Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, multitalented artist Darrell Kelley began his music career as a Gospel recording artist before his music tastes began to evolve into more of a contemporary R&B Hip-Hop style. In addition to being a performer, singer, and songwriter, Darrell is an influential social activist, spiritual leader, author, and entrepreneur. With his most recent release, “Be Strong (Dedicated to Asian Americans),” Darrell is using his vast platform to shine a light on America’s systemic injustice that is experienced daily by minorities.
“Be Strong (Dedicated to Asian Americans)” delivers flavors of R&B soul with its jazzy piano layered within a smooth trap beat. Vocally, Darrell gives his fans a taste of everything from passion-filled soprano verses to harmonic tenors. As he flows effortlessly between each verse, his silky voice radiates an assertive urgency that relays his messages of justice. When it comes to the songwriting behind “Be Strong (Dedicated to Asian Americans),” Darrell hooks the listener with a powerful lyricism that spotlights the racism towards Asian Americans that exists in America today. Speaking of a horrific event that targeted Asian Americans, Darrell writes the gut-wrenching phrase, “Asian Americans didn’t have to die, then you had the nerve to say that the killer was having a bad day.”
Through each symphonic stanza of “Be Strong (Dedicated to Asian Americans),” Darrell Kelley is relaying an important message to victims of racism to “stay strong and keep the faith.”
What was your main inspiration when writing “Be Strong (Dedicated to Asian Americans?)”
I’ve written that song because I don’t think anyone should be killed or attacked because of the color of their skin or nationality. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, we should not have to be afraid to live in America. Hate is not welcome and won’t be tolerated! That’s why I wrote the song -- because I want to show my love and support to our Asian American community.
As an artist who stands up against social injustice, you must receive mixed feedback from certain listeners. How do you deal with people who disagree with your cause? Why do you choose to fight this important fight?
I honestly do not care about what people think about me because I know in my heart that there is nothing but pure love. If you disagree with me that is your own opinion and I’ll pray for you and I’ll continue to fight against those who hate.
If there is one message that you hope fans will hear when listening to your music, what would it be?
Respect each other, love each other and appreciate one another because life is too short.
As a performer, singer-songwriter, social activist, spiritual leader, author, and entrepreneur you are a very busy man! Can you tell us about what it’s like to juggle these responsibilities?
Sometimes I pray to God to make me a superhero so that I could tackle every topic in every situation that I write and sing about. I always try to keep the faith, which is what keeps me going.