Xavian Lewis is a young man with an old soul.
That’s evident in the music he chooses to cover and his soulful way of singing them.
He has about 19,000 followers on YouTube who’d agree.
The young man’s channel also has more than 4.2 million views.
His most popular video is a cover of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
The song was released on Cooke’s 1964 album Ain’t That Good News.
“A Change Is Gonna Come” was inspired but true events that take place in Cooke’s life.
Most notably when he and his entourage were denied lodging at a whites-only motel in Louisiana.
“Cooke felt compelled to write a song that spoke to his struggle and of those around him, and that pertained to the Civil Rights Movement and African Americans,” Wikipedia explains.
“The song contains the refrain, ‘It’s been a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come.'”
The song is considered Cooke’s best compositions and was voted as one of the best songs ever released in various publications.
It is said to have been inspired by an event that took place on Oct. 8, 1963 where Cooke had called ahead to a hotel to make a reservation for him, his wife, and his group.
However, when he arrived the hotel clerk said there were no vacancies.
They protested and demanded to see a manager and were eventually forced to leave.
The group did eventually leave to find another hotel.
However, they were arrested by police arrested for disturbing the peace when they reached their destination at a different hotel.
The song has since been an anthem for civil rights protests from the 60s through 2020.
“A Change Is Gonna Come” was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress in 2007.
Change. Atlanta, GA #AChangeIsGonnaComePhoto by @brettcallero
It was preserved after being deemed as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important.”
The song was first performed on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in February 1964.
It was later issued as a track on Ain’t That Good News in March of the same year.
Spotted in Norwich ✊🏿Art by @fernelli__ #AChangeIsGonnaCome#samcookechangemakers
“Cooke elected not to perform ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ again in his lifetime, both because of the complexity of the arrangement and because of the ominous nature of the song. When shown to his protégé Bobby Womack, his response was that it sounds ‘like death.’ Cooke responded, ‘Man, that’s kind of how it sounds like to me. That’s why I’m never going to play it in public.’ Womack clarified his thoughts, that it wasn’t deathly, but rather ‘spooky,’ but Cooke never performed the song again,” Wikipedia says.
"When [Sam Cooke] first played ['A Change is Gonna Come'] for Bobby Womack, who was his protégé, he said, 'What's it sound like?' And Bobby said, 'It sounds like death.'"
It was picked up by the civil rights movement as one of the anthems almost immediately after it was released as a single in December 1964.
Cookie was fatally shot at a Los Angeles motel two weeks before it was released.
Lewis said that he decided to cover the song in honor of Black History Month.
“In light of Black History Month, this song still holds to be true in present-day society,” Lewis wrote in the video’s caption.
The video of Lewis’ cover of the song received more than 3.7 million views. People online went crazy for his rendition of the classic.
“Sam Cooke is smiling, wide! This is truly an anointed voice!” said on YouTuber.
“This young man absolutely KILLED THIS SONG! Just think what he’s gonna be capable of when that voice fully matures! Many blessings young man and I pray that you will allow that beautiful voice to take you to places,” said another.
Check out Lewis’ spectacular performance in the video below.
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