Singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco has released a new social justice inspired music video for “Do Or Die,” which was directed by Zoe Boekbinder and made in collaboration with Dancing Grounds and the New Orleans Dance Collective. The dancers in this video are Alexcia Morgan, Amaya Smith, Amira Mumford, Brieze Levy, Chanice Holmes, Daniel Gray, Janet Andrews, Jessica Eugene, Kristal Jones, Randall Rosenberg and Regan Phelps, with choreography from Kristal Jones and Laura Stein.
“Do Or Die” shows the performer waking up then shaving her head, before she goes around her neighborhood to help organize and protest with Black Lives Matter organizers. This video matches the lyrical content of the song, which serves as a call to action to go out and support positive change. From a sonic standpoint the song is a mix of traditional R&B with DiFranco’s voice and the soulful backing chorus, accompanied by a smooth jazz instrumental, filled with funky basslines, sleek guitar chords, congas, slick jazz keys and elements of horns.
“Nothing will stem the tide of suffering from COVID-19, economic crisis, police brutality, mass incarceration, endemic poverty, entrenched white supremacy and misogyny, deportation and detainment, gun violence, fire, flood, disease, pollution, irradiation, exploitation, forced reproduction, gender and sexuality-based violence and oppression, dis-information, propaganda, corruption, and greed… short of a functioning democracy! Let’s harness our outrage and vote,” DiFranco stated in a press release. “We can do this, if we try, if we do this like it’s do or die.”
DiFranco held the No Walls tour last summer and also made an appearance at the Eaux Claires Hiver festival, which also held appearances from Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Jon Hopkins and Poliça. Her tour was released in support of her mixtape and memoir No Walls and the Recurring Dream. Her latest studio album Binary, was released back in the spring of 2017. She released the women’s reproductive rights-oriented “Play God” last year.
Photo Credit: Alexander Cabrera