46 year old black neighbor, George Floyd, was murdered on May 25th, 2020 during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill at Cup Foods. It’s apparent the harmful and malicious narrative America has created around the spaces a black person can or can’t sit, can or can’t hold space, and can or can’t be radicalized are revealed. We’ve witnessed criminalization before speaking and a cycle of violence against Black people from the people sworn to protect us.
Music has always been a conduit for change. It can push boundaries, shed light on the minimized, and empower leaders to take action. Music is a unifying tool to share stories that we all relate to. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, “The Art of the Revolution” is a Minnesota beacon to create change and demand better from our police.
Taylor Seaberg has directed a community lead endeavor that will culminate in the politically charged album set to release on February 15th. The album will feature a variety of artists including Queen Drea, The Smokes, Mrs. Pinky & the Great Fox, Kashimana, Brandon Pulphus, Douala Soul Collective, and many more.
“The world was shattered by the death of George Floyd. There have been many deaths by the police before and since his murder on my block. Every moment is a catalyst for change. We need to band together as a community of artists and cultivate spaces by us and for us,” Taylor Seaberg states.
The compilation is a true collaboration between videographers, photographers, and engineers from Minnesota. Featuring Rob Hagen (Honey Dick), Holly Hansen (Zoo Animal), Willow Waters (Sister Species), and filmmakers Ryan Stopera (Free Truth Media) Nathaniel Nelson (Treedome), and Rachel Knoll, the level of talent is stacked.
It’s a memorandum that spreads beyond Minnesota with Beatriz Lima, a Portuguese immigrant and graphic designer. Beatriz is a multimedia artist fusing Portuguese folk, fado, jazz, soul, hip-hop, and reggaeton, with visual story-telling. A recipient of the Cedar Commissions Grant, Beatriz designed the cover art, the prints, and stickers that will be sold alongside the album.
The Art of the Revolution
“It’s SO important that a project of this magnitude, curated by both non-binary and BIPOC is coming out of Minneapolis at a time like this. Before Floyd was taken from us we’ve been licking our wounds from prejudice and/or racial disparity here in Minnesota. In that same breath, as artists of color and various sexual orientations we have been criminally underrepresented in the musical community here.” -Brandon Pulphus
The album gives voices to our Black and Brown artists in the Twin Cities, detailing their experiences with the current economic and political obstacles. A blend of French African/Cameroonian spoken word, garage rock, hip hop, rock, and experimental production sets, the 11 song collection showcases diversity while uniting struggles. Emotionally poignant and honest, these voices combine with the intention to create change, discussion, and awareness in a biased system.
“Champion” by Rebecca Nichloson sets the tone by kicking off the album with a driving vocal performance and climatic culmination in strings, vocals, and keys. Rebecca shares the song was written as a “homage to the indomitable spirit, to finding within yourself strength you didn’t know you had, to understand the power of both the individual and the collective.”
Mrs. Pinky & the Great Fox lays out important questions with “Comes In Threes”, a bluesy funky track weighted in hope. The growl of the guitar and force of the horn is a reminder it’s a beautiful world without color. Music takes away barriers and helps voices to be equal.
“Can you hear me,
do I have to beg to be seen, to be heard,
don’t intervene, don’t cause a scene,
are you listening?”
Proceeds and Fundraiser
A covid relief fundraiser is currently open and designed to help the artists featured who have lost work while assisting during the uprising centered on police reform. The fundraiser will also be used to pay all the engineers who pooled in their efforts for free to record, mix, and master these songs. While 30% of the album proceeds will go to a charitable foundation and 70% to the artists.
“Participating in this album demonstrated that artists can come together to create a music project outside of record labels and gatekeepers in ways that allow greater levels of autonomy and artistic expression, which is incredibly exciting.” Rebecca Nichloson, Creative Writer, Singer/Songwriter