Justin Pendergrass dropped his powerful music video and track for “Higher” featuring Andre Davis. He had a testimony to go with the song:

Eight years ago, the Lord saved my life with music. I’d been dealt a difficult hand from birth, and I hit a point where I felt so alone that I felt like quitting. Writing songs had been a refuge and coping mechanism for me since I was ten, and the process of writing my note to my family triggered me into writing a new song. Through that song, I realized I never wanted to let myself get to that place again.

I am an artist who chose to stay.

Suicide is an epidemic in Alaska. No one ever gets to that place without having traveled a long and difficult road to get there. Everyone’s struggles are different, but I’ve experienced many of the most common myself. As a teen, I’d already fought through the hardships of domestic violence, constant moves, difficulty in school, bullying, disappearing siblings, homelessness, addiction, my father’s own suicidal ideations, and unplanned pregnancy while still homeless. Sadly, there are countless other teens and adults across the state and country facing similar hardships, and feeling just as alone and hopeless as I did all those years ago.

In 2019 I fell into a depression that I hadn’t seen since I attempted on my life when I was 18 years old. During that time, I was constantly told by others that I just needed to smile more, stop being sad, read my bible, fast, and pray to solve all my problems. My coworkers, family, and friends didn’t truly see what I was fighting, preventing them from fully comprehending the gravity of the darkness I was in. Getting out of bed became the most difficult task of my morning routine and reading the bible was absolutely daunting. I would try to explain what was going on with me to others, but it would only frustrate me to the point of feeling like I was malfunctioning. It felt as if my mind wanted to die and my body would run on autopilot, having just enough energy to survive the workday before needing to rest.

“Higher” was written during that experience. It expresses the full emotions of someone who battles with suicidal thoughts and how on the outside all they see is that I am reaching higher. I pulled lyrics from a song I wrote when I battled suicide all those years ago and placed them in the third verse. Those lyrics were the words that saved my life back in 2010. This song is a reminder to myself and anyone else who battles with suicide to keep reaching higher.

Watch Justin Pendergrass Below: