A lot of Belmont students can write a song, but few can say the song they wrote was inspiring enough to place in a national competition for change.
Belmont freshmen Chris Jobe, Emmanuel Echem, Ryan Blihovde and Parker Van Der Hyde wrote and recorded a song in January which did just that in The Dream Reborn Movement, a nationwide song contest hosted by California-based nonprofit organization, Green For All.
Contestants had to put together a song that could be used as a soundtrack to communicate Green For All’s mission of creating an exclusive green economy and lifting people from poverty.
“We really see this as an opportunity to call on people to use their music to tell a positive message,” said Julian Mocine-McQueen, director of education and outreach at Green For All.
The song, “Love Fight,” is a light-hearted rap song with a chorus and lyrics encouraging equal rights and a green economy. Of the 60 song entries from about 30 different states, “Love Fight” nearly took the musicians almost all the way to the top with a third-place finish.
Chris Jobe wrote the rap song, recorded his band members’ instrumental parts, mixed it together and submitted it to Green For All about a week after online voting competition began. Since they were behind from the start, they had to find a way to rack up votes as quickly as possible.
“We just shared it on Facebook constantly,” said trumpet player Echem. “The last couple days, we were literally messaging everybody we knew. It kind of felt obnoxious, but it works.”
Jobe was surprised by the unexpected amount of feedback and support the song got.
“I had some people just go completely out of their way and forward it to everyone they knew,” he said. “I had parents of friends I haven’t talked to in a while back home doing that.”
“Love Fight” accumulated more than 12,000 votes, making it one of the final three songs in the competition.
“I really thought we had it,” said Jobe. “I was like, we got the message, we got the music, no doubt we’re going to win.”
The winner of the competition received $1,000 and a music video shoot, but since Jobe and his friends finished in a tie for third place, they got a prize of $125.
“Contentwise, Chris and his crew’s song was probably the strongest,” said McQueen. “They definitely had a message that we respect and appreciate. I would’ve had them at second place if it were up to me.”
Although the song didn’t win, the four saw it as a good opportunity to get their name out there while supporting a good cause.
“At the end of the day, we were still really stoked that we were in the top three and we had the chance to even do it,” said Jobe.
Jobe is confident that “Love Fight” accurately represented the movement and got the message across.
“It’s just this idea that we’re all living here together,” said Jobe. “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you are.”
– Lauren Craddock