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Premiere: Aish's "Migrant"

Filmmaker Rashaad Newsome's beautiful visuals for a song artfully addressing immigration

by David Graver
on 27 February 2017

With expressive, fantastical beauty SF-based music-maker Aish explores the depths of one of today's most pressing topics with his single "Migrant," premiering here. Partnering a diverse array of sounds—from electronic to historic instruments—with compelling lyrics, Aish builds a story of human migration. It's a universal message, beginning with, as the artist describes, a child's separation from their mother. Artist and director Rashaad Newsome, whose work was featured at the opening of Washington DC's National Museum of African History, built the visuals for "Migrant" and portrays Aish as a genderless mythical beast: a kind of human-unicorn-pegasus.

The video's characters spend substantial time migrating across stunning, often surreal, vistas and landscapes. The beauty of the art itself can be mesmerizing. When asked if this affected the song's deeper meaning, Aish explained to CH, "It's actually the opposite. We run the risk of telling an incomplete story without art. The more profound a message, the more provocative the art must be. Can you imagine an LGBT movement without Haring or Mapplethorpe? A civil rights movement without Nina Simone or Curtis Mayfield? Even Obama's political campaign without Shepard Fairey's art or the state of Russian human rights without Pussy Riot? Their work, even without a message, is so stunning that their art becomes the messenger to those who were previously unreachable by a more literal form like journalism."

This is Aish's second track release, and his second artistic collaboration. Its value is resounding. "I wrote 'Migrant' to share the story of the massive refugee crisis in Syria and my own personal story of migration, before any of the ugliness towards immigrants unfolded in the United States. Most of us in America have a migrant story, whether our present or our past," he says.

"Migrant" is a single from Aish's forthcoming album Mother. The artist will be playing shows in New York during March and April.

Images courtesy of Aish

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