When you hear what Arrested Development lead singer Speech is up to these days, it will bring you right back to the period in time when his band sold four million copies of their debut album, won two Grammys, and was named “Band Of The Year” by Rolling Stone. Just as he brought conscious thinking to the public airwaves, giving voice to a Southern African-American experience in a way that was inspirational to people regardless of skin tone, Speech is offering up a vision for how to untangle our troubled world, in a positive way. Speech gave a TEDx Talk that will help transform how we think and treat each other. He enlightened the audience by challenging everyone to tap into a boundless, immeasurable resource.
Speech was the featured “closer” at this year’s TEDxPortland and got a rousing standing ovation in front of a packed house of 3100+ (and thousands more viewing online) to finish the day. Speech danced lyrically, bouncing back and forth from speaking to rapping, while filling in biographical holes few in his fan base ever knew. Just as his band’s debut album came out of nowhere, his TEDxPortland Talk got a broad universal reaction, resonating deeply in the moment that is now.
In his appearance, which was released as a video on the global TEDx YouTube channel on August 25, 2015, Speech unwinds the tale of his childhood and his favorite grandmother, with whom he spent every summer in rural Tennessee, in a house with no running water and only electricity borrowed from a neighbor’s extension cord. However, this scene, which became vivid in Arrested Development’s lyrics and music videos, was the birth of more than music. From these childhood origins, Speech picked up the seed, the core idea of his TED Talk.
“We all come to this earth with a certain gift, a certain talent, that we may or may not know is there,” says Speech. “It doesn’t matter whether you believe it is from God. But part of our journey is to find out what that gift is and then maximize that. It’s a Sacred Serial Number.”