Philanthropic Christmas singles are commonplace these days, but how often are they actually produced by the very people they look to help?
This Christmas, a group of people brought together by UK homelessness charity Crisis will release a festive single written and performed by people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness. All proceeds from the single will benefit homelessness charities such as Crisis and The Streetwise Opera.
The single – a catchy track with a full choir, violins and sleigh bells - was composed by Alan Robson, who met project hemler David Littlefair while taking an art course at Crisis Newcastle. Crisis mentor David, of Newcastle band O'Messy Life, concocted the idea of releasing a single after finding a shared passion for arts and music with Alan.
Alan, who has a keen interest in art, painting and music, penned the song, collaborated on the arrangements, and recorded the guitar and vocals so quickly that he's already developed a reputation as a 'one take wonder'. Now a self-employed artist and musician, a portion of the proceeds will go to Alan to help him develop his artistic ambitions.
The project has already garnered support from local music professionals, all of whom are volunteering their time and services for free. With much of the work towards producing the single already under way, David is now looking to drum up support for the project, to bring it to the attention of as many people as possible, and even perhaps break into the chart.
David and his 'little helpers' are aiming to raise funds to help promote the song via donations. Contributions can be made via the campaign's website, where you can also pre-order a copy of the single (CD and/or download).
The single will be recorded at Newcastle's Blank Studios, who have previously produced work for the BBC, ITV, XFM and Amazing Radio, and recorded studio and radio sessions with the likes of Willy Mason, Clock Opera, Ghostpoet and Beth Jeans Houghton. Producing the track will be Mick Ross, Blank Studios engineer, and guitarist with Frankie & The Heartstrings. He has recently recorded with Ajimal and The Lake Poets.
Gateshead-based record label Tiny Lights Recordings, who have spearheaded the music careers of The Lake Poets, Fantasy Rainbow and Natasha Haws, will be looking after the publishing, printing and delivery of the single. Also helping out, with the production of visual media will be Melting Point Media. Melting Point have been making music videos since 2010, gaining multiple awards and televisual airplay for their work with numerous bands from the UK to USA.
The project also has a number of exciting perks to give away to supporters, such as gig tickets, merchandise from Tiny Lights Recordings, badges and stickers recognising the essential help given to the campaign.
The single, to be recorded in the coming weeks, will be released in early December, with the aim to raise money to help these charities carry on providing their life-saving services. The national charity for single homeless people, Crisis are dedicated to ending homelessness by delivering vital services, and campaigning for change. They provide innovative education, employment, housing and well-being services to address individual needs and help people transform their lives. Streetwise Choir is the UK’s first choir involving people who’ve experienced homelessness. Singing everything from pop to jazz, folk and classical music, Streetwise Choir is run by the charity Streetwise Opera in artistic partnership with The Sage Gateshead.
June Grimes, Director of Crisis Skylight Newcastle, said: “We are delighted Alan has come so far because of the support he has received at Crisis and are very grateful to him for donating the proceeds of his brilliant, festive single to Crisis. We hope everyone gets behind it and that it is a huge success. The money Crisis receives will go towards helping homeless people to transform their lives, at Christmas and beyond.”
For more information, contact Christmassongforhomelesspeople@gmail.com or email@example.com.