This Little Light

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"This Little Light"
Image shows the acronym "LZ7" in a yellow font in the style of a lightning bolt on top of three concentric grey circles. The grey circles are enclosed within a thin yellow circle, which is in turn enclosed within a circle of the words "THIS LITTLE LIGHT·THIS LITTLE LIGHT·" in a yellow font. This entire logo is set against a background of a black-and-white perspective view of an urban street at night, showing a road, walls and dark sky. The walls have graffiti on them.
Single by LZ7
Released 26 September 2010 (2010-09-26) (worldwide)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2008 (2008)
Genre Contemporary Christian, dance, hip-hop
Length
  • 3:31 (Album Version)
  • 3:05 (Radio Edit)
Label Fierce!
LZ7 singles chronology
"This Little Light"
(2010)
"Twenty Seven Million"
(2012)

"This Little Light" is a song by the British hip-hop act LZ7, and is based around a sample of the 20th century gospel track "This Little Light of Mine". It originally featured on the group's 2008 EP Gasoline, before being remixed in 2010 for inclusion on their second studio album, Light. This remix was released as LZ7's first official single on 26 September 2010, and was sold by independent label Fierce! exclusively as a digital download. The track was downloaded over 11,000 times in the UK, which gave it a chart peak of Number 26 on the UK Singles Chart and Number 4 on the UK Indie Chart.

Although largely ignored by the mainstream media, "This Little Light" received mostly positive reviews and was selected as the theme song for both the UK government's Shine Week 2010 and The Message Trust's Shine Your Light campaign—profits from sales of the single were donated to Shine Your Light. A different music video for "This Little Light" was produced for each different version. The first video, which accompanied the original 2008 version, was filmed at Rose Bridge High School in Wigan and features LZ7 members Lindz West and Louis Read handing out glowing lightbulbs from an ice cream van. The second music video, used to promote the 2010 single release, shows three examples of people being generous and the band performing in front of a tower block estate.

Background and release[edit]

"This Little Light" is based around "This Little Light of Mine",[1] a gospel song written by American composer Harry Loes in the early 20th century. It first appeared on LZ7's EP Gasoline, which was released in the UK in August 2008.[1] It was then remixed in 2010 for inclusion as track one on the band's second studio album, Light, and was used as a theme song for both The Message Trust's charitable initiative Shine Your Light[2] and the UK government's Shine Week 2010.[3] LZ7 launched the 2010 remix at a gig at the Manchester Apollo,[4] before promoting the track at summer festivals[5] and an eight-date schools tour around Manchester.[4] The band encouraged people to make a note of the release date and to download the single, with Lindz West, LZ7's frontman, remarking: "What we don't want is anyone phoning up stations and saying 'Why aren't you playing this song?', because that just creates a bad name for us in the first place. What we do want is people buying it and getting it to the position where it has to go on the radio airplay lists and the stations have to play it."[6]

The chrous of the 2010 remix of "This Little Light" samples "This Little Light of Mine" by Harry Loes.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"This Little Light" was officially released in the UK exclusively as a digital download at midnight on 26 September through download stores such as iTunes and 7digital.[7][8] It featured alongside remixes from Kenny Hayes and Starz Angels as part of a four-track EP,[7] which was sold by record label Fierce! as a charity record to benefit Shine Your Light.[9] After selling over 11,000 copies in the UK,[10] "This Little Light" charted at Number 26 on the UK Singles Chart[11][12] and Number 4 on the UK Indie Chart.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

As it was released on Fierce!—an independent label[7]—"This Little Light" received little radio airplay and few reviews from mainstream music critics.[14] What reviews it did receive were generally favourable. Tony Cummings of Cross Rhythms gave the single eight out of ten, and said that it had "all the mixture of pop savvy and street vibe that could connect with a mass audience".[15] Jono Davies of Louder Than the Music gave "This Little Light" five stars out of five, calling it a "very catchy pop Hip Hop song".[16] Natalie Clark of SouthSonic gave the song four out of five, and described it as a "definite buy for alternative music lovers".[17] A slightly more mixed review came from James Masterton of Yahoo! Music, who said that "as a pop record it isn't half bad", but that it was "never going to be particularly cool, no matter how hard anyone tries".[18]

Music videos[edit]

A white ice cream van is parked on a car park in front of a building. A man in a visor and a white jacket is hanging out of a side window of the van, and is handing a glowing object to a young girl in a red jumper and black skirt. Twenty-three similarly-aged children stand in a horseshoe shape around the girl.
West hands a glowing lightbulb to a teenager in the first music video for "This Little Light".

