Living the Dream:
An Initiative for All
I am not sure whether the image above…
IN THIS PHOTO: The Manchester Arena
has any relevance to what I am saying – I like how striking it is but, in a way, it does link into what I am thinking. Right now, Manchester Arena is reopening after the horrific attack earlier in the year. Noel Gallagher is headlining and it will be an emotional concert. There will be nerves and doubts – security tightened to make it impossible another terrorist attack will happen – but there will be a lot of love, togetherness and uplift in the performances. One can only imagine the kind of electricity and physicality in the arena tonight. It will be talked about for years and a perfect reopening for a wonderful venue – one that was rocked and disturbed by one man’s callous and evil attempt to unsettle and shake our country. It did not work but, rather awfully, we have faced other terrorist attacks since then. It is becoming more frightening becoming a human being.
IN THIS PHOTO: The worker bee became a symbol for Manchester after the attack
One of my long-standing dreams has been to set up a charity movement, The Single Voice, that acts as a one-stop-portal that raises awareness, funds and support – based on a musical ethos and foundation. A lot has happened over the last few months that has made me more determined to get something together and rolling. Right now, islands have flattered and rendered uninhabitable by the fearsome and indiscriminate Hurricane Irma. It is bearing down on Florida and, let’s hope, it does not claim too many lives – the devastation it will wreak will be hard to recover from. Cuba has been hit and, even if it does go on its way in days to come, many will take years to come back and rebuild their lives. Dozens have perished in one of Mexico’s most-powerful earthquakes in the past day – it was also hit by the hurricane and has had to bear so much. We saw the awful right-wing atrocities in Charlottesville a while back and the calamity coming out of Virginia.
IN THIS PHOTO: Hurricane Irma
I have no solid business plan and forecast sheets right now: the sheer desire and impetus to unite all of music into a community with a common ideal. Social media is a tool that, when used effectively, can be incredibly powerful and influential. Too many of us use it for egotistical and shallow reasons. I, myself, am a little fixated with people-watching and idly spending time waiting for something to happen. The Single Voice would, essentially, be a commune of musicians and musical personnel – producers, D.J.s and creatives – that would help raise funds and awareness for those affected in society. I can throw superlatives to all the major events that have happened this year. All of them have left their mark and could be perceived to be the worst incidents we have seen.
IN THIS PHOTO: A potential Ambassador for The Single Voice, Björk
It is hard distinguishing between the terrorist attacks and natural disasters: whether political and social divisions are more scarring than physical devastation. What we do know is there is a hell of a lot of bad happening that is hard to contain. A charity/movement would not cure or eradicate any issues – instead, it would help profile and challenge issues that need addressing; use the power of music to fight against problems and evils in society. There is sexism and racism in the music industry that is not going anywhere right now. I am concerned these problems are not being addressed by people high up. I guess, in a way, The Single Voice is a dream or political movement. It is a way of creating a left-wing/left-of-centre force that has the same ideals as Labour but does not have to campaign and electioneer. I am concerned about the environment and the way peoples are being ravaged by global warming. I hate the right-wing movements and racism in wider society. Many, myself included, cannot stand the regime of Donald Trump and the way he is ruling America. Here, we have the threat of terrorism but there are so many splits and cracks in our fabric. The NHS is in peril and desperately requires finance and government support.
IN THIS PHOTO: The devastation caused by Hurricane Irma in Florida
Millions in the nation suffer depression and anxiety – many have to wait days/months to see a doctor and get adequate support. The human cost of lacking resources is seeing people take their own lives. There is gender inequality and sexism that sees women overlooked for managerial positions and denied the same opportunities as men – that is especially true in music, where there are far fewer women in top positions. What I propose would be creating two bases for The Single Voice. One would be based in London: the other over in New York. It means the two biggest music nations of Earth have an office in their territory. I want various ambassadors to represent The Single Voice and take its messages wherever they go. I would set up a website that acts like social media. One would register and sign in and be able to take part. Before I come to new developments; I will quote from an article I wrote a couple of years back:
How it Raises Money
The campaign is designed to bring together YouTube, Google, Apple and Microsoft: some of the most influential and important companies on the planet. I will go into more depth below but the way the user raises funds is through YouTube ‘views’: every time someone views a video you have uploaded; 10p is donated to your chosen charity. YouTube is the ‘hosting site’: it is their website that is the basis of the campaign. Google will be the ones who are donating the money. Each user/member -who chooses to take part - will register on the main site (see below) and through advertising and increased search results, Google will gain revenue- which in turn will be donated into The Single Voice. Companies like Google and Apple generate enormous profits each year; they do great work but have a lot of profit coming in. Finding a legal and non-invasive way for them to generate more funds- by advertising and getting more ‘business’- would allow them to channel this money into the campaign.
