As a teen, Dymond Harding watched as a close friend endured the pain of an abusive relationship. She said the impact on her friend was easy to see.
She became distant, lost an excessive amount of weight and her grades began to drop.
A gifted songwriter, Dymond used that story as inspiration for her song “Selfish Love,” which she entered in the PAVE the Way Project, a nationwide campaign designed to empower youth through pop music.
Earlier today, Dymond learned that her song won the contest. She now will have the opportunity to perform with GRAMMY Award winner Salvador Santana, in collaboration with his father, 10-time GRAMMY Award winner, Carlos Santana.
“I’m so excited. It’s such a good feeling knowing I’m part of something positive. Especially on the topic of teen dating violence, such as mental, physical or emotional abuse,” said Dymond.
More than 140,000 votes were submitted in the national pop music competition that launched this spring. Musicians, ages 13 to 20, contributed original songs to the project as a way to talk with their peers about healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Growing up in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Dymond Harding’s parents knew at an early age that she had an exceptional voice. As Dymond grew older, she overcame her youthful shyness and sang for a music producer friend of the family who was impressed with her potential and offered to work with her in producing her first album.
One of the tracks off her album, “Selfish Love,” was nominated to be a part of the PAVE the Way Project. With PAVE the Way, Dymond used her passion for music to relay a positive message to other teens. Her song is about recognizing an unhealthy relationship and having the strength and confidence to end it.