Students, musicians compose ‘Believe in Baltimore’ song

July 22, 2015

A group of young Baltimore students are behind a new music video that is going viral and it’s all part of an effort to shine Baltimore in a more positive light following the cityâ’s recent riots and unrest.

The group of students said the tune to ‘Believe in Baltimore’ is catchy and it won’t take long for the lyrics to this new music video to get stuck in your head. The students, teachers and musicians involved in the song said that is the point for those with the Believe in Music program’s latest project.

“I think it’s important for the youth to have a voice,” said Taniyah Kutcherman a Believe in Music student. “When I’m doing this I feel like I have a voice. I can use my words to tell people how I feel.”

Kutcherman, 12, wrote the chorus in the days after the riots, when Kenny Liner, the founder of Living Classrooms Believe in Music program, gave his students a challenge.

“He told us to drop everything and write down how we felt about the Freddie Gray case and the riots,” Kutcherman said.

Liner, a Pikesville native, founded the program three years ago after his longtime band, The Bridge, went their separate ways. Believe in Music is part of the Living Classrooms Foundation, a Baltimore-based education nonprofit organization.

“Very rarely do people ask children, especially from this neighborhood, how they’re feeling. It gives the students a voice which is important,” Liner said.

After the “Believe in Baltimore” project got off the ground in the studio at Living Classrooms, a group of area music professionals got together to volunteer their time and resources to put together the final product.
Now, the video is going viral and Liner hopes the message will be contagious.

“Sometimes the feeling in Baltimore can feel pretty hopeless,” he said. “My goal from day one has been to empower students to have a voice. That has been the mission. If people listen to the song and the words, they’ll understand truly how the students feel.”

Another student, Heaven Peterson, 11, said she feels empowered by the opportunity to share her perspective on the days that darkened her city.

The young musicians behind this effort said they are hopeful that their version of Baltimore will counter the ugliness that erupted on the streets of the city in April.

“When we did the song, it felt good,” Peterson said. “And when we did the video I felt like we could get all of that stuff off my chest. When I first saw it I was like, ‘Wow, I did it.'”

The video inspired the band Future Islands to donate proceeds from its Aug. 29 show at Pier Six to the Believe In Music program.