IN THIS PHOTO: Googles profit/revenue from 2015
The Main Site
The initiative will have a homepage: which will be where each person goes to register. The campaign will be shared and spread to social media, but at the first point of contact, each person would start here. Like Facebook and Twitter, registration is painless and quick: and a great way to connect with other users and like-minded people. The homepage will be well-designed and eye-catching. The top half will have various links: A-Z of Charities; Contact Details; Discussion Board; Events/Fundraisers; Latest Members; Links; Generated Profit so far. The bottom half will be fun and interactive. Figures from music, film, T.V. and comedy past and present interacting with one another - they will be animated.
Each person will be asked to register simple details: name, D.O.B., location; campaigns; total raised and several others. It will work a little like Facebook, where there is a profile page: it will be a simple process and contain plenty of information - although nothing too personal or revealing. From the registration page, there are links to social media - where you can easily promote your page/share your success. When all the personal details/key details are entered, then comes the ‘fun part’. The Single Voice has the option of 8 different YouTube-based ‘initiatives’/ideas. Each new member is allowed to ‘sign-up’/choose five of the eight options. For each initiative you will be selecting a different charity - I will go into more depth later. On the profile page will be your list of ‘initiatives’. By each of your selections will be the total money you have raised; how many times your idea/entry has been shared- and how many times you have shared it. This charity campaign will run for a year- from its launch date- and your selected charities will get donations each month- at the end of each month; however much you have raised will be donated to them.
PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash
Like Desert Island Discs and Tracks of My Years, each user gets to choose their 10 favourite/most important songs. There is an option- on each entry- for a user to commentate/explain why they have chosen what they have selected, but it is a great chance for the person to share their favourite songs.
This is an option that is a chance for new music to be heard. A person can give the world a chance to discover new music/musicians. If a new band/act has posted to YouTube, then their music can be shared. There is a chance to select your ten favourite songs from new acts.
It is nice and simple: choose your favourite ten music videos. Whether it is from a new band- or classic act- you get a chance to have a good think- what you consider to be the best of the breed.
The broadest option, this covers a multitude of music. On this option there is a drop-down list: giving you a selection of options. Includes is Decades- best music from ‘50s, ‘60s- all way to modern-day; Voices; Cover Versions; Guitar Riffs- up to 10 different selections.
Whether it is a short clip- lasting a few seconds- or a full-length film/T.V. episode, this is comedy-orientated. Whatever makes you laugh the most: get it uploaded! I shall expand on this more- and what I would select- but you can choose a stand-up show; an episode of The Simpsons- or a comedic home-made video/prank.
Again, whether it is an episode of Breaking Bad- if they are allowed on YouTube- or a short film, this is the chance to get it shared.
PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash
Beyond Social Media
Of course, the point of the campaign is not to share music/film- just for the sake of it. The idea is to raise money and awareness of causes and charities. On the home page, you get a chance to share your ideas and videos- and raise money each time they get a ‘view. When you select a charity- for each entry- there is an information button: this gives you huge information and links. If you select Diabetes U.K., then you get to find out about the charity. There are links to their website; how to get involved in the community; how to spot the signs of diabetes; ways to further becoming involved with the charity- runs, fundraisers, volunteering etc. This will be the case for every charity. It means that, not only does the user get to learn more about their chosen charities and causes; other people do too. On the site’s main page, there is an A-Z of Charities: a full list of all charities; information, links and videos for each.
PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash
In addition engaging people more with charities and causes; there is a hope it will lead to more community involvement. There is a chance to ‘represent’/choose to support women’s rights, stamp out gun violence, support local communities and boroughs- causes not usually represented by the big fundraisers. In addition to giving information about each, there are ways for you to get involved: get out onto the street and make a difference. Raising money will be a huge and important part of the idea, but it is hoped that the government will take note- issues and campaigns will be highlighted; a chance to change law- change people’s lives and initiate social change.
Not only does one get to learn more about charities and causes- the main objective of the campaign- there is a secondary bonus’. Each time you compile a list; there is a chance to benefit others. Say you have selected Top 10 Songs. After you have selected each track, there will be a link on each video/selection. Song and album information is provided; links to other similar acts; ways to record your own music/become a musician. In terms of new music, there is a chance to help new musicians- links to campaigns; ways to share their music and causes; find great new acts; support local venues and festivals- ways to bring about equality and change for musicians. The same goes for film and music videos: ways to become a director/actor; local schools and campaigns; links to similar films/videos; local schemes; ways to support other charities and causes etc.
