There have been numerous instances in the past where socio-politically conscious artists (read: attention-whores) have spearheaded awareness campaigns and organized concerts to benefit charity.
The 80’s had Bob Geldof (that’s SIR Bob Geldof, to you), the 90’s had Bono (who continues to work tirelessly for all sorts of shifting beliefs), the 2000’s had many, MANY such events… some even involving Al Gore and his “Save the Earth” endeavours (Jesus, did this guy even consider how much electricity was being consumed throughout the event? And what about all the viewers, watching the same on their spankin’ new power-consuming plasma TVs at home?).
But despite all of these, there were some truly meaningful events in the last few years, where some really awesome bands came together and played without any agendas – the entire line-up of Pink Floyd played at