I do it for the culture
Shout out to the people that be starting trends
Never for the vultures
Y’all act like we don’t see you stealing our content.
Dara Renée did not come to play when she sang, “I do it for the culture.”
As one of the breakout stars of Disney+’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, this 19-year-old triple threat is giving us #BlackGirlMagic for days on days on days with her new single “Evolution.”
Written in just 30 minutes, this track started out as a poem Dara penned after marching for Black lives in L.A.’s Fairfax district. Bomb beats play as Dara’s voice flexes for the melody. And the lyrics, always a mood, hit a little different, a little stonger and majestic, in these times we’re living in.
“I wanted to release this song now because I feel like with the Black Lives Matter movement, people around the world are recognizing how unjust the system is towards us,” she says. “I also wanted to create a song to uplift my community during this time.”
Besides writing and co-producing the song, Dara also styled, directed, and edited the music video.
“Growing up, I always wanted to explore the different ways of creating unique pieces of art,” she says. “I wanted to experiment with my music and music videos publicly. I was beyond nervous, that’s why words cannot explain how grateful I am to see people actually enjoying something that I created!”
To Dara, “evolution” is all about the unapologetic process toward self-belief and self-love. “Learn the beauty and power within yourself [and] know that with faith, you can achieve all things,” she says. “I hope Black girls will listen to the song, look at the video, and know that everything they touch turns to gold … keep shining and keep showing the world that [your] magic will move mountains.”
Listen we’re royalty
Tried to hold us down but we will defeat
Honey we built these streets
Black and I’m proud! Glad I finally see.
Watch the music video for your new jam of the szn below:
On a mission to fill that void in mainstream media, in which Black girls are virtually invisible, Sesi (a quarterly, print magazine for Black teen girls) celebrates them. As an independent magazine with very little advertising, we rely on the support of our community to continue publishing. You can show your support by subscribing or donating. Subscriptions are $15 a year and you can donate any amount you’d like.