Keedron Bryant

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Keedron Bryant
Born (2007-07-03) July 3, 2007 (age 13)
Sicily, Italy
OriginJacksonville, FL
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2020–present
LabelsWarner

Keedron Bryant is an Italian-born American singer. He is best known for his protest song, "I Just Wanna Live", which earned viral popularity following the killing of George Floyd.

Life and career[edit]

Keedron Bryant was born in Sicily, Italy on July 3, 2007 to Johnnetta Bryant, a minister and civilian worker for the United States Department of Defense, and Kendric Bryant, a minister and member of the United States Navy.[1][2] He began singing at age 5, deciding he wanted to be a singer at age 7.[3] He grew up in Jacksonville, Florida performing in his church choir and in school musicals, as well as watching DVDs of gospel singers given to him by his father.[4]

He first gained attention in mid-2019 after a video of him singing the gospel song "Brand New Life" went viral online. In 2019, he won the award for Youth Male Vocalist of the Year during the Gospel Choice Music Awards.[5] He appeared on the fourth season of the NBC variety series Little Big Shots in May 2020, where he performed the gospel song "Oh Happy Day".[6][7]

The following month, Bryant's mother wrote the protest song "I Just Wanna Live" one day after the killing of George Floyd in response to seeing Floyd call out for his mother.[8] A video of Bryant singing the song a cappella was posted to YouTube and Instagram, where it quickly gained viral success, earning praise from former President Barack Obama, basketball player LeBron James, singer Janet Jackson, and actress Lupita Nyong'o.[9][4] After seeing Bryant's video on television, American producer Dem Jointz released a reworked version the song, which was then discovered by the head of urban marketing at Warner Records.[10][1] Bryant then signed a record contract with Warner Records through Dem Jointz's production company, UMUWWA, and released the Dem Jointz-produced version of "I Just Wanna Live" as his debut single alongside a lyric video.[11][12]

Later that month, he appeared on the ABC television special Juneteenth: A Celebration of Overcoming and the virtually-held NAACP-run special Juneteenth Black Family Reunion: The Music, The Moments, The Movement to perform the song.[3][11] Bryant also gave an opening performance at the 20th BET Awards and was invited to sing the national anthem during the sixth Nascar Cup Series race of 2020.[13][14] The police brutality-based music video for "I Just Wanna Live" and a remix of the song, featuring American singers Andra Day and Lucky Daye and American rapper IDK, were released in July 2020.[15][16][17]

On September 11, 2020, Bryant released his debut EP, I Just Wanna Live, an R&B record.[18] Also in September, Bryant released a gospel rendition of "I Just Wanna Live" alongside a music video.[19][20] In October 2020, he released a cover of the Marvin Gaye song "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" for the Hollywood Records album I Can't Breathe/Music for the Movement, and appeared on the Jermaine Dupri song "Change".[21][22] He released his Christmas EP, The Best Time of Year, on October 30, 2020 through Warner.[23]

Public image[edit]

Billboard included Bryant on their "21 Under 21" list in November 2020.[24] Later that month, he was chosen as a finalist for Time Kid of the Year.[2] "I Just Wanna Live" was selected as the top song of 2020 by Associated Press, while Esquire named "I Just Wanna Live" as one of the greatest protest songs of all time.[25][26]

Personal life[edit]

Bryant currently attends Oakleaf Junior High School in Orange Park, Florida.[7]

Discography[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
I Just Wanna Live
  • Released: September 11, 2020
  • Label: Warner
  • Format: Digital download
The Best Time of Year
  • Released: October 30, 2020
  • Label: Warner
  • Format: Digital download

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Album
"I Just Wanna Live" 2020 I Just Wanna Live
"U Got This"
"Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" I Can't Breathe/Music for the Movement
"I Know I Been Changed"
(with Symba featuring Gary Clark Jr.)
2021 American Skin

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, showing year released, other artist(s) featured, and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Smile" 2020 Yellopain Yello Is The New Black

