When award-winning singer/songwriter Samantha Crain set out to compose her newest release, “When We Remain,” she wanted to create an uplifting anthem of endurance and vision for the future. Written in the indigenous language of Choctaw, the song is very much about her and for the Choctaw people of today.
It soon caught the ear of video producer Eric Weiner, whose music blog and creative agency, The Wild Honey Pie, connects musicians with brands, often to drive awareness around social issues. He believed the song would be a perfect fit for an animated video showcasing the challenges around safe water and sanitation for Native American populations in the U.S.
Uniting Kohler’s long history of supporting the arts with our flagship initiative, Safe Water for All, we partnered with Samantha and The Wild Honey Pie, as well as their animators Bela Unclecat and Yulia Drobova, to create the “When We Remain” animated video. The result is a voice and vision that poignantly embodies our passion to drive awareness of the lack of access to safe water—particularly facing Native American populations and, in particular, the Navajo, whom with Samantha has a close connection of friends and artists.
“Native communities have long faced water scarcity, as well as layers of systemic issues that prevent them from addressing the problem,” explains Samantha, an Indigenous Music Award and two-time Native American Music Award winner. “We’re not just a make-believe story of people that aren’t around anymore. We’re still here and experiencing a very real and important issue right now with water shortages.
Samantha adds that the decision to write the song in the Choctaw language was especially important to her: “I believe the survival of indigenous language is one of the most important footholds in the survival of indigenous cultures and tribes.”
Through this unique collaboration, Kohler hopes to help shed light on the problem and provide support for sustainable solutions. Thanks to partnerships with individuals like Samantha and humanitarian organizations around the world, we are able to contribute in meaningful ways, sharing stories, driving actions, and making a difference. Together, we can make safe water for all a reality.
Samantha’s intent when writing “When We Remain” was to create much more than a call to action. A peek into Samantha’s creative songwriting process reveals a liberating sense of catharsis: “I tend to do a lot of thinking and processing things first, and then my writing mirrors my emotions, allowing me to move on from them.”
“It’s a song to sing in a state of resilience—through our hardships and into our victories. Indigenous people are already in action. My hope is to remind us of our continued endurance. To inspire resilience, hope and faith.”
When we remain, we will not be like the beautiful bones of a forgotten city. When we remain, we will be the flowers and the trees and the vines that overcome the forgotten city. We have woven ourselves into the cloth of the earth. We have mixed our breath into the expanding sky.
Okla e maya momakma, tamaha chito okla imihaksi tuko i foni aiyokli ahoba
hapiachi kiyo. Okla e maya momakma, napakanli, micha iti, micha nan vpi ahoba osh ohmi
tamaha chito okla imihaksi tukon okla il vbachike. Yakni i natanna ibachvffa hosh okla il ilai achonli tuk. Hapi fiopa ya, shotik chinto okla il itibani tuk.