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12 FEBRUARY 2021 (TORONTO, ON) – Musician and activist Jon Batiste releases his third single “CRY” from his forthcoming album WE ARE set for release on March 19 on Verve Records/Universal Music Canada, the country's leading music company. Watch the lyric video here and pre-order the album here.


Listen to "CRY" HERE


“CRY” is an emotional, heart-wrenching song that tells the story about the pain and uncertainty that goes hand in hand with fighting for equality. The song’s organic blend of groove and gospel is also a reclaiming of folk and country as part of the Black musical tradition. Jon Batiste is widely known for his New Orleans lineage, but his family story traces further back to seven generations of farmers from Georgia, before his grandfather moved to Louisiana.


Batiste says of this song, “When we think about folk and country music, we should think about our ancestors more. The ones who have been called into service to give us these sounds and these feelings. The country’s first farmers were indigenous and Black folks.”


Co-written by Batiste with songwriter Steve McEwan (Carrie Underwood, James Blunt, Kenny Chesney), Jon is joined by all-star musicians including legendary drummer Steve Jordan, singer Emily King, guitarist Cory Wong, Robert Randolph on pedal steel guitar, Steve McEwan on acoustic guitar, and organist Sam Yehal. He’s also joined by his father Michael Batiste on bass.


“CRY” follows the release of his single “I NEED YOU,” an upbeat blues-pop track that launched with a dance-filled, energetic video that has already surpassed four million views in less than three weeks. Batiste was also recently nominated for a Golden Globe, Critics Choice and NAACP Image Award for his work on the soundtrack for the Disney/Pixar feature film Soul – which is also on the Oscar and BAFTA longlists for Original Score. Batiste is currently nominated for two GRAMMY Awards for his 2019 album Chronology of a Dream: Live at the Village Vanguard.


Batiste’s highly anticipated, genre-defying album WE ARE (March 19) represents a completely new sonic chapter for Jon Batiste. Inviting some of the most esteemed creative minds to assist in birthing the album, he reached the finish line in the middle of the first wave of the worldwide pandemic and social unrest. The result is a body of work characterized by the consciousness of Marvin Gaye, the grounded optimism of Stevie Wonder, the iconoclasm of Thelonious Monk and the swagger of Mannie Fresh.


Alongside songwriter Autumn Rowe and producer Kizzo, Batiste wrote and planned much of the project in about a week from his dressing room at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he’s the musical director and bandleader. WE ARE was recorded in New York, Los Angeles and in his native New Orleans, melding inspiration from his new home and new collaborators with that of the Batiste musical dynasty. The album was also recorded in between sessions for Disney/Pixar’s 2020 hit film Soul­, which saw Batiste’s music — and hands — incorporated into the animation about a teacher who dreams of being a jazz pianist.


Batiste presents a captivating musical experience to the world rooted in catharsis, joy, freedom, contemplation and sensuality. It’s a love letter to his southern roots and the heritage of Black music with guest appearances by Mavis StaplesQuincy JonesZadie SmithPJ MortonTrombone ShortySt Augustine Marching 100, his father Michael Batiste, grandfather David Gauthier and many more. It is a meditation steeped in the sounds of the times with collaborators including POMO (Anderson.Paak), Ricky Reed (Lizzo), Jahaan Sweet (Drake, Eminem) and others. 


“I'm publicly known for some things already,” says Batiste. “But there's so much more to know about me. It’s always been there. Now is the time to show the world my full artistry.”


Batiste continues, “WE ARE is a message of love for humanity, of humble reverence for our past, and of a hopeful future, in which we are the ones who can save us. The art reveals its motive to you. You just have to wait for the Spirit to tell you what it wants.”



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