The mighty singing voice on the song "Terrified" from Childish Gambino's Awaken, My Love! album belongs to gifted 9-year old actor/singer/dancer JD McCrary. One of only three guests on the album, McCary channels evocative soul as he riffs on the beautifully haunting line, "You can't run from me."
Born into a family full of singers, the Granada Hills, California native discovered his voice at 2 years old. Since then, he's gathered a following for his work as an emerging triple threat—acting in commercials, films, and the Disney TV show KC Undercover.
McCrary told The FADER over email that before he connected with Gambino to record he'd already been listening to the song "3005" from the rapper's 2014 album Because the Internet. When he found out he was auditioning to be on Gambino's next album, McCrary was more than ready. He was referred for a studio session and recorded a sampling of his vocals skills to send to Gambino. "I sang Michael Jackson's 'Who's Loving You' and I guess [Gambino] liked it so he invited me to a studio in Glendale, California. I never actually met him in person because he was in Europe, but he was on Skype the whole time I was there."
McCrary said the recording process didn't take much time and that he was also free to ad-lib and put his own style on the vocals. "The whole time I was recording I kept thinking, Wow, he hand-picked me to do this," McCary said. "I know this because he actually said that," he laughed.
The budding thespian is thrilled about his big album feature and he's also recording his own upcoming single. In addition his commercial work, and a new Disney episode he says he has "a lot" of television roles airing in 2017. Stay tuned for what McCrary's has next and listen to him blow down on "Terrified."