With two No. 1 hits under his belt, Jimmie Allen knows a thing or two about connecting with an audience through song. Now, he’s trying his hand at a different kind of creative endeavor: A children’s book called My Voice Is a Trumpet, aimed at teaching kids the power of speaking up.
“I’ve learned that writing a book and songwriting have a lot in common — it’s all about the honesty and connection with the audience,” the singer tells People of his new project, which is due for release on July 13, 2021. “I wrote about what I would want to read as a kid, and things I learned that helped me.”
After all, Allen is more than a rising country hitmaker. He’s also a trailblazer in the genre as the first Black artist to kick off his career with two consecutive chart-topping country radio hits. He has also been vocal about racial justice in the industry and beyond. In 2020, following the death of Minneapolis Black man George Floyd at the hands of white police officers, Allen voiced his concern over systemic racism, saying that “We need to check our hearts” if the country’s climate doesn’t bother everyone.
The deaths of Black men and women across America touched Allen on a personal level, as he’s a dad to two children of color: 6-year-old son Aadyn and 6-month-old daughter Naomi Bettie. As a father, he’s even more aware of how important it is that kids know how to use their voices, Allen points out. He hopes that his children, along with other young readers, gain confidence in their opinions after reading My Voice Is a Trumpet.
“It’s very important to me that kids learn at a young age that they have a voice, and that it is powerful. It is up to us as adults to teach them to use their voice to encourage and show love,” the singer continues. “Being a father of two kids, I try to encourage them to be themselves and love everyone around them. I’m hoping this book inspires at least one child and they always remember their voice is a trumpet.”
My Voice Is a Trumpet is illustrated by award-winning children’s book illustrator Cathy Ann Johnson. The story line follows a diverse cast of characters as they speak up about the issues that matter most to them.
“From voices that roar like a lion, to voices as small as a bee, all it takes is confidence and a belief in the goodness of others to change the world,” reads the description of the book.
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