Posts Tagged ‘Haiti’
This week, Park City, Utah is packed with film-lovers, filmmakers and industry insiders for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Saturday, several festival goers had the chance to see a special documentary film: Espwa.
Kreyol for hope, the title perfectly captures all the film is about. At first glance it may seem to just be a commercial for Tide, but to break it down as such would be a poor summation. Tide’s Loads of Hope program has become a major force in disaster relief efforts both stateside and elsewhere. The film is a team effort between Loads of Hope and an incredible organization Operation Blessing. The film highlights how availability of basic needs like clean laundry can bring hope as people work to rebuild.
“In the grand scheme of things it’s a tiny drop in the bucket, but we’re happy to be a part of this little drop in the bucket.”
We got to have a quick phone chat with David Darg, who worked on the film. He has his hands full with disaster relief work, filmmaking and more. We’re deeply excited about this film and all that he’s involved with. Stay tuned as we share more of his work and other stories from the team at Operation Blessing.
Please take a few moments to watch and share.
The highly anticipated release of our huge album project “My Heart Is In Haiti” is tomorrow!
Sixteen artists from all over the globe donated music to this, our first Love In Stereo compilation. By purchasing an album you help feed kids in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. We’re excited to share with you the music and can’t wait to share with you stories of the Nutrition Center this goes to helping. Check back tomorrow to pick up your copy!
Voices of Haiti is a daily photo essay by photographer Jeremy Cowart. With these poignant and powerful images he has captured the hearts of the people of Haiti and helped to spread their concerns, hurts and passions across the world.
This is Jerry. We wanted to share his story with you. From the Voices of Haiti website:
Jerry is the star graffiti artist in Haiti. You can see his positive messages everywhere you go in Port-Au-Prince. He initially turned down this offer cause he didn’t want people to know his face. But he then changed his mind and said “It’s at times like this that artists must lead the way.”
The Voices of Haiti project has grown considerably and we’d love to show you more, but there’s really no way we could do it justice. You need to experience it yourself. Visit the site right now.
If you don’t know of Jeremy Cowart’s other work – oh man. Take several moments and check out his images: here. He is also the creator of Help Portrait, a worldwide movement of photographers giving free portraits to those less fortunate. We could go on and on – but to be honest – we’re hoping to interview him at some point. (Call us, Jeremy!)
For me, the term World Music used to be a red flag for “that aisle in the record store you stay away from.” Music was only relevant in my world if it was from my part of the world. Thankfully my ears have opened up.
The Very Best is a collaboration between three artists: Johan Karlberg, Esau Mwamwaya and Etienne Tron. They come from Sweden, Malawi and France, respectively, and have created a unique brand of music that transcends the traditional “world” genre.
After becoming obsessed with the album Warm Heart of Africa I had to find a way to contact these guys. They hijacked my ears and I wanted to thank them. Johan, one-third of this distinctive trio was kind enough to take a moment with me.
“We tend to watch a lot of nature films in the studio and have too many plants everwhere makin it feel like a jungle,” says Johan on how they set out creating the music they do. He remarks, “That works for whatever music we’re workin on, whether its African or American pop.”
The Very Best transcends all cultures, countries and styles. Taking dance, reggae, hip-hop and traditional Malawi music as their inspiration, the three have created a sound that set speakers on fire across the globe this past year. “Reactions have been great everywhere really. It’s amazing doing sold out shows in Europe and America then go do a festival in Malawi the next month,” says Johan.
The album received massive critical acclaim all over the world and rightfully so. Gareth Grundy of The Guardian UK Observer writes:
“Warm Heart of Africa has something to say to about the possibilities for music in a world made small by technology and its hand-maiden, globalisation.”
Their collaboration has produced songs that are layered with signature sounds from each artist. “We work in many different ways. Sometimes we work alone. Sometimes there’s two of us, sometimes there’s all three. Either it works or it doesn’t. Working with Esau is very easy and fun so that makes everything smooth, and we easily get in the right vibe cause of that.”
The crew’s global mindset not only shows in their music but reflects in their love for people. “Right now we’ve been doing some little things with OxFam to try to raise money for the earthquake victims in Haiti. We try to get involved when we can with things. At the end of the day it’s important for people to realize the small things make a difference. Most people can afford a few £ per month to a few different charities and thats a good start.”
Johan agrees with Love In Stereo’s mission: Together, we’re louder. “We could change the world over night if we all pulled together -” He goes on to say, “I think art can inspire and that’s a big thing. If art makes you feel something, whether it’s a painting or a song, that’s a good thing. If music can make you happy -if only for 3 minutes when you’re listening – then that’s positive energy being sent out. We all need to send out positive energy and focus our intention on things that will make our lives better, BUT also other peoples lives, all over the world.”
This interview was done by Love In Stereo co-creator Brad Montague. Below is his favorite song from The Very Best. Please do not ask him to do his accompanying dance to the song because he’ll do it.
Watch the video for Warm Heart of Africa
featuring Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend: here.
Tags: artist interview, Esau Mwamwaya, Etienne Tron, Ezra Koenig, Haiti, Johan Karlberg, Malawi, Music, oxfam, The Very Best, Vampire Weekend, Warm Heart of Africa
Posted in Artist Interviews, Music | 1 Comment »
Our friend Kyle is a big Steel Train fan. Don’t get us wrong – we are too. It’s just that Kyle feels a special bond with this New Jersey five-piece and it shows. He’s not alone either. Over the past couple of years Steel Train has quickly developed a faithful following with their tried and true classic sound. Kyle was offered the chance to write about the band. Here’s what happened.
