Positivity. The best word to describe Omaha-based singer/songwriter Jocelyn’s debut single named “Speak Up.” The song, released on February 6, 2019, encourages viewers to ignore the haters, never give up and always chase after their dreams.
“’Speak Up’ is about turning negativity into positive energy instead of letting the bullies drag you down. It’s about realizing that you are your own individual, so speak up and live by example,” said Jocelyn Muhammad in a press release by Moxie.
The music video tells the story of a young woman, a budding pop artist, who perseveres against cyberbullies and creates a song that gives her positive feedback.
The song’s story represents a bullying experience faced by Muhammed as she shares the message to never give up despite any obstacles.
The lyrics “I speak up so you can hear me, I speak up ‘cause its my life” lead the chorus. In spite of sounding like a cliche, the words motivate listeners to stand up against bullies and to not let anything stop them from reaching their goals.
Not only do the lyrics impress the audience, but also the tune and the variety of musical elements implemented.
The dominant instrument in the song is the guitar, played by Muhammad herself, along with crisp, sharp beats to add some “foot-tapping” flair.
The “uplifting and infectious track, righteous chorus, catchy guitar work, driving bass, and bombastic beat,” as noted in the press release, grasp the listener’s attention and serve as the perfect partner for the song’s beautiful lyrics
Jocelyn’s voice starts off low and husky at the beginning of the song, portraying the character’s retrieval of hate on the internet. She slowly transitions into a booming, loud, clear voice to roar “speak up,” as the character brushes off the mean comments, and transforms into a self-reliant artist. The song fades into overlapping lyrics as the woman enjoys the success she worked hard for.
The song is presented very casually: the artist uses concise words and simple music to get her point across.
The character in the music video is depicted as a teenager struggling- and persevering- with common problems of people her age in the real world.
The lyrics coupled with the music and video content are an empowering way to spread her message, while also displaying her voice.
In Jocelyn’s case, she rose from a simple, at-home singer to a local celebrity. The artist gained viral recognition after releasing her song, “Just Like Everybody Else,” a carefree, light-hearted piece and rose to perform at Steve Harvey’s “Showcase.” She has even won multiple awards in her community, including “Artist of the Year” and “Best Pop Artist” at the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards, paving the path for her entry into the music industry.
With her relatable, unique, and inspirational songs, Jocelyn Muhammad may indeed make her way up the ladder to international recognition.