HAPPY BIRTHDAY, APRIL!
It’s my birthday! And if you’d like to get me a present, how about a donation toward the building of Imanigold Studios—a recording space I’m starting in Harlem to record our next album, and serve as a pay-what-you-can recording space for other independent artists.
Our goal is to raise $3,500.
The above link lets you donate with a credit card. But if you’d like 100% of your donation to go to Imanigold and The Revolution Fund, use the “send money to friends and family” tool on PayPal and send your donation to firstname.lastname@example.org, or Vemno @therevolutionfund.
In an effort to work outside the system, we’re not using a corporate crowdfunding site meaning you know where your money is going.
The gear we’re looking to buy includes an audio interface ($699), microphone studio bundle ($299), and computer equipment ($800). We’re working with acclaimed producer Emiliano Caballero to ensure that everything will last for years and give us the high quality sound we’re looking for.
Imanigold is an artistic and activist collective is based in Harlem, founded by femme artists of color. Our work proclaims the value of our lives in defiance of America’s patriarchal white supremacy. By implicitly or explicitly asking the world to engage with our stories, we are taking up space, we are saying that our lives matter—and that the lives of people who share our experiences matter.
As a collective, we seek to create space for marginalized people to gain strength, share their experiences, and heal. As a queer, black child from Texas whose parents met in a Motown band, I grew up respecting the authority figures of Aretha Franklin and James Baldwin. My music tells the stories of my own growing up, the beautiful moments and the moments that are beautiful because they were so painful.
In my new single “Ride On,” I draw on the American story song, as written by Johnny Cash and Vicki Lawrence, and reframe that tradition around survival. The months I was working on this song, four of my friends died. In the past, when friends have died, I died too, in a way. I became so depressed that I was immobile. By creating “Ride On,” I instead voiced a battle cry for endurance: a manifesto of personal preservation. For me (and for you as well, I hope), the effect of “Ride On” is invigorating, inspiring, and restorative.
— April Kae of Imanigold
If you’d like to know when “Ride On” is available on Spotify—and to get other exclusive Imanigold updates—share your email.
We’ll hit you up when it’s ready.
This video was taken on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in Manhattan. The performance was given in recognition of Earth Day. And this particular song, Blackbird written by Paul McCartney, which followed a reading of not an elegy for Mike Brown, was dedicated to victims of police brutality.