Musicians Band Together To Raise $300M For Youth Crisis
More than 50 Canadian artists have banded together to record an anthemic song with a powerful and complementary video that organizers hope can raise as much as $ 300 million to amplify awareness of mental illness among youth and bolster funds for Kids Help Phone, the charitable organization that provides online and telephone counselling and volunteer-led, text-based support in English and French to youth across Canada.
Collectively known as Artists for Feel Out Loud, the song and accompanying video are entitled What I Wouldn’t Do (North Star Calling) is a hybrid adaptation of lyrics from Serena Ryder’s What I Wouldn’t Do and Leela Gilday’s Juno-winning song North Star Calling. Both the song and the video are to be released at noon EST today on various platforms including YouTube.Fifty-one Canadian artists aged between eight and twenty-eight were recorded and incorporated into the video from across the country to form the musical collective Artists for Feel Out Loud, with the sole purpose of amplifying the conversation around mental health and empowering young people to feel out loud.
Since Kids Help Phone was established in 1989, the helpline has logged over 5 million calls and reportedly receives as many as 18,000 daily from kids seeking information and help.
The complete list of performers can be found below, but included are Alessia Cara, Jessia, Johnny Orlando, JP Saxe, Rêve, Roy Woods, The Reklaws, TOBi, and Tyler Shaw with additional recordings of children’s choirs from both the Sarah McLachlan School of Music in Vancouver, BC and Chief Jimmy Bruneau School in Behchokǫ̀, NT. Both the song and video were produced by Bob Ezrin, Randy Lennox (Loft Entertainment) and Carrie Mudd (Peacock Alley Entertainment), film director Kevin Barton with additional help from Haley Lennox. The initiative is supported by the combined resources of Spotify Canada, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Bell Media, Cineplex, Google Music, TikTok, Meta, SiriusXM Canada, Snapchat, Sony Music Canada, Universal Music Canada, Warner Music Canada, and YouTube.
“What I Wouldn't Do" is a song about love, and I think learning to love ourselves is our most important journey in life,” shares Serena Ryder. “It's an honour to reimagine the song with Leela Gilday, (producer) Bob Ezrin and all of the amazing musicians across Canada. I want to let young people know that it’s okay to not be okay, and there are caring, supportive people who are there for them, no judgment, no issue too big or too small. I hope as you listen to this song, you will be reminded we all have our own struggles and needs, but help is available, Kids Help Phone is there”.
“The mental health and wellness of our Canadian youth is our top priority, and it is inspiring to see more than 50 young Canadian artists come together and lend their voices to Kids Help Phone’s Feel Out Loud campaign. They say it takes a village and, in this case, the entire music community has come together to embrace this critical issue,” shares Randy Lennox, Executive Producer for Artists for Feel Out Loud and Music Industry Executive, Loft Entertainment.
“We are truly moved by the overwhelming support from the music community – all coming together for youth mental health. Thank you for creating this masterpiece, reminding young people they’re not alone, and that Kids Help Phone is here, 24/7 for any and all feelings,” Katherine Hay, President & CEO, Kids Help Phone.
Artist representation and collaboration on the single and video spans provinces, territories, and cities from coast to coast to coast, representing a diverse group of talent, with the equitable, informative, and creative intention of reaching underserved and equity-deserving youth across the country and within all communities.
All collected proceeds generated from the single will be donated to Kids Help Phone. To learn more and to donate to Feel Out Loud, please visit kidshelpphone.ca.
ABOUT KIDS HELP PHONE
Kids Help Phone is Canada's only 24/7 national, e-mental health service offering free, confidential, multilingual support to young people. As the country's virtual care expert, we give millions of youths a safe, trusted space to talk over the phone or through text or in self-directed support in any moment of crisis or need. Through our digital transformation, we envision a future where every person in Canada can feel out loud and get the support they need when they need it most. Kids Help Phone gratefully relies on the generosity of donors, volunteers, stakeholder partners, corporate partners and governments to fuel and fund our programs. Learn more at KidsHelpPhone.ca.