The Queen of underground Soul Sy Smith has released the visuals for her most recently released album title-track, "Sometimes A Rose Will Grow In Concrete".
Among the myriad of things this pandemic has severely disrupted for so many people is travel, especially summer holiday plans. Singer-songwriter SY SMITH aims to alleviate our quarantine cabin fever with her scenic offering for her album’s ethereal title track “Sometimes A Rose Will Grow In Concrete” (aka SRWGC).
"This song is really an ode to Black people and to Blackness. It’s a meditation on what it means to come from the most impossible circumstances and emerge beautifully; like the rose that grows in concrete."
Just like her most recent video “Camelot”, this latest was also shot in the East African nation of Tanzania and directed by her husband Shawn Carter Peterson. “We’d planned to shoot a visual for Camelot while we were vacationing, and we did that. But what I didn’t know was that Shawn was getting lots of extra footage so that he could make a second video too,“ mentions Sy. “It was all a complete surprise to me when he showed me both videos after he was finished! I was in tears because both videos were just so beautiful!”, she adds.
The beautifully-shot video for SRWGC takes viewers on a journey through Tanzania, inviting them to experience the beaches of Zanzibar, the northern regions of Arusha, and the bustling streets of the once capital city Dar es Salaam. Viewers come face to face with the majestic Maasai people, their presence made even more regal when they’re seen doing warrior style jump. More Tanzanians are seen performing traditional dances, playing soccer on the beach and still other locals show up on the screen simply being... all as Sy sings “sometimes a rose will grow in concrete, sometimes a caged bird will sing... sometimes we never get no answers, but still the questions will remain.” The visuals are enough to get pleasantly swept up in all of the beauty, captured all on an iPhone (that’s right, the whole thing was shot on Shawn’s phone!). Viewers may get so caught up, in fact, that they may not even notice that Sy herself is rarely seen in this video.
“Once I saw both videos (Camelot and SRWGC), I knew I wanted to release them as a two-part video postcard. I just didn’t know when I’d release this one. But when the pandemic hit and went on for two months already, I knew that it was time to share part two... because so many of us just want to get away, even if just momentarily.”
Sy’s voice seems to perfectly follow every landscape/cityscape seen in this stunning visual. Especially when she hits her trademark whistle-tone at the end of the song as a Maasai man elevates himself into the sky flanked by his fellow men and the gorgeous sun setting on the Indian Ocean. Sometimes a caged bird will sing. Sometimes a camera will too.
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