Some people are born with beautiful voices, but it takes much more than that to be a truly great singer. The best singers are able to put emotion and feeling into every single word; they don’t just sing their songs, they live them.
It’s always amazing to see and hear a truly great singer in action, and sometimes, that incredible talent can be found in kids who aren’t even out of high school yet, like 16-year-old Xavian Lewis.
Born in Mississippi, Xavian has a voice you won’t believe and a vocal maturity way beyond his young years, as he showed in this stunning version of Sam Cooke’s famous song, A Change Is Gonna Come.
Sam Cooke was one of the most influential singers and activists of the civil rights era. Nicknamed the King of Soul, he was beloved far and wide for his powerful vocals and evocative writing talents, with A Change Is Gonna Come being one of his best-known hits.
Initially released in 1964 on Cooke’s album, Ain’t That Good News, the song was inspired by a moment in his own life when he was denied entry to a whites-only motel.
He wrote the song to express his frustration, and the frustration of countless other African Americans, as well as sharing his optimism that positive change and progress would eventually come. It’s widely seen as his best work, with Barack Obama famously referencing some of the lyrics after winning the 2008 presidential election.
It’s a song with such a powerful message and such moving lyrics, it takes a special kind of singer to really do it justice, but Xavian is that kind of singer!
Despite being a high school kid, he seems to absolutely understand the essence of what Sam Cooke was writing about, all those years ago.
Sitting in a simple classroom chair, he belts out the song with extraordinary emotion, pouring all of his feelings into every line as his friends and classmates stand around in awe at his talents.
Xavian put on this amazing performance during Black History Month, and luckily, it was filmed for all of us to enjoy.
From the opening of the song right through to its final moments, he never lets up, really feeling the lyrics and bringing the message to life, helping us all reflect on how far society has come, but how far it also still has to go in so many ways, especially in light of recent events.
Because Of Them We Can sat down for an interview with Xavian, during which he explained his own views on the song, as well as how he got such a powerful voice. Xavian explained:
I’ve been singing my whole life, mostly gospel music and that has taught me to feel passion for the songs that I sing… The main goal of my singing is to allow people to feel the hurt of a people, no matter the people.
When asked about the change referenced in the song and how we could inspire more positive change in the future, Xavian wisely said:
I believe the change that is to come is on a personal level and only then will it change a nation.
Check out this teen’s incredible talent for yourself in the video below.
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