Jasmine Cephas Jones Debuts New Single 'Brighter' to Honor What Would've Been Her Late Father's Birthday (Exclusive)

PEOPLE has the exclusive premiere of the Grammy and Emmy winner's "Brighter" music video as she kicks off her solo music career

Jasmine Cephas Jones is ready for her moment.

The Grammy and Emmy winner unveiled her new single "Brighter" featuring Kevin Garrett on Friday — honoring what would've been her late father Ron Cephas Jones' birthday on Jan. 8 — and PEOPLE has the exclusive premiere of its accompanying short film.

"Brighter" is a bubbly R&B-pop track with positive lyrics aimed toward a loved one who makes you feel like the best version of yourself. "I swear you’re my light / And you just get brighter each time," sings Jasmine, 34, on its chorus.

Related: Grammy-Winner Jasmine Cephas Jones Says Writing New Music 'Gave Me Strength, Courage and Power'

<p>Courtesy Jasmine Cephas Jones</p> Jasmine Cephas Jones "Brighter" single artwork

Courtesy Jasmine Cephas Jones

Jasmine Cephas Jones "Brighter" single artwork

"I had to start with something fun. The beat is nostalgic," the Hamilton original Broadway cast member tells PEOPLE. "Lyrically, it’s about how your significant other brings out the light in you and makes you brighter. For me, that represents my family, friends, and the people I love who make me a better person and support me."

The short film, which acts as the "Brighter" music video, finds Jasmine riding a horse, drinking from a red Solo cup and attending a kickback with friends on a western ranch in California.

Garrett, 32, appears at the gathering to perform his verse before joining Jasmine to jam out with the crowd for the track's final chorus.

<p>Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images</p> Jasmine Cephas Jones in Los Angeles in April 2023

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

Jasmine Cephas Jones in Los Angeles in April 2023

Jasmine appears to be unfolding a larger narrative with the short film, directed by Rafael Casal, as the party ends with every attendee receiving a notification on their phones, leading the performer to abruptly run away from the hangout — and erupt into a winged creature as the word "Phoenix" is displayed onscreen.

"The short film illustrates my growth as a person. The party represents my past… the person I was. The end represents the beginning of my journey finding my true self," said the Blindspotting star in a statement.

She continued, "Sometimes you have to leave home and leave everything you know to truly grow and to really understand who you are."

Related: Ron Cephas Jones' Daughter Jasmine Says It's Been a 'Battle' Accepting His Death: 'You Were a Damn Good Father'

<p>Michael Kovac/Getty Images</p> Jasmine Cephas Jones and Ron Cephas Jones in Hollywood in June 2021

Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Jasmine Cephas Jones and Ron Cephas Jones in Hollywood in June 2021

Timing the release of "Brighter" with her late This Is Us actor father's birthday month is especially sentimental, as Jasmine opened up about how she's been affected by his August 2023 death at age 66, caused by long-standing pulmonary issue, PEOPLE confirmed at the time.

Weeks after his death, Jasmine posted to Instagram to pay tribute to Ron and admit she's had trouble accepting the fact he's gone. “Grief,” she captioned the post at the time. “This one is a battle. I keep looking at my phone wanting to call you and wanting to hear your voice. You listened… you REALLY listened to me.”

Jasmine continued, “You valued my opinion and you never judged me. We all know you were a great actor but my God you were a damn good father.”

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