Runkus Releases "Make It Breathe" With Tarrus Riley and Clarks Originals
Jamaican reggae artist Runkus has spent the last year locked down in his hometown of Portmore, working and creating throughout the pandemic. In the face of severe curfews and restrictions (far stricter than the social distancing imposed in the U.K.), Runkus channelled his creativity and talents into a 10-track LP titled IN:SIDE, released earlier this year following singles “5Gs” and “Quarantine Slide” from 2020.
One of the most interesting tracks from IN:SIDE is a collaboration between Runkus and Jamaican-American artist Tarrus Riley. Produced by Jevaughn ‘Alpha Unit’ Jones and initially fast funk, “Make It Breathe” was transformed over four days into a reggae beat with the addition of a live bassline at Tarrus’ suggestion.
Softly alluding to collective struggles and emotions we’ve all felt this past year, “Make It Breathe” is a smooth, emotive track that begs us to relax, escape and appreciate our communities.
“In a time where it’s hard to breathe and it’s such a busy time mentally, spiritually, emotionally - what we really need to do is just chill,” Runkus said of the inspiration behind the track. “Especially in a time where this virus makes it hard to breathe we definitely need to protect our breath even more; our actual breath and figuratively, our breath of life. So we need to ensure that we don’t fall short of the blessings that need to be given to us from life itself”
The accompanying music video, released today around the world echoes the sentiment of the song and captures a sense of freedom and escape. Shot in Runkus’ hometown of Portmore, St. Catherine, director Mykal Cushine wanted to capture the beauty of simplicity and the fragility of that which we take for granted.
“With COVID and people wearing masks he [Runkus] wanted to kinda capture people coming together and just escaping what is present day,” Cushnie said. “What better way to tell the story than with children? They are the future. So we showed them escaping to go to the playground; it seems simple but children going to the playground right now is almost nonexistent because of what’s going on right now.”
Produced in collaboration with Clarks Originals and Carribean label Delicious Vinyl Island, “Make It Breathe” could not come at a better time. An uplifting, optimistic track released as the global vaccine rollout is taking hold and only a week before Clarks is set to announce it’s anticipated Clarks Originals x Jamaica line. The British footwear retailer has a long, deep rooted history in Jamaican culture, working with artists from Chronizxx and Alicai Harley to Raheem Sterling, Clarks supports musicians and Jamaican artists in a community close to the heart of the brand. In the video and accompanying imagery both Runkus and Tarrus are sporting special Clarks Originals pieces.
Check out the video below and stream MAKE IT BREATHE from Runkus and Tarrus Riley HERE.
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