NEW YORK – Keedron Bryant, the Jacksonville 12-year-old who turned heads on social media with his passionate performance about being a young black man in today’s world, has signed a deal with Warner Records and his poignant song will officially be released Friday.
Keedron Bryant’s powerful video, posted on May 26, features the lyrics “I’m a young black man doing all that I can” from the song “I Just Wanna Live,” written by his mother. Friday’s release of the track coincides with Juneteenth, the holiday to commemorate the emancipation of slaves in the U.S.
“I just want to get the message out there that black people can live on the Earth, we can go out and enjoy life and not be afraid and have fear on our minds that something’s gonna happen to us,” Keedron Bryant told News4Jax.
Johnnetta Bryant, 38, said watching the video of George Floyd dying as a police officer pressed a knee on his neck “really hit my heart just so deeply because I am a mom to a black son. I have a black husband. I have black brothers, uncles, cousins, friends.”
Keedron Bryant’s mother, Johnnetta, wrote the song “I Just Wanna Live” after watching the video of George Floyd’s death.
So she said a prayer and asked God to send her a sign.
“I needed his wisdom. I went into prayer. He gave me those words so clearly,” Johnnetta Bryant said of writing the “I Just Wanna Live” lyrics. “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.”