Taking from her acclaimed 2019 album, ‘We Get By’, artist Mavis Staples, with the help of London artist ALA.NI, shares an a capella version of her single “One More Change.”
Originally written and produced by Ben Harper, the song is a strong depiction of hopeful foresight as one moves forward in a tough world. It’s message, according to Harper is clear.
“If we reached for the future as desperately as we cling to the past, change would be at hand,” Harper noted of the song.
Sung with grace and power, Mavis captures the dignity and strength of the song. This version, overlaid with ALA.NI’s luscious a capella backing vocals act as the instrumentals as well. Upbeat and with a certain spring in its step, the song is reminiscent of a classic soulful do-op, and help uplift the song and allude to a positive future, one in reach if we’re willing to take those next steps forward.
Together, Mavis and ALA.NI’s voices beat out a rhythm and provide a waterfall of vocals as their vocals ricochet against each other and reflect a message bigger than any one individual.
“What a sheer honour it was to sing alongside and produce around the legend that is Mavis Staples and that voice,” ALA.NI said. “I must admit, I was very intimidated at first. Her growl alone will do that. Left bare and in full effect. Raw, pure vocals. Plus, the song was written by Ben Harper, whose music is etched into my life.”
Recently featured in Questlove’s documentary “Black Woodstock,” Mavis also released the single “All In It Together” last year, produced by Jeff Tweedy and featuring Tweedy on guitar and backing vocals. Both “One More Change” and “All In It Together” reflect a better future, one based on solidarity and action.
“The song speaks to what we’re going through now – everyone is in this together, whether you like it or not,” Staples explains. “It doesn’t matter how much money you have, what race or sex you are, where you live…it can still touch you. It’s hit so many people in our country and around the world in such a horrible way and I just hope this song can bring a little light to the darkness. We will get through this but we’re going to have to do it together. If this song is able to bring any happiness or relief to anyone out there in even the smallest way, I wanted to make sure that I helped to do that.”
Words: Patti Sanchez