Like so many Black people, R&B-jazz singer-songwriter Selina Albright is tired and her fatigue has nothing to do with becoming a mother for the first time earlier this year, which was the subject of her latest single to hit the charts, “Discovering.” No, Albright’s exhaustion and discouragement stems from “seeing videos of my brothers and sisters dying in cold blood, their deaths rooted in misplaced fear, their murderers allowed to live freely.” She cowrote and coproduced her forthcoming single, “Holding On,” to call out social injustice and the urgent need for reform. The single drops October 16 and will be promoted at urban adult contemporary and smooth jazz radio formats.
Musically, “Holding On” is an anthemic, multi-genre aural quilt sewn from soulful R&B heart, modern jazz progressions and tones, dramatic rock changes punctuated by drummer James “JRob” Roberson, and ethereal pop vocal harmonies. But it’s the song’s subject matter and lyrical content that is radically new and different for Albright, who has etched her place on the urban-jazz scene with intimate love songs and autobiographical confessions such as those contained on her 2017 debut album, “Conversations.” Her most piercing and provocative cry in “Holding On” is when she passionately repeats “Burn it all to the ground.”
Listen to 'Holding On' by Selina Albright
“I frankly find it exhausting and infuriating to see ongoing evidence of oppression without much change. And because writing music is a therapeutic outlet for me, I couldn’t help putting pen to paper about my struggle to maintain hope for the freedom of my people - real freedom to pursue happiness, be our beautiful selves, and to live fully as is our inalienable right. Instead, our rights are seen as privileges by those who work to prevent the impending moment when Black people truly know our strength,” said Albright who wrote the song with her coproducer Chris “Big Dog Davis, David P. Stevens and Kayta Matsuno.
“Black people are being herded around the country like cattle, our culture and excellence exploited, rather than kept sacred. We are being poisoned by processed scraps of food, and then given the lowest quality of healthcare. I see many of us losing steam. We can’t afford to do that. We must continue to find the strength to keep holding on until the whole world knows that at the very least, we matter.”