Lions

Album: Yet to be titled (2017)

Songfacts®:

  • Skip Marley is the grandson of reggae legend Bob Marley. This is the first single he released after signing to Island Records. It is one of a number of songs that he wrote with American songwriter and record producer Savan Kotecha, whose other credits include One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful," Maroon 5's "One More Night" and The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face."
  • The titular "Lions" refers to the people who are protesting against the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States.

    We are the lions, we are the chosen
    We gonna shine out the dark
    We are the movement, this generation
    You better know who we are, who we are


    Kotecha said in an interview with Music Business Worldwide: "I'm quite politically active, and we wrote some songs about what's going on in this country. The first song, 'Lions,' was written for the protesters two days after the election. This is a time where artists really do need to say something. They are the voice of the people; it's not going to be the news media or politicians."
  • This song soundtracked a controversial Pepsi commercial that was pulled a day after it appeared on YouTube. In the spot, a strangely joyful protest march ends at a line of police officers, where Kendall Jenner, who has left a fashion shoot to join the fun, hands an officer a Pepsi, which he opens to rapturous applause.

    Most protests at the time were associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, and played out nothing like the scene shown in the commercial. Response to the ad was so negative that Pepsi quickly apologized for it. "Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding," they said in a statement. "Clearly, we missed the mark and apologize."
  • Why lions? Marley explained to Genius: "Lions symbolize, to me, courage, strength, pride, determination, love, grace - spiritual."

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