Palm Beach, Florida, United States of America (Free-Press-Release.com) April 10, 2012 —
New York, NY, April 10, 2012—Ghana-born Derrick N. Ashong & Soulfège’s new animated short film for their song “Love Rain Down,” featuring one of the most popular cuts from their latest successful CD release AFropolitan, has been competitively selected for screening at the renowned Palm Beach International Film Festival for 2012. The film will be screened on Sunday, April 15th at 8:00 PM, at the Debilzan Gallery, 389 Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, Florida 33444 (561-266-2090). Derrick N. Ashong & Soulfège are a group of very talented musicians from a diverse variety of impressive backgrounds and they have brought together a festive amalgam of musical styles on AFropolitan. With this new film they provide the viewer/listener an outstanding sample of their formidable gospel chops along with a compelling animated visual narrative that reflects their homage to African verbal history through the lens of African-American blues mythology. The group has perpetually electrified audiences with their joyous ‘Afropolitan’ fusion, and with the release of the film “Love Rain Down” they provide an engaging visual account which further enhances one’s appreciation of the song, as well as for their considerable depth and creative talents.
“Its [Soulfège’s] members realized they had the platform to reach ears not only with their music—a fusion of thumping African music and rhythms, sweet reggae breezes, funk, and hip-hop—but also with their message.”
—The Boston Globe
The film for “Love Rain Down” was produced by Matey Odonkor and Derrick N. Ashong and was directed by Derrick and Brian Elig who illustrated and animated the piece. It begins with an aerial shot of a cabin as the rain pours down, and as the ‘camera’ moves through a window we see an elderly man recounting a story to his three grandchildren. As the story progresses what unfolds is a reinterpretation of the familiar blues myth of Robert Johnson going to the crossroads to make his deal with the devil. Yet in this retelling, certain tropes from African culture are integrated to create a mesmerizing whole. The protagonist of the old man’s story is a boy named Johnny who wears around his neck an amulet given him by his mother who represents Africa and the boy’s African heritage. The amulet features a powerful Adinkra symbol known as “Gyenyame”—roughly translated as “no one is greater than I, except God”—one of dozens of Adinkra symbols that serve as ‘visual proverbs’ in the culture of the Akan peoples of Ghana. “Love Rain Down” embodies the culture of Ghana and much of West Africa through its reverence for ancestral wisdom and support, and symbolizes the passing of that wisdom and strength both generationally and geographically (from Africa to America and beyond). At the same time it evokes a metaphoric comment on the difficult problems of the world today, and encourages those less privileged and powerful to stand up and raise their voices against evil and injustice. “Love Rain Down” captures the spirit of those from the squares of Cairo to the streets of lower Manhattan and around the globe, who are teaching a new generation how the power of peaceful resistance can transform our world for the better.
Derrick N. Ashong & Soulfège is a critically-acclaimed, refreshingly original and exciting group of musicians who have synthesized an eclectic blend of Hip-Hop, Reggae, Funk, World Beat and West African Highlife music to create an integral musical mélange of style and substance. They combine driving rhythms, authentic musicianship, the crisp harmonies of Ghanaian Derrick, and co-founder and fellow Harvard alum Jonathan M. Gramling, with provocatively elevating lyrics, resulting in a combination that transcends and defies even the most imaginative of descriptive capacities. They are a compelling live act and much of their music can be downloaded for free through their Million Download Campaign at