Video premiere: “Return of Jafar” by Natural Born Leaders

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In advance of their forthcoming album, indie-soul/hip-hop collective Natural Born Leaders shares a new video for the song “Return of Jafar.”

“The song’s instrumental piece was inspired by the excitement of a pre-Dave-Chapelle-live-in-Asheville music jam with James [Eddington, bass and vocals], Kevin [Murtha, drums], and Ben [Survant, saxophone],” says lead vocalist Michael Martinez. (The band also includes Rex Shafer on guitar.) “The lyrics were inspired by me being let down after the series of unfortunate events that took pace with the water protectors in Standing Rock. The idea of the video was to show that everything in our current history has been leading to this point. Nothing is new news, but, also, there is a duality in all these things. We have the opportunity to change things right now with some sort of togetherness. We have power, we have a voice regardless of what the system,’ powers that be, etc., try to tell us.”

Indeed, the song builds to a boiling point of the repeated line, “Ain’t no power like the power of the people ’cause the power of the people don’t stop.”

“It’s inspired by those power structures the money and greed that causes things like racism, sexism, war and such,” says Martinez. “The images” — culled from cartoons and old TV shows, among other sources — “are intended to make people feel something, whatever that may be.”

Natural Born Leaders perform at The Orange Peel on Friday, Feb. 23, with Window Cat and Evil Note Lab.  9 p.m., $10.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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