Longtime Lower East Side scene survivor celebrates Black Lives Matter and George Floyd in new music video
When I first signed up on Facebook in 2007, one of the very friend requests I received was from Yuzima Philip.
He’s a singer-songwriter from Manhattan’s Lower East Side who exists in this beautiful wormhole that existed between Tonic and Arlene’s Grocery back in the glory days of Rivington Street.
Nearly 14 years later, Philip is still writing and recording on the regular, chillen on that fine line that separates Garland Jefferies and TV On The Radio. And his latest single “Back Wall” comes out upon a New York City slowly emerging from a season-long lockdown and a cascade of civil unrest in the wake of a steady concurrence of police related murders on black and brown people in recent months.
The beautifully shot video for “Black Wall” was filmed in Soho, a neighborhood that has become a cluster of boarded-up luxury stores and galleries after recent riots and the COVID 19 pandemic stay at home order. This same occurrence has allowed artists to cover up the boards of stores with art dedicated to BLM bringing the neighborhood back to its artistic roots.
The song, which Yuzima played all of the instruments, produced and performed, is inspired by the trans community, the LGBTQ community, which Yuzima is a member of, but also his experience as a black man living every day in the United States.
Yuzima says, “especially since this administration has taken over if you’re black, you have a target on your back, people, especially the police, criminalize you by reflex. If you go to the store you get followed, most of us suffer in silence,” Yuzima adds, “This song allows me to bring light to the challenges we face every day and the fight we face as a country right now.”
Keep an eye out for Yuzima’s forthcoming LP Complexity and beauty in a time of ugliness in the near future.
VIDEO: Yuzima Philip “Back Wall”