The COVID-19 pandemic has provided plenty of opportunities for bands and musicians to work on new material.
For Son of James, who describe themselves as a “born and bred Vancouver Chinatown Rock band,” their latest music comes with a message.
Lead singer Shon Wong was inspired to take action after seeing so much anti-Asian hate in the community, much of it targeting women.
“They’re not coming after guys like me,” Wong said. “They’re picking on women and seniors and that’s what really bugs me about the whole thing — it’s so cowardly.”
Wong and his band wanted to do something about it, so they recorded “Mama Never Told Me,” a tribute to mothers. They called on British Columbians to come together and send family photos that could be shared in a video.
“I said, ‘Please send me a picture of you and your mom, men with their moms… a mom with their kids, and let’s remind people what love looks like, let’s remind people what it feels like, let’s remind them of what it sounds like,'” Wong said.
Son of James has released other songs denouncing racism, but they said this one really hit home.
“When I was grocery shopping with my mom, we’ve experienced racism, racist remarks,” Son of James cellist Michelle Kwan said. “My mom has always been the one standing up for us.”
Wong doesn’t expect to change the world overnight, but he does hope “Mama Never Told Me” will at least raise awareness.
“Hopefully this becomes a speed bump for a lot of people and that’s all I can really hope for, that it just makes you think twice,” he said.