Guyanese-born singer, songwriter, and actor Courtney Noel is the creator behind the newly released music video, “Brooklyn is My Home” — something he affectionately calls a love letter to the borough he’s planted roots in.
“America is New York and New York is Brooklyn for the most part,” said Noel, who collaborated with rapper Gucci Boss on the project.
The beginning of the song includes the lyrics “We come across the water to a place called Brooklyn,” a line which perfectly describes the borough — 40% of Brooklyn’s population is made of of people who have immigrated from other countries.
When asked what he hoped people would take away from the music video, Noel said simply, “the love, the passion and the deep respect I have for my second home.”
“And it’s a second home for so many people,” he added. “From Jamaica, Barbados, wherever we are from, we all have so many stories to tell.”
The song continues, “Brooklyn, wherever I may go, I keep coming back to you.”
“So many times I’ve moved to Queens for some reason or another, but somehow I ended up coming right back to Brooklyn,” said Noel. “The thing is, the core of my family is in Brooklyn.”
The local creative has found already found success in the Big Apple, having appeared in Spike Lee’s film “See You Yesterday,” viewed by more than 25 million households on Netflix. He is also well-known for his song “I Love My Golden Arrowhead”, an anthem honoring the flag of his home country, Guyana.
In lieu of his success, Noel’s musical talent has humble beginnings. He credits his grandmother’s musical talent for introducing him to music.
“I’m not a trained singer or songwriter. I am pretty atypical in this regard. You speak to many singers, especially, black singers, and many times you hear about roots in church or they went to school in the arts,” Noel told Brooklyn Paper. “I did not do any of the two. It’s more of a spiritual element because my grandmother played the harmonica. I’ve never heard her play anything besides gospel songs. In so many ways, she had no fear whatsoever. [She had] worldly wisdom, practical wisdom and deep faith. So that was my first introduction to music.”
Noel closes the song with, “There’s no place like Brooklyn…”
“Guyana is 83,000 square miles and the population never hits a million. Compare that to Brooklyn, which is 70 square miles and 2.6 million people,” said Noel, with a laugh. “It’s pretty amazing.”
“Brooklyn is My Home,” officially released earlier this week, can be viewed here.