Writer: Stephen Cirino Editor: Taylor Davies
Strength To Love (STL) is a multi-media campaign based on the same-titled book “Strength to Love” written by Martin Luther King Jr. The original record was created by Joe Zahm, our benefactor, as a part of a benefit fund. UArts students Cory Seals and Khemie Medina developed his original vision into a campaign that aims to encourage and uplift one another through our hardships and show our united front in fighting the battle against temporal and spiritual struggles like discrimination, mental health, and financial hardship. This project amplifies the voices of young artists who have found a new meaning for what love looks like in our present time. By following the raw experiences of these artists from different walks of life, we share our thoughts through music, art, and our voices. Strength To Love comes as a wake-up call stating that love needs to be part of our daily lives in order to have the strength to love one another.
Khemie Medina and Cory Seals served as the executive producers for this campaign. Medina led the creation of the single with Alani Ramirez as the music director and creator of the sample, Bloom Production to produce the final beat, and final master by Aaron Levinson. The song features Brianna Knight and Cam the Artisan as recording artists, as well as Lonell Johnson on keys, Harlee Torres on bass, and Eoin Murphy on guitar. Medina and Ramirez took inspiration from the original single made for the Turks and Caicos and reimagined the record with a Latin feel to symbolize the connection of the diaspora through the clave rhythm and give a nod to Zahm’s work on the island.
Seals directed the music video and mini-doc, and spearheaded media branding with Jamez LaFlame as the videographer and editor, photography by Destiny Williams, graphics by Jordan Plain, and digital marketing by Nashai Catlett. Our benefactor Joe Zahm oversaw all processes and was assisted by the advisement of Aaron Levinson.
The videos were created from a string of conversations offered by artists Brianna Knight, Cam the Artisan, Song Tucker, and Kike Ayodeji over zoom led by Seals. In these communions, participants discussed their lives as artists and people navigating moments of love and hardship. They shared meditative practices, histories of ancestors, and experiences in their artistry that shaped an arch of love, care, and unity that is evident in the direction of the music video and mini-doc.