Two Young Stars Prepare for Covenant House Gala Performance
It has been said that the stars are difficult to see amid the bright lights and sky-high buildings that line big-city streets. But on May 22, we won’t have to look too far. At our annual Night of Covenant House Stars gala, the biggest stars – our youth and alumni – are sure to shine bright.
Among them are performers AB, 18, and Amari, 20, who will delight the evening’s guests with a musical performance. Between appearances by their peers as speakers and award presenters, these two young men will debut an original rap song, prepared just for Night of Covenant House Stars.
“When writing our song, we stuck with the theme of the night. It’s all about acceptance and belonging, inclusivity and diversity,” Amari said, adding that writing about those topics was a no-brainer for him and AB.
“We're in a shelter right now,” he said. “So acceptance is really a theme in our lives right now. We’re finding our place in the world, you know? So it was really easy for us to come up with the song because we are looking to be accepted and feel like we belong in this world, because we didn't feel like we belonged where we came from, which led us to here,” said Amari, lifting both arms in a field goal gesture, gesturing to Covenant House New York, where both he and AB are residents.
“This is big,” AB chimed in, referring to the opportunity to perform in front of celebrities, staff, peers, and some of Covenant House’s biggest supporters and champions.
Neither performer expressed any nervousness, but instead said they believe in “seizing the moment.”
According to the young performers, it only took a day and a half to write their song. Their process involves listening to the music track, and “letting the beat tell them a story.”
“When I write and rap, I’m just speaking for me and my experience. I’m rapping about the way I feel about things,” AB said. “So that makes it pretty easy.”
AB described his music writing process as therapeutic. Amari agreed and said he is often inspired by his love for his younger sister, who is on the autism spectrum. It’s what fuels his passion for working with young people with special needs. In fact, when he isn’t doing music, he works as a paraprofessional at a local school, a job he was recently hired to do since starting his journey at Covenant House only three weeks ago. He says he plans to become a social worker.
Inspired partially by the late, famed rapper Tupac Shakur, AB and Amari said they want to use their music to spread positivity and empower other people. And that’s exactly what we can expect to see from them on May 22.
But from now until showtime, their main focus is consistent rehearsal.
“We’re excited,” they said. “We’ll be ready.”