First Listen: Mica Paris provides a stunning reflection

Photo courtesy of Soulfood Music

(July 23, 2020) The death of George Floyd illustrates once again that while Black people may live in different parts of the country or on different continents, we share many of the same realities. One of those realities is any encounter with law enforcement can turn into an existential confrontation. That fact explains the visceral reaction to the video the captured the last eight minutes and 46 seconds of Floyd’s life.

That video of the Minneapolis police officer using his knee to asphyxiate Floyd sparked protests, and proposals to change everything from the way that police arrest people to the way police departments are funded and the which law enforcement functions they carry out. The world has been moved to action, and for the arts world the call for action has resulted in a burst of creativity.

(July 23, 2020) The death of George Floyd illustrates once again that while Black people may live in different parts of the country or on different continents, we share many of the same realities. One of those realities is any encounter with law enforcement can turn into an existential confrontation. That fact explains the visceral reaction to the video the captured the last eight minutes and 46 seconds of Floyd’s life.

That video of the Minneapolis police officer using his knee to asphyxiate Floyd sparked protests, and proposals to change everything from the way that police arrest people to the way police departments are funded and the which law enforcement functions they carry out. The world has been moved to action, and for the arts world the call for action has resulted in a burst of creativity. The travesty and the anguish that it caused have opened up a well of creativity in the R&B and soul world, the equivalent of which hasn’t been seen since the 1960s and early 70s.

British soul singer Mica Paris watched the awful images of Floyd’s murder, and it inspired the single “Broad Daylight.” This excellent song, that features an appropriately sparse arrangement of piano and voice, forces the listener to focus on every word. And those words are powerful. The lyrics take the listener into those eight minutes and 46 seconds both from the perspective of Floyd and his killer.

Paris does more than tell a story on “Broad Daylight.” She gives listeners a challenge. The song’s hook serves as a call for action and a reminder that the kind of brutality that Floyd experienced is not normal -- and that we should not normalize it. Paris’s immediate action is that any proceeds that come from the single’s sale will go to the nonprofit called “Music Against Racism.” Music Against Racism seeks to use the vibrancy & unity of the music scene to educate, empower and inspire everyone to work towards a future without racism. Check “Broad Daylight” out here.

By Howard Dukes

Mica Paris - "Broad Daylight"

 
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