Brandy’s colorful, layered, exhilarating vocals are in full effect for “Optimistic,” the new single from August Greene, a new group made of Golden Globe, GRAMMY, Academy Award-winning activist, actor and artist Common, four-time GRAMMY Award-winning pianist/producer Robert Glasper, and drummer/producer extraordinaire Karriem Riggins.
“Optimistic” should sound familiar to many as it’s a remake of Sounds Of Blackness’ 1991 hit of the same name. For the slightly slower new rendition, Glasper adds his signature keys, Riggins spices with his rapid drums, and Common educates with his raw and thought-provoking lyrics. Of our, our girl Brandy glows with a combination of feel-good harmonies and stunning vocals.
“Optimistic” will appear on August Greene’s debut self-titled, Amazon Original album, scheduled for release on March 9th.
In 2017, Common, Glasper, and Riggins collectively won the Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics on the strength of their song “Letter to the Free,” which was recorded for Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th. The longtime friends and musical collaborators felt the time was right to release music from August Greene, which has themes of optimism and black excellence. They have found a sound that does not solely fit into one genre, but is truly an invigorating hybrid of R&B, hip-hop, and jazz.
“August Greene actually formed before we chose a name, before we even knew it was a band,” says Common. “Karriem, Rob and I go back many years. It was something natural. When I started working with them it was like, ‘man, this feels like home,’ and it felt new and fresh. We love working together. The music takes us all to new places and it just feels like, everything I want to be as a musician is within the group of August Greene.”
August Greene will make their live debut at New York City’s Highline Ballroom on January 26th for Robert Glasper’s sixth annual GRAMMY Joint.
Starting March 9, the album will be available for digital purchase on Amazon Music and to stream on both Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music.