John Medeski-led band covers Yoko Ono

Article Contributed by Shore Fire Media | Published on Sunday, April 25, 2021

Saint Disruption, the spirit-driven artistic duo led by pianist John Medeski and folk healer Jeff Firewalker Schmitt, has teamed up with Asheville-based hip-hop quartet Free Radio to release a split single and reimagined version of Yoko Ono’s “Where Do We Go From Here.” Listen to “Where Do We Go From Here” here:

“Where Do We Go From Here” is a timely ballad that recognizes the darkness in the world today, from the contemporary civil rights movement and ongoing police brutality to the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the world indoors. “Where Do We Go From Here” furthers the bands’ mission to shine a hopeful light in the darkest of days as they continue to hold out a hand to help everyone rise up.

The Free Radio collective is featured on Saint Disruption’s latest seven-track debut album ‘Rose in The Oblivion,’ a collaborative album that illustrates the turmoil of identity and systemic oppression in the 21st century. Revisit the full album here:

Free Radio is a hip-hop group consisting of North Carolina-based artists such as Austn Haynes, GRAMMY winner Debrissa McKinney, rising powerhouse vocalist Datrian Johnson and Johnny Reynolds. The group has performed alongside hip-hop titans such as Wu-Tang Clan, Ice Cube and Slick Rick.

"Silence can become betrayal,” says Free Radio’s Johnny Reynolds. “The last thing we as Free Radio want to do is stay silent in times filled with chaos and insecurities. In collaboration with Saint Disruption we revisited this Yoko Ono masterpiece as a way to shine a light on matters from BLM to COVID-19. We have all witnessed corruption across a broad spectrum from corporate execs, policing, healthcare and more. This is our way of communicating how we feel about the state of the world."

"'Where Do We Go From Here' is a question that invokes solutions, says Austn Haynes. “How do we move forward? With U.S. cities protesting systemic injustices and rioting, 'WDWGFH' sheds light on some of the reasons why, while attempting to sprinkle in tiny amounts of optimism, tied to hints of individual awakening."

Austn Haynes’ vocals are front and center on Saint Disruption’s single “Last Poet First / Ukupacha,” an ode to New York City’s Last Poets. Free Radio’s Datrian Johnson sings lead and is the main character in the video for "Choke a Man” and the band’s Debrissa McKinney joins Johnson for Saint Disruption’s “Instant Gratification,” a song that considers the dark effects of consumerism in the age of the internet. The bands also crossed paths with their recent collaboration “Outer Limits” which Schmitt direct the video for. Revisit the “Outer Limits” video here:

Saint Disruption and Free Radio share a devotion to spiritual healing and a potent connection to nature, allowing these forces to continue to drive their collaborative music.

‘Rose in the Oblivion,’ Saint Disruption’s inaugural album, is out now. Released on April 8th, the album aims to dissolve the barriers of spiritual development while also serving as gritty political commentary.

The album was released alongside an art book that features visual art contributions from 10 North Carolina-based artists. Artists such as nineteen-year-old Sovah Woydak, Cleaster Cotton, Scott Mills, and Daniel McClendon, each produced original visual art inspired by ‘Rose in the Oblivion’. Stay tuned for more art initiatives from Saint Disruption on the way.