Desmond Parson, a singer from Washington, D.C., and Roanoke musician Macklyn collaborated to create a positive song about mental health. The DMV team was inspired to write the new tune Okay by Motown pioneer Stevie Wonder because they both adore him. The song, which was produced by fellow Virginian Andre Hairston, combines refined vocals with neo-soul keys, lively congas, and R&B rhythmic drumming
Desmond seeks to address issues of the heart, love of people, love of God, and love of self in his work, which deviates from the conventional love song mould. On “Okay,” Desmond put a lot of emphasis on forward motion, which corresponds to his musical and personal development. Regarding Macklyn, he claims, “I’ve been a victim of, and have also been the person to tell others, when they are dealing with issues, to ‘get past it’ or asking them, ‘when are you going to get over it?’ In this song, we want to remind and encourage those struggling to know that we all are in different spaces with life, that it’s okay to struggle, and to take their time to heal
and grow.” Together, Macklyn and Desmond want to speak out for others who are struggling with mental health, particularly black men, encouraging them to overcome cultural constraints and work through their feelings in order to be healthy and full.
Desmond is an independent R&B and Neo-Soul musician from Washington, DC. His listening to the songs of Gladys Knight, Teddy Pendergrass, Michael Jackson, and his all-time favourite, Stevie Wonder, sparked his interest in music. Desmond, a vocalist, author, songwriter, producer, and arranger, began playing the piano by ear when he was 10 years old. Desmond, who is very active in the D.C. music scene, has shared the stage with R&B group The Dramatics and performed at iconic D.C. venues like Takoma Station Tavern, Smith Public Trust, and The Kennedy Center.
Macklyn’s music is a fusion of R&B/neo-soul, boom bap influenced hip hop, and other inspirations including PJ Morton, Stevie Wonder, and Musiq Soulchild. His goal is to meet people where they are and let them know that God created them in His image and that He loves them and sees them and hears them. In 2020, Macklyn released his debut EP, “Until Tomorrow,” and in 2021, “Life + Love.”
He has given performances for renowned west African artist Shiri Achu at the Cameroonian Republic Embassy in Washington, D.C., as well as on radio stations in the United States and London, England. He has been featured in magazines including the Roanoker and Shoutout Atlanta, and he has appeared live on Roanoke, Virginia’s WFXR Fox news television. He served as the creative director of the “We Are Art” campaign, which highlighted black voices in his neighbourhood and was directed by Roanoke Arts Commission member and Virginia Senator Mark Warner. The streaming services all have Okay available.
Listen to Macklyn x Desmond Parson ‘Okay’ song below.