Local student writes, produces song for ‘Petersburg Rising’ documentary

Positively Richmond

Petersburg, Va. (WRIC) — A junior at Petersburg High School wrote a song using his feelings as inspiration.

Kyle Parris said he wrote the song in just an hour.

“I was just letting my feeling out about what I’ve seen while I’ve been here,” Parrish said.

The song will be used as the theme song for the upcoming “Petersburg Rising” documentary. 

The short film explores how Petersburg is overcoming economic hardships in order to strengthen public schools and build a successful future. 

Parrish says at first the song was bland, but after a few tweaks and changes, it turned into something fun, and full of energy.  

John Legend’s percussionist Dom Thomas came to, is in Petersburg to record the song. Thomas also created a go-go breakdown that comes after the song.

 Parrish says it’s mind-blowing to be working with Thomas.

“It’s just amazing to me to meet somebody at that level because of something I did,” Parrish said. “I never thought I’d be here.”

To Parrish, the film’s title is a perfect description. 

“It’s a film to show we’re on the rise,” Parrish said. “How we aren’t how everyone says we are and how we’re changing.”

Students have been rehearsing the song and performed at the school Wednesday afternoon. Parrish’s sister was in charge of the choreography.

“Petersburg Rising” won first place in the Oliver Hill Foundation’s inaugural social justice short film competition back in February. 

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