Monmouth University Students Use Their ‘Voice to Change’ And Release “Equal” « American Songwriter | #students | #parents

School may be out for the summer but that hasn’t stopped the students of Monmouth University’s Blue Hawk Records from using their musical talent to collectively create “Equal,” a new song with a powerful message focusing on the importance of actively fighting racism and using one’s voice for change.

“Equal” was co-written by a group of artists involved in the University’s Record Label Strategies summer session as a reaction to the death of George Floyd, the rise of Black Lives Matter, and other Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) events. Their collective, “Voice of Change,” plans to raise awareness and make a change towards a more inclusive campus and society. The group has been devoting their time to advocacy organizations, petitions, and movements on all social platforms.

As songwriting often does, the writing process itself turned into a revealing personal experience for each student when it came time to share their lyrics and record the track. Despite the differing perspectives, each had an overall message—there is still so much for society to learn and to fight against to maintain human dignity, equality, love, and compassion between one another.

Erzrah Archie, the lead rapper on the track said, “This song to me means so much. To be a part of a group of people who understand the struggles of inequality in this country and are advocating for minorities like myself during trying times like this is such a blessing. The message behind this song can hopefully touch many more people to not only want change but to take action toward change as well. The Declaration of Independence states, ‘…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles…to effect their Safety and Happiness.’ We are the change, and hopefully, this song is one piece to the puzzle that will continue to move our country toward equality.”

Cover art for “Equal” from Blue Hawk Records’ ‘Voice Of Change’

Music and Theatre Arts Department Chair, and Record Label Strategies class instructor, Joe Rapolla, agrees. “It’s so impressive and encouraging to see how the students came together to write and record this song, and in such a short timeframe. With such a diverse group of writer-artists, from varying backgrounds, collaborating on this song, it organically covers so much ground. It not only speaks to the need for change, but also of learning and understanding, and looking forward to an improved future.”

“Equal” is featured with 180+ other artists who are actively raising money for the NAACP through a compilation known as “Demos for a Difference.” The Demos For A Difference compilation, which we recently featured, is available on the organization’s Bandcamp page here: and the direct link to “Equal” is here.

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