Colors

Album: Black Pumas (2019)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This song was written by Black Pumas lead singer Eric Burton, who at the time was leading worship at a Presbyterian church, but wasn't feeling a lot of the music he was tasked to play. "I was trying to figure out how to write a song that explains the plight of someone who is spiritual trying to find their truth," he said in a track breakdown. "'Colors' was my attempt at writing something from my highest self."
  • Musically, the song started with the acoustic guitar part, which Eric Burton came up with when he had just started learning how to play. "I woke up from a nap on my uncle's rooftop in New Mexico and I was just playing note after note, whatever sounded good," he explained. "It worked out because I was able to find the bar chords to go to the chorus later on."
  • Black Pumas is the duo of Burton and guitarist Adrian Quesada, who is also their producer. They met in Austin, Texas, and formed the band in 2017 - just a few years earlier Burton had been busking in California. They released their first single, "Black Moon Rising," in 2018. Their self-titled debut album was released the following year with "Colors," which got a music video in November 2019 and got added to lots of playlists.
  • The song was inspired by church, so Black Pumas made sure it has a gospel feel, with an organ, hand claps, and mighty background vocals by two female singers: Lauren Cervantes and Angela Miller.
  • "Colors" got a lot of attention when it was nominated for the Record Of The Year Grammy in 2020. It didn't win, but Black Pumas got to perform it on the show and earned plaudits from host Trevor Noah, who said: "Ever hear a band for the first time but feel like they've been your favorites your whole life? That's what we feel tonight."

    This was the group's second trip to the Grammys: They were nominated for Best New Artist in 2019.

Comments: 2

  • Charles Smith Sr. from Knoxville, TennesseeBlack Pumas, please keep putting out music like Colors! This is a beautiful meaningful song! I just can't stop listening to it.
  • Kim Watkins from Hollywood Hills, CaDuring the riots in the summer of 2020 I was so confused and down on humanity on the Fourth of July that I spent on my balcony by myself, I turned to YouTube And this studio recording was suggested and I played it and it made me cry that such a beautiful song with such a unique guitar intro rhythm and voice and back up and all the other musicians... well it was able to bring the spirit Of real people, still existing, back to me. I appreciate this song like no other. If I were a judge for the Grammys it would have been the winner by a landslide.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Five Rockers Who Rolled With The Devil

Five Rockers Who Rolled With The DevilSong Writing

Just how much did these monsters of rock dabble in the occult?

00s Music Quiz 1

00s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

Do you know the girl singer on Eminem's "Stan"? If so, this quiz is for you.

American Hits With Foreign Titles

American Hits With Foreign TitlesSong Writing

What are the biggest US hits with French, Spanish (not "Rico Suave"), Italian, Scottish, Greek, and Japanese titles?

Adam Duritz of Counting Crows

Adam Duritz of Counting CrowsSongwriter Interviews

"Mr. Jones" took on new meaning when the song about a misguided view of fame made Adam famous.

Neal Smith - "I'm Eighteen"

Neal Smith - "I'm Eighteen"They're Playing My Song

With the band in danger of being dropped from their label, Alice Cooper drummer Neal Smith co-wrote the song that started their trek from horror show curiosity to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Van Dyke Parks

Van Dyke ParksSongwriter Interviews

U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.