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Jon Corbin's New Single Makes the Call to Amplify Marginalized Voices

It’s time to amplify marginalized voices says Ontario-based songwriter, poet, writer, and educator Jon Corbin in his new single, “Amplify”. The song is a soulful appeal to hear the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour now — and always.

After the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others at the hands of police this year, there has been a growing acknowledgement of the need to amplify voices in the Black community and other marginalized groups.

Our present conversations about systemic racism and police brutality aren’t new; they are topics Black artists, activists and academics have been speaking and writing about for decades. What’s changed is the degree to which the rest of the culture is willing to listen, and to move forward.

“I’m encouraged by some of the progress we’ve seen, but this openness is the beginning of a very long journey,” said Jon Corbin, a respected Canadian hip-hop emcee, essayist and spoken word artist from Milton, Ont.

“It’s important to keep the conversation going. Meaningful change can happen on an individual level; it begins in our hearts. And we can only change our hearts if we’re willing to listen to one another and attempt to understand other perspectives. It’s time to amplify Black voices, because we have so often been muffled, muted and ignored.”

This is the message of Corbin’s new single “Amplify” (featuring veteran Canadian R&B singer Aubrey Noronha and Portland trumpeter Farnell Newton), released Sept. 4, 2020.

“Amplify” is a soulful, smouldering appeal for Black voices to be heard, now and always.

In its first verse, Corbin brings the same earnest, meticulous wordplay and intelligent  cultural references that have made him a respected collaborator of Juno- and Polaris Music Prize-winning artists like Shad, Eternia, and the Good Lovelies.

Noronha underlines the message in the chorus and second verse, emphasizing a need for immediate change and uses the circumstances of Floyd’s death as a metaphor for systemic racism in North America: “System’s on our neck/We can barely make a sound.”

The quiet, subtle vocal deliveries of both Corbin and Noronha, along with Newton’s literally muted trumpeting, form an apt and thoroughly sincere call for non-marginalized groups to hear the cries Black, Indigenous and People of Colour have always made in the face of racism, brutality and other forms of oppression.

“It’s more important now than ever to listen to one another,” said Corbin. “It’s time to amplify marginalized voices so we can move toward the justice and equality BIPOC have always asked for, and have frequently been denied.”

For more information about Jon and his work, go to www.joncorbinmusic.com.

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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Canadian Musician. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.
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