WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- When Darnell Taylor was growing up in North Carolina, music and his childhood were no strangers.
"I grew up in church and (music) was the thing to do," Taylor said. As a kid, he said his mother made him sing in the choir.
"So one of my motivations to get out of the choir was to be a musician because I thought they were cooler," Taylor added. "They didn't have to follow the rules."
Taylor eventually settled on the guitar and has kept with it for over 20 years. His talents have taken him around the world a few times, playing for Grammy Award-winning and platinum artists -- including Kem, Dave Koz, Anthony Hamilton, Mumu Fresh, Brian Culbertson, and many others.
"I enjoy the joy people get from the performance. When I'm feeling a certain way and I project that through the instrument and they're able to feel it and they can understand that connection," said Taylor, "that for me is what gets me going."
Nearly five years ago, Showcase said he was troubled by the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and Sandra Bland, among others, when he decided to write a song inspired by wanting to see a change.
"I was angry for a while and then after that I was like I want to do something with my gift," he said. "So I just really sat down at the piano and started playing chords. Through that anger, chord progression came out," Taylor said. From there, the song "Change" was born.
The song stayed on his computer for years until the recent killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the ensuing protests calling for an end to police brutality, systemic oppression, and racial injustice.
"The one word that just kept coming out of people's mouths was change," said Taylor. "And it was like wow! That was my light bulb that went off that now was the time to release this song."
The final version features songwriting and vocal credit to Marcus Cole and jazz artist Brian Culbertson. "When Marcus recorded it and sent his vocals to me I probably listened to the song 100 times within a few hours. Just playing it over and over because it was exactly what we had talked about, what I was feeling."
The Wake County resident hopes his song encourages people to make changes in their heart. "At the end of the day, we can bicker back and forth and argue and fuss - but at the end of the day it doesn't change anything. We have to look into our hearts and change," he said. "The remedy to all of this is genuine love. When you have genuine love for a stranger or a person of color or a different race or whatever, ya know, there's no room for hate when your heart is filled with love."
To listen to a sample of the song, you can do so by clicking here.
To learn more about Showcase and hear more music, you can visit his website or on Instagram: @IamShowcased
Wake County musician inspires change through release of new song