Words by Nadine White
“Apple Tree” by Dre Island and Tom Prior is a transatlantic link-up between two fiercely talented young artists, one from Jamaica and the other from London.
The black-and-white visual opens with a booming instrumental with a blend of different sounds with tribal chants and notes of classical music. Then cue Dre, sitting at a Yahama piano playing in the middle of an estate in Clapton, East London. Singing with gravel-like diction, he is soon met by Prior and a team of young people, who are seeming to rally up for a cause. He asks the viewer: “Have you stepped into a garden and seen someone like you, the broken-hearted people, the broken-hearted youth?”
“Apple Tree” contemplates a harsh reality, addressing the poor and downtrodden in its lyrics, while the video offers snapshots of everyday life for inner-city inhabitants in an overcast hue. Cameos in the video include dancehall artist Mr. Williamz and community leader Soloman Smith of the Brixton Soup Kitchen – a local homeless service and charity. According to statistics, homelessness in London has soared 79% since 2010 and the soup kitchen is one of the causes trying to put a dent in those numbers. They will soon be releasing an EP via London/Jamaica-based stable E5 Records (spot the mural on the wall at 2:24), with proceeds going towards their continued service to the community; “Rotten Apple” is actually the second single from this compilation.
Watch the video below, and hear more from Dre Island here.