At the moment there is the idea and determination: without contracts being signed; sites being designed- the big guns being involved. Of course, it is not going to be as simple as it should be- celebrities and huge companies are as apathetic as they come- so will take a lot of effort and campaigning. The point of this blog/the early stages is to gauge opinion: would people take part? Would it interest people? Could this work? For each entry people select from the list you have to donate a small sum yourself- rather than relying on others- but this should not put people off- it is a chance to engage and unite social media; represent all charities; try to make some genuine change. The rest of this year- in terms of this campaign- will be to get people talking; get names involved- contact YouTube and Google- and get them saying ‘yes’. I want to launch this within a year- it sounds a long way off but will take a lot of work. Above all, it will rely on people getting involved: I want it to be a lot bigger than the Ice Bucket Challenge. It is a golden opportunity to raise millions and more for a lot of causes; raise awareness of various issues- get people involved- on the street; in the community etc.
The bottom half would be interactive and animated: music figures would interact in a variety of locations: from Abbey Road to Reading Festival; to a recording studio and around London. There would be music and video player that can be accessed- linked to YouTube, SoundCloud etc. – and the locations would be around the world. The entire homepage is designed like a vinyl and has a record design; the front would be the animated figures and site name- the back would be the options and information; opening like a vinyl sleeve.
PHOTO CREDIT: Pixabay
There would be eleven different options; each would expand/open like a song. The options/’tracks’ are as follows:
1. Track One: Register
The user would sign-up-like a social media site- and be able to have full access to the site.
2. Track Two: About/Contact; Guided Tour
3. Track Three: A-Z of Charities and How You Can Support Them
A list of every charity around the world- from local causes to international names- that you can raise money for
4. Track Four: Social Media
A bespoke social media site that the emphasis on charity and music: the connection between the two and engaging users to become more involved in the community.
IN THIS PHOTO: The hope is to turn platforms like Facebook into a more coniencious and less egotistic platform/PHOTO CREDIT: John Holcroft
5. Track Five: Creative Zone
This would pull together everything within Psychoacoustics:
This will be expanded, too. Not only will there be a spoke music zone; there will be a similar ‘creative one’ for directors- film, T.V. and music video- and actors; in addition, there would be one for comedians, comedy writers and YouTube stars
6. Track Six: This Year’s Initiative
The Single Voice initiative detailed at the top of this post. This would launch the charity
PHOTO CREDIT: Pixabay
7. Track Seven: Local; Sites, Music and Points of Interest.
It would allow you to programme your town/city. If you lived in London for instance, you would be able to find all charities in your area; the music sites and venues- in addition to points of interest. It would work with Google to create a bespoke search engine that would allow the user to be productive and engaged in the community.
8. Track Eight: Connected: Tools for Musicians, Fans, Lovers and Labels; Writers to Charities and Organisations
This is a list of contacts and websites; connections and tools that allow charities to connect with musicians and the public; creatives to link-up with the right people- essentially, a LinkedIn-style site.
9. Track Nine: Listening Zone: Video and Media Player
Here, we have a huge library of music and video. Bonding with YouTube, there is a defined and organised library of music, film and T.V.: One that is broken-down into sections and genres; decades and time periods- allowing listeners to discover new music and film.
PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash
10. Track Ten: Psychoacoustics
This is the bespoke shopping site- working with the likes of Apple, Amazon and Samsung- that would not only sell music, D.V.D.s and vinyl; it would sell apps. And subscriptions; instruments and tickets- all under the one site.
11. Track Eleven: Search/Archives
This allows the user to search through the music; film, T.V. archives: discover lost gems and album covers; information and interviews etc.
There are so many great charities and people raising money every day. Through social media and life, we see posts of people competing events: Running, walking and enduring for charity; doing something amazing. One of the issues is that social media relies on sharing- in order to increase fundraising and awareness- a lot of time people can’t afford to donate a lot. By engaging big businesses- see below- and utiilsing music and the creative arts; it allows for bigger fundraising; tying charities and people together- from all around the world. The website lists all charities in the world; those that are both local and international. The charity aims to proffer and promote all charities; put them under one umbrella- unite social media and posts to ensure that greater awareness is raised. When users sign to the charity- and create an account- they can download music and support artists; discover great music and help musicians- earning points and rewards as they go along. When they reach certain targets, they can cash-in these points; donate them to causes- the ability to raise thousands of pounds in a very short space. It is not just reserved to charities and causes, either. There is an opportunity to raise funds and money for bands and artists. The artists themselves cannot raise funds, yet others can donate to bands and their recordings; filmmakers and projects- tying-in the likes of Pledge Music and Kickstarter.
The charity/fundraising elements will all come together in more detail- as the charity is set-up and developed; the full details and plans will be explained- but there is another element to the charity. Through the bespoke tools and links, it encourages users and people to take up and create music; become engaged in filmmaking and television- this is where the likes of Microsoft, Samsung and Apple will come into the fold. The companies would not only assist with designing the bespoke tools and sites; they would gain revenue and profit: In turn, they would be funding some of the world’s most innovative and well-designed music/creative tools.
PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash
One of The Single Voice’s assets is the way it connects people around the world. The charity looks at the user and tailors it around them. If you suffer from an illness or disease, it not only puts you in touch with those who can help- giving information and advice; making sure the social media side of things gets people connected. Every day we hear of new ills and issues- from gun violence to discrimination against transgenderism; animal cruelty and natural disasters- yet we feel helpless. The charity puts these issues at the forefront: It mobilises people to tackle the issues; gets people working to fight discrimination- raise money and support quick, so we can stamp out these inequities and problems. Issues like mental illness or still stigmatised; homelessness and social poverty is rife. The charity aims to put them into the spotlight: Change ways of thinking and help bring about progression and discussion.
How Big Businesses Can Help
The biggest tech and business giants make enormous profits. Every second it is estimated Samsung makes $6,000 revenue. The likes of Google and Apple are not far off. Of course this is earned and deserved to an extent- they provide services we all need and use- yet think about how much they earn a year? I have seen reports where some of those companies are unsure what to do: They have so much money but nowhere to put it. Whilst they are developing multi-million dollar headquarters and facilities; it seems there is a lot of money that could be better used- a tiny amount of their yearly profit. This is why The Single Voice is so important to me. It is not a Robin Hood Effect- taking from rich and giving to the poor- as each company will be earning extra revenue/partnering with the charity: It is taking a tiny percentage of their revenue; giving it to some wonderful causes/charities- helping to fit big issues and social ills. With such extravagant and unfathomable profits pouring in; there needs to be a better and fairer balance: Ensuring the organisations are charity-conscious as they can be. I am not suggesting they hand over, say 1%, of their profits a year: They are getting increased advertising and business; they will see their custom rise- it is a win-win, give-and-take situation. As it stands, the charity that is an idea and a seed: It needs the investing waters of businesses to get it off the line- and to nourish and help it grow. Without them it will take a long time to happen: It is advantageous a working bond is created as soon as possible. There is no real downside to either: The big companies- such as Apple and Microsoft- rarely work closely together; there is a sense of rivalry and competiveness- this is a way of bringing them together- without denting their business profits and market edges.
The Bottom Line
This is a charity I feel needs to happen: With every passing day there seems to be bigger gaps- between people and countries- big topics that are being hidden- too many people suffering silently. Money-raising is only part of the solution: Awareness and social activation needs to occur; governments and bodies need to be on board- it will take time to happen. The first step is seeing what people think; getting it going- getting those big names on board. There is more and more music created each day; most people on the planet love/have an opinion on music- using this to make money and help people seems icily logical and sensible. There is a lot of big business profits coming out; a lot of compartmentalisation and social disconnectedness: Unifying and remedying this would counteract these points.
IN THIS PHOTO: Jameela Jamil who, I feel, would be a perfect Ambassador
I am in the process of mailing companies- the likes of Samsung, Google, Apple etc.- and some big names- I hope the likes of Emilia Clarke, Jameela Jamil and Stephen Fry will back the charity- to get this thing going. Whilst there are a lot of words here (even for me!) the facts are this: Music and the arts is an easy and fun way of fundraising; we all need a little help and awareness; too many people are suffering needlessly- we all want this to change. The Single Voice is not so much its own charity- raising for one specific cause- but a way of housing and promoting every charity there is- whilst encouraging creativity and social interaction; tackling issues our government is not. In a way, it is a political party we can all get on board with - no false promises and crooked smiles- just a charity we can all support.
IN THIS PHOTO: Stephen Fry; another ideal candidate to support the charity
I hope my writing and grammar/punctuation has improved since then but I wanted to reinvestigate an update a concept I have shown to a few celebrities. Jameela Jamil, when I wrote to her, liked the idea – as did Stephen Fry. I want a lot of musicians to lend themselves to ambassadorial roles (including Björk) and ensure there is a constant sense of reaction and engagement. The charity/movement would incorporate all the concerns I laid out at the top: it would integrate the original premise/pitch and would widen the scope of ambassadors and functionality. The website would raise money but get people talking and issues highlighted.
PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash
Musicians would perform around the world and films made – a chance to expand beyond music and get creatives involved. It may sound jumbled by the same passion exists in me – my sight and intensity have not waned in the past two years. The initiatives and components of the website might change but there is that intrinsic desire to create an all-for-one, common-voice for the masses that have no political barriers and divisions. It is a need to change things in the world and bring us all together. I am unhappy with the separation and fear that permeates every issue of every society. I am not saying The Single Voice is going to radically improve the world but it is a chance for each person that wants to see change, through music and the creative arts, to have their say and…
PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash
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