Image a Nation
Philadelphia soul artist Valvin “V” Roane makes a welcome return to BBE Music with new album ‘Image A Nation’, his first full-length project on the label since 2005 underground classic ‘The Revelation Is Now Televised’.
Independently releasing several albums and EPs in the almost 15 years since his BBE debut, we are delighted to join forces with V once again for another timeless soul classic. Working with such luminaries as Justin Timberlake, Musiq Soulchild and Will Smith during a storied career, V also toured for many years as backing vocalist for Jill Scott.
Created with trailblazers and teachers like Quincy Jones and Marvin Gaye firmly in mind, ‘Image A Nation’ paints a vivid picture of a people and culture on the move.
“Synchronicity played a major factor in the themes and tone of both lyrics and music. We found ourselves telling a magical story of life as a voyage or trip, learning to avoid the pitfalls- forever reaching to find that ”utopia” but being tested as you go through a maze of obstacles. This was real life to a lot of us so it was easy to create from that theme.”
A collaborative effort from inception onwards, the core writing team behind ‘Image A Nation’comprised his production partners Jontae Slade, Andre Capers and Philly music scene stalwart (also occasional Questlove hype man) Yameen Allworld working closely alongside V.
“Every day for a month when I arrived to the studio, Yameen or Jontae would play me a new track they just did that day. The music was so good and perfectly in the realm I was looking for, that we would write and record it on the spot. A lot of this album happened like that.”
Once the songs had been sketched out, Wiz Khalifa and Jay Z’s former tour drummer Eric “Boots” Greene adroitly manifested V’s ambitious concept for the album from behind the studio desk, guiding the final arrangements, providing live instrumentation and lovingly refining ‘Image A Nation’ into something truly ageless.
In the grand tradition of social commentary personified by Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, songs like “Hell No Wont Go”, “Power To The People” and “Into The Light” offer the comfort of solidarity through dark and difficult times. Manifestations of hope and positive affirmations abound in “We Shall Overcome”, “Love Conquers All” and title track “Image A Nation”, adding up to an album which both acknowledges the struggles of yesterday and today, while constantly communicating a sense of openness and optimism for the future.
Format: Digital album
Release date: 02/10/2020