That’s the opening line of 12-year-old Keedron Bryant’s “I Just Wanna Live.” On May 26, Keedron caught the attention of millions when he uploaded a one-minute clip of him performing the original track. The video quickly went viral, capturing the hearts of many across the country, amidst outrage following the murder of George Floyd. This led to Keedron securing a record deal with Warner Records, and to mark his debut as a signed artist, he dropped the full version of “I Just Wanna Live” on Friday, Juneteenth.
Keedron has a rich musical background. He started to take an interest in singing when he was just five years old, performing in the church alongside his family. And at seven, he knew he wanted to pursue music as a career. “It just makes me feel good,” he tells Complex. “Music could change your life, and it makes me feel free and happy.”
The powerful record was written by Keedron’s mother, Johnnetta, shortly after the killing of George Floyd. After turning to prayer for guidance, Johnnetta says she found the strength to write lyrics that would connect with her son and others who were grappling with how to process the ongoing violence against Black people.