Watch: Jozem – Youth

Jozem unveils his powerfully moving new single ‘Youth’ today, with a video that was shot in his hometown of Kenya. This Toronto-based artist (via Kenya and Rwanda) experiments with various musical elements, to create a unique sound that is melded with allusive and personal lyrics.

‘Youth’ features lo-fi, alternative R&B vibes with threads of neo-soul, and is all about walking in one’s own truth – a celebration of being different.

“I have felt like an outsider my entire life, whether it was because of my introversion, being a refugee/ foreign, at times because of my blackness or my queerness or any combination thereof. Along the way, I’ve met kindred spirits that live unapologetically, showing you that it is ok to be who you are without compromise and to be proud of the things that make you different.”

“When I wrote ‘Youth’ I immediately knew that I wanted to have the visuals shot in Kenya where I grew up. On a trip back to Nairobi, long before the song fully came together, I met with the director, Mbithi Masya and told him about the song and my dream and eventually sent him a rough demo I had been working on. Fast forward to earlier this year, he sent me a film by Maceo Frost of some Kenyan children who were attending a ballet school in the middle of the slum in Kibera, minutes away from where I grew up in Nairobi. These kids were learning a completely foreign art form in an environment that did not encourage or facilitate it to say the least, but watching them persevere and make the best out of their circumstance literally brought me to tears. It resonated strongly with me, that feeling of being different but learning to march in my own truth. I immediately knew that I wanted to have some of the dancers from the school featured in the video.”