In keeping with the tradition of political songs, James Billett follows his release of ‘Faith Over Family’ with his take on the police brutality crisis, sophomore single ‘What Will They Say About Us’.
The song is a gentle meditation on the tragedies of human folly, with Billett’s poetic lyricism taking the spotlight once again, to speak out in solidarity with those marginalised communities who the world and its systems so often overlook. Tender, heartfelt, tragic and emotional, Billett’s vocals are whispered and hazy, with an impressive falsetto tone. Telling the stories of others requires a degree of insight and empathy, which Billett certainly has in abundance. Lyrics such as “all I see is ignorance breeding superior believing/as the story repeats history weeps as we do it all over again,” reveal a frustration which is held under the surface of Billett’s tranquil composure, illustrating how these long-held beliefs can be fought with reason as well as rage.
Once again, the music video sees Billett take the back seat, performing his song as more of a soundtrack to the stories of which he sings, than the main focal point. The video sees the impact of police brutality and assault on marginalised groups, as Billett laments in the background at the sorry state of the world in which we now find ourselves. In this way, he is able to cast himself in the role of fireside bard, telling the stories and legends of others from an observational point of view.
James Billett has partnered with Black Minds Matter UK for this release, an essential mental health charity aiming to provide free mental health support for Black families in the UK following the impact of the death of George Floyd.