Maimouna Youssef and DJ Dummy have performed together for over a decade as members of Common's band. When they weren't busy touring the world with the beloved Chicago rapper/actor/activist, the two artists found time to work together on a project of their own. The result of that creative collaboration is the upcoming album Vintage Babies, due for release in August. The lead single is the song "Shine Your Light," and SoulBounce is delighted to world premiere this uplifting new anthem.
Rooted in '70s soul, "Shine Your Light" begins with an old school radio host intro by "Sherry Duveaux" (voiced by Maimouna). She sounds sexy cool as she hips her listeners to the "jam that will smooth you out and get you right for the night." As the intro fades out, the electric guitar, bass and percussion that forms the track's foundation gets louder leading into the first verse. Maimouna confidently sings, "Keep on walking with your head held high (shine your light, shine your light) / Keep on talking like you heard it from the sky (shine your light, shine your light) / We ain't gonna let ‘em bring us down (shine your light, shine your light) / You know we come too far to give up now (shine your light, shine your light)," encouraging the listener to rise and shine.
On the second verse, however, things get a little heavy with Youssef cleverly addressing current topics such as black fathers in prison, dirty cops, police brutality and missing black girls. According to Maimouna, she and DJ Dummy "were feeling very inspired by the soul songs of the '70s that got our people through the tough times" when they sat down to record this track. "There are so many political parallels in our society to that time period, so we felt like it would be a great way to honor our ancestors and to inspire and motivate and comfort our generation to keep on fighting the good fight and choose Faith over Fear." With DJ Dummy's classic-soul-meets-contemporary-R&B production and Maimouna Youssef's lyrics that blend social commentary with a feel-good message, this is just the groovy anthem that we need now to keep on keeping on.
Add "Shine Your Light" to your music collections and woke playlists now by purchasing the song on Bandcamp. Stay tuned for more soul food from Maimouna Youssef and DJ Dummy in the coming weeks with the release of Vintage Babies on August 31st. If the rest of the album sounds anything like "Shine Your Light," they may just have an instant classic on their hands.