New group August Greene composed of the musically brilliant and talented Common, Rober Glasper and Karriem Riggins, enlisted the help of the majestic Brandy to add her richly soothing vocals to their debut single, “Optimistic.” The song debuted back in January and with its success has led the trio to cultivate its moving visuals to showcase the track’s message.
“Optimistic” may sound familiar as it is a remake of Sounds of Blackness’ 1991 hit of the same name.
The single’s uplifting message led the trio to Jackson, Mississippi to film over the Martin Luther King Day weekend. The video features visuals of area activists Hollis Watkins, Frankye Adams Johnson, Dr. Cindy Ayers Elliott, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, and the Maddrama Performance Group.
“Optimism is the fuel drives all survival strategies,” says video director B+. “Being optimistic is a faith that things must get better. I remembered over Christmas reading an article by Robin DG Kelley about Jackson, Mississippi. It inspired me deeply. The notion of folks building community over longer periods, keeping focused on the local especially when the national fails and following in the narratives passed to us by previous generations seemed so profound. The work of Chokwe Lumumba, and now his son and the larger community around them is deep, heartfelt and sincere something we can all aspire to. As Kelley says, ‘So I propose that we turn away from the latest celebrity deathmatch, and turn our attention to Jackson, Mississippi.’”
August Greene’s debut album is dated for release on March 9th via Amazon Music and Amazon Music Unlimited.
Watch the liberating video for “Optimistic” below.