San Francisco’s Firefighter and Marine Corps Combat Veteran John Preston announces new single “Be Real” off his upcoming album God Magik, both out now.
Since 2014, when John emerged into the music scene, he has been using his platform to advocate against suicide and open up the conversation surrounding mental health. He is also the founder of 22 and You, a movement to save the lives of first responders and veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress. His music focuses on making positive impacts in the world, and “Be Real” is another single making a difference.
“Be Real” is heartbreakingly beautiful but filled with endurance and perseverance. Although the lyrics tell the story of a hardship, it focuses on the strength that surrounds a difficult time and how to overcome it. The upbeat melody compliments the lyrics and emphasizes those feelings of hope. The song’s beginning tugs at your heartstrings as the lyrics, “Blind to the fact that day like this come/ When this hell rain down on our dreams,” discuss how no one is prepared or ready for hard times. But through the chorus’s lyrics, “With hope in your eyes/ I’ll be the gold,” that perseverance shines through. The song stresses that through love, support and hope anyone can overcome their toughest obstacles.
The song is a beautiful tribute to Ariana Roberts, a friend of Preston and the wife of producer 5ilas. In March 2022, Roberts was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. This news gave 5ilas the motivation to work hard to support his family. He started creating tracks and sent them to Preston to write to. After receiving the tracks, Preston decided he wanted to create an entire album dedicated to helping people who are suffering.
“Our families were devastated when we heard the news of Ariana’s cancer,” Preston says. “I felt useless and had no idea what I could do to help my best friend and his family. The album concept was created to find a way to make a difference and this song was my message to my friends to keep fighting. As it’s been with all of my work, I poured my heart into this song that is about endurance and perseverance. There is so much power in love and that is exactly what ‘Be Real’ is saying. People all over the world deal with this struggle, and with this song and entire album we want them to have a place to go, to feel, to love, to fight, and most importantly know they are not alone.”
Along with Preston and 5ilas, many artists on the album have also had personal or family struggles with cancer in the past. Patricia Passaretti, a producer on the album, had a battle with breast cancer and is now cancer free.
“Be Real” is a prime example of the positive and impactful music Preston has previously created. His music has received many recognitions. Recently, his 2020 single “Wasteland” made iTunes Top 150 Rock as well as the Independent and Top 150 overall.
Preston is the executive producer of the God Magik album, which is set to release on February 24, 2023 alongside “Be Real.” The album features several artists spanning across genres of music. “Be Real” is already succeeding as it rises on the Digital Radio Tracker and Cashbox Magazine’s Global Top 200. All the proceeds of the song will go to the Bay Area Cancer Connection and all other artists will have the option to make the same donation.