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fekadu, Mesfin (June 18, 2020). "Singer of black anthem song signs record deal". Associated Press. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Soergel, Matt (November 25, 2020). "Even in 2020, there are things to be thankful for, says young 'I Just Wanna Live' singer". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Macias, Ernesto (June 19, 2020). "Keedron Bryant Is Ready to Change the World, One Song At a Time". Interview. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Wheeler, André-Naquian (September 21, 2020). "Keedron Bryant: "People need to hear Black people's cry"". i-D. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  5. ^ Baptiste, Brooks (July 3, 2019). "Jacksonville 12-year-old becomes gospel singing sensation". First Coast News. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  6. ^ Haneline, Amy (June 1, 2020). "'Little Big Shots' star from Jacksonville Keedron Bryant's moving song after George Floyd's death: 'I just want to live'". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Baptiste, Brooks (May 22, 2020). "Jacksonville child superstar to appear on 'Little Big Shots' Sunday". First Coast News. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  8. ^ Tracy, Brianne (June 17, 2020). "Andra Day Breaks Down in Tears While Watching Keedron Bryant Sing: 'You Are a Beacon of Hope'". People. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  9. ^ "Keedron Bryant: Warner Records signs black protest singer, 12". BBC News. June 18, 2020. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  10. ^ Shaw, A.R. (June 19, 2020). "Dem Jointz shares how his collaboration with Keedron Bryant led to record deal". Rolling Out. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Cicchiello, Christopher (June 19, 2020). "12-year-old who went viral with 'I Just Wanna Live' song signed to record deal". Today. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  12. ^ Jones, Jiggy (July 7, 2020). "Keedron Bryant Sings BLM Anthem 'I Just Wanna Live' for Dr. Dre". The Source. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  13. ^ "12-Year-Old Gospel Artist Keedron Bryant Performs National Anthem for Sunday's Nascar Cup Series Race from Atlanta Motor Speedway on FOX and FOX Deportes". Fox Sports. Charlotte, NC. June 6, 2020. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  14. ^ Respers-France, Lisa (June 29, 2020). "BET Awards 2020 opening was fire". CNN. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  15. ^ Legaspi, Althea (July 29, 2020). "13-Year-Old Viral Star Keedron Bryant Confronts Police Brutality in New 'I Just Wanna Live' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  16. ^ Harris, LaTesha (July 27, 2020). "Black Children Grow Up Too Fast In Keedron Bryant's 'I Just Wanna Live'". NPR. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  17. ^ Kaufman, Gil (July 31, 2020). "Keedron Bryant Recruits Andra Day, Lucky Daye and IDK For New Version of His Viral Hit 'I Just Wanna Live'". Billboard. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  18. ^ Arnold, Chuck (September 19, 2020). "Viral sensation Keedron Bryant drops 'I Just Wanna Live' EP". The Florida Star. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  19. ^ Ju, Shirley (September 11, 2020). "Keedron Bryant / New Gospel-Inspired "I Just Wanna Live" Visual". Flaunt. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  20. ^ Rashed, Ayana (September 4, 2020). "Keedron Bryant Lifts Spirits With Heavenly "I Just Wanna Live" Gospel Spirit Mix". Respect. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  21. ^ Alston, Trey (November 24, 2020). "Jermaine Dupri's "Change" Is For This Moment … And Much More". BET. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  22. ^ Nwulu, Mac (October 16, 2020). "The Undefeated Music Companion Piece "I Can't Breathe/Music for the Movement " Set for Release October 16". ESPN. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  23. ^ Rashed, Ayana (October 30, 2020). "Keedron Bryant Releases Joyous Holiday EP 'The Best Time Of Year'". Respect. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  24. ^ "21 Under 21 Ones To Watch: Jawsh 685, Tate McRae, Keedron Bryant and More". Billboard. November 6, 2020. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  25. ^ Fekadu, Mesfin (December 9, 2020). "AP's song of the year: Keedron Bryant's 'I Just Wanna Live'". Associated Press. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  26. ^ Lee, Anna Grace (January 23, 2021). "The Best Protest Songs Represent the Universal Fighting Spirit of Music". Esquire. Retrieved March 23, 2021.