CHICAGO — As part of the Chicago Department of Public Health’s ‘Face Forward Project’ encouraging vaccination against COVID-19, a new music video is taking the message and the music to a place where Chicago’s youth can best relate.
The music video, entitled ‘I’m One of One’ features Chicago teens encouraging their peers to get vaccinated.
Recorded and filmed in Chicago last fall, the production is quintessential Chicago with it’s identifiable backdrops of Wrigley Field, Humboldt Park, the ‘L’ and much more, it drives home the importance of keeping the vaccination theme to try to subside the pandemic.
Written and produced by South Side natives, Grammy Award winning producer Keith Harris and Grammy Award nominated artist BJ the Chicago Kid, ‘I’m One of One’ sings of pain, sorrow, unity and community.
“I’m in LA right now, but I’m originally from Chicago so this is very personal to me. So as I heard what they were trying to do, making this an anthem for the city, it just got my mind spinning into what I could do,” Harris said.
Like so many across the world, COVID-19 has affected Harris personally.
“I’ve had COVID twice but thankfully not too hard. I’ve had personal friends who have lost loved ones,” Harris said.
While vaccination rates are quite high among white and Latinx youth in Chicago, rates remain relatively low for Chicago’s Black youth.
“I found the video to be very inspiring. Often times we can learn a lot from children,” Dr. Erica Taylor of CDPH said.
Taylor said there is an inherent distrust in the Black community concerning the US government and medicine. The distrust has its roots in the Tuskegee syphilis study where the government withheld the cure for syphilis, penicillin, from hundreds of Black men to see how the disease would ravage the body.
“The Black community, especially our youth between the ages of 12 and 17 are lagging far behind at 39%. So there’s definitely a need to do some creative mechanisms to reach out to the Black youth,” Taylor said.
Harris has made a career working with many of the music industry’s biggest stars, including the Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige, John Legend and the late Michael Jackson.
“This is very personal for the both of us and what we would like to see is this particular song and movement Face Forward take hold in other cities around the US,” Harris said.