Keedron Bryant touched hearts all over the world when a clip of his song "I Just Wanna Live" went viral on social media just one day after the murder of George Floyd. The video features the 12-year-old singer in a "Black Intelligence" tee, as he peers straight into the camera and sings, "I'm a young Black man / Doing all that I can / To stand."
Bryant's spine-tingling acapella video reached millions of people, receiving nods from Barack Obama, Lebron James, Lupita Nyong'o, and more. Now, the young singer has signed with Warner Records and released a full version of "I Just Wanna Live."
The studio version of the song stays true to Bryant's heart-rending original, featuring the same heavenly vocal runs from the video. Producer Dem Jointz adds a hypnotizing bass line and evocative horn embellishments to the track, rounding out Bryant's powerful delivery with a soulful instrumental.
There are countless adjectives with which one could describe "I Just Wanna Live:" bone-chilling, empowering, gut-wrenching - the list goes on. Perhaps the most awe-inspiring aspect is the sheer self-awareness and emotional intelligence that Bryant employs in his performance.
Though the lyrics were written by his mother, Johnetta Bryant, it is clear that Keedron possesses a deep understanding of what it means to be Black in America. Lines like, "Every day I'm being hunted as prey" and "No matter where I be / there's no place safe for me," highlight the heartbreaking burden of survival that the world has placed on Black children.
All net proceeds from the track will go to the NAACP.
Listen to "I Just Wanna Live" below: