R&B crooner Miguel poured his sorrow over the recent police shootings of black men Alton Sterling and Philando Castile into a morose, reflective new song on Friday morning. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Miguel poignantly sings, “I’m tired of human lives turned into hashtags and prayer hands” over a sparse, distorted guitar rhythm in “How Many.”
For the track’s chorus, Miguel desperately calls out for a change: “How many black lives, how many black lives? / How many heartbeats turned into flatlines? / How many black lives, how many black lives? / Does it take to wake the change?” The song is still in its demo stages, and Miguel promised he would provide his fans with an updated version each week.
“This version was started (written/recorded) here in London in my hotel room between the hours of 4am and around 7am when I passed out,” the singer wrote in the Soundcloud description. “I’ll update this song every week until its complete. Please feel free to share. #blacklivesmatter”
The day before sharing “How Many,” Miguel posted a series of videos on Instagram singing short melodies in response to the police shootings.