Singer, songwriter, and activist Jonathan Emile has recruited legendary British-Jamaican reggae fusion vocalist Maxi Priest for a remix of his hauntingly prophetic ballad “Babylon Is Falling.” The artists released the track and official video today, via Emile’s MindPeaceLove record label (distributed by Tuff Gong International).
LISTEN TO “BABYLON IS FALLING (REMIX FEAT. MAXI PRIEST)” HERE
As civil unrest grips America and much of the world, the pair chose this time to launch the powerful remix about dismantling oppressive systems. The original version was included on Emile’s new album Spaces-in-Between, which released earlier this year. They began work on the project in January during Emile’s promotional trip to NYC.
Maxi Priest and Jonathan Emile designed the remix cover art, which features the now iconic image of the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct burning to the ground during a night of public outrage over George Floyd’s murder. Jonathan Emile, a Jamaican-Canadian based in Montreal, also directed and edited the video, which released today on his YouTube channel.
WATCH “BABYLON IS FALLING (REMIX FEAT. MAXI PRIEST)” HERE
Maxi Priest, a Grammy-nominated singer best known for a string of worldwide hits like “Wile World,” “Close To You,” “Housecall,” and “Set The Night To Music,” (his duet with Roberta Flack), has always maintained a socially-conscious edge throughout his decades-spanning career. On working with Emile, he offered “it was such an interesting experience collaborating with Jonathan. I can relate to the youthful energy he brings to the message. I grew up a young black man in Southeast London during a racially charged time. I’ve lived and feel that same pain. To see history continually repeating itself, only shows the cause and effect of an unjust Babylonian system. I’m not saying there should be anarchy, but something must be done. There is a level of injustice that has been consistent throughout my lifetime. The new generation sees this through a clear lens and they are making their voices heard.”
Emile expressed his own excitement over the collaboration. “Working with Maxi was rewarding and inspirational. I’m just blessed to have had the opportunity to cowrite with a master and a legend — just him and I in a living room, focused on the riddim, going line for line, run for run. He brought a such a profound wisdom and dimension to the song.
Babylon systems and agents of oppression are revealing themselves. We had an immediate overstanding of where the song was rooted and what we needed to communicate about generational struggle. With Maxi’s words and melodies, the song gained a new dimension of steadfastness and hopefulness to add to its prophetic yearning.
We were writing about about a critical point — wondering when it would happen — and here we are months later with this once in a generation moment. Social crisis, health crisis, financial crisis, moral crisis — and we are awakening together like never before, demanding justice. “Babylon Is Falling” around us as we see ourselves united in our Black self-determination, surrounded by allies of all colors who finally understand our indignation — here we are finding solidarity across movements.”
“Empires will crumble and fade away…. Or we’ll all have to change.”
-Jonathan Emile- “Babylon Is Falling”
“Fire a go burn pon your idiot plan… So you better understand, like a castle in the sand.”
-Maxi Priest- “Babylon Is Falling”
Stream or purchase “Babylon Is Falling (remix feat. Maxi Priest)” here
Download “Babylon Is Falling (remix feat. Maxi Priest)” single and hi res art here