The Voice’s Chantel on the Black Lives Matter Movement and Her Inspiration Behind 2020

Instagram / @theonechantel

In 2013, George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African American.

The incident resulted in his tragic death, and as global outrage began to surface, the Black Lives Matter movement was established through a hashtag on social media.

Trayvon wouldn’t be the last African American to be brutally killed, as many after him suffered the same fate.

Last year, George Floyd was murdered at the hands of a police officer who knelt on his neck for close to nine minutes as he struggled to breathe. It was then, the Black Lives Matter movement reached unprecedented heights. Across America, 15 million people protested, and after gaining traction, those around the world began to show their solidarity to the cause.

Chantel Cofie appeared on this year’s season of The Voice Australia, and made sure no one ever forgot the injustices faced by minorities around the world with her original song 2020

Her powerful performance had all four of the coaches turn almost immediately, and left those watching stunned as we felt the sheer gravity of what she was singing about. 

“After the George Floyd video came out and the whole progression of the Black Lives Matter movement, that was kind of the last piece of the puzzle where I said to my producer ‘we’ve got to release this’,” she told POPSUGAR Australia.

“Because although there have been issues, as I said throughout time, this is kind of something that really hit home for me.”

When Chantel stood on stage, belting out each and every note of 2020, she knew her song’s message would resonate with many Australians, especially our country’s First Nations community.

“The Black Lives Matter movement for me, personally, doesn’t just represent the Black community,” said Chantel. “When we were protesting, it was because of George Floyd, but there are also a lot of cases happening in Indigenous communities.”

In Australia, the Black Lives Matter movement sparked a conversation about the brutal mistreatment of Indigenous people in custody — in particular, David Dungay Jr, a Dunghutti man from Kempsey who passed in Sydney’s Long Bay jail back in 2015.

It was reported he was dragged from one cell to another, held face down and injected with a sedative. 

In Australia, we are absolutely a multicultural society but I think in certain sectors there may not be acceptance for certain cultures, even though we are multicultural. So, I think working towards that is something we may need to pay a bit more attention to.”

Speaking to Chantel, there was no doubt that she was an incredibly gifted individual. From writing each song to performing with such strength, the singer is proving to be one to watch.

“I write all of my songs, the writing is such a huge love for me. I’ve been writing songs since I can remember rhyming cat, rat and all of that. So I absolutely love songwriting.

“It’s kind of having that voice that other people may not have,” she said. 

Watch Chantel on The Voice Australia on Channel 7 and 7plus.

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