TEMPE - When Colby Jeffers and his friend Awu posted their music video for the song “Change the World” on YouTube nearly two years ago, they had no idea it would gain the attention it has received.
“’Change the World,’ we created it and now it’s no longer my own journey as an artist. The song has taken a life of its own,” said Jeffers.
The song was recorded on two continents. Awu lives in Cameroon.
Awu sings the catchy chorus and Jeffers raps on the song, encouraging peace, unity and respect for humankind.
The music video has more than 40,000 views on YouTube. It's attracted the attention of schools and youth groups from around the world.
“Lots of teachers have reached out and said 'Hey, can I get the instrumental for that track? I want to have my kids perform it at an assembly.' Or, 'Can you send me the lyrics? I want to analyze them in one of my classes,'” said Jeffers.
A fifth-grade class from Canada recorded its own version of the song and sent it to Jeffers. Classes from Saudi Arabia and Zambia have done the same.
Earlier this month, an international school in the Philippines flew Jeffers and Awu out to perform the song with the school’s choir and speak about youth empowerment.
Jeffers doesn’t just talk the talk. He's acting by empowering teens in the Valley. He’s the regional coordinator for the Junior/Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program, a faith-based middle school mentoring program.
He's training young adults how to cultivate their talents and serve their community as mentors for younger generations.
“I think the more we, as a society, can empower young people to be at the forefront, the spearhead of change," he said, "that's when we're seeing much faster and meaningful transformation."