium. The people behind the newly founded Black Music Movement decided they needed to use their voices as artists and respond to the brutality too often shown at peaceful protests.

“Whilst we are involved in protests, we have also set up community projects, we support artists to create material, we are working with schools & prisons and we are preparing a tour. We bring music to protests, but also bring protests to music, we use our art to educate and to strengthen and uplift communities, and we also aim to inspire and slowly change culture itself.”

Shouts spoke with organisers Juke and Phoenix who told me that while completing the process of becoming a non-profit organisation they are designing how the project can be a platform for activists and artists alike as well as an advocate for “those who have not received a fair shot at success in the creative industries due to their complexion, gender, sexuality or other forms of discrimination”.

The video below shows imagery of the organisation’s very first protest. Juke and Phoenix explained to me how important it is for the collective to “bring music to protests, but also bring protests to music”. To impact and change the culture itself is no small task which the organisers of Black Music Movement are fully aware of. That knowledge does not hinder their objectives though and the organisation is constantly welcoming new artists and activists to participate.

Check out the project’s Instagram page until their webpage is up and running.

✊ ✊ ✊ ✊