Modern day soul singer, Leon Bridges has released a dramatic video for his track, River, from last year’s debut album Coming Home. The video which is almost like a short film, is directed by Miles Jay and places itself at the heart of the Baltimore Uprising. “That footage was only possible due to the support of the members of the West Wednesday movement, a bedrock of the Baltimore protest movement, which was created by the family of Tyrone West, who died while in custody of the Baltimore police department in 2013,” a description reads. The video is cinematic and if it doesn’t move you.. You may be made of stone.
Bridges released a written statement alongside the video.
“A river has historically been used in gospel music as symbolism for change and redemption. My goal was to write a song about my personal spiritual experience. It was written during a time of real depression in my life and I recall sitting in my garage trying to write a song which reflected this struggle. I felt stuck working multiple jobs to support myself and my mother. I had little hope and couldn’t see a road out of my reality. The only thing I could cling to in the midst of all that was my faith in God and my only path towards baptism was by way of the river.
When thinking about how to best visually represent this universal battle, I reflected on the depiction of black communities in our media and particular experiences within my own life. This video showcases the unique struggle many black men and women face across this country. However, unlike the captured images which tend to represent only part of the story, I wanted to showcase that through all the injustice, there’s real hope in the world.
I want this video to be a message of light. I believe it has the power to change and heal those that are hurting.”
Make sure to look out for him this Saturday on Austin City Limits, he’ll perform Better Man. He’ll split his episode of Austin City Limits with Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.