While we as a nation face the sad reality of racist police violence that has recently led to the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, music from artists like Siedah Garrett is helping us find peace and healing. "The New Frontier (Say Their Names)," is an emotional anthem released by the renowned vocalist earlier this summer, and now fans can experience the cinematic video featuring Siedah (without the masked musical accompaniment from her touching Agape International performance) solo and captivating in black and white.
In the just-released official video, the Grammy-winning and two-time Oscar nominated singer-songwriter (known for her work with pop-stars like Michael Jackson) sings in front of a screen with powerful images from the Black Lives Matter movement. A mix of sorrow and hope for the future, "The New Frontier" refuses to let the deaths of Floyd, Taylor, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Trayvon Martin or any other victim be forgotten. But all the while it holds us up to a higher standard, the new frontier of a future where love unites and frees us all.
As Siedah Garrett explains, "performing this song is an intense experience for me. While I'm singing, I am feeling the pain for all of the lives that have been snuffed out, and all of the families that have been robbed of their loved ones. The refrain, "say their names," is meant to bring home the reality of their brutal murders, and I've just not been able to sing it without tears..."
Although this song is a painfully raw reminder of the horrors of anti-blackness and the physical and emotional violence it wreaks, the theme of "The New Frontier (Say Their Names)" is still one of HOPE. Despite her acknowledgement of the tragedies which abound, Siedah Garrett can still see a future world where justice is found...The New Frontier.
"When will there be justice / When will there be peace / When will we see love as you and me / When will there be kindness / On the new frontier / That's the day that love will conquer...fear"
Watching Siedah channel the feelings that so many of us can't find the words to express is powerful, and she herself knows how important this art really is: "Music speaks to us from the inside out. Politics and news comes to us from the outside in. I wanted a way for us to express ourselves and I wanted to write the emotion down that I was feeling...I knew that if I was feeling it, others were feeling it too."