Bringin’ it Backwards: Interview with Keedron Bryant

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Together with American Songwriter and Sean Ulbs of The Eiffels, we had the honor of interviewing Keedron and Johnnetta Bryant!​​

Addressing longstanding systemic racism and social injustice through his music, 13-year-old viral sensation and Florida native Keedron Bryant shares a moving a cappella version of his official single “I JUST WANNA LIVE” via Warner Records released on June 26th.​​ ​​

With nothing but heartfelt words and his emotionally charged performance, this stripped-down rendition of “I JUST WANNA LIVE” captivates and chills. The lyrics amplify a much-needed wake-up call in potent and pure poetic fashion as Keedron cries out for justice and equality. His compelling delivery quakes with an intensity well beyond his years, and the music features stirring and anthemic production. Dem Jointz (Rihanna, Brandy, Anderson .Paak) produced the transformative track and Keedron’s Mother, Johnetta Bryant, wrote the song. ​​ ​​

Since its official release last week, “I JUST WANNA LIVE” has continued to attract fervent fan and critical support. CNN observed, “It has become one of the unofficial anthems of a movement as Black Lives Matter protests have occurred around the globe,” Pitchfork called it “powerful,” TODAY described it as “stirring,” and TIME listed it as one of the best new songs of June 2020. ​​ ​​

Keedron Bryant blessed the 2020 BET Awards with a powerful performance. ​​

Keedron has become the voice of the Black Lives Matter movement. “I JUST WANNA LIVE” has notably garnered millions of YouTube views as Bryant earned widespread acclaim and an endorsement from President Barack Obama. He appeared on ABC’s primetime special Juneteenth: A Celebration of Overcoming and performed on the NAACP’s Juneteenth Black Family Reunion: The Music, The Moments, The Movement—available online [53:02 mark] and on REVOLT TV. In support, Warner Records is donating 100% of the single’s net profits to the NAACP, and Amazon Music donated $1 for every Amazon Music stream of the song on JUNETEENTH to the NAACP, contributing $50,000 combined. Get it HERE and watch the lyric video HERE.​​


Singing acapella on a smartphone-shot video, Keedron Bryant moved the world to tears with nothing more than his powerhouse voice and the declaration, “I’m a young black man doing all that I can.” The 13-year-old Florida native’s YouTube performance of “I JUST WANNA LIVE” surged around the globe as a clarion call for change and the unassuming soundtrack to a moment of revolution. He performed the song on The Ellen DeGeneres Show via FaceTime, and received acclaim from Good Morning America, CNN, The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation, Access Hollywood, and BBC News. Will Smith incorporated the clip in his “No Justice, No Peace” montage, and LeBron James posted it on Instagram with the caption, “I LOVE YOU KID! I LOVE US!” None other than President Barack Obama also cited it.​​ ​​

Born in Sicily to minister parents, Keedron began singing at just five-years-old. Attending church regularly, he developed a passion for gospel music. The budding talent first turned heads on season four of Little Big Shots. Represented by Heather Beverly, Esq. in association with Tabetha Plummer, Esq, and legendary producer Dem Jointz, Keedron catapulted to the top of the conversation in 2020, landing a deal with Warner Records and releasing the official “I JUST WANNA LIVE” single as his debut. With R&B energy, soul range, and gospel power, he will undoubtedly make a major impact.​​
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