AceShowbiz - R&B star H.E.R. has called on artists worldwide to channel their energy into the ongoing social justice movements and create work that reflects the activism.
Ahead of the release of her new single "I Can't Breathe" on Friday (June 19) - which comes in the wake of the death of African-American man George Floyd at the hands of cops - the star told TMZ she felt a "responsibility" to address the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement in her music.
Opening up on the single, the star, real name Gabriella Wilson, explained, "It's honestly a conversation with me and with myself, and also with people like, 'Why's there so much hate?' It's really unfortunate that we're going through this."
"My favourite line in the song is, 'How do we cope when we don't love each other?' " she continued. "That's just so real and I think we're all questioning that right now. We all have these questions and we all have these things that we want to change, and that's really what the song is."
The hitmaker went on to call on her musical peers to create songs that advocate change, insisting, "I think every artist has a responsibility to talk about what's going on right now, and that's really what I wanted to do."
"Music is a lot of things. It can help you heal, and it can help you learn," she shared. "I think if you put everything aside and use your gifts to express that emotion that you feel, you're helping the cause and you're helping that change."
"I've talked to a lot of artists and we've all been struggling with so much of that pain and so much of that anxiety and kind of not knowing how to even put the words together but sometimes you just have to sit down and let it flow and speak from your heart."
The release of "I Can't Breathe" also coincides with Juneteenth - when the Emancipation Proclamation was read to Texan slaves on June 19, 1865, after the South lost the U.S. Civil War.