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|The debut single from HUMAN might be exactly the music 2017 has been yarning for- raw, emotional and strong. Let’s be honest, so far it has been a memorable year with climate denial, hurricanes and two loonies threatening civilisation as we know it with nuclear war. Not to mention tropical house…
Behind HUMAN stands a Grammy award-winning Swedish artist Daniel Adams-Ray, who has previously released multi-platinum selling albums under his own name. Amongst other achievements, he also is the title holder for the most streamed Swedish language song.
According to Daniel, HUMAN is not a person or a band, instead, it’s a collective: “It is me and whoever is involved, including you!’’… It’s not only glaciers that are drifting apart, 2017, in particular, seems to be the year when everything of significance is slowly vanishing. ‘HIGHER’ is a response to that and a cry for collective awareness with lyrics like “I need my cause and my reason back”.
HUMAN is about bringing the masses together again.
The debut single ‘HIGHER’ is a realisation of Daniel’s skilfulness in both narrative and flow. The sound is influenced by his multi-cultural musical background with a mix of genres such as vintage blues, conscious rap, and contemporary pop all delivered with the rhythmic mindset of a seasoned MC.
‘HIGHER’ has that catchy sound of Electric Light Orchestra and Hurts, whilst mixing it with political protest rarely seen in pop music and more often associated with artists such as M.I.A.
It has the memorable ‘stuck in your head’ chorus that pop music is known for but it also goes beyond the chorus to offer some food for thought.
The identity of the song does not lie within the well-orchestrated brass sections, the chanting South-African gospel choir, or the mucky reverb-drenched West Coast piano. Instead, the quintessential quality of the song lies in the opening bars of the second verse, where chaotic audio samples from the Ferguson protests hijack and drench the splendour; symbolising a reflection of the duality of human nature. It sets the stage for more music to come.