The Brkn Record perform a stunning live version of ‘His Mother’s Eyes’, the standout cut from their debut album, ‘The Architecture of Oppression Part 1’. During this powerful performance by Jermain Jackman, the track is stripped down to just a vocal and keys pairing. Through “His Mother’s Eyes,” we gain insight into the pain of loss, the trauma of oppression, and the hope for an end to injustice.
When asked to describe his writing process, Jermain said, “I thought about Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’ and the opening line “Mother, Mother, there’s too many of you crying”. I asked myself, what was the context in which Marvin wrote that, and how does that relate to today? I felt that song meant so much now, it is still so important and factually correct. I decided to flip it on its head and use that as an inspiration. The first line of ‘His Mother’s Eyes’ is “how do you stop the tears from falling from his Mother’s eyes” – we are talking about George Floyd’s family, but also the families of those who have been killed because of racism, not just police brutality, but negligence, institutional racism, where Black women are five times more likely to lose their child or die themselves during childbirth. It was direct inspiration from Marvin, where at the point he wrote the song he was trying to understand what was going on so we can come together. ‘His Mother’s Eyes’ is a journey from that song to this one that says now we know what is going on how do we stop it? At what point do we stop and listen, and how do we now build to a better future? It felt like a part two where I was writing to ‘What’s Going On’.”
The fittingly poignant visual conveys the message perfectly.