With “Street Light,” Tulsa’s Branjae Jackson wanted to celebrate and even venerate survivors of domestic violence — particularly those that chose to leave their situations. She takes it a visual step forward with the song’s new video, premiering exclusively below.
“I wanted to bring more attention to the song, and to the issue of domestic violence,” Branjae, a domestic violence survivor herself who co-directed the clip with Basil Childers, tells Billboard about the project. “I wanted to show the power we feel when we choose ourselves, when we choose love over hate and decide we deserve more than that. I want this to encourage people going through it to conjure up the courage to leave those situations.”
The “Street Light” video certainly makes the case for that courageous choice. In the clip Branjae portrays a woman who not only leaves a violent and abusive situation but winds up in a circus-like street party where she’s welcomed and celebrated. “I wanted to show the physical and emotional pain that you go through before you make that decision (to leave), and I also wanted to show the community and support that is out there,” Branjae explains. “There is support all around us. It’s a happier place. I think (the video) does a really good job of showing that.”
Branjae, who’s active with the Domestic Violence Intervention Services (DVIS) in Tulsa and is donating proceeds from “Street Light” to support it, plans to stay on the topic with her next musical endeavor, based around a song called “This Can’t Be.” “I’ve been thinking about a prequel,” she says. “I have a song I wrote that pretty much describes the mental process that goes on before you get to the point in that relationship where you say, ‘OK, this isn’t love. This is not right. I have to get out of this situation.’ I want to bring back this character I play in ‘Street Light’ and show what happened to her beforehand, before she got to that place of anger. I want to show the vulnerability in that character, give her a backstory.” The result, she says, will likely be “a short film,” probably dropping late this year or early next.
“‘Street Light’ was this whole community that came together to make it possible that we could continue to shine a light on domestic violence and be people that help that issue and that support healing,” Branjae says. “It’s important, as far as being an artist, to use that platform to make a difference. So I’m going with the vibration and the flow right now, and I’m completely open to wherever it takes us.”