Alicia Keys has reimagined her 2004 track ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ with an orchestra featuring over 70 women of colour.
The track was recorded for the Netflix series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, which arrived last week, and has been released with an accompanying music video.
The Bridgerton spin-off series follows a young Charlotte (India Amarteifio) as she begins to understand her power and the meaning of love. The story sees her embark on a life-changing marriage with young King George (Corey Mylchreest), while spearheading a societal shift that will lead to generations of change in the Bridgerton world.
Keys has brought together musicians from all over the world to create this unique orchestra, called Queen Charlotte’s Global Orchestra, both for the Netflix series and for the song’s 20th anniversary.
In the video, the orchestra, led by South Africa’s first Black female conductor Ofentse Pitse, wear Bridgerton-era costumes and make-up, as Keys sits at a grand piano in front.
“The entire idea was quite ambitious,” Keys told Billboard. “I feel like it’s going to open the minds of many people to realize that women of color belong everywhere and we’ve always been everywhere. It’s magical.”
She continued: “I know they’re gonna be very emotional when they see it because the women who were there were extremely emotional. Our conductor [Ofentse Pitse] said, ‘It feels like when we have an orchestra of all women of color from all over the world, that we’re finally doing something right.’ This is what our ancestors never experienced.”
‘If I Ain’t Got You (Orchestra Version)’ features on the soundtrack to Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, which also includes instrumental covers of songs from Beyoncé, SZA, Whitney Houston, and more.
Keys is currently on her ‘Keys to the Summer Tour’, which extends to North America next month. See full dates and buy tickets here.