When Rushawn Ewears was ten years old, a teacher at the Top Hill Primary School in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, recorded him singing “Beautiful Day,” a song by Jamaican gospel artist Jermaine Edwards. That was six years ago, and now in 2023, he and his childhood track have gone viral, and Edwards has signed on with Sony Music UK in a licensing and mastering deal that is “a hundred percent Jermaine’s and Rushawn’s,” said Milo Saville of Sony Music UK, who told Dancehall magazine that the license makes the duo the center of it all and gives them the ability to “work the record in the best way possible.” All the masters belong to Jermaine and Rushawn. Edwards said he explored many labels before ultimately deciding to go with Sony.
The song “Beautiful Day” was released in 2014 and has been covered and remixed many times since then. The singer known as The Kiffness made a YouTube video in which he added a reggae vibe to Rushawn’s recording and saw it collect some six million views in just four weeks.
According to Saville, the global music publishing firm plans to work closely with Edwards and Rushawn in the future. Sony and Edwards have discussed music he is currently working on, and Rushawn, who now attends B.B. Coke High School, has a way to move up out of poverty through the video’s success. Speaking with Dancehall magazine, he said that he feels “really nice” to have contributed to the song’s popularity, noting that he was not doing anything special after school on the day his teacher recorded him: “Just walking and singing,” he said.
Top Hill Primary School is also reaping the benefits of Rushawn’s new connection with Sony. It does not have a playground, so Edwards and Sony plan to build a state-of-the-art area and name it after Rushawn so that future generations can know about him and how he found success through song.
Preye Crooks, who has a Jamaican father, told Dancehall that the players at Sony Music UK are actively watching for other new artists, an action he praises because while many Jamaican artists have already signed with Sony, the company needs more. He hopes that its work with Rushawn and Jermaine will open up new opportunities in that area to the benefit of the diaspora of Jamaicans in the UK and those who are fans of Jamaican culture.