Today is the perfect day to release a single which will help to empower visually impaired and blind women. LOOK UK is a charity who provide help and support for visually impaired young people and this particular single will see all its proceeds go to LOOK UK’s South Asian Female support group, something that feels particularly fitting on a day to celebrate women everywhere.
You can donate here.
I have followed the music of the brilliant Celine Love and her stunning vocals ever since seeing her perform live and she has joined forces with critically acclaimed artist Marie Naffah, who is spearheading this endeavour, indie pop singer songwriter Fox Gunn and alt pop singer songwriter Viia. The mix of vocal styles from these outstanding London musicians seems to perfectly illustrate the diversity of women in London and the fact that they have chosen to sing the Aretha Franklin classic ‘Natural Woman’, only helps to shine a light on the fact that natural, in whatever way that is manifested, is the most wonderful state of womanhood and can only empower society as a whole. The result is deeply moving, given the reason for its creation, and is an effortless blend of four different women, four different styles, four different backgrounds coming together in stunning harmony to produce a really contemporary take on a classic song. I have no doubt Aretha would have been so proud of these artists.
Marrie Naffah says of the song and its release:
“International Women’s Day is a day of celebration! It seemed the perfect opportunity to team up with some amazing artists, pay homage to the musical powerhouse that is Aretha, and raise some money for this important cause. With life opening up again, I just want to seize every opportunity for in person collaboration. The women I worked on this were incredible; talented, gracious, humble, hilarious, you name it. I chose Aretha’s ‘Natural Woman’ because it celebrates the authenticity of women. It’s less about making someone feel pretty or special- it’s about making them feel ‘natural’. It’s like saying thank you for making me feel myself, and to me, that couldn’t be a better message on IWD.”
LOOK UK’s mentoring project is a supportive network in the visually impaired community, where people can share experiences, grow in confidence and skills and find ways to progress and thrive. Mentors are aged between 18 and 35 and trained by LOOK UK in mentoring skills. To celebrate the fact that it is IWD, LOOK UK will donate money raised from the single to a female specific cause within the mentoring programme but is in no way gender specific in its help.
Marie is set to release her new EP ‘Trains’ in the Spring and the empowerment of visually impaired people, especially as it relates to music, is something close to her heart since her grandmother became blind. This is not her first foray into this arena having recorded a song ‘Blindfold’ with six blind and visually impaired musicians which was part of a documentary that sought to raise awareness and understanding for the issues surrounding visual impairment and sight loss.
Celine Love is an outstanding artist who has recently released her debut EP ‘Aquarius SZN’ to critical acclaim and is a natural storyteller. Her soulful articulate vocals are filled with expression and honesty and her background is a frequent point of perspective within her music. To see this artist live is an incredible experience as Celine draws in the audience with her tales of self-discovery and artistic expressionism.
Fox Gunn was born in Barcelona and brings a blend of alt pop and rock in her vocals by combining brave, authentic lyricism to a rock drum beat. She is embarking on a solo career after performing for many years as part of the band Lulalong. At the moment Fox is busy in the studio but was happy to take time out for this brilliant cause.
Viia is an artist with an unapologetic style, assertive lyricism who writes about her lived experience from a background of poetry. She’s a dark pop singer songwriter who is inspired by Florence & The Machine and The Arctic Monkeys. She has a new EP ‘Am I Ready Yet?’ which is widely available.