D’Arezzo Center students featured in music video starring Tay da Prince
The music video for a single by Tay da Prince, the nephew of Grammy-award winning artist John Legend, features some young, local faces.
Students at the Santa Barbara-based D’Arezzo Center for Creative Education were asked to participate in the music video for “Love One Another,” in an effort to raise money for nonprofits Feeding America and the Love One Another Foundation.
The single, which also features John Legend himself, made its debut on May 19, in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Joseph D’Arezzo Natale, the founder and director of the D’Arezzo Center, said his organization partners with the Santa Barbara Alliance for Community Transformation, which raises funds for the homeless, victims of abuse, human trafficking and youth advocacy.
The center’s cause and Tay’s cause went hand in hand.
“We wanted to be a light in the midst of so much challenge in our world right now,” Mr. Natale said. “We want to be advocates of change, so this is our way. Our students take what they’ve learned, and they express it through artistic expression. This is just who we are.”
Around 20 students, varying from ages 5 to 15, were featured in the video. Although it was created and put together in the fall of 2019, Mr. Natale said it couldn’t be more “current” and “appropriate.”
“It was a really great honor. They worked hard,” he said. “I teach our children to be children of action, and that we can change the world even if we just do it one person, one thing at a time.”
Te’Vaun Stephens, formally known as Tay da Prince, said he originally wrote the song in 2018 amid gun violence in his hometown of Springfield, Ohio. The song addresses racial injustices and hatred in society.
“At the time, it was just a lot of things going on in my community that was real negative, and when I made the beat, the first thing that came to me was ‘Love one another, my sisters and brothers,’” Tay said. “After that I just started writing the lyrics, and everything just came together perfectly.”
Now, the rapper said the song applies to society “tremendously,” which is why he chose to donate to Feeding America, to help those struggling with the economic effects of COVID-19.
“The whole mission and meaning behind the song was to push people to love one another with actions, not just with saying it,” he said. “Like the lyrics in the song, ‘A brother will say ‘love you” but he’ll still kill you.’ Don’t just say that you love someone — show them with your actions.”
The D’Arezzo Center is a private organization that supplements independent study and homeschoolers, along with after-school tutoring for public and private schoolers. In addition to all core subjects, the curriculum includes music, art, poetry, acting, entrepreneurship and civic engagement, with an emphasis in land, sea and people.
The students at the center will be holding a series of online and eventually in-person art and music shows. Their first performance will be held online Monday.
All donations will go toward the Youth Advocacy Fund, which provides “support, advocacy, food, shelter, training, emergency services, education, temporary foster care, case management, etc. for at-risk, abused and trafficked youth in Santa Barbara County.”
For more information, go to https://www.darezzocenter.com/events.