It’s a gift from God, says Rushawn
Teen grateful for impact of viral video, hopes to chart course as a singer
Rushawn Ewears was never aware that his voice had become one of the most popular on social media platforms TikTok, Instagram and YouTube until his sister saw a remix of It’s a Beautiful Day by TheKiffness a few weeks ago.
The 16-year-old, who did the rendition of the song when he was 10 years old, admits that he still has no idea of how impactful his voice has been to schoolchildren in places such as Indonesia and Malaysia, or housewives and Christians in Europe and Africa.
But he knows the changes to his life brought about by the popularity of the song, was a gift from God.
“I don’t know how many people have viewed the song, but for me, music is an inspiration. Sometimes when you feel down, music helps you to motivate yourself,” said the young man, whose voice loaned to Jermaine Edwards’ Beautiful Day has turned the song into a global anthem.
Up to Monday, some 14.5 million people had viewed the song on TikTok and up to Wednesday, various uploads on YouTube had amassed more than 16 million views within just the last three weeks, with a large splintering on the other major platforms.
DREAM TO BE A SINGER
But long before Rushawn became a celebrity on social media, he says he knew the day would come when music would propel him into the career he wants, which is to be a singer.
“The last video that I did, which I was watching on a laptop yesterday, I didn’t remember that part where I said I want to be a singer,” he told The Gleaner during an interview on Tuesday at the B.B. Coke High School in Junction, which he now attends.
Extremely shy, the St Elizabeth-born high-schooler said he started singing at age four, and by the time he got to primary school, he had become the class entertainer. His classmates would dictate the beat he should sing to daily. It was during lunchtime while a student at Top Hill Primary six years ago that he sang the Jermaine Edwards song.
He listens to reggae music, loves African beats, and says he gets his inspiration from music.
Rushawn is from a family of four girls and two boys. He is a member of the B.B. Coke school choir, plays rugby, and has become somewhat of a celebrity in the area.
“My uncles are probably the happiest. They sing the song daily,” he quipped.
His mom, Desreen Bent, said she would often hear him sing around the house, but never saw his potential until she watched him performing at school.
Those days, she said, she found it hard to send him to school because of economic difficulties, but she would still send him and his younger brother.
With the response that her son is getting, Bent says she feels good, because sometimes she hears people saying that when they were going through difficulties and heard Rushawn’s voice, it sparked a change in their lives.
A proud Bent said she is not worried about him being cheated or about his voice being used everywhere.
“I consider it a blessing. What is yours is yours and cannot be taken away from you,” she stressed.
In the meantime, his rugby trainer Kamar Findlay said when he enrolled at the school in 2019 and they saw his small stature, he was a bit sceptical.
“When he came here, he was in grade seven, but he looked like a student who should be in grade two or three, but he wanted to be a part of the Behaviour Modification Sports Programme,” said Findlay.
Rushawn was one of the main players in the Under-14 team and has moved on to the Under-16 group. Just like music, Findlay says Rushawn has mastered the sport of rugby and they made the finals against Cedar Grove High, but stumbled, owing to injuries.
Another teacher who admires the 16-year-old’s gusto, Raoul Chambers, said the first time he saw the video of the youngster, long before it went viral, he commented to Findlay that Rushawn would one day be a superstar.
He said the entire school family is proud of Rushawn’s achievements.