afropunk premiere: norwegian-south african soul singer nosizwe lends voice to black liberation movement with “breathe” #feesmustfall

October 27, 2016

If you needed a reminder that the movement for Black liberation is global, look no farther than “Breathe,” the newest single by Nosizwe, a Norwegian-South African songstress with politics and pride at the center of her being. “Breathe” is about the Black Lives Matters movement, about Marikana, about the girls taken by Boko Haram, about Black pain. It offers no conclusions and merely attempts to reflect the times. It features Rene McLean, Naima McLean and Guilty Simpson, all artists hellbent on bringing urgency and truth to their music.

Nosizwe had this to say about the creation of “Breathe”: “This beat is definitely one of the Georgia Anne Muldrow beats that hit hardest home for me. It is so simple, so beautiful, so expansive, I spent a lot of time figuring out how to make it work. The energy that came first was the thought of the voices, singing the sorrows, the hashtags that have become a focusing point in terms of voicing what matters to us. That Black Lives matter to us. That Eric Garner matters to us. That the girls in Nigeria lives matter to us. These voices, my voices, sing these hashtags, these statements of a greater pain and deep-seated anger and frustration, as I ask myself what these statements will bring forth of change. This song naturally became about us. So it was important that a collective was involved in voicing that. Naima is a dear friend. She was probably the first person I asked to jump on this. Her father is an incredible instrumentalist and I have always wanted to work with him. It was an honor to have Guilty Simpson jump on board. Let me just tell you, there will be many remixes of this song. Many opportunities for the collective to jump on it. It feels like it can never end, I love the beat that much.” Enjoy this outpouring of her soul in her new meeting, “Breathe.”

By T. McLendon, AFROPUNK Contributor

Photo credit: Moe Chakiri

Cover art by Daylin Paul