I feel weird. Jack was banging out the stand out track from Steel Train’s 2007 effort Trampoline when I realized these guys were no joke. I hadn’t come to see Steel Train. In fact, until that summer night of 2007 I had no clue who Steel Train was. I had gone to The New Daisy in Memphis, TN to see The Format. Steel Train was just some band I had to suffer through to get to the headliner. They were the THIRD opening band that night and I expected something completely underwhelming. Three songs into their half hour set I turned to my friend and said, “These guys alone were worth the ticket price.”
They had accomplished what most opening bands never do: Steel Train managed to make me forget I was there for any other reason.
I still remember hearing tracks like “Black Eye”, “Kill Monsters in the Rain”, and “I Feel Weird” and being completely enthralled by the curly headed front man and his twitchy on stage antics. That man was Jack Antonoff. The other players: Evan Winiker, Dan Silbert, Jon Shiffman, and Justin Huey.
After the show I went straight to the merch tables and there they were, hanging out by the shirts selling CDs. I signed up for their mailing list, bought the yet to be released Trampoline, and a sweet shirt. I told the guys I was pumped about their set and couldn’t wait for the album. Jack gave me a hug and was just as stoked as ever.
I later got Trampoline in the mail and it didn’t leave my CD player for the next three months. I love that album. With influences from Weezer to Dylan to The Strokes, Steel Train’s second studio effort delivered on all the power chord rock and acoustic solidity I was promised at the summer show months before. Trampoline was one of my favorite records of 2007 or of any year.
Recently, Jack sat down for an exclusive chat with LIS. Here’s what he had to say about the new album and how the down and out inspire them to keep making music.
LIS: What are you working on now?
Jack: We’ve been working on all the non musical parts of the new ST album. This time around (not that we haven’t in the past) we are really going for it with the art and whole aesthetic of the band. I really need it to be thought out from every angle to make sense. Sounds silly, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, like actually sitting in my room and thinking and trying to get ideas for how it should look and feel. I’m trying to get back to the way I looked at songs and touring before it was also a career. I’m still in love with the whole process like I was when I was 15 doing my first tours and making my first records. It’s a fight everyday to keep that as the main element in who we are. There are so many forces trying to break your over the top ideas and that is what this record will be about – getting back to (or staying at) the place where we are ageless / broke / and with nothing to lose.
LIS: What are you guys passionate about?
Jack: The band and eating. And other things, I guess. I try to be passionate about whatever I’m doing. It seems like a waste to not be.
LIS: Where do you look for inspiration?
Jack: People who are down or in a rough spot. I haven’t had a rough life or anything, but for some reason I really connect with people who have a lot to prove or people who have a lot going against them.I was never told by anyone I cared about that I couldn’t do something, but for some reason I feel like everyone is trying to stop and I have to break through something. It’s not the best quality, but it inspires me when I see it in other people. [I’m inspired by] people who are survivors. People who have nothing but themselves. People who aren’t crushed by the world around them into being something less then they really are. I guess people in general. There is nothing more inspiring to me than someone who is willing to take a lot of heat to be what they are, and there is nothing less inspiring to me than someone who thinks they have all the answers for anyone else.
LIS: What moves you to create?
Jack: The people I care about or feeling like I have something to say that I don’t want to just keep in my head.
LIS: What is one change the world desperately needs?
Jack: Don’t be someone who waits for someone stronger to change big issues. My grandfather marched with Martin Luther King. It means a great deal to me to know that I come from people who stood up for civil rights issues. I am proud of that. If for nothing else, I would want my family to remember me as someone who stood up for the civil rights issues of my time. I really want nothing to do with anyone who is so afraid of someone different that they would think they should deserve less rights . . . Very scary stuff. And the problem doesn’t just exist with people who are way old. I personally know young people who believe in other people having less rights based on them being “different” for one reason or another. It’s very sad, and it needs to change yesterday
The guys just kicked off their tour with the ever cool Tegan and Sara and will be all over the road for the next several months. With a stop at the 2010 Coachella Festival on the horizon and a new record in the works, Steel Train is making it happen. They are also using their influence to make a difference. Check out what they’re doing to help Haiti and Oxfam.org.
From the Steel Train website:
From the moment we heard about the devastating earthquake in Haiti on January 12th we’ve wanted to figure out a way to participate in the relief efforts. With the help of the fine folks at Hello Merch, we have designed a new t-shirt. These shirts, which will be sold for $15 exclusively at SteelTrainMerch.com, will be printed on American Apparel shirts. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Oxfam’s Haiti Earthquake Response Fund.
Oxfam America has been on the ground in Haiti delivering clean water and sanitation to the people since the earthquake. For more information on Oxfam’s efforts, not only on the ground in Haiti, but all over the globe, head over to Oxfam.org.
Download their song “You and I Undercover” from here.
See and hear more at SteelTrain.net.
Follow the guys on Twitter.
Last week we launched our online store. People were given the opportunity to buy one of two different shirts. Every single dime from these sales goes to feed kids in Port-au-Prince, Haiti through the Son Light Children’s Home and Nutrition Center. Of course we hoped that it would go well, but we had no idea just how well!
Here we say thanks to each and every person by name who has purchased a shirt from our store:
Haven’t bought your shirt yet? Pick one up here.