John Legend celebrates how love can transcend borders, both territorial and cultural, with his poignant “Surefire” video. The clip, directed by Cole Wiley, follows a young interracial couple, Roberto and Jamila, as they battle prejudices and laws that undermine their relationship.
After a conflict with Jamila’s disapproving father, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents deport Roberto back to Mexico. Jamila hitchhikes south and tracks down her boyfriend at home with his mother. “I may not know a lot of things, but I know that we’re surefire,” Legend sings on the ballad over moaning fretless bass, tapping into the video’s themes of resiliency.
In a statement, Wiley said he crafted the video as a testament to “eternal faith … that love is the most powerful force in the universe” – and a reaction to widespread anti-immigrant and racist rhetoric permeating American culture in 2017.
“Human civilization is experiencing an extraordinary moment in time,” he continued. “We are more capable of doing more good than ever before, but we are still mired by a myriad of systemic failures that continue to arise because of our continuing lack of empathy towards others. That is why Jamila and Roberto, the star-crossed lovers featured in the ‘Surefire’ music video, face a number of obstacles that are heavily rooted in the current state of America. Fear of immigration, religious bigotry and many other forms of prejudice are contaminating our cultural landscape on a daily basis.”
“Surefire” appears on Legend’s recently issued fifth album, Darkness and Light. The singer-songwriter performed “Surefire” Sunday night at the Billboard Music Awards, along with a duet version of Florida Georgia Line’s “Holy.”
Legend recently kicked off a summer tour behind the LP. His next date is Monday, May 22nd in Grand Prairie, Texas.