Greetings fellow soul survivors and welcome to today’s Friday Fitztory. It felt so poignant to share this today with all that is happening and escalating in Minneapolis Minnesota USA with the brutal racist murder of George Floyd. Both Prince and Sound Of Blackness are a big part of the twin city Minneapolis musical and community fabric. Recorded and published 4 years ago in 2016, look at how providential this conversation extract is in relevance of the present moment with the Black Lives Matter movement which as an African Diaspora man, the cause is important, between myself and Gary Hines of SOB. Read and enjoy Fitzroy Anthoney Facey
Fitzroy : I’m going to move things up to date with your new single ‘Royalty’ one that you’ve dedicated to the late Prince who supported your work. The song is about up lifting of people of the Diaspora. We know what’s happening worldwide but more so what’s happening in America. We have our version over here, not on the scale of the USA as the gun laws are very different and with less highlighted prominence. I’ve entered ‘Royalty’ into the People’s Black Music Chart as it fits in with the Sounds Of Blackness ethos of embracing all aspects of black music. There is a disparage in the understanding between the black and white communities which is evident when you see some of the social media comments from those who clearly think on an extreme level, justifying for some of the brutality. I sometimes ask myself are we not watching the same video? (Gary: “Right I hear you.”) How is the song being embraced with its timing being paramount right now?
Gary Hines: The urgency and necessities of Royalty have a few foundations. About a year ago Sounds Of Blackness released a song called ‘Black Lives Matter, No Justice No Peace’ and that was in response for what has been going on for generations with the disproportionate incidences and interactions with the police to this day. At the time Prince released a song specifying what happened in Baltimore called ‘Baltimore’ and despite people playing it down, Prince was always about the blackness of his people’s consciousness. Prince called me sometimes at three in the morning wanting Sounds Of Blackness to impress upon the youth how important it was to know who we are. That was a genesis for ‘Royalty’ and a local radio station KMLJ brought together Sound Of Blackness and The High School For Recording Arts as we were speaking about collaborating doing a song, so this is all the recipe of recording Royalty. We’ve just released a ‘reggeaton’ version and a video of the song available.