Golden Globe, GRAMMY, Academy Award winning activist, actor and artist Common, four-time GRAMMY Award winning pianist/producer Robert Glasper, and drummer/producer extraordinaire Karriem Riggins announce the formation of their new group August Greene. The band’s debut self-titled, Amazon Original album will be released on March 9th.
Today, the first single “Optimistic” featuring Brandy premiered at NPR Music, who said “[Brandy's] voice has aged like the finest of wines, layering harmonies all over Glasper's signature keys and Riggin's rapid drums... Common's bars serve as the proverbial cherry on top while a choir lends a hand to close the jam out.”
Stream “Optimistic (feat. Brandy)” via Soundcloud:
In 2017, the three collectively won the Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics on the strength of their song “Letter to the Free,” which was recorded for Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th. The longtime friends and musical collaborators felt the time was right to release music from August Greene, which has themes of optimism and black excellence. They have found a sound that does not solely fit into one genre, but is truly an invigorating hybrid of R&B, hip-hop, and jazz.
“August Greene actually formed before we chose a name, before we even knew it was a band,” says Common. "Karriem, Rob and I go back many years. It was something natural. When I started working with them it was like, ‘man, this feels like home,’ and it felt new and fresh. We love working together. The music takes us all to new places and it just feels like, everything I want to be as a musician is within the group of August Greene.”
August Greene will make their live debut at New York City’s Highline Ballroom on January 26th for Robert Glasper’s sixth annual GRAMMY Joint.