We see you!
Keedron Bryant, the 12-year-old viral soul singer, just inked a deal with Warner Records, Billboard reports.
The pre-teen’s performance about the perils of being a young Black man went viral last month. The song, inspired by the tragic murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, was written by his mother, Johnetta Bryant. “I needed [God’s] wisdom. I went into prayer. He gave me those words so clearly. I shared it with Keedron...and I told him, ‘...I want you to take these words and I want you to pray over them. Meditate on them. Whenever you’re done with them, come out and we’ll record it.’ He did just that,” Johnetta Bryant said of the songwriting process.
The video has since racked up over 3 million views on Instagram, touching the hearts of everyone who saw it and being referenced by notable figures including LeBron James, Janet Jackson, Lupita Nyong’o, and President Barack Obama. Keedron was born in Sicily, Italy and began singing at just 5-years-old. He gained notoriety when he was featured on the hit NBC show, “Little Big Shots.”
Popular music producer Dem Jointz, who has worked with everyone from Rihanna to Anderson .Paak saw the video and decided to put some production behind Keedron’s vocals. “It hit me in the gut. It just moved me to create music around his vocal. It was so much energy coming from the video alone, it was just easy for me to produce around that,” the hit producer said.
It was this produced version of Keedron’s song that made Chris Atlas, head of Urban Marketing at Warner Records take notice. “I was already moved by the record but hearing the vocals over the production, it just hit me in another way. I was like, ‘Wow this is an amazing song.’ We should be a part of making sure the world hears this in a larger capacity but then also donate proceeds from the song to the right cause. That’s actually giving back and using music as a healing mechanism, which I truly believe it is,” Atlas said.
All of the proceeds from the net earnings of “I Just Wanna Live” will be donated to the NAACP, and for every stream on Amazon Music, Warner Records will donate $1 to the NAACP for the first 24 hours, up to $50,000. Keedron looks forward to making more music and his mother said that while she never considered herself a songwriter, she has found a new passion and already finished 5 more songs for her son.
The rising star is excited about the possibilities but says “I Just Wanna Live” came from a dark place and he hopes things will get better. “It’s unfair that Black people can’t go out and enjoy life and live without having fear that something’s going to happen to them, so it was kind of sad to sing those lyrics. But [there’s] still hope in the world that we can change the world,” said Keedron.
“I Just Wanna Live” releases\d officially on all streaming platforms Friday, June 19th. Make sure you download, stream and support! There is always hope, especially because of young people like Keedron!
Congratulations young man! Make sure you keep ownership of all your records.
Photo Courtesy of @keedronbryant/Instagram