On Sunday, June 12, 2016 the world was stunned and saddened by the news of the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida in what was deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in US history and the deadliest terrorist attack in the US since September 11, 2001.
With 50 people now dead and 53 injured, there has been an outpouring of support from around the world, led by the LGBT community and supported by millions of others. As Toronto Pride approaches at the end of this month, this incident will no doubt cast a shadow over the festivities, but it has also served as a reminder of exactly how strong the LGBT community is worldwide and how incidents like this simply cannot be allowed to continue.
I do not use this blog as a political forum, however, I cannot and will not ignore this incident and wanted to do something to boost the spirits of those affected by this terrible tragedy and remind them that they have been fighting the good fight for years and they do have one thing that no one can ever take away from them: HOPE. Hope that the magnitude of this incident will never be forgotten. Hope that this tragedy will inspire people to unite together against discrimination, bigotry and hatred. Hope that as human beings we can and will keep moving towards a time when all people, regardless of race, sexuality, gender or creed will all be loved and treated equally no matter where they are from and what they choose to represent.
It is with this in mind that I sought to post a song today that hopefully will resonate in the hearts and minds of anyone who has ever been discriminated against or targeted by those who do not understand. It is for this reason that I have chosen “Free” – Ultra Nate.
Ultra Nate began her recording career in 1991 with the release of her debut album “Blue Notes In The Basement” followed by “One Woman’s Insanity” in 1993. Neither album did exceptionally well in mainstream sales, and with her label Warner Bros. trying to push her in a direction away from her house sounds, she ultimately left the label and linked up with the hottest independent dance label in the world: Strictly Rhythm.
It was here, in 1997, that her biggest release to date arrived in the form of “Free“. Produced by Mood II Swing, the song is story about keeping positive under pressure and reminding the world that no matter who we are or what we do, if we choose to believe it, we are free to do what we want to do. The track immediately was embraced as a LGBT anthem and catapulted Ultra Nate to the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs chart.
A timeless record that still drives people to the dancefloor in droves, I will fondly remember this record for its positive message, great groove and uplifting feeling. At a time where saddens, confusion and despair grips the city of Orlando and millions of other around the world, I do hope that by hearing this song today that they will realize that hope cannot be taken away from them and my thoughts are with those who suffered from this horrible event.