Rising to the top, and up and coming country star, Willie Jones, is taking his moment in the spotlight, and releasing a hard-hitting single!
The song focuses on the challenges he faces as a Black man in America, and the powerful video eludes to the countless murders that happened in 2020 at the hands of police, including the notorious George Floyd killing that sparked huge conversations and protests worldwide.
Willie Jones releases powerful single
Rising country star Willie Jones is letting people know how he feels living in America as a Black man. His single, "American Dream", focuses on some controversial topics, but that didn't stop the country artist from sharing some very real and very powerful lyrics.
In an exclusive interview with People, Jones shared that in 2020, the Fourth of July wasn't a day he felt he could truly celebrate. After all, just days before, thousands upon thousands gathered globally to protest police brutality following the murder of George Floyd.
"I remember growing up and just being so excited about the Fourth and the fireworks and all of that," he said. "But 2020 definitely uncovered a lot of truth to the world that a lot of people were definitely blind to."
Jones then revealed that those moments of protests sparked something in him, and he wanted to write a song sharing his experience.
"I asked myself, 'What does a patriotic anthem sound like coming from a Black man?'" he said.
Sharing that the song is both a mixture of his American pride and anger towards the racial injustices, Jones created the ballad as a mixture of R&B and country for the Black community to feel inspired by.
Today, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the 26-year-old musician released the video to share his powerful message.
"It's my patriotic protest anthem. I'm just stating what it is. The truth of being Black in America," he said. "It's a song of hope."
Jones said that the song is a reminder to "not let ignorance and hate stop you", and singing from his perspective, wants others to feel some relatability.
The song, which features lyrics like, "Proud to be a Black man living in the land of the brave and the free / Yeah, I'm an American and that American dream ain't cheap," really explores an issue that has been at the forefront of social revolutions.
Jones also shared that at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests, many other artists confronted him, warning him not to take it too far in his music when exploring such a sensitive topic.
"I remember when s--t went down with George Floyd and I had a couple of people hit me up in country music, like 'Hey bro, don't do too much talking,'" he revealed.
"Honestly, who cares what anybody has to think, especially because it stems from a place of just ignorance and hate," he added.
Jones said that he didn't want the song to only focus on turmoil, but rather explore the empowering moments we can get to as a society.
"I didn't want to see the same stuff that I see when I open up my Instagram where there's a video of somebody getting arrested or shot," he says. "I want to feel powered up after watching the video."
"I sing that if you don't know your roots, then you don't know what you stand for. If you don't know where you came from, you don't know where you're going," he added. "So, learn about your past, so you can keep elevating toward the future. I think we're doing a great job of that as a people and as a nation."
"You definitely see the country changing and moving forward. We just got to keep moving forward. We can't stop. We can't digress. We just got to keep going, because we just a part of a story," he said.
"I just want it to be better for my kids and my kids' kids. I'm sure they going to put in work for it to be better for their kids," he added.
"American Dream" has been released today, and his full album, Right Now, will be out Friday on all major streaming sites.