Listen: New Marieme Track ‘The Kids Are Not Fine’ is a Stark, Soulful Wakeup Call
Above image: styling by Nicola Formichetti
The headlines have been blaring the “good” news that the stock market is up, and the economy under Joe Biden is bouncing back more quickly than the so-called experts could have possibly predicted. What we don’t hear so much? Ten million more American households experienced food insecurity in the last year (pushing the number up to 45.2 million), and another 4.3 million children became food insecure during that same period.
Curiously, though there is plenty to be upset about, the music world has done anything but storm the barricades of late, instead leaving the politics to the comedians, and the occasional visual artist. Yet we have at least come to rely on Brooklyn-by-way-of-Senegal singer Marieme to regularly raise her voice powerfully in the name of justice (check out her shiver-inducing cover of Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change is Gonna Come’).
She’s back with a new track, the tellingly titled ‘The Kids Are Not Fine,’ which makes its intentions clear right from the opening lyric: “This is the last ship to Mars / We’ve been left behind to starve / We’re no longer seen as human.” It’s a stark statement, to be sure, on the gross inequities plaguing our contemporary society – whilst also suggesting that our greed and self-interest may someday finally lay waste to our planet to the point of uninhabitability.
But Marieme as ever chooses not to bludgeon us with the message. Rather, she delivers it in her usual poignant, thought-provoking manner, via sultry African rhythms, haunting atmospherics and yet another distinctly soulful vocal performance. The sonically striking track was produced by Michele Iorfida (John Legend, Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland).
“It’s about how the kids are the ones who ultimately suffer from our behaviors,” she explains. “We all can point a finger at each other because we are all responsible; but we’re suffering under the weight of capitalism. [The song] paints a picture of a world where we there is no return.”
Of course, Marieme has also come to be known for a visual presence that matches the power of the music. And she’s notably recently taken up with the venerable Lady Gaga stylist Nicola Formichetti, who has been busy further cultivating her unmistakable look. If it even need be said, we highly approve of the pairing.