jessie reyez

Photo: Island Records

Jessie Reyez Addresses Immigration Ban in “Far Away” Tragic Love


Oct. 7 2019, Updated 10:27 p.m. ET

Jessie Reyez makes a potent statement about the US immigration policy in her visual for Far Away, where the Colombian-Canadian songstress goes up against ICE in the name of love.

Directed by Peter Huang, the music video has Jessie Reyez narrating a tragic romance: Two people, despite their past romantic traumas, have found love within each other, but they are torn apart by distance due to the other’s undocumented status.

“You’re still a world away
And you’re still waiting for your papers
Been feeling like the government wants us to break up
iPhone XXX FaceTime saves us”

After some clips of Donald Trump talking before a protest banner that says “Close Our Borders alongside a US flag flying in the wind, a vintage TV set is set on fire as it continues to show children walking in barren land by the border.

“Distance ain’t sh*t
Because you and I both committed
No f*ckboys, no thirsty b*tches
Could ever come between this
It’s different we trust each other
We’ve both been f*cked by old lovers
Your sex it helped me recover
Ice box but you brought me summer”

We see the lovebirds dancing at a party and taking solace in each other’s embrace. Suddenly, a gas canister is thrown into the room. Families and couples are in a panic as they attempt to vacate; but agents are ambushing the party with firearms and taking people away in an ICE raid. The lovebirds are brutally separated with no end in sight.

The powerful story continues on to show Reyez’ lover laying his head on his mother’s lap with tears in his eyes. ICE agents appear again, pointing guns at the mother-and-son. The video ends with families and couples locked away in cages.

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In a release, Jessie Reyez explains the concept behind the lyrics and the video:

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“Attachment. Attachment to someone is both something beautiful and something painful. Imagine finally finding your home in another human being but they’re stuck on the other side of this rock we’re all on. You’re left wanting nothing more than a hug – their hug – that simultaneously feels like a pillow and a drug. Somehow when they hurt, you hurt, when they smile, you smile. This is love suspended in animation, before it’s tainted by reality (because eventually all hearts break again) but in this moment, neither of you are running from one another – it’s only water and borders and God keeping you apart. Water and borders and God keeping you from home. This is pre-heartbreak; when both sets of lungs are still working and when you miss them and they miss you back – and you feel each other even when you’re far away.”

Far Away is from Jessie Reyez‘ forthcoming debut album, which will arrive next year. For this heartfelt track, the singer asks that listeners go to her website for a list of charity humanitarian organizations that are aiding the immigration crisis referenced in the visual.

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