Our Roots Run Deep

Our Roots Run Deep

Quebec singer Dominique Fils-Aimé marks the start of a new trilogy with Our Roots Run Deep, a vibrant, lush album where her voice unfolds in a multitude of directions. Her previous three LPs delved into the history of Black American music, from slave songs to the birth of hip-hop. In this new chapter, she takes a look inward with equal parts tenderness and courage. “I think we need to give ourselves time and space, to strengthen the connections that bind us together,” she tells Apple Music. “Our evolution is a little spiral and we have to allow ourselves to grow gradually, just like plants that fill us with wonder every time they sprout a new leaf.” Here she talks through all the songs that make up Our Roots Run Deep. "Our Roots Run Deep" “When you look at a forest, you get the impression you’re seeing lots of separate trees. But science has taught us that there’s a highly complex underground system. It communicates, it nourishes and sustains itself, it anticipates. I get the feeling that we, as human beings, are perhaps the same. There’s a network of connections we can’t see, but we feel them. The mature trees in the forest feed the younger ones, by taking the light and then giving some of it back to them, and that’s exactly how I see the power of the legacy of my ancestors, which I sometimes draw from.” "Hide From the Drama" “Here, ‘hide’ doesn’t means ‘avoid,’ it means ‘refuse.’ For real, I can’t stand drama. A former manager once told me that I was going to have to create my own narrative, talk about my personal relationships, create tensions with fellow artists, fuel the tabloids, and I was convinced I could succeed without doing any of that. He wanted to draw me into another world, and I’m so happy I ran away from it all. That’s not my vibe.” "Just Let Me Go" “People are going to get the impression that several songs on this album are about romantic relationships, but I think that all issues that apply to external relationships also resonate within ourselves. There are reflexes that belong in the past, that we feel like getting rid of, former versions of ourselves that are hard to shake off. In this song, I ask a part of me to let me continue on my journey.” "To Walk a Way" “It’s the continuation of ‘Just Let Me Go.’ I wanted to explore a kind of regaining of control and do so joyfully. You can ask someone to let you go, but you also have the power to leave. Something just clicks when you realize that—already it’s a form of release.” "Or Let It Burn" “The burning city I talk about in this song are the vestiges of the past, the structures that no longer really have their place. ‘Just Let Me Go’ says ‘I am a victim,’ ‘To Walk a Way’ says ‘I am all-powerful,’ and ‘Or Let It Burn’ is the return of the pendulum. We realize that we’re not alone and understand the importance of the environment we’ve built around us. I pictured a city where all the structures are supported by a hatred that burns in the distance, while we make our way towards a city built inside a giant baobab, where everything is organic.” "Give Me a Reason" “It’s a little nod to Tracy Chapman and Portishead, who both did songs where you hear those words. They are drastically different, but they resonated with me. I felt like exploring that moment when you decide you want to move on, but you need that ultimate justification to act on it. My trumpeter Hichem [Khalfa] gave it a walking pace with a touch of jazz and a sense of freedom that I really love.” "Some Room to Breathe" “We underestimate the power of breathing, which helps us move forward, reconnect, and calm down. It has an enormous impact on our mental state. I’ve always pictured us as a mixture of four elements: We are dust and to dust we shall return, we breathe, we cry, and for me, fire is that inner strength that propels us forward. There’s also a fifth element, love, which connects everything and everyone.” "The Voices (Intro Vibes)"/"Quiet Down the Voices" “Technically, it should have been just one song. I wanted to first set the scene to show that we’re entering an area for meditation, then invite people who feel they need to do so to allow the voices that build up in the song to replace all the thoughts running through their mind. I think there are more than 500 vocal tracks, with just a hint of didgeridoo.” "Cheers to New Beginnings" “When you reach a milestone, you feel a mixture of nostalgia and excitement about the future. That’s why, in the middle of the song, there’s a pivotal point where it kind of flips around, and at the end there’s the trumpet that allows the joy to burst forth. We often forget to celebrate our achievements because we’re already focused on what’s coming next, but it’s super important.” "Love Will Grow Back" "On my previous album [2021’s Three Little Words] there was ‘Love Take Over,’ which talks about my dream that love could conquer all. I didn’t dare go into this too much in the first trilogy because I know some people may find my beliefs somewhat esoteric. But I felt like being more courageous about who I am and what drives me. We need to cultivate the love within us and have the courage to allow it to grow in a world where it’s sometimes seen as being idealistic.” "My Mind at Ease" “We have several voices inside our head, and for me, there’s only one that truly knows who we are. The others feed on anxiety, on moments in our childhood. On social media, we always show our best side, we’re always happy and smiling, but it’s unhealthy. This track was my way of initiating a conversation in public, to address all my inner turmoil and regain control.” "Feeling Like a Plant" “After exploring my roots, I wanted to reach out towards the sun. I wanted to start from the depths and make my way up to the small leaves at the very top of the trees. I often feel like those little leaves. I want to take naps in the sun, to recharge my batteries by soaking up its rays. Gazing at a tree is so simple, fluid and soothing: That’s the image I always have in my head when I meditate.” "Let Me Go (Bonus)" “When I gave ‘Just Let Me Go’ to my producer Jacques Roy, I hadn’t yet added the percussion. He heard the ‘1’ in the rhythm in a completely different place from what I’d had in mind. He’s an exceptional musician and his version deserved to exist, so it’s been given its spot here, at the very end of the cycle.”

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