Jorja Smith’s tribute to BLM in “Rose Rouge”

Not long ago, Blue Note announced “Re:imagined”, an album with classic tracks reworked. For those who aren’t aware, Blue Note Records is a jazz label that has already signed names like Bobby Hutcherson, Horace Silver and John Coltrane, among many others. For this project, we’ll have a great selection of young talents from the jazz, soul and R&B scenes. They’ll be responsible for adding their personal touch on these recordings.

Jorja Smith is part of the talented list. So are Ezra Collective, Nubya Garcia, Shabaka Hutchings, Jordan Rakei, Poppy Ajudha and Emma-Jean Thackray.

Today, Jorja released not only her version for St. Germain’s “Rose Rouge” but also a new video directed by Samona Olanipekun. And what a film. British-Nigerian self-taught producer encapsulated the spirit of freedom, unity and empowerment that took over the streets in almost 6 minutes of tribute and reflection.

We have to continue the conversation around injustices that are and have been inflicted upon black people all over the world,” Jorja explains. “This video is a tribute to all the people who have paved the way for black empowerment and freedom. We are not going to stay quiet – black lives matter – they always have. Samona, who directed the video, captured the togetherness and power of the movement and I hope when you watch, you feel with us.”

“With so much currently happening and even more yet to happen, I felt it was important to take stock,” Samona adds. “The film was an opportunity to highlight the immense effort being made including the strength and the spirit display. It’s so easy to get disheartened and lose sight of what we’re fighting for. Jorja’s Rose Rouge is a beautiful track that has the power to unite and inspire. It was only right that we aimed to match that energy with the visuals. It was also important to draw a link to the freedom fighters that came before us. We’re part of a fight that began long before most of us were born and it’s highly likely it will continue after we are gone; all we can do is carry the baton and continue to demand change.

Jorja and Ezra Collective joined forces to release a vinyl with “Rose Rouge” and a new version of “Footprints“, originally by Wayne Shorter. All proceeds will go to Kwanda, a platform for black communities.


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