Following the release of their critically acclaimed album, Black to the Future, London jazz group Sons of Kemet have released a new visual for their single “Pick Up Your Burning Cross.”
For “Pick Up Your Burning Cross,” the core group – Theon Cross (tuba), Edward Wakili-Hick (percussion), Tom Skinner (percussion) – recruited two American musicians: singer-composer Angel Bat Dawid from Chicago and poet-activist Moor Mother from Philadelphia, to emote over the strength it takes to strive for black power.
In the Ashleigh Jadee-directed visual, Nigerian-British actress Kelechi Okafor confronts dominant imagery of white beauty wherever she turns, from newsstands to beauty counters. Feeling dejected, she takes up dancing and learns to embrace her own beauty and power.
“Reconnect with ancestral energies by confronting your fears and insecurities,” saxophonist and bandleader Shabaka Hutchings shared in a statement. Jadee also directed the video for pioneering jazz outfit’s single “Hustle.”
The frenetic track is one of the many highlights found on their new release for the legendary Impulse! Label. With special guests such as Grime emcees D Double E and Kojey Radical, UK poet Joshua Idehen, and other talented acts, Black To The Future is a bigger affair than previous Sons of Kemet records. The LP finds the UK-based quartet firing on all engines and explores “an eloquent dance between anger and joy,” writes The Guardian.
“It celebrates the Black experience – through spoken-word poetry, Afro-Caribbean dance and New Orleans Second Line – as a way to inspire listeners to come up with their own solutions,” adds Esquire.
Hutchings says, ‘Black to the Future is a sonic poem for the invocation of power, remembrance, and healing. It depicts a movement to redefine and reaffirm what it means to strive for black power.”
The album is the follow-up to the 2018’s Mercury Prize-nominated breakout release, Your Queen Is A Reptile.
Buy or stream Black to the Future.