Internationally acclaimed artist Usher recently launched a powerful video project to accompany the release of his new single, “Chains.”
The empowering track, which features the talents of Nas and singer-songwriter Bibi Bourelly, highlights the prevalent issue of racial injustice and police brutality in America.
In collaboration with the release of “Chains,” Usher designed an interactive music video experience titled “Don’t Look Away.”
Instead of starring in the video themselves, Usher and Nas chose for the visual experience to focus on the faces and stories of different victims of extreme violence and racial injustice.
Using groundbreaking interactive technology, the video tracks the viewer’s eyes while they watch and immediately stops playing if they look away from the screen.
As the viewer focuses on the changing black-and-white footage, the lyrics “We still in chains, we still in chains, you put the blame on us” repeat in the background, creating a hauntingly powerful experience.
“I chose to introduce the song through the ‘Don’t Look Away’ experience because it is important not only to feel the issue but to face it,” Usher explained.
Usher continued, “The pain and suffering that these victims and their families have endured is something we must never forget. When we look away from this problem it gets worse. To fix it, we have to face it.”
The “Don’t Look Away” experience calls attention to the stories and faces of Trayvon Martin, Rekia Boyd, Caesar Cruz, Ramarley Graham, Kendrick Johnson, Marlon Brown, Andrew Joseph, and Sean Bell, who represent only a handful of victims of social injustice.
“The reality is that racial bigotry diminishes the lives of too many people in our country,” the R&B legend explained. “We have to come together as a country to solve these problems and this is one way I can contribute.”
Usher and Nas performed the empowering single at the recent Tidal x HTC concert in Brooklyn, where they shared the stage with fellow artists Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, and Jay Z.
“Chains” is the latest track from the Usher’s highly anticipated new album, “UR,” which is expected to be released soon…