New Riders Against the Storm Remix Ponders Babylon’s Fall

Video revisits single off John Lennon Songwriting Award-winning LP

Even while sheltering in place, Riders Against the Storm – three-time winners of Band of the Year at the Austin Music Awards – don’t plan on slowing down. On Wednesday, the ATX husband (Chaka) and wife (Qi Dada) hip-hop team released an Ayuma-produced remix of “Is It?”

RAS jockeys Chaka and Qi Dada with Akeem from this week’s “Portraits of Austin Musicians With Their Pets During Stay-at-Home” (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Initially composed in 2008 before their arrival to Austin, the single appeared the following year on Speak the Truth, an album whose title track won a John Lennon Songwriting Award. The lyrics resonate with the same energy in 2020. Qi asks:

“Is it true Babylon is fixing to fall?
Is it the victory that lives in your heart?
Go straight for yours, there is no need to pause.
We getting more, but we is coming up short.
Things in the air slowly killing us all.
Nobody’s perfect, but would somebody call?”

This appropriate and undeniably uplifting retrofitting carries a robust club/house bounce, crafted by up-and-damn-near-arrived Austin native Ayuma (born Blaigne Ayuma Sixon) .

“After we re-listened to it a few weeks ago, it just struck a chord and we knew we had to make something happen,” explained Chaka. “We haven’t performed ‘Is It?’ live in probably 6-7 years, but I was playing it for Ayuma a few weeks back, and we were talking about possibly doing a house-style EP together.

“He had never heard the song before. He liked it, so I sent him the stems, and he produced the song pretty quickly. It was pretty straightforward.”

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Riders Against the Storm, John Lennon Songwriting Award, Ayuma

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