Many people listen to their favorite songs to help them get over a heartbreak, rally them to victory or lift them out of a funk. Some say that a certain artist or music helps them survive community quarantine.
It is also heartwarming that artists use music to support the frontliners in this ordeal. Here in the Philippines, artists as early as March recorded a tweaked version of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games theme song We Win As One, which was composed by National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab.
To inspire the nation to battle this pandemic together, We Heal As One got new lyrics from Floy Quintos, musically arranged by Jimmy Antiporda, and produced by Eloisa Matias. The music video directed by Frank Lloyd Mamaril has two million views on YouTube.
Twenty five artists from different TV networks, recording companies, and theater groups collaborated to create the uplifting presentation. It also featured some doctors including the president of the Philippine Medical Association Dr. Jose P. Santiago Jr., since the video ended also with a call for donation to the frontliners.
The singers featured (in order of appearance) were Iñigo Pascual, Julie Anne San Jose, Jed Madela, Pops Fernandez, Mark Bautista, Jamie Rivera, Rita Daniela, Martin Nievera, KZ Tandingan, Aicelle Santos, Isay Alvarez, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Ogie Alcasid, Michael Williams, Robert Seña, Alden Richards, Ken Chan, Christian Bautista, Paolo Valenciano, Sarah Geronimo, Bamboo, Lani Misalucha, Gary Valenciano, Apl de Ap, and Lea Salonga.
Despite the physical distancing and isolation, we can still be united in prayer and in brotherhood. “Together we are being called to make a future world. The test we face is for us to prove that we can heal as one. We heal as one with kindness. We serve, we share, we show compassion. We heal as one.”
In October 2019, Canadian singer JP Saxe and American singer Julia Michaels released the song, If the World Was Ending, through streaming formats. The two penned the song together. Michaels said that the song is about the person you would go back to when the world ends.
Saxe added that it aims to inspire compassion, of putting love first. Commercially, it gave Saxe his first top 40 hit and Michaels her second.
Saxe and Michaels released a new video of their hit song last May to help support Doctors Without Borders in its global response to COVID-19. It currently has 4.9 million views.
Artists in the video (in order of appearance) include H.E.R., Niall Horan, Keith Urban, Finneas, Alessia Cara, Jason Derulo, Kesha, Zara Larsson, Kelsea Ballerini, Sam Smith, The Rose, Anthony Ramos, Pink Sweat$, Jordan Davis, Sasha Sloan, Anna Marie, Noah Cyrus, Lindsey Stirling, Fletcher, Sabrina Carpenter, Evaluna Montaner, Camilo, Sam Nelson Harris, Maeta, Mau y Ricky, Florida Georgia Line, Julia Michaels and JP Saxe.
ArtistsCAN organized and set up by singer-songwriters Tyler Shaw and Fefe Dobson enlisted a star-studded roster of Canadian musicians to record the soul classic Lean on Me by the late Bill Withers in order to raise money for the Canadian Red Cross’ pandemic response.
Nearing four million views on YouTube, the emotional video started with a message to Withers: “Thank you for your lyrics and inspiring message. We are grateful to lean on music during our time of need. Your musical legacy lives on through us.”
Performers who recorded in their own homes for the charity single include Avril Lavigne, Michael Bublé, Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan and Justin Bieber. It also features Bad Child, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Command Sisters, Dan Kanter, Desiire, Donovan Woods, Fefe Dobson, Geddy Lee, Jann Arden, Johnny Orlando, Josh Ramsay, Jules Halpern, Marie-Mai, Olivia Lunny, Ryland James, Scott Helman, Serena Ryder, Shawn Hook, TIKA, The Tenors, Tyler Shaw and Walk Off The Earth.
“Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain. We all have sorrow but if we are wise we know there’s always tomorrow. Lean on me, when you’re not strong. And I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on.”
(Computer graphic by Jaymee L. Amores)