This Is Me – Keala Settle
The anthem of The Greatest Showman showcases the astounding vocals of Australian singer Keala Settle. A video of her raw performance of “This Is Me” helped to get the greenlight to make the film. The song, written by Benj Pasek, is about championing the underdog and society’s outcasts.
This Is America – Childish Gambino
Donald Glover’s song and accompanying viral music video for “This Is America” highlights the contradictions that come with being black in America and also confronts the nation’s oxymoronic attitudes to gun violence.
Strip – Little Mix
At a time when body dissatisfaction, body dysmorphia and eating disorders are on the rise among young people, Little Mix have released a song that empowers young people to love their appearance just as they are.
Make Me Feel – Janelle Monae
Bisexual anthem “Make Me Feel” was chosen as the lead single from Janelle Monae’s third studio album, Dirty Computer. The song is both a celebration of the LGBT community and a tribute to Prince, who began working on the album with Monae before his death in 2016.
Photographs – Professor Green x Rag’n’Bone Man
Stephen Manderson, aka Professor Green, lost his father to suicide in 2008 and has since campaigned to prevent male suicide including making a documentary, Suicide and Me on BBC Three to raise awareness of the issue. His single “Photographs” is a poignant tribute to his father and a reflection on his loss.
Apesh*t – The Carters
With a music video filmed on location at the Louvre, one of the world’s greatest collections of art and colonial wealth, Beyoncé takes on the the poses and costumes of some of the major subjects of classical art, most of whom are white, and thus creates a new, exciting, modern image of a beautiful modern black woman as an object of desire, seen to be celebrating her own capitalist achievements and power.
Lead image: Little Mix (Creative Commons)