In the past, both Danielle Ponder and Karate Boogaloo alike have been celebrated for their own individual efforts. The former is a commanding soul singer and activist who transcends genre conventions to convey powerful messages; the latter band hails from Melbourne and are well-regarded for their cinematic approach to funk and R&B. Now, they’re joining forces for “Look Around”, a chilling movement that reflects on the state of the world today. Throughout, Ponder’s gorgeous vocal performance meets the harrowing, vivid cinema of Karate Boogaloo’s layered instrumentation with aplomb. It’s classic soul at its best, delivering a timeless message of unity.
Originally developed when wildfires were consuming Australia in early 2020, the song has morphed into a stand in solidarity with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) around the world. “Look Around” is even more stunning today, marking an international stand for Black and Indigenous rights in the name of the Black Lives Matter movement. Ponder and Karate Boogaloo acknowledge that Australia persists with racial injustice similar to what is happening in America; Indigenous people vastly overpopulate Australia’s prisons and are disproportionately involved in fatal police encounters. Thus, July and August sales of “Look Around” will benefit the Equal Justice Initiative in the USA and Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance in Australia.
On “Look Around,
Ponder says, “Fires were raging through Australia and smoke covered the sky. It felt like all of our human sins had gotten the best of us and we were paying a price. I didn’t know that when I arrived back home in the US, the world would only get darker. I feel like my past self wrote this song for my future self knowing what was to come.”
Photo: Courtesy of Press Junkie PR