It is just over a year since the gathering at Holyrood to highlight the Black Lives Matter campaign in favour of racial equality, all against the backdrop of a pandemic and also the death of George Floyd.
Some thousands of people gathered in Holyrood Park, while observing social distancing. The organisers handed out hand sanitiser and masks to all in attendance. Those who were shielding or who wanted to protect themselves drove up and down the road beside the gathering sounding their car horns.
It was a memorable sight, and there were memorable speeches. One of those who spoke was singer Joseph Malik, formerly half of Edinburgh hip hop duo Blacka’nized.
Now he has used some of the footage from the event to publicise his latest song, Looking Right Back At You Pt 2 which is on the album Diverse Part 3 which will be released on 25 June 2021 on Ramrock Records, a musical trilogy which began in 2002.
Joseph is a black man with Nigerian and Irish heritage. He had talked with Cynthia Gentle, founder of Scotland’s African Caribbean Society, about being involved in Scotland’s response. He has been a campaigner on race relations for some time.
Extract from liner notes written by author, Irvine Welsh:
“Listen to this beautiful music of righteous defiance. Let yourself be moved by its controlled and cool rage against a machine that’s grinding us all into the dust, and has been for centuries.”
Joseph said: “You had 7,000 people, the biggest congregation of all races, creeds, colours, sexual orientations in recent times, and it was just incredible. I recorded footage for a video with the crowd chanting Black Lives Matter, and people who were there sent footage of a speech I made; I sampled that for the album.”
Musically speaking, Malik reserves special praise for legendary African-Americans. He has shared the stage with Terry Callier, had long conversations with Marvin Gaye’s producer Leon Ware, and also been given very sound advice by the iconic Gil Scott-Heron. He said: “He passed on a lot of knowledge to me, above all he said ‘choose your words well’.”