Two official music videos for "This Little Light" were produced, one for each version of the song. The first video, filmed in 2008, was used to promote the original version of "This Little Light" that featured on Gasoline. It was filmed at Rose Bridge High School in Wigan, and begins by showing a group of teenagers in detention. An ice cream van, driven by LZ7 members Lindz West and Louis Read, drives onto the school grounds and parks next to the detention hall. Read begins playing "This Little Light" through the van's stereo system—hearing the song, the young people in detention rush over the window, then run downstairs to the van. West begins handing out glowing lightbulbs to some of the teenagers at the van, who hold them in the air. This sequence is interspersed with shots of LZ7 performing "This Little Light" live in front of a large group of young people outside Rose Bridge Sports & Community Centre. The video was uploaded to The Message Trust's official YouTube channel in November 2008.[19] As of 1 September 2011, it has been viewed nearly 268,000 times.

A young woman in a dark leather jacket, a man in a blue jumper, a man with bleached blonde hair in a yellow T-shirt and a man in a red leather jacket are performing on a grassy area outside a tower block estate during daytime. The man in the blue jumper is drumming at a drum kit; the other three are singing into microphones.
LZ7 perform in front of a tower block estate in the second video for "This Little Light".

A second music video for "This Little Light" was specially filmed in 2010 to accompany the release of the new remixed version.[20] It begins with shots of the members of LZ7 walking towards a tower block estate, in front of which they then perform the song. The video features three stories of people being either generous or compassionate: the first shows a young man delivering a bottle of milk to an elderly lady, the second shows another young man helping someone push start their car, and the final story shows a young woman consoling another young woman, who is crying. These stories are cut between shots of LZ7 performing "This Little Light" both in front of the tower block and in front of garages. This second video was uploaded to The Message Trust's official YouTube channel in August 2010.[21] As of 1 September 2011, it has been viewed over 246,000 times.

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "This Little Light (Radio Edit)"   3:05
2. "This Little Light (Kenny Hayes Remix / All Around the World)"   6:03
3. "This Little Light (Starz Angels Remix)"   5:48
4. "This Little Light (Album Version)"   3:31
Total length:
18:27

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
position
UK Indie (Official Charts Company)[22] 4
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[23] 26

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Cummings, Tony (29 August 2008). "LZ7 – Gasoline". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "'This Little Light' Single Coming From LZ7 For Shine Your Light Initiative". Louder Than the Music. 28 May 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  3. ^ Metcalfe, Alistair (24 August 2010). "Ten years since Message 2000: What's next?". The Message Trust. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Metcalfe, Alistair (6 September 2010). "LZ7 schools tour paves way for single launch". The Message Trust. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  5. ^ Metcalfe, Alistair (20 August 2010). "LZ7 on the road this summer". The Message Trust. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  6. ^ "Major label to release LZ7's "This Little Light" as a single". Cross Rhythms. 20 August 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c "This Little Light – EP". iTunes. 26 September 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  8. ^ "LZ7 – This Little Light MP3 Downloads". 7digital. 26 September 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  9. ^ Ositelu, Tola (2 October 2010). "NEW MUSIC: LZ7′s charity single – 'This Little Light'". Soul Culture. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  10. ^ Jones, Alan (9 October 2010). Williams, Paul, ed. Music Week (London: United Business Media) (09.10.10). ISSN 0265-1548. OCLC 60620772.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "Lz7 – This Little Light". Chart Stats. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  12. ^ Reinhart, Anna (5 October 2010). ""LZ7" in den UK Top 40 Charts" ["LZ7" in the UK Top 40 Charts] (in German). Sound7. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  13. ^ "Archive Chart". The Official Charts Company. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  14. ^ FAME (1 October 2010). "LZ7 HEADING FOR CHART POSITION WITH 'THIS LITTLE LIGHT'". FAME. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  15. ^ Cummings, Tony (8 September 2010). "LZ7 – This Little Light". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  16. ^ Davies, Jono (27 September 2010). "LZ7 – This Little Light – Single". Louder Than the Music. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  17. ^ Clark, Natalie (September 2010). "LZ7 – This Little Light (OTR)". SouthSonic. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  18. ^ Masterton, James (4 October 2010). "Week Ending October 9th 2010". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  19. ^ MessageTrust (28 November 2008). "LZ7 – This Little Light". Wigan: YouTube. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  20. ^ "LZ7 single to spearhead Shine Your Light campaign". Cross Rhythms. 31 May 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  21. ^ MessageTrust (20 August 2010). "LZ7 – This Little Light: FULL HD (NEW 2010 OFFICIAL)". YouTube. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  22. ^ "Archive Chart: 2010-10-09" UK Indie Chart. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
  23. ^ "LZ7: Artist Chart History" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 28 November 2010.

External links[edit]