Ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections, some of the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting in February are releasing a new song to commemorate their slain classmates and to urge Americans to vote.
The song, exclusively premiered above, is called “Carry You On” and it was written by a group including shooting survivor Sara Imam, who is one of the two lead vocalists along with fellow Marjory Stoneman Douglas survivor Isabelle Robinson, both 18.
“When we first started writing the song, it was pure emotion,” Imam said in a statement to PEOPLE. “It was based on what we felt, our time with the ones we lost and the memories we made. Yet it is also about the harnessing the love we had for those we lost and turning them into something bigger — turning it into change.”
“A lot of people living in America seem to watch it as if it were a story without realizing that they are part of it,” Imam continued. “With our power to vote, we are given the ability to write our own pages, and change America to truly reflect what we the people want.
“The power to vote, the power to change, is something that we can use to make our world better for the future generations. Together we can create a better world, where our not only our children but everyone in America is safe.”
The song, with its emotional refrain of “We love you, we miss you, we will not forget you,” is about healing and paying tribute to the 17 lives lost in the MSD shooting earlier this year. It’s also about working to prevent similar gun violence in the future.
The video ends with a simple — and direct — message: Vote.
Said Robinson: “If this song inspires even one person to vote with gun reform in mind, we’ll have done our job.”
Jonah Bryson, an 18-year-old filmmaker, directed and produced the video and helped compose the instrumentation for the song.
He first proposed a project to Imam after meeting her at March for Our Lives, an anti-gun violence protest organized in March by MSD students.
The “Carry You On” video was shot over the course of one day in May, Bryson says, and its production was thanks almost entirely to donations: donated equipment, donated time, donated recording studio space.
In a statement, Bryson, a first-time voter this year (as are Imam and Robinson), said the project’s goal “is to keep the conversation about gun violence alive, and to keep the students’ voices amplified. Because enough is enough.”