Cincinnati musician Michael Lee Cunningham II, known as deuces101 to his SoundCloud followers and fans, began pursuing music when he was just 13 years old and has been heavily involved in the Cincinnati music scene ever since.
Cunningham describes his sound as “realistic and fundamental,” saying that he creates music based off of real life circumstances that a wide demographic can relate to.
“As a rapper and as a musician, I surround myself with people who are natural activists and movers of music and equality and people who persevere to strive to make success happen in all areas,” he says.
This mission to enact change through his music was most clearly seen in Cunningham’s recent collaboration with Procter & Gamble and Picture Music.
Cunningham was selected out of a large group of artists to produce the theme song for Safeguard soaps amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal was to utilize the growing social media platform TikTok in order to encourage children and adults alike to properly wash their hands for 20 seconds.
In the song, Cunningham energetically sings, “Wash your hands for 20 seconds, scrubbing them clean, we need to be germ-free for our community” while TikTok users dance along to the upbeat music.
The #SafeguardSplash challenge and Cunningham’s sound has now been used more than 25.5 thousand times and is still being posted by influencers around the world. Cunningham says he never could have imagined something he created would blow up this quickly.
“I think the beautiful thing is the fact that I was able to freely create something to support health awareness for the world,” he says.