MILWAUKEE — Together, local artists and musicians in Milwaukee are saying we’re “Milwaukee Strong” in a new song released on Friday. It’s a part of a project that includes a mural, all to encourage residents to stay resilient during these difficult times and honor those fighting COVID-19 and systemic racism.
For the past several months, Milwaukee has remained strong in the battle against COVID-19. Then came the death of George Floyd. Every day since people have marched the streets of the city.
Now besides those rallies, people have a song and music video to uplift them, written and composed by Milwaukee’s own Shonn Hinton.
“We needed something that was going to give all of us hope. We needed some type of positive reinforcement that says you know regardless of what's happening, we're strong together,” Hinton said. “This is a tough time, but we’re going to get through this.”
The song features more than 30 local musicians who recorded their parts from their homes. It was a way to engage the music scene in Milwaukee that continues to struggle during the pandemic.
“Me and my band, Shotgun, we were scheduled to do Summerfest, like we had a few things in the pipeline that was getting ready to happen,” Hinton said.
Along with the song, is a music video filmed by Samer Ghani, who has also been shooting the protests happening across the city.
“I hope it continues to keep people energized, not only supporting our everyday heroes that are on the frontlines and trying to protect us from the pandemic, but to continue to keep people energized on the parts of Milwaukee that need the most attention right now,” Ghani said.
The project incorporated all aspects of the art community, even a mural titled, "The Hero in You," designed by Ken Brown at MacArthur Square parking garage at 6th and Kilbourn.
“My only hope for this mural is that someone will be encouraged, inspired, uplifted,” Brown said.
In honor of the project, Mayor Tom Barrett proclaimed Friday, July 24, 2020, “Milwaukee Strong Day.”
The project was initially a response to a challenge by the mayor of Louisville, after musicians there created a love song for their city. It was organized by Imagine MKE, a group trying to amplify the voices of artists in the community, along with 88Nine and other local organizations.
If you’re interested in helping the local artists and musicians who are struggling during the pandemic and who worked on the project, you can donate to a virtual tip jar here, and sign a petition supporting the arts community at this link.
To view the full “Milwaukee Strong” music video click here.