And so, three Black soloists—Felisha Cabral, Tolu Faderin, and Aanu Fawole—took center frame alongside the 14 other Northeastern students who comprise the university’s nationally recognized a capella group, and delivered a message of hope through their cover of MUNA’s “I Know A Place.”
“Systemic racism in America isn’t new, but this moment that we’re in is so special because there’s no holding back,” says Faderin, who is the president of Nor’easters. “We wanted to make a message that unapologetically says Black lives matter. And to have the rest of the group stand by us, be by our side—I think it sends a message of solidarity.”
Faderin says the song holds a lot of meaning for many of the members. The Nor’easters originally performed the song in 2018, and the lyrics, which were written in response to the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, have become an anthem for the safety of the LGBTQ+ community. Faderin says the lyrics fit the message that the group wanted to send.
“It has such a powerful meaning behind it, and it means a lot to us because as a group, we always talk about what it means to create a safe space—one free of weapons, and judgement,” says Faderin, a behavioral neuroscience student at Northeastern.
The music video is part of a fundraising effort by the Nor’easters. Donations, which are being accepted through the group’s Venmo account until Aug. 31, go to Black Art Futures Fund, a collective of entrepreneurs who provide small grants to nonprofit organizations that amplify the voices of Black artists.
Since the video was posted on June 22, it has garnered over 17,000 views between the a capella group’s Instagram and YouTube. Members of the band MUNA wrote that they were “speechless” when they reposted the video on their Twitter account, and Ben Platt, an actor and singer, added his appreciation of the performance when he shared the video on his Instagram story.
Faderin says the response has left her and the group speechless, too, and she hopes that people who see the video learn more about Black culture and art.
“I hope people are listening to the message. We want people to educate themselves, and look into Black art—don’t just donate but see where the money is going and the impact that it might have,” Faderin says.