ORIGIN

 

When the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade. Nina Pop, George Floyd, and countless others sparked a global uprising, I faced the harsh reality that as an Asian American woman, I am both a beneficiary of white privilege, and victim of systemic racism. 

 

Understanding that I have much more to learn and to do, I started to research some of the beloved lives that have been lost to systemic racism. I came across an interview of Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, speaking about her daughter’s life. Songs have always been a safe haven for me to process what is happening to me and around me, so as I listened to her speak, tears and lyrics started pouring out of me. 

When the clutter of the voices and disagreements in our country about race get too loud, I zoom in on the idea of one family. One child. One life. One dining table. One kitchen. One empty bed. I think of how each number in the statistics of lives lost is somebody’s first call–somebody’s whole world.

I reached out to my collaborator Adio Marchant, aka Bipolar Sunshine, who co-wrote my previous single, If I Ruled the World to see if the song resonated with him. Adio’s experiences of losing his beloved to systemic racism informed the rest of the lyrics and added essential love, understanding and energy into the song.

 

COLLABORATORS

BIPOLAR SUNSHINE

Based in Los Angeles, but raised in Manchester by Jamaican parents, Adio Marchant creates poetic social tales of love and loss under the name Bipolar Sunshine. Adio’s sound is genre-defying, uniting, and with the euphoric highs of pop, the emotional resonanace of hip hop, and the uplifting spirit of a gospel choir. 

 

Previously the co-vocalist with the Manchester band Kid British, Adio embarked on a solo career in 2013. Before reaching top 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100 on tracks with DJ Snake (“Middle”) and Gryffin (“Whole Heart”), Adio debuted his solo EP, Aesthetics, in 2013. Adio’s “Where Did the Love Go” was featured on BBC Radio’s 1’s playlist. His song “Daydreamer” was used in BBC One’s 2015 trailer and the track became arguably his most successful single to date, peaking at no. 67 in the UK Downloads Chart. 

THE SOMEBODY'S BELOVED CHOIR

RAYE ZARAGOZA
KAINOA KING
SHIVANI RUSTAGI
ALLISN HILL
ALEXA MRINO

Consisting of 7 LatinX, Black, South Asian, White and Indigenous voices—a unified honoring of the beloved lost to systemic racism. 

 Ijeoma Njaka

Allison Hill

Mastered by Michelle Mancini

EBONIE SMITH

Album cover art created

in collaboration with

Naimah Thomas and MILCK

 Mixed by Ebonie Smith

 

LYRICS

She was somebody’s daughter

Somebody’s friend

Someone who built her dreams with every breath

Whom others could depend

More than a number 

More than a story

More than a memory

Somebody’s friend

Somebody’s daughter

Somebody’s beloved 

 

Blood on leaves falling like autumn

Her story’s been told a thousand times

Why doesn’t everybody scream? 

For anyone listening

 

Say her name, say her name

 

He was somebody’s father

Somebody’s son

Someone who dreamt of seeing his daughter

Grow taller and fall in love 

More than a number 

More than a story

More than a memory

Somebody’s son

Somebody’s father

Somebody’s beloved 

Blood on leaves falling like autumn 

His story’s been told a thousand times

Why doesn’t everybody scream? 

For anyone listening

 

Say his name, say her name

 

More than just a number

Say their name

More than just a story

Say their name

More than a memory 

Say their name

Say their name

Say their name

 

They were somebody’s first call

Somebody’s home

Someone who lived with tears and laughter

Who wanted to belong

More than a number  

More than a story

More than a memory

Somebody’s home

Somebody’s first call

Somebody beloved

 

SHEET MUSIC

In partnership with Culture Surge, I will be releasing an acapella version of the song with sheet music the week of October 26th.

 

Stay tuned.

“I believe that songs can be powerful vessels for inner healing, which can ripple out to global healing.”