Black Alliance Vol. 1 EP
In celebration of Black History Month, Warner Music Canada is presented the first ever instalment of Black Alliance Vol 1 featuring artists from the labels Black roster. The six song project features covers of legendary Black anthems with a bit of a modern twist, including Charmaine’s cover of “U.N.I.T.Y.” by Queen Latifah, Just John’s cover of Missy Elliott’s “My Struggles”, Amaal’s cover of “Brown Skin” by India.Arie, Myles Castello’s cover of the Sam Cooke classic “A Change Is Gonna Come”, and Andye’s cover of Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror”
The essential annual release features Warner Music Canada’s ever-talented Black roster covering beloved songs from legendary Black artists who have paved the way for artists of today.
The official visualizers and live performance videos to accompany each single were created by Spencer Edwards.
JUST JOHN - MY STRUGGLES ( MISSY ELLIOT COVER )
Just John explained that he chose "My Struggles" because "Missy was so ahead of her time. She paved the way with her sound with Timbaland and you get delivery, originality, style, literal movies in every music video. Missy has made and continues to have an everlasting imprint on culture in so many ways. That's the kind of artist I want my career to be like, iconic, experimental, timeless and always pushing the agenda. The energy of her work with Timbaland reminds me of the kinship myself and Dom Dias have as rapper/producer heavy collaborators."
AMAAL - BROWN SKIN ( INDIA ARIE COVER )
"Brown Skin" cover, Amaal expressed, "The melodies are so captivating, and the poetic lyrics are powerful! It epitomizes self-love, empowerment, and the beauty of melanin skin. I've always gravitated towards songs that are both anthemic with inspirational messaging combined with a backdrop of melodic chords/vocals that bring you to tears and this song truly does it best! "
ANDYE - MAN IN THE MIRROR (MICHAEL JACKSON COVER )
Andye felt that the message of the song was timely for the current cultural climate. “[‘Man in the Mirror’] sheds light on self-reflection and motivation during the times we are currently in, I felt this song was a perfect fit.”
Additionally, being from a war torn country, he wants to use his music to help and inspire. “Coming from Ethiopia I know what poverty looks like and not everyone knows what is going on around in the world, so I’d like to sing songs that make people go and educate themselves,” ANDYE explains.
CHARMAINE - U.N.I.T.Y ( QUEEN LATIFAH COVER )
"I covered ["U.N.I.T.Y"] because I'm all for black empowerment as a whole," Charmaine said of her cover choice in a statement. "Queen Latifah did an amazing job creating a record with a message regarding Black men and women supporting, as well as loving one another respectfully."
JACKSOUL - USE ME "BILL WITHERS COVER"
A special tribute to Canadian legend and former lead singer of Jacksoul, the late Haydain Neale.
Neale formed the R&B group in 1995 and became a pioneer for Black Canadian artists. Sadly, Neale passed away in 2009 after battling lung cancer. Neale’s cover of “Use Me” by Bill Withers was given a modern revamp and used to kick off the start of the album. The track also serves as a tribute to Bill Withers who Neale was a big fan of.
MYLES CASTELLO - A CHANGE IS GONNA COME ( SAM COOKE COVER )
Singer-songwriter Myles Castello, “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke was his song of choice because of how relevant the lyrics remained from one generation to the next.
“The part that hits home,” Castello says, “is the fact that … it’s called ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ but it’s like we’re still kind of … looking and waiting and fighting for certain things.”
Director: Spencer Edwards
Producer/Editor: Ben Knechtel
DOP: Lucas Joseph
1st AC: Steele Fernandes
Grip: Joel D’Alimonte
Light Design: Congo Blue
Makeup Artist: Jasmin Stephen
BTS Photography : Ryan Rivera
Studio/Production Support: 2D House Creative
Logo/Fonts: Latoucha Thomas
Black Alliance Logo Design: Jeremie Mboma