When you are the kind of artist who’s “aunties” have exposed you to the music of Chaka, Luther, Mary, & Prince at an early age, you’re almost destined for musical creativity. That is exactly what has happened to Juwan Crawley, who’s brand new video “Revival” takes the traditional kind of break up song and turns it on its ear. This Brooklyn, NY based performer has appeared on Broadway (Aladdin, which was his Great White Way debut) and the wildly popular Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Recording though, is truly one of his sweetest spots, with his EP Becoming being released late last year to massive acclaim.
With his latest single “Revival”, Crawley is telling the story of a break up of a different sort, this time with he and the traditional style of faith. “How can I worship a God, that allowed the world to do what it has done to black bodies, how can he love me? Similarly as a gay man, how could I have faith in a God, whose commandment is to stone me for who I love? It just didn’t add up” Crawley explains. Crawley has moved on to find love for himself, and for God again, may modifying his perspective on life, family and he church itself. Expect to see more themes like this fleshed out even more in 2020, as Crawley moves to release more music in anticipation of his first full length album.
“This is a break-up song, but not in the traditional way,” Crawley shared with me. “This is about me breaking up with God. Growing up black and gay made having any type of faith very hard. How can I worship a God that allowed the world to do what it has done to black bodies? As a gay man, how could I have faith in a God, whose commandment is to stone me for who I love? It just didn’t add up. But as I a grew a little older and developed my own faith and my own truth, I realized that it was never God that I had an issue with, but rather the systems of faith and religion, as well as the systems of government. That’s what this song is about. This video is about that inner battle of finding the courage to love yourself and find your true self amongst the clutter of tradition that all of us are born into”.
“Revival” (from the EP Becoming) is available here