Sheila E. Stands Up for Freedom in 'Funky National Anthem: Message 2 America': Premiere

Timothy Norris/Getty Images
Sheila E. performs during Guitar Center's 28th Annual Drum-Off at The Novo by Microsoft on Jan. 14, 2017 in Los Angeles.

Sheila E. is sending out a call to action in her latest video, “Funky National Anthem (FNA): Message 2 America.” Premiering exclusively today on Billboard, the video precedes the Aug. 18 release of the latest single from the singer/drummer’s next studio album, Iconic: Message 4 America (Sept. 1, Stiletto Flats Music).

Filmed in San Francisco’s Mission District, the video was directed by Sheila E.’s brother Peter Michael Escovedo. At a time when America’s citizens are questioning the future of the country and the world, the video’s storyline channels the speeches of prominent leaders of the past, whose inspirational messages about the betterment of men and women of all races, color and creeds still resonate. In fact, Sheila E. was granted the right directly from the King Estate to use Dr. Martin Luther King’s likeness and words in the video and song.

Watch “Funky National Anthem (FNA): Message 2 America”:

“We are living within a web of deceit and lies, but the essence of America still remains,” a passionate Sheila E. tells Billboard. “It’s time to take a stand for the freedom we speak of, for all Americans and the world. A time to embrace those ideas and words that have come from great voices of guidance to us in other turbulent times. Voices of our past, which can still lead us to a better future."

“FNA: Message 2 America” follows the prior release of another song and video from Iconic: Message 4 America: “America” featuring saxophonist Candy Dulfer. Dulfer is part of a roster of guest stars on the set that also includes Ringo Starr, George Clinton, Israel Houghton, The E. Family and Bootsy Collins, all joining Sheila E. and her band in re-imagining classic songs associated with hope, inspiration and empowerment.

“Freedom has never been free,” adds Sheila E. “And now is the time to get involved and fight for those rights which make for a better country for all Americans.”

The Iconic: Message 4 America track list:

 1. FNA : Message 2 America

 2. Come Together (featuring Ringo Starr)

 3. Everyday People (featuring Freddie Stone)

 4. Inner City Blues/Troubleman

 5. It Starts with US (Dolores Huerta)

 6. Jesus Children of America (Israel Houghton)

 7. JB Medley (Bootsy Collins)

 8. Blackbird

 9. One Nation Under a Groove/Mothership Connection (featuring George Clinton)

10. Pusherman

11. Respect Yourself

12. I Am Funky

13. Yes We Can Can (Angela Davis)

14. America (featuring Candy Dulfer)

15. What The World Needs Now Is Love