Hailing from Houston, Texas, Doug Locke is a black actor and musician with more than ten years in the industry. Influenced by everyone from Prince, Jimi Hendrix, and Lenny Kravitz to Rihanna and Madonna, Locke has featured in major publications across the country and has racked over 1.1 million streams on Spotify alone.

His single, “#ThisCouldBeUs” peaked at #32 on the iTunes Hot 100 chart, and the accompanying music video has clocked in over 1.2 million views, and his “In or Out” music video was nominated for “Best Indie Music Video” at the 2018 Queerty Awards.

Back in May, Locke released his latest EP, Why? (Lunar II), and featured the standout track, “Why?,” which is an alternative R&B song that resonates with an incredibly infectious melody and beat. Not satisfied with just a catchy song, “Why?” carries a massive punch that lasts long after the song ends.

Today, Substream is excited to team up with Locke to exclusively premiere the music video to the powerful single, which Locke had written in response to the feelings that have been building inside of him since the Trayvon Martin murder in 2012.

Find a note from Locke explaining the song and video below, and then watch the music video for yourself at the end of the post.

When I began writing the song “Why?” last year, my heart was broken by the Anti-Black violence that plagues this country.  Now, one year later, after the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Jacob Blake (along with so many others) my heart is still broken.  This song is simultaneously a response to my broken heart and the start of my healing.

The bridge of the song is a reference to the victims of the massacre at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  When I think about the moments throughout my life that changed me at my core, that was one of them. I had no idea there was so much evil in the world. I was absolutely gutted and afraid. When writing this song, I wanted to include a reference to honor the victims as they will never be forgotten. I also wanted to draw that parallel that violence against any group is a crime against humanity.  While asking the fundamental question “Why?” I also wanted to embed a message of love into the song.  We have an incredible choir singing love throughout the chorus, which was very important to me because I firmly believe that Love is our only way through this.  

Creating a music video during the Covid 19 pandemic has come with its own unique set of challenges, but I feel so fortunate to have had support along the way.  I have to give a big shout out to my long time collaborator, and dear friend, Julien Lasseur who directed the music video and co-produced it with me.  We were a 2 man team with a big vision, and while there were logistical road blocks along the way, I am so proud of what we were able to create.

After a month of pre-planning with our editor Dylan Leong, we were able to set up a 2 day shoot to capture all of the footage on a Covid compliant independently produced set.  I had the pleasure of working with a truly incredible team to create this music video, and honestly each one of them will forever hold a special place in my heart.  None of this would have been possible with out the handwork, selflessness, and talent of our crew.  Everyone rallied behind the vision and the message of the song, and we created something special.

This music video was made in loving memory of all the beautiful souls we’ve lost at the hands of hate fueled violence and police brutality.  I hope to inspire conversation and to provoke thought with this video.  We are in a crisis right now.  No one is immune.  I truly believe we are on the precipice of real change and have the chance to decide who we want to be as a Nation.  The soul of our Nation is sick and it is time for a reckoning.  The only way to heal the wounds of centuries of pain and oppression is by honestly addressing the sources of trauma and dismantling the systemic racism and negative racial bias that plague our society.  It is my deepest desire that we can find our way back to love, and inspire a change in hearts and minds to illuminate the intrinsic value and beauty in all forms of human life.

I will be donating 50% of all proceeds to NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. I also encourage everyone to make their voices heard, and please vote!”