In his barnburner of a single, “Resist,” St. Louis’s Rev. Sekou takes on the generational pain of communities like Ferguson, MO, instilling the track with a sense of activism, gospel, and Southern blues. It’s a fitting thesis statement from the scholar, artist, activist, and ordained minister who recently signed with Thirty Tigers for his debut album, In Times Like These.
But Sekou has moves far beyond political music. “Loving You Is Killing Me” explores the pains of the brokenhearted, pairing a familiar gospel progression with the angelic steel guitar of AJ Ghent. In fact, the entire record is bursting with soul and R&B stalwarts from the production of Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars to features from Cody Dickinson and Rev. Charles Hodges of Stax/Hi Records fame.
“One has not loved until you have had your heart broken. While love is an antidote to evil and fear it can never be an excuse for the preservation of falsity,” Sekou tells No Depression.
“This is what it means to be human — to love mightily and choose deeply to tell the truth. James Baldwin wisely observed so may years ago that the artist’s quarrel with their nation is a lover’s quarrel. He also observed that it is out of love that the artist criticizes its nation. This song is a love song for my beleaguered democracy.”
In Times Like These hits stores May 5. Stream “Loving You Is Killing Me” below.