Vivian Sessoms left us with much to chew on at the close of 2018. Featuring an incredible lineup of crazy-talented musicians, her album Life was a hearty meal of jazzy covers, soulful grooves, political statements and improvised instrumentals. Before we could fully digest the musical cornucopia, she announced the album’s second half, LIFE II, with lead single “I Can’t Breathe (for Erica).” The politically-charged track was soon followed by another album teaser, a unique spin on the Tony Bennett/Frank Sinatra standard, “The Best Is Yet to Come,” featuring Casey Benjamin.
With LIFE II slated to drop next Friday, we suspected that she might serve up one final slice of newness before the album premiere. Sure enough, Ms. Sessoms came through, but not quite in the way we were expecting. Rather than give another teaser, the singer/songwriter/producer entices us to revisit Life with the visuals for “People” – a jazzy rework of The Stylistics‘ “People Make The World Go Round,” arranged by Ray Angry and Shedrick Mitchell. Co-directed by Vivian and The Last American B-Boy, the video takes us on a mini tour of NYC — namely, the singer’s birthplace of Harlem. In addition to exquisite vocals and stellar instrumentals, the clip is also worth watching just to see Ms. Vivian turn the streets of Uptown into her runway. Just when you think it can’t get better, a mesmeric outro arranged by Amp Fiddler (titled “Belles Personnes Reprise”) leaves us wanting more.
Peep the visuals for “People (& Belles Personnes Reprise)” below, and revisit the album Life to hear the full track. Afterwards, go ahead an pre-order LIFE II ahead of its May 17th release date. NYC fans can catch Ms. Sessoms performing live on May 9th at Nona Hendryx’s Rock Solid Women’s Festival at Gramercy Theatre. Visit her website for upcoming performances and album updates.