From The Man Behind The Music For The Hit Film Soul…Jon Batiste Unites Soul, Pop, Blues In Joyful New Single “I Need You” Out Today With Dance-Filled Music Video Dir. By Alan Ferguson
BATISTE ANNOUNCES POWERFUL AND GENRE-DEFYING NEW ALBUM WE ARE SET FOR RELEASE MARCH 19 ON VERVE RECORDS
FEATURING COLLABORATIONS WITH MAVIS STAPLES, ZADIE SMITH, PJ MORTON, TROMBONE SHORTY & MORE
NEW YORK, Jan. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Multi Grammy & Emmy nominated recording artist, TV star and activist Jon Batiste announces a new single “I Need You” from his forthcoming ‘black pop’ album WE ARE. The album is set for worldwide release on March 19 (Verve Records). The new single is available now, along with a new music video directed by Alan Ferguson (Camilla Cabello, Jay-Z) and choreographed by the Emmy nominated Jemel McWillams (John Legend, Janelle Monáe). The video stars Batiste as the lead man and lead dancer, fronting a high-octane ensemble of dancers.
On “I Need You” Batiste showcases his vocal range, accompanied by his once-in-a-generation musicianship. Produced and written in collaboration with songwriter Autumn Rowe and producer Kizzo, the song is communal and deceptively sophisticated. It fuses the sound of early 20th century black social music, with modern pop production and a hint of hip-hop storytelling. He expertly alternates between belting high notes in full voice, to singing harmony with himself on the choruses, to delivering the verses in a ‘farm rap’ style. Batiste then dives into two killer instrumental breaks on both piano and saxophone – all in less than 3 minutes.
“This song is a vibe cleanse. After 2020, this is like a warm hug,” says Batiste. “Let’s bring the vibes back!”
The video stars Jon as both a charming leading man and a bandleader with a sly nod to Little Richard and James Brown. It pays homage to Harlem era swing dances of the 1920s, 30s and 40s, with hints of New Wave film. Featuring swing and Lindy Hop choreography from Emmy-nominated choreographer Jemel McWilliams and directed by Alan Ferguson, the video brims with healing energy and unbridled joy. The video made its broadcast premiere today on MTV Live, BET Soul, and mtvU.
Pre-Order WE ARE Here: https://jon-batiste.lnk.to/WeAre
“I Need You” is the second single from Jon’s highly anticipated album WE ARE. The first was the titular track, released as an accompanying anthem to Batiste’s nationally recognized musical protests in New York City last summer.
WE ARE represents a completely new sonic chapter for Jon Batiste. Inviting some of the most esteemed creative minds to assist in birthing the album, he reached the finish line smack in the middle of the first wave of the worldwide pandemic and volatile social unrest. The result is a body of work characterized by the consciousness of Marvin Gaye, the grounded optimism of Stevie Wonder, the iconoclasm of Thelonious Monk and the swagger of Mannie Fresh.
Alongside songwriter Autumn Rowe and producer Kizzo, Batiste wrote and planned much of the project in about a week from his dressing room at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he’s the musical director and bandleader. WE ARE was recorded in New York, Los Angeles and in his native New Orleans, melding inspiration from his new home and new collaborators with that of the Batiste musical dynasty. The album was also recorded in between sessions for Disney/Pixar’s 2020 hit film Soul, which saw Batiste’s music — and hands — incorporated into the animation about a teacher who dreams of being a jazz pianist.
Batiste presents a captivating musical experience to the world rooted in catharsis, joy, freedom, contemplation and sensuality. It’s a love letter to his southern roots and the heritage of Black Music with guest appearances by Mavis Staples, Quincy Jones, Zadie Smith, PJ Morton, Trombone Shorty, St Augustine Marching 100, his father Michael Batiste, grandfather David Gauthier and many more. It is a meditation steeped in the sounds of the times with collaborators including POMO (Anderson.Paak), Ricky Reed (Lizzo), Jahaan Sweet (Drake, Eminem) and others.
“I’m publicly known for some things already,” says Batiste. “But there’s so much more to know about me. It’s always been there. Now is the time to show the world my full artistry.”
Batiste continues, “WE ARE is a message of love for humanity, of humble reverence for our past, and of a hopeful future, in which we are the ones who can save us. The art reveals its motive to you. You just have to wait for the Spirit to tell you what it wants.”
SOURCE Verve Label Group