NewsMSU Tragedy


Michigan State student creates song titled 'I Believe' to help heal community after tragedy

Posted at 5:12 PM, Mar 10, 2023

EAST LANSING, Mich. — On Monday, Feb. 13, students on Michigan State's campus endured a nightmare when a gunman opened fire shooting and killing three students and critically injuring five.

As the community found ways to heal, one student, Joseph Roy (or his artist name J Roy), used song creation as therapy.

Roy told me where he was that night, in his apartment, about to go out to the MSU Union. But something inside him said to stay home.

“Gratefully, I was here," said Roy. "I was in my apartment, and I was supposed to be on campus because I had an org meeting at around like maybe 7 or 8 o’clock, and after, we were supposed to go out around like near the Union actually, but I don’t know, something told me to stay home.”

That something may have saved his life.

While he was home, he received the heart-stopping alert.

"It was kinda hard to really wrap my head around it. Took maybe like a couple of minutes, and then, I started thinking about everybody that I know that was on campus, how I could have been on campus, who is on campus, who isn’t on campus, how are my friends,” he said.

The thoughts raced through his mind.

After the tragedy, Roy battled with himself on if he should write a song or not. That's when he received a call from his mom.

"My mom calls from the house, and she's like, 'you need to make a song for your school,'" Roy said.

That's exactly what he did. On Feb. 18, "I Believe" was released.

Roy not only knew that the song would be powerful for healing but also a great way to honor the victims. Included in the song are the three victims who died that night, Arielle Anderson, Alexandria Verner and Brian Fraser, which is all spoken one by one through a sustained chord.

“Its a very emotional thing because that can literally be anyone. And they were there for the same reasons I would be in class. They were there just to go to school. They were just there doing what they were supposed to do, what their parents sent them to do. So it's just only right to, whenever I hear their names, just to take a moment of silence," Roy said. "It's kind of hard to say their names. I haven't said their names since then.”

Roy wants the community to heal and keep believing that everything will be okay.

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