From Viral Fame to Now: Michigan’s Own I Prevail Makes Music to Empower
We all have our favorite artists that maybe just started out as a "hey this is pretty cool" and then it turns into borderline obsession, right? Mine started in 2014 when a rock/metal band from Southfield, Michigan shared a pop cover on YouTube and I still listen nonstop.
From Southfield, Michigan to Viral Fame - I Prevail's Taylor Swift Cover
To understand why this song was such a "pivotal" moment for me, first I should let you all know that while I work for the Top 40 station, I'm a born-and-raised rock fan and metalhead at heart.
If you stand outside the radio station in the morning, you can hear me coming a mile away. I open my car door, some screaming continues, then I walk inside and play the new Doja Cat...it's truly made my 5AM drive in from Jackson the favorite part of my day.
So what about when those worlds combine to make absolute magic?
I give you, Michigan's own I Prevail covering Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" back in 2014:
Turning From Taylor Swift Lyrics to Grammy-Nominated Success
Of course, like many people, I was hooked after that song and had to find more from these guys. The song was huge and their first EP "Heart Vs. Mind" became one of my own most-played at the time and proved they are so much more than "the guys with the Taylor Swift song."
"We went from trying to DIY everything for a year, and kinda forming, then all of a sudden things blew up out of nowhere," lead vocalist Brian Burkheiser told Michigan Radio.
Their first album, "Lifelines" came out in 2016 with another one of their major hits being "Stuck in Your Head":
Some of my personal favorites from "Lifelines" include "Come and Get It" and "Already Dead" which is eerily relatable for...reasons.
Everything was on the up-and-up for the band until, as reported by Michigan Radio, Burkheiser had to get vocal polyp surgery, had to hang up the mic and hunker down to recover.
Three years after "Lifelines" hit the scene, I Prevail finally released new music with their latest album "Trauma" which was such a long-awaited smash, it was up for the "Best Metal Performance" and "Best Rock Album" awards at the 2020 Grammys.
Why "Trauma" Was Such a Success
It is not often at all to find an album, by even the most beloved artists, where you can relate to every word in every song. Listening to "Trauma" not only makes you feel seen and less alone but also makes you want to stand up and do something about it...or fight a bear...or both.
The album carries themes of mental health while also pushing the extremes, mixing up what a "genre" even is within a single song. Each song carries its own level of catharsis and just absolutely FILTHY (in a good way) riffing and production techniques.
It seems like that's exactly what the band wanted you to experience while listening to the album. Though I also think it should come with a "only listen in the car if you have cruise control" disclaimer because, damn...your girl is SPEEDING.
In the video for one of the album's top-performing songs, "Hurricane", we actually get a glimpse into all the struggles this band faced since their Taylor Swift moment:
The album also made it so big, it's even one of country music queen, Carrie Underwood's go-to's:
From One Michigander to Another, Thank You I Prevail
I've always been a music person, so it makes sense I work in radio...but I have also always struggled with my mental health. I try to be as open as I can about it but you can only worry you're being annoying so much...A lot of the time, music is a distraction from what I'm feeling or it's an attempt to turn it around.
I Prevail does something different, though. They make it so you feel what you need to feel, so you know you're not alone while also empowering you to keep going.
I would have given up on a whole lot in this life had it not been for this band. I think I do feel more connected to it because I know they got their start from right here in Michigan.
Bands like this don't make it like they have every day and it's because these guys have the rare gift of being so real, so honest, powerful, guttural, (insert more adjectives here) while genuinely saving lives (like mine) in the process. I can't thank them enough for what they do but I know if even one person becomes a fan of theirs after reading this, I hope that does something!
So thank you, I Prevail, for kicking ass, telling your stories and for just being you. You inspire me daily, even if it's just to look in the mirror and feel like the baddest b***h like I do when I listen to songs like "Bow Down."
Now please come back and do more shows here in Michigan...and, if I can be needy here, maybe cover some Ariana Grande or something so we can play it on air in Lansing!
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