DAVIS (CBS13) – Twelve days after his death, Sacramento musicians are paying tribute to Stephon Clark. The young father was killed by two Sacramento Police officers on March 18. His death sparked national protests and has now ignited the power of song.
“There’s a responsibility for me as an artist just to use my voice,” said Christian Gates, whose stage name is The Philharmonik.
The R&B/soul singer released his original song Friday. It’s called “20 Rounds” and it’s inspired by the two police officers who fired at Clark 20 times on March 18.
“It took me just two hours just sitting there,” he said. “I don’t usually write songs that fast, but I felt it.”
Gates told CBS 13 he never met Stephon Clark, but as a member of the Sacramento community, he felt he had to find a way to pay his respects.
“I wasn’t surprised because I knew it was going come,” Gates said. “Unfortunately, it had to be in our own city, which is a really bad look.”
Philharmonik has been playing piano and guitar for nearly 20 years. Every lyric he writes is sparked by his journey through life: good or bad. He calls the protests over the last week encouraging.
But says marching through the streets of Sacramento is only the first verse of this movement.
“Saying the name is good, but I think we should be doing more than that,” Gates explained. “We really need to change something, and this is the only way I know how to change it.”
All the proceeds from the song will go to the Clark family.