Led by grief and disbelief, Andre Locke, formerly known as Lil Buddy, is the father of Amir Locke, a 22-year-old Black American man fatally shot on February 2, 2022, by the Minneapolis Police Department. But, instead of channeling his emotions into something negative, he is now on a mission to turn tragedy into triumph with his new single, so thankful. Collaborating with Buddy on his new single is national recording artist and 3-Time grammy award-winning The Sounds of Blackness & Jamecia Bennett.
Recently, rolling out had the opportunity to speak with Buddy Mclain and Jamecia Bennett.
The world knows of you because of a tragic event in February of this year. But you had a name for yourself before all of that. Tell us a little bit about Buddy McClain.
In 1997 I was in a local group called Igluenob, and I released a single called what’s the haps that sold 70k units locally. The single got the attention of major magazine publications.
You were in the headlines back in 2001. What happened that made you disappear from the music scene?
First off, that is when 911 took place. Henry Hassan, Johnny Nunez, and I had a multi-million-dollar deal on the table through Interscope Records. Unfortunately, during this time, both of my brothers became ill. So, I took the matter into my own hands. Because of that, I ended up paying the price and losing some of my freedom.
You were in the headlines again, but it was about your son Amir Locke this time. How are you coping with this tragic loss?
I was shocked when I learned that the Minneapolis Police tragically murdered my son on February 2, 2022, on an alleged ban, no-knock warrant. I taught him how to be respectful and responsible and work for his wants. How do you teach a young man to survive while asleep?
You have this fantastic new single with Sounds of Black & Jamecia Bennett. Tell us about the single.
God gave me this song. I followed His steps precisely the way He showed me. I called Jamecia and said I had a song that would be a hit. I called Mark Ellus Smith. He is a platinum producer and composer, and we all created magic.
Please give us a little background on your musical journey.
I started in Sounds of Blackness at the age of 15. You had to be 25 to be in the group at that time. Being under the direction of super producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis showed me so much, and I went on to sing background for artists like Rod Stewart, Sting, Luther Vandross, and Janet Jackson, to name a few. I got a record deal with Mercury Records and my first platinum album on Jason’s Lyric soundtrack.
At a press conference for Amir Locke, a video of you singing went viral and has now become a hit on TikTok. Did you know it went viral, and if so, what was your response?
I had no idea that it went viral. Nekima Levy-Armstrong asked me if I wanted to say anything, and that song just came from my spirit, and those words came out. The next day my phone just began ringing, and people texted me saying, “you went viral.”