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Overcome by Laura Mvula, featuring Niles Rodgers

Laura Mvula is British singer who made a splash a couple of years ago. Now she’s out with a new song and video called Overcome. Overcome is a soaring yet simple song of inspiration. Basically, it’s saying, Don’t let life keep you down – get on up, dust yourself off, and keep on going. Recalling one of the most iconic lines by the great poet and activist, Maya Angelou, Mvula had the following to say in her announcement of the video: “Overcome is what I think joy feels like - eventually. We’re all going through something but even ‘the caged bird sings of freedom’.” And joyous is the perfect description of the song and video. 

Mvula delivers that message with her gorgeous multi-octave voice and a stellar arrangement. The song has real drive thanks to the baseline that Niles Rodgers laid down over lush strings courtesy of the London Symphony Orchestra. Rodgers, one of the original founders of the band, Chic, helps give the song an underpinning in R&B. And Mvula overlays that with subtle African rhythms that are also echoed in the video. The video features Mvula as a bird being reborn, surrounded by a cast of all black dancers dressed in African tribal influenced garb. The piece as a whole is one of the best examples of a fusion of African influences and Western forms I’ve heard outside of Angelique Kidjo

I just discovered Mvula, myself. But I’m hopeful that this collaboration with Rodgers – an elder of modern music who has had a recent resurgence with work with Lady Gaga, Daft Punk, Adam Lambert, Duran Duran, Janelle Monae, Nervo, Kylie Minogue, Jake Shears, and Mystery Skulls – helps bring Mvula much further notice.

You can find Matthew on Twitter and Tumblr.

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