Since first hitting the scene in 2017, No Seatbelts—a project with direct ties to artists like Two Tones, ¡palabra!, and B~Free, among others—quickly developed a reputation for can’t-miss live shows, unconventional covers of songs like Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and a pleasing sound that effortlessly blends elements of R&B, funk, and jazz to forge a sound that’s altogether their own. While the band’s musicianship is well ahead of many of its Milwaukee music counterparts, No Seatbelts’ recorded catalog is, sadly, somewhat limited at the moment.
Aside from a three-song EP in 2018 (which featured the aforementioned Nirvana cover), No Seatbelts have only released a handful of singles to this point. Today, one of those singles got the music video treatment. “The One” is the first No Seatbelts music video. The visual debut was filmed and edited by Famous Motion Film And Photography before the COVID-19 crisis. With a funk-tinged sound, retro wardrobe, liberal use of a smoke machine, and some satisfying nods to That ’70s Show, the video is a lighthearted and fun complement to an already-enjoyable No Seatbelts song.
According to No Seatbelts vocalist Kyndal J, the band considered holding off on premiering the video to show solidarity to those in Milwaukee (and countless other places) peacefully protesting after the murder of George Floyd. However, the band ultimately decided the video was an expression of black life and black joy that deserves to be seen and enjoyed.
No Seatbelts recently sent Milwaukee Record a statement about their decision to release the music video at this time. You can read the band’s statement below.
No Seatbelts is a jazz fusion band made up of predominantly black men. The Black Lives Matter movement is personal to us. Many of us have personally dealt with the discrimination because of our skin color. This is such a sensitive time and we didn’t know if this would be the right time to release our first music video. We have decided to release the video because we wanted to bring light to the narrative of black life. We wanted to not only support black lives, but also support black joy. Joy is a binding factor in our band. It’s what brought us all together: the joy of music, the joy of camaraderie, the joy of life, and the joy of love. Hopefully you can feel the joy and love that we felt while making this music and video.
Here’s the video for “The One” by No Seatbelts.