JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A song about being black in America first struck a chord with millions of people at the end of May. It happened because of 12-year-old Keedron Bryant and his mother.
The two were having a discussion about what happened to George Floyd, a nonviolent Minneapolis man who was killed by police as an officer dug a knee into the black man’s neck and kept it there for longer than 8 minutes.
Keedron’s mother decided to allow her son to watch the video showing the fatal arrest. From that moment, Keedron and his mother both describe a divine encounter.
“I went upstairs and I prayed over it. I prayed and then I came back and I said, ‘I’m ready to record it,” he told News4Jax in June, referring to his song.
Keedron’s mother Johnetta Bryant said more recently of that moment back in May,
“I knew that it was a message for the world right now. I knew it was in season. God gave it to me and I know that what he gifts to me is to be shared. I knew that now is the time and this message is relevant,” she said.
The recording was first posted in a video on Instagram, but it didn’t stop there. After the video went viral, celebrities and artists across the country started supporting Keedron. It included artist Dwayne Allen Abernathy Jr. who records under the name “Dem Jointz.”
Demz Jointz mashed up the song, the version helped to catch the attention of a Warner Records Executive. The executive told a radio trade industry news outlet RAMP Radio and Music Pros, he wanted to help propel Keedron’s message to America.
“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.” Chris Atlas, Senior Vice President of Urban Marketing at Warner Records said.
The re-release of Keedron’s song I Just Want to Live debuts today on Apple and Amazon Music.
Warner Records is donating 100% of the net profits of “I Just Wanna Live” to the NAACP and for every stream of the song on Amazon Music, the company will donate $1 to the NAACP for the first 24 hours the song is out, up to $50,000.