Malcolm Brickhouse, Alec Atkins and Jarad Dawkins are three black 8th-grade students from Brooklyn, New York. What makes these young men particularly awesome is that they have a heavy metal rock band named Unlocking the Truth. And now, they also have a record deal from Sony. The deal was announced last week and the boys now have a contract for $1.8 million including a $60,000 advance.
The young boys first appeared on the scene in 2013 with a YouTube video of a street performance they did in New York’s busy Times Square. The video went viral with over 1.5 million views of their song called “Monster.” Now the boys are becoming a part of the new black rock scene sweeping the United States.
The Sony contract has to be approved by a judge because it is such a large an amount and the boys are only 13-years-old. One of the surprising details that have emerged about the deal is that the trio will receive 16 to 17 percent in royalties from their first album, which is above industry standards. But the boys have a hard road ahead to make their big cash; their first album must sell 250,000 copies. Considering the state of the record sales with superstar artists like Beyoncé, whose last album only sold 600,000 units, it may seem like a large hurdle to clear. However these young men potentially will have a large crossover audience with white and black fans based on their sound and youth. According to the band’s website, “Unlocking the Truth’s goal is to become one of the world’s best metal bands, and with their music, they want people to know that they could do what they want, no matter who they are, or what people say. Just be free as you want to be!”