ZAKI IBRAHIM REVISITS THE SECRET LIFE OF PLANETS WITH NEW VIDEO FOR “CUT LOOSE,” FILMED AT ELLIS PARK STADIUM IN JOHANNESBURG.

THE SECRET LIFE OF PLANETS RELAUNCHES WORLDWIDE MARCH 12.

WATCH “CUT LOOSE” HERE.

“A vintage soul and R&B feel to it, with sprinkles of both nostalgia and future by way of synthesizers and 808s.” – okayafrica

“Despite its title, Planets is less liturgical science fiction and more soulful and sublime, focusing on the cosmos of human experience.” – Pitchfork

Photo by Josh Rille

The journey through Zaki Ibrahim’s expansive catalogue concludes with 2018’s The Secret Life of Planets, available worldwide on Friday, March 12. From the stomach-flipping dives of “Dangerous” to the night sky echoes of “Galileo,” The Secret Life of Planets is essential Zaki Ibrahim listening. 

Ibrahim’s masterful, boundless album arrives with a never-before-seen video for “Cut Loose,” filmed in Ellis Park Stadium’s Tennis Club, in Johannesburg. The clip, edited by Ramon Charles, intercuts footage from 80s and 90s apartheid-era South Africa alongside portraits of ‘‘test subjects” who represent a multitude of possibilities. The video delivers a message of the mind’s power to shift perspectives, movements and outcomes to break down oppressive societal constructs. Let go of assumptions and expectations to ‘find the star that you are.

The Secret Life of Planets, a synthesis of worlds ending and beginning, was produced with frequent collaborators Alister Johnson and Casey MQ. The album showcases Ibrahim’s many-layered vision of sound and story. At the time of its original release in 2018, Planets may have seemed, to critics and to Ibrahim herself, a statement on closure, the two halves of the mourning and joyful self made whole. From this vantage in 2021, Ibrahim has reassessed the healing process and now considers The Secret Life of Planets as only the start of this journey.

ABOUT ZAKI IBRAHIM
 
There’s a standard narrative that an artist releases an album, but for Zaki Ibrahim it seems the reverse is true. For an artist who is known for her multiplicity of influences and identities, absence from one scene is in fact presence in another. The difference between departure and arrival is simply a matter of perspective.
 
Throughout her career, from Vancouver to South Africa to Toronto and many points in between, Ibrahim has worked against the encroaching systems and machinery that would limit or dilute her vision. Ibrahim’s work pushes back against binaries, against reductiveness, against the clenching muscles of expectation. “Planets isn’t just a product of black American or South African music styles; its multiple identities make it distinctly Canadian,” writes critic Anupa Mistry for Pitchfork. “It’s the work of an optimist whose voice wasn’t silenced by the confines of an unimaginative industry; it’s expansive in effort, and by sheer existence.”
 
Ibrahim’s music brings elements of spoken word, hip hop, soul, house and 70s pop together, filtered through the prismatic and often contradictory lenses of personal, historical and scientific relativities. On stage, Ibrahim delivers theatrical, intricate configurations of bodies and ideas built on a contrast of sharp precision and untethered joy. Ibrahim aims to find space for spontaneity within the parameters of structure; in the same way that her music explores non-linear models of time and space, Ibrahim’s performances are designed with fluidity and recombination in mind.