SUSU wants you to know Rock n’ Roll is still rebel music: Premiere

SUSU’s Kia and Liza call on the ancestors for ‘WORK SONG’.

SUSU consists of collectives and individuals who have come together in the name of what is Rock n’ Roll and New York City. The band consists of two stunning lead singers and songwriters, Kia Warren (Revel In Dimes) and Liza Colby (Liza Colby Sound), who both share West Indian and Caribbean lineages. The musicians who pour energy into these powerful voices are Connor McClelland (bass), Joey Wunsch (guitar), and Ronnie Bruno (drums), who make up Dry Clean Only.

‘WORK SONG’ has a black and white visual to bring it to life. SUSU’s cover of Nina Simone’s ‘Chain Gang (The Work Song)’ has a different feel from the jazzy original. To me, the guitar riffs from ‘American Woman’ haunts you as you are taken away by pitches and notes similar to Tina Turner’s ‘Nutbush City Limits.’ In the visual, Kia and Liza pay homage to Nina Simone adorning beautiful headwraps, dangling earrings, and sarong dresses; can’t do Nina without having a smoke break. The use of symbolism in the video pushes a strong message about Black women and Black power. I think the take away from this cover is that we are limitless no matter how many times they try to lock us up and throw us out. We will do whatever is necessary for our own, even putting ourselves at risk of getting in trouble. Black women hold it down and not only at home but within their sisterhood. We are human and get tired, but we are resilient and will find away. At the end of the video, the women take their chains off and make it to a body of water holding hands, the symbolization for hope, and that we have a long way to go on our journey.

Written by Manny King John

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