At the beginning of May, JoJo dropped her fourth album Good to Know, and throughout the year, we’ve been getting to know its songs, thanks to a sexy video for “Man” and a creative quarantine collab with pal Zelda Williams for “Lonely Hearts.”
On Tuesday (June 23), she let us see something else: an intimate, low-key blockbuster clip for “Small Things,” a rainy and personal slice of acoustic heartbreak. As directed by Santiago Salviche, JoJo herself appears as glam as ever, but also raw and vulnerable, backed up by dancers whose movements begin in insular positions (like bathtubs) before leaping out to vibrant life.
In the video description, JoJo wrote that she waited to release the video in light of the widespread activism for racial justice over the past month. “I’ve been trying to wait for the right moment to share this video with you,” she wrote. “With everything going on in the world and in our own backyard, I didn’t want anyone to misconstrue its release as some kind of indication that I’ve moved on from the revolution at hand, here in America. I want to say it clear as day: Black people made me who I am.”
“Not only my longest standing friendships, but also the record executives, mentors, teachers, romantic partners, and loyal fans who believed in me and took a chance on me – they have all shaped me. Without their support in every way, and without the artists who inspire me to make music, I would not exist,” she continued. “My support for Black lives/art/love/safety/freedom is not a phase nor does it have an expiration date. I’m honored to be a part of R&B culture and I never take my warm reception for granted.”
She characterized the video as “a piece of art that we made to express how painful it can be to hold in your feelings. To act like you’re okay, when – in all honesty – you’re not. I wanted to video to feel like catharsis.”
JoJo also shouted out by name the “beautiful artists/dancers” she appears alongside in the video: Morgan Choice, Halima Dodo, Dominique Battiste, and Alexandra Carson. She concluded her message with a quote from Toni Morrison: “The function of freedom is to try to free someone else.”
Check out JoJo’s magnetic “Small Things” video above, and read her full statement here.