Keedron Bryant signs record deal, says viral protest song came from ‘sadness and prayer and then peace’
The 12-year-old gospel singer who went viral in May for his song “I Just Wanna Live” has signed a record deal and the song will be officially released on Friday
After going viral last month, 12-year-old Keedron Bryant’s song “I Just Wanna Live” will be officially released on Friday after the young gospel singer signed a deal with Warner Records, according to the Associated Press.
The original video of Keedron singing “I Just Wanna Live” has been viewed on Instagram over 3 million times since he shared it in May. It drew attention from celebrities like NBA star LeBron James and actress Lupita N’Yongo, as well as former president Barack Obama, the Deseret News reported at the time.
Some of the song’s lyrics include: “I’m a young black man / doing all that I can / to stand” and “I just want to live / God, protect me / I just want to live,” according to People magazine.
“I Just Wanna Live” was written by Keedron’s mother, Johnetta Bryant, after the death of George Floyd, according to the Deseret News.
The video of George Floyd’s death “really hit my heart just so deeply because I am a mom to a black son,” Johnetta Bryant told the Associated Press. “I have a black husband. I have black brothers, uncles, cousins, friends.”
After seeing the video, Johnetta Bryant said that she spent time in prayer, which is when she began to write the words to the song. “He gave me those words so clearly,” said Bryant, according to the Associated Press.
Keedron told Parade magazine earlier this week that prayer also influenced him as he prepared to sing.
“My mom told me to pray and pray over the song,” Keedron said, according to Parade. “And I prayed and then I recorded it. That’s how it came about — through sadness and prayer and then peace.”
Keedron recently appeared on season 4 of NBC’s “Little Big Shots,” according to the Deseret News.