‘He has something special about him’ - Jermaine Edwards pledges to work with student who took ‘Beautiful Day’ viral
Gospel artiste Jermaine Edwards' 2013 hit single Beautiful Day has garnered new attention, capturing the ear of Sony Music UK.
The song's resurgence comes from a viral video of former Top Hill Primary School student Rushawn Ewears performing the song six years ago. The video was shot by his class teacher at the time, Rose Binns.
"He gave new life to the song," Edwards told THE STAR, adding that, "I was familiar with the video prior to this, because Beautiful Day is a song that a lot of primary to secondary school students, choirs, corporate Jamaica would sing and I saw many of those videos. What was intriguing was that it was a young man who knew the lyrics."
The gospel artiste shared that there were many persons who thought the lyrics and melodies came originally from Ewears, who now attends the B.B. Coke High School in St Elizabeth, but the more the video was shared, Jamaicans locally and in the diaspora turned the spotlight on Edwards.
He has now inked a monumental deal with the label giant and imagines it will also be beneficial for Ewears, who has shared aspirations to pursue music, said Edwards. This is the gospel artiste's first major record deal.
"The song had previously amassed 10.5 million views on YouTube prior to the Rushawn's viral video. When it was being recirculated, people from all over thought it was fresh and that's how social media is. It brings back something from the past and it came at a time when the world needed to hear those words and as it turns out, he is the one God used to bring it to the world," he said. "After observing what was happening, with content creators using the video and trying to monetise it, my team and I got to work. Eventually, when I saw money coming my way, I decided I needed to meet with Rushawn and his mother to give them a share of it, because I knew it would help."
Edwards, on Instagram, referred to Ewears as a little brother or a son he never had.
"When some persons recognised it was an old video and not the 10-year-old, it was no longer intriguing to collaborate with him, but I was not about to leave him at age 16. He has something special about him and loves music. We're trying to work on a new song, our version of Beautiful Day but I'm also trying to find the right artiste to work with us on it," Edwards revealed.
He shared that numerous record labels had stated their interests and many individuals were reaching out to get licence to do remixes to Beautiful Day, using Ewear's voice. But after meeting with Sony Music UK, he felt comfortable in knowing that they have their best interests at heart.
"The song was bigger than myself, it became a franchise. We never had the amount of lawyers and machinery that Sony has and that's where they came in. We have now signed a contract that guarantees Rushawn gets a percentage of whatever his voice and his image is used on. I receive royalties as the composer and writer and owner of the masters and he will get royalties as a performer," said Edwards.
Top Hill Primary is also in line to gain from the partnership.
"I recognised the school had no playground for the children and I'd like to let that happen or stretch for a multipurpose court or something. The support has been coming in so depending on amount of support, the aim is to have something established in Rushawn's name at his former school," Edwards said.