New York-based singer-songwriter Jamil Kassam calls his new song “a hymn to all those in need of a voice” that was inspired by a close friend who came out as a gay man.
“I urge you try to believe in the world accepting you for who you are,” the 27-year-old sings in the lyric video for “Rise Now,” which was released Sept. 16. “So stand up and rise now, baby.”
Ultimately, the song is about “affirming your own truth, no matter how hard it is and no matter how afraid you are,” Kassam told The Huffington Post. Although he drew on his gay friend’s experience in writing “Rise Now,” he added, “I decided to make it more universal so that anyone could relate to it.”
Kassam was born in Ivory Coast and spent several years in Paris before he relocated to New York. His international background has influenced what he calls a “multifaceted” sound, which is also inspired by Michael Jackson, Queen and Chaka Khan.
Noting that his mission is about “world commitment” and “striving for global equality,” he told The Huffington Post that the LGBT community has “accepted me for who I am, and I can relate to their struggle.”
“Rise Now,” he added, has personal resonance, too.
“As ironic as it was, I realized this song was also about me coming forward as an artist and owning my music,” he said.
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