Warner Records to sign 12-Year-Old Singer Keedron Bryant Signs After His George Floyd Tribute Goes Viral
“I Just Wanna Live” earned praise from Barack Obama, LeBron James, Lupita Nyong’o, and more.
In late May, Keedron Bryant went viral on social media after posting an Instagram video of him performing “I Just Wanna Live,” a stirring song written by his mother in response to the killing of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers. The 12-year-old singer recently signed a deal with Warner Records and dropped a full version of the track on Juneteenth.
On the first verse, which Bryant debuted on Instagram, he sings about police brutality:
I’m a young black man
Doing all that I can
Oh, but when I look around
And I see what’s being done
To my kind
I’m being hunted as prey
My people don’t want no trouble
We’ve had enough struggle
Bryant’s mother, Johnnetta, spoke about writing the song in a Complex interview.
“The moment when [George Floyd] cried out for his mom really pierced my heart. I knew in that moment that we are facing a very bad problem and that we need divine intervention,” she said.
“I knew that I wanted to be able to share something with Keedron that is going to help him understand what’s going on in the world. We talk about it all the time to him, but I knew that we needed supernatural wisdom to help us cope. So, I went into prayer, and I asked God for help. God gave me those lyrics in my prayer time.”
Keedron posted his Instagram video on May 26, the day after George Floyd was killed. The clip currently sits at 3 million views and has earned praise from former US President Barack Obama, LeBron James, Lupita Nyong’o, Janet Jackson, and many more.
He told Complex what was going through his mind while initially recording the song. “Black people can’t really live and enjoy life on Earth without having fear in their minds and being afraid,” he said. “I feel that the world needs to see that Black people are treated unfairly, and that we can’t live life and enjoy it. That’s why I did the video, to bring hope in the world.”
Warner Records is donating 100 percent of the net profits from “I Just Wanna Live” to the NAACP.