“Soul City Cleveland,” the First Single from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for Soul City Cleveland Documentary Released!
“Song by song, the Soul City Cleveland Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is building an edifice that celebrates, grows supports and helps to build power for Cleveland, Ohio’s unheralded Black elder music legends.”
Musician and filmmaker Fanon Hill has released the first single from his Soul City Cleveland Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Featuring legendary Cleveland, Ohio blues harmonica player "Crazy Marvin" Braxton and the vocals of East Cleveland, Ohio native Navasha Daya, “Soul City Cleveland” is the first offering from the original motion picture soundtrack for the upcoming documentary of the same name that celebrates unheralded Black elder musicians and figures in Cleveland, Ohio’s entertainment community.
Braxton, who is in his upper seventies and performs with a pacemaker implanted in his chest, has worked with Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone (Sly & The Family Stone) and many more over the course of his legendary career.
“Soul City Cleveland” was written, arranged and produced by East Cleveland native Fanon Hill who knew that he wanted Braxton, also a focal point in the film, on the soundtrack when he initially conceptualized the project. “Having ‘Crazy Marvin’ Braxton play on the song was a dream come true. ‘Crazy Marvin’ is a Cleveland music legend who still plays with just as much energy and love when performing in underserved Cleveland neighborhoods as he does when performing in large venues," said Hill who is also director of the Soul City Cleveland documentary.
Also featured on the track is East Cleveland native and soulful vocalist Navasha Daya who has toured extensively with grammy-award winning a cappella group Sweet Honey & The Rock as a guest artist, and is renowned internationally as a breath-taking performer.
“Soul City Cleveland” was recorded at Cleveland’s Superior Sound Studios and engineered by Steve Wright of Wright Way Studios. Wright’s collection of vintage recording equipment helped lend an authenticity to the sound Hill sought to imbue the song “Soul City Cleveland” with, one which harkens back to the era of 1960’s rhythm and blues.
With shoutouts on the song to some of Cleveland’s most legendary streets and corners known for Black music and culture, as well as a nod to Cleveland’s historic Underground Railroad, Hill plans to use the song as a tool connecting children and youth to local culture and history through cross- generational public programming in partnership with Cleveland Rocks: Past, Present and Future and the National Rites of Passage Institute.
According to Hill, additional focal points from the Soul City Cleveland documentary will be featured on the soundtrack as guest artists. Proceeds from album sales will go toward grocery delivery for musicians in the film who are in need due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Sadly, many of Cleveland’s unheralded Black elder music legends were suffering hardships prior to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Hill. “The pandemic has devastatingly exacerbated structural inequalities, injustices and inequities faced by Black elder artists.”
The single “Soul City Cleveland” is available for purchase through Bandcamp: https://fanonhill.bandcamp.com/
The Soul City Cleveland Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is slated for release Summer 2021.
Soul City Cleveland the film will be released by The Youth Resiliency Institute, in partnership with Waasi Films and Mbari House Films, and in association with the National Rites of Passage Institute, in Fall 2021.