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My Brightest Diamond’s latest single comes with an ASL music video

A moody blues for an English phrase that's maybe lost in translation

‘Black Sheep’ is the new single from Shara Nova aka My Brightest Diamond. She has recently started a Substack to document her creative process and general musings, which I’ve found particularly insightful. Whilst I’m not sure if ‘Black Sheep’ is kicking off a new EP or LP cycle, the deep gospel blues track has a resonance and rhythm to it that glistens in the dark. My Brightest Diamond says the song is about agency and owning your body. The term ‘Black Sheep’ is synonymous with being the odd one out or the outlier and that often requires being brave when the negative connotation applies to it.

The music video comes in three versions but they all revolve around having American Sign Language (ASL) integrated into them. The video was performed by Nova and contemporary dancer Anna Gichan, with Gichan signing the lyrics in DASL and ASL. In making the video, Nova and Gichan consulted DASL and ASL consultant Amelia Hensley, who explained that when moving from spoken word to ASL, there is a process of discovering which ASL translation matches the concept as opposed to the literal word. There is no word for “black sheep” in ASL, so instead the translators signed “rebel” in ASL for “black.” In the video, they use “rebel” or “black” interchangeably in ASL.

Enjoy the music video below, the single is out now. For more info on all things My Brightest Diamond, visit her linktree.

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