Memphis singer-songwriter Brandon Lewis depicts the painful institutional mistreatment of Black men in his new single, titled “Black Man.”
I’m still a man.
It shouldn’t matter about the color skin that I’m in,
I’m still a man.
A Black man.”
Though the single was written and recorded before the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks, Lewis and Made In Memphis Records released it last week given the tenor of times.
“Black Man” speaks out against police violence on Black people and the injustice and silence imposed on innocent people every day, it also illustrates Lewis’ views of his 25 years of life and trying to understand what it means to be a Black man in America today.
The track is co-written and produced by Grammy Award winning record producer, musician and songwriter Blac Elvis, who is also a Memphis native.
“Part of being an artist, my responsibility is to not just make the things that we dance and groove to, but also music that implements a sense of social awareness,” Lewis said.
Lewis also released a video for the track, shot outside the historic Clayborn Temple in Downtown Memphis.
“Filming the video at the historic Clayborn Temple and the I Am A Man monument was empowering,” said Lewis. “The song and video speak of pride.”
Lewis’ sound is a skillfully smooth pop/R&B blend. He compares his voice to Bruno Mars with a mix of Charlie Puth.
Lewis was born and raised in Memphis, and attended Middle College High School, where he began singing and playing instruments.
“I absolutely loved R&B and soul music,” he said, “but also growing up in Memphis the hip-hop scene was prominent for me.”
Lewis is the young protege of Made in Memphis Entertainment (MIME) CEO and former Stax Records songwriter David Porter (“Soul Man,” “Hold On I’m Coming”), whose works received worldwide accolades during the 1960s and 1970s. Lewis is also one of the talents being groomed for stardom by MIME.
In 2015, Lewis came across Porter’s Consortium MMT and signed up for the program. After completing the curriculum, Lewis stayed on to work at MMT helping other students, eventually becoming MMT’s director of programming.
Porter was impressed with Lewis work ethic and talent, and gave him a shot as an artist for MIME.
“He was able to see the potential to afford me the opportunity to do what I’m doing, which is focus on my music,” Lewis said.
The duo has been working together for more than five years, launching a new era of Memphis R&B and soul. Lewis already has recorded three albums at MIME, and looks forward to releasing more.