New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Vocalist Poppy Ajudha has released a moving new music video to accompany her re:imagining of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man," which is featured on Blue Note Re:imagined, a new collection of classic Blue Note tracks reworked and newly recorded by a selection of the UK scene's most exciting young talents today. The video celebrates blackness in all its forms and was created using an entirely black and mixed-race team.
Ajudha penned new lyrics for her version of the song which talk of "sweat, blood, tears and toil" and push a powerful message of "change is gonna come, don't give up on yourself, don't give yourself away."
"Herbie's 'Watermelon Man' was my first thought when asked to imagine a track from the Blue Note catalogue. It's an iconic song and one that has been with me throughout my life.
I based the lyrics on my research of Watermelon Men in America, aiming to capture what it may have been like to be a black man in America
at that time - newly emancipated but still heavily oppressed - and the race relations that had brought him to this point.
I wanted the video for 'Watermelon Man' to be a celebration of blackness in all its forms, I wanted it to show joy and community. I cast my sisters, my best friends, and my grandma amongst all of the other beautiful souls. It was a really special video for me, and the team captured this vision incredibly. The feeling was unspoken because they just knew what I wanted and why it was important, they felt it too, I'm so happy with how it turned out."
Blue Note Re:imagined is a new collection of classic Blue Note tracks reworked and newly recorded by a selection of the UK scene's most exciting young talents today. Representing a bridge between the ground-breaking jazz label's past and future, the project features contributions from a rollcall of internationally acclaimed jazz, soul and R&B artists including Nubya Garcia, Shabaka Hutchings, Blue Lab Beats, Emma-Jean Thackray, Ishmael Ensemble, Melt Yourself Down, Fieh, Mr Jukes, Yazmin Lacey, Alfa Mist, Steam Down, Skinny Pelembe, Ezra Collective, Poppy Ajudha, Jordan Rakei, and Jorja Smith. The album is out now on vinyl, CD, and digital formats. Stream the Blue Note Re:imagined playlist featuring the re-imaginations alongside the original tracks by Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Bobby
Hutcherson, Joe Henderson, Donald Byrd, McCoy Tyner, Andrew Hill, Eddie Henderson, and Dodo Greene.