A 12-year-old boy whose protest went viral following the death of George Floyd has signed a record deal with Warner Records.
Keedron Bryant’s a cappella song, ‘I Just Wanna Live’ has been released today to coincide with ‘Juneteenth’, the annual commemoration day to mark the emancipation of slavery in the US.
Speaking about the song and its reach, Bryant said he thought there was “still hope…that we can change the world.”
The video of Bryant’s emotive performance, which was uploaded the day after Floyd died in police custody, soon went viral as a result of its powerful message and was shared by Barack Obama, LeBron James, Janet Jackson and Lupita Nyong’o. It has now been viewed on Instagram over 3.2 million times.
In the song, Bryant sings: “I’m a young black man, doing all that I can to stand. Oh, but when I look around, and I see what’s being done to my kind. Every day I’m being hunted as prey. My people don’t want no trouble.”
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MY SINGLE⚠️ “I JUST WANNA LIVE” WILL BE RELEASED at 12am EST‼️ JUNETEENTH 💯💯✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾 THANK YA LORD ‼️🙌🏾🙌🏾🏃🏾♂️🏃🏾♂️🏃🏾♂️ #keedronbryant #ijustwannalive #music #sing #song #viral @billboard @demjointz @heatherbeverlyesq #applemusic #spotify #pandora @atlasprime @hbeverlylaw @keedronbryant
As reported on Sky News, Chris Atlas from Warner Records spoke about how much the record “moved” him when he first heard it.
He said: “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 on 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.”
Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis on May 25 following an altercation with police officers. Floyd, who was African American, was killed when a white police officer appeared to kneel on his neck as he lay on the ground during an arrest. Mass protests across the US and all over the world have followed in the wake of Floyd’s death.
Other artists who have released protest songs in recent weeks include Elvis Costello, The Killers, H.E.R., and Trey Songz whilst others, including Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z, have shared protest playlists.
A large number of names from across the worlds of music and entertainment have publicly called for justice for George Floyd following his death, including Killer Mike,Beyonce, Ice Cube, Janelle Monae, Billie Eilish, Jay-Z, Adele and Travis Scott.