Indeed we did. Seems a lifetime ago though now. It did only happen on the 30th October. And I have been recovering from the night ever since. The Parliamentary Big Sing was supported by Helen Whately MP (Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health) and Luciana Berger MP (former Shadow Mental Health Minister). The event was also joined by James Morris MP (former Chair, APPG on Mental Health) who participated in a panel discussion alongside CEO of SANE, Marjorie Wallace and Professor Stephen Clift of the Sidney de Haan Centre for Arts and Health. Artist and Featured Artists Coalition member Eugenie Arrowsmith shared her story of working in the music industry while contending with her own mental ill health. And I shared the story of my journey and the SING4SANE project via a speech which can be read here via the SANE website. A fabulous event in a packed room filled with Parliamentarians and non-Parliamentarians alike. And a very good start to the newly emerging Live Again Singing Project which picks-up the work of SING4SANE.
It is a busy time. If anyone had told me early last year that I would be creating a singing project for mental health & wellbeing and organising a Big Sing in Parliament, I would simply have laughed. SING4SANE emerged and since doing so its ball has not stopped rolling. So I am rolling with it. SING4SANE is evolving into the Live Again Singing Project and this Sunday 1 October will see the first workshop take place at Evolution Arts in Brighton. Anyone is welcome to join and you can get details via the Evolution Arts website. And the big news is of course the Parliamentary Big Sing. This will see me talk about #LiveAgain and SING4SANE and invite Parliamentarians to join me in singing. Sadly, it is not a public event but I will be sure to keep you well posted with updates on plans and photographs leading up to and after the event has happened.
Sunday 6 August saw the creation of something very special in my back garden. Joined by Mo Pleasure, Rowland Sutherland, Kevin Leo, Joe Cang, Tom Gamble and Ross Lorraine together, from the desire to show some level of support for those victims of the Grenfell disaster, we created joyous music…and love. This love was shared among those who performed and those who listened. And the result from this is that so far £645 has been raised via the JustGiving page. I am beyond words of thanks and appreciation. And to think, it happened in my home back yard. Keep donating if you wish. And thank you for supporting and watching/listening if you did.
Me and my ideas.. This Sunday 6 August I am hosting a special concert in my back living room to which close family and friends are invited. But you can join too since I am aiming to screen the concert online via the live streaming platform, Concert Window. Pay any amount you wish to join the performance which will consist of Mo Pleasure (Earth, Wind & Fire, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson and others), soul singer Kevin Leo, singer/songwriter Joe Cang and guitarist Tom Gamble. And me. Anything you pay, less Concert Window’s fee, will be donated by me to Avondale Extra. This is a foundation setup by Avondale Primary School which lost pupils and staff members to the Grenfell Tower fire. It would be great to have you. However, the concert can only be watched live and if you are able to join us, you can still contribute a donation by visiting the JustGiving page. Looking forward to it.
The SING4SANE big sing set to take place at 12pm today at London Waterloo Railway Station has only been in the planning for a little over 2 weeks. The support in spreading the word has been phenomenal and I give huge thanks to all big hearts and organisations that have helped with this. We’re meeting inside the station, near to the Currency Exchange which is opposite M&S. If you would like to join, no need to get in touch now, simply pitch-up and come and sing “Live Again” with us. Connecting people with an understanding of mind ill health. And raising awareness of mental health through the amazing power of song. We’ll be there til 2pm this afternoon.
Yes, it is happening. And I cannot wait for it. I’m taking the SING4SANE big sing to Waterloo mainline station on Saturday 3 June. Absolutely ANYONE is welcome to join. Please just get in touch for details by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be there in the afternoon singing Live Again to our heart’s content. All for mental health awareness. And to connect lots of people through the power of song. Come join us.
I’ve been talking about the release of this new record for a long while it seems. I am pleased to let you know that we are in final stages of the artwork and hoping to send everything to print this month. Supportive and very patient Pledgers will receive their copies first. I’ll then announce availability of the remaining special, limited edition record which will likely only be available as physical copies via sites directly linked to me. There will be no general release of the physical copy. It will also be available as a download via the usual methods. More on all of that to come.
For now, if you wish to listen again to the acoustic version of Live Again, taken from this forthcoming record, you can find it here on YouTube.
A SING4SANE publicity event was held at Piccadilly’s Virgin Lounge last Thursday 26 January which involved a short interview and Q&A directed by filmmaker Alfred George Bailey (Gregory Porter: Don’t Forget the Music). Joining me in performing “Live Again” were a few of the guest singers who came to RAK Studios to record the charity single last summer too. It was a beautiful evening and lovely to hear the feedback of those who are connecting with the project. A piece on the project and single featured in last Sunday’s Express Newspaper and, ahead of the event, I did a short interview with Riz Lateef on BBC Radio London which you can hear here.
If you haven’t already downloaded your copy of Live Again – the SING4SANE single which sees all sale proceeds go direct to the mental health charity, SANE – please don’t delay. Costing around a £1, buying the single takes little effort but is a big help in trying to push the SING4SANE project forward, connect people and encourage more talk on mind health matters in order to end the mental health stigma.
Order now direct from iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and other online music stores. If you’ve not seen the promo, click here to see it on YouTube.
I am absolutely thrilled that SING4SANE got a mention in Music Week this week offering readers an introduction to the SING4SANE project, telling them about the release of the “Live Again” charity single and the planned Big Sing event taking place this Sunday 13th at Caffe Nero Piccadilly.
A weighty music industry magazine, this piece really helps in spreading awareness of the S4S cause in trying to raise awareness of mental health issues. Have a read of the article, watch the S4S promo here and then order the S4S single via iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and other online music stores.
Remember all sale proceeds go direct to SANE. But most importantly, please keep spreading the word.
Read the write-up in Music Week here.