First Listen: DBJ says "A Change Must Come"

(September 28, 2020) With the unjust killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor still fresh on our minds and the recent passing of civil rights icon and “good, necessary trouble” ambassador Rep. John Lewis leaving a void almost impossible to fill, artists all over are turning up the volume with new music to get their frustrations out and to galvanize listeners to make necessary change. Now more than ever, as political and social unrest reaches a fever pitch, the use of the protest song has become our North Star. It’s probably why Rolling Stone recently rectified their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time by crowning Marvin Gaye’s timeless masterpiece What’s Going On? number one on their list. Now North Miami singer-songwriter Daniel Bartley Jr – stylized as DBJ – is jumping into the fast lane.

(September 28, 2020) With the unjust killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor still fresh on our minds and the recent passing of civil rights icon and “good, necessary trouble” ambassador Rep. John Lewis leaving a void almost impossible to fill, artists all over are turning up the volume with new music to get their frustrations out and to galvanize listeners to make necessary change. Now more than ever, as political and social unrest reaches a fever pitch, the use of the protest song has become our North Star. It’s probably why Rolling Stone recently rectified their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time by crowning Marvin Gaye’s timeless masterpiece What’s Going On? number one on their list. Now North Miami singer-songwriter Daniel Bartley Jr – stylized as DBJ – is jumping into the fast lane.

With his latest single “A Change Must Come,” DBJ pulls heavily on the heartstrings of classic R&B, highly reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready.” Inside the inspirational lyrics, DBJ even uses the lyric “people get ready” on the verses. “No matter how long it takes, we gotta make a change,” he passionately sings further into the three-minute cut. The need for change, the readiness for its arrival and a message of brotherly love are all packaged inside this mid-tempo gem. And helping to masterfully get his point across, DBJ showcases poignant Black Lives Matter imagery and peaceful protests from various corners of the world (including shots from Hong Kong, Portland, New York, Berlin, D.C., Amsterdam and Paris) in his companion music video. The timing of the song’s release, particularly during a critical election year, almost feels like a healing balm for these uncertain times. Let’s hope heaven hears it and gives us the answers we need.

Check out “A Change Must Come” and let us know if you’re feeling the optimism.

By J Matthew Cobb

DBJ - "A Change Must Come"

 
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