MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis songwriter Brandon Lewis is making shockwaves around the world this Juneteenth.
The protégé of Grammy Hall of Fame winner David Porter has released a timely single called “Black Man” that Porter says is getting press both nationally in America and overseas in Europe.
The historic Clayborn Temple where the Memphis Sanitation Strike launched serves as a backdrop for the music video.
They also recorded on-location at the “I Am a Man Plaza” that pays homage to civil rights icon Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.
At one point, Lewis sings, “Imma make sure y’all understand what it feels like tryin’ to be a man. Black man, black man, black man, black man. Ooh. I’m still a man. Shouldn’t matter about the color of the skin I’m in. I’m still a man.”
Lewis began recording the song before George Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on him. He says injustice has been going on for a long time and he hopes his song inspires people to do what is right, no matter the skin you’re in. “I hope that in the times we live in, young black men and men, in general, and humans, in general, can listen to the song and be inspired for some type of change to happen,” he said.
Porter was producing music for Stax Records when Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis. “I’m from an older generation that experienced so much of the racial bias. Certainly, during the times of Stax Records and all of those experiences, even during the time that Dr. King was assassinated. We need to have some kind of motivation and inspiration for this generation to hang onto,” explained Porter.
Lewis is a product of Porter’s music incubator The Consortium MMT that trains Memphis musicians to maneuver the record industry.
Grammy-winner Blac Elvis co-wrote and produced the track at Made in Memphis Entertainment Records studio.
Lewis has already recorded three albums at MIME, and the duo looks forward to more song releases.