Climbing King's Mountain
Updated: Oct 13, 2020
A peek into my creative process while creating King's Mountain
To listen to King's Mountain, visit
Liberty and Justice for All- I started the project with this song because the principles and ideals that they were after during the Civil Rights Movement are the same things we’re fighting for and chasing today. It’s disheartening that something we should’ve been assured of in the Declaration of Independence still eludes us today. But our battle remains the same. The song remains the same. Until the end, when we finally receive the liberty and Justice we’ve been promised.
Change is Coming- This song is part hope/part declaration. I constructed this song so that the background and supporting sounds in the beginning are dark and unusual, but the focus and the heart of the track is in the beautiful harmonies of the strings. I can’t even imagine waking up to the horrors of the 60s and the segregated south, the harsh conditions they had to face literally every day. But the voice of Dr. King and others was able to keep us focused and directed towards a specific task
Til Victory is Won- This song is meant to illustrate the climb the tireless effort that Dr. King and others had to put forth in order for us to get where we are now. the marches, the boycotts, the sit ins, everything they did for themselves and for us. The song is a grind, a journey, just to get through it. But at the end, there’s a celebratory feel. There’s glory. In the end, victory is won.
I’ve Been To The Mountaintop- This portion of the project is far more celebratory, as I intend this half to be symbolic of the “home stretch” for our people in our race for freedom, equality and justice in all things. It is titled after one of my favorite speeches from Dr. King, and his final sermon. He talks about obviously hoping for longevity, yet realizing he may not be afforded that luxury. But he says his heart is settled and it’s okay with him, because he’s been to the mountaintop, and looked over into the promised land. That even if he doesn’t reach it with us, he’s okay because he’s already seen the glory to come. I composed this song to begin to give us a glimpse of that glory we shall see after this.
King’s Mountain- I want this song to illustrate the long, slow trek up the mountain we’ve had to take. There have been some beautiful moments, beautiful elements along the way (illustrated by the majestic strings of this song), in the midst of the darkness. Then, there is that underlying hope that comes at just the right time, to remind us what we’re fighting for, what we’re hoping for (the upbeat strings in the middle. And the second half of the song is how we’ll feel when we finally reach that mountaintop. Loudly rejoicing, relieved, and relaxing. What a joyous day that’ll be. The peacefulness of being free.
Finally Free- I wanted this song to have more of a serene feeling to it. Complete calm and relaxation. When I heard the opening violin, I was reminded of Mac Miller’s 2009, and how mellow and peaceful that song is. This song to me is the culmination, the feeling of finally winning, finally feeling freedom. The feeling of all of the fights being worth it. The feeling of no more work. The feeling of no more pain. The feeling of flying, freely and peacefully, with angels who fought the same fights you did. The feeling of finally being able to rest. Rest well Dr. King, and all of those who walked alongside him and others who fought for rights we’re finally seeing today. Thank you for your courage, and your wisdom. You’re finally free.
To listen to King's Mountain by J. Jamal, visit