Kwoli Black - 'Breathe' (Single)

Kwoli Black shares debut single 'Breathe', an observant and thought-provoking blend of conscious spoken word and melodic music. 

“Put your hands behind your back right now!” A voice shouts, followed by a gasped “I can’t breathe.” An audio clip directly from the video of Eric Garner, father of six, being forced to the ground in a choke-hold by those who are meant to protect and serve in a series of events that led to his death. Kwoli Black speaks out with heartfelt emotion about the events which have created the need for a Black Lives Matter movement.

The track: following on directly from the Garner audio clip and with it’s noticeable separation between the backing instrumentation and the spoken word poetry feels like Kwoli’s internal reaction immediately after watching the video. As he speaks the listener experiences his feelings about what he has just seen through both his words and the instrumental backing, at the beginning his voice ringing a mixture of disbelief and sorrow, which is musically paired with slow ringing sorrowful guitar and piano; but later developing into a slow boiling anger, which is underscored by a developing string accompaniment.
Despite the distance between his home in Essex and the United States, Black shows that the emotional support of the cause can be as powerful as a physical one. He provokes thought on the matters of racial dehumanisation and the controversial ‘All Lives Matter’ counter movement, stating that “all lives matter but at the end of that blue barrel lies a black life, all men are equal right?”

As Kwoli’s debut single, he shows promise of great things to come in both the musical composition of the song and his writing as a poet. The two could each stand strong on their own as an instrumental song and a spoken poem, but together convey a powerful message and provoke thought on what must be done.

Words of Nick Roberts

'Breathe' is available for digital download across all good platforms and you can listen on Spotify.