According to a study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the leading cause of death within the USA with 46,000 residents who’ve taken their own lives in 2020. Within young people aged 10 to 14, suicide was the second leading cause of death.
These alarming statistics caused great concern for NYC-based songwriter/producer Derrick “D.Y.” McDaniel. The father of two daughters, age 14 and 10, McDaniel created “Choose Life” – a song of hope and encouragement for those facing challenges in life.
An alum of Boston University, McDaniel – a lawyer who owns an eldercare training and services company - in addition to songwriting– has been personally affected by suicide when a friend and mentor took his own life. With later passages of former Miss USA Chelsie Kryst as well as Ian Alexander Jr. (son of actress, Regina King) – both by suicide – along with the CDC statistics cited prior, McDaniel felt it was time to give hope to those who feel their challenges only bring hopelessness.
“ ‘Choose Life’ is about passion and purpose,” McDaniel explains. “I care. It shows in all the work I’ve done in my life. It is not a stretch for anyone who knows me and the community work I have done that I would pick up on this topic, the topic of suicide, right now in Black and Brown communities, and do something about it.”
With two versions recorded – one with a male vocalist and the other a female singer – “Choose Life” will be available for digital download purchase via Amazon and other outlets by December 1st, 2022.
Portions of the proceeds will benefit the Samaritans of New York – which according to their website is part of the world’s oldest and largest suicide prevention network (with over 400 centers in 42 countries, from Argentina, Bosnia, France and Great Britain to Hong Kong, India, and Zimbabwe). Samaritans of New York has been the major provider of suicide prevention, education and awareness services in NYC and environs for almost 30 years.