A guest editorial by Chris B. Harris
Music is a universal language that we all experience differently. Some feel moved by the lyrics of a catchy hook, while others may feel moved by the vibrations of an 808 pounding on their chest. Whatever you may feel when you experience music, the keyword here is feel.
As I reflect on my ongoing journey as an artist, one of my favorite emotions to feel is empowerment. When I’m making music, I feel empowered to share my most vulnerable thoughts. I feel empowered to share my opinions on matters that are important to me, even if they differ from others.
As I think about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., he makes us feel too – even posthumously. Pull up an MLK speech on YouTube, and pay attention to how it makes you feel. His speeches command your attention and have a certain cadence and flow. King didn’t use a metronome, but he had timing and pacing throughout his many speeches. All of the things you’ll find in the DNA of a song. Of course, there is much more to Dr. King’s speeches. Many of the same social, economic, and systemic injustices he spoke about are still relevant today.
Music – like Dr. King’s speeches – can make us feel inspired and empowered, and in turn, we can share that music with others to empower them. It’s like a beautiful chain reaction. It’s no different from sharing a song with a friend to get them through a breakup or personal struggles. How will you use music to empower yourself or someone else?
I decided to dive into the vast catalog APM Music has to offer and put together a playlist of music that makes me feel empowered. Empowered to live. Empowered to dream. Empowered to heal. You can check my playlist out here:
Furthermore, I’d be remiss if I didn’t end this post without challenging you (and myself) to learn more about Dr. King. We’ve become accustomed to seeing social media posts full of MLK quotes, sometimes lacking context. I admittedly realized I didn’t know much about his work beyond his “I Have a Dream” speech. I purchased Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? By Dr. Martin Luther King, and I challenge you to open your mind and listen to one of Dr. King’s speeches in full, watch a documentary, or read a book about his work. Once you’re finished, take some time to self-reflect what you’ve learned and how it impacts your actions going forward.
About Chris B. Harris
Chris B. Harris is a seasoned professional in the realm of music composition for television and film. With a career spanning over 15 years, Chris, often recognized by his alias DJ $crilla, initially embarked on his musical journey. However, it wasn't until a collaboration with a graphic designer on one of his album artworks that he stumbled into the world of licensing.
The turning point arrived when Chris secured an opportunity with Warner/Chappell Production Music to contribute to "Platinum Beatz Hip Hop." This marked the beginning of an impressive journey, with Chris swiftly amassing hundreds of placements for his songs across renowned networks like ESPN, HBO, NBA, NFL, Showtime, Starz, and more.
Notable successes include a major placement on HBO's Ballers, with the track "The Game" featured prominently in several episodes.
The pinnacle of Chris's success came with the song "Against The World," nominated for a prestigious Mark Award by the Production Music Association (PMA). The track clinched the 2016 Mark Award for "Best Hip Hop Track," showcasing Chris's dedication and talent. A subsequent 2020 Mark Award in the category of "Best Non-Categorical/Wildcard Track" solidified his status in the industry.
Continuing his musical endeavors, Chris has contributed to projects like "LIT Hip Hop Hits, Vol. 2," "At All Costs Hip Hop 3," "Hip Hop Nation," and "Flexin Hip Hop." With a vibrant charisma and unwavering work ethic, Chris B. Harris is poised to explore new musical territories and further elevate his already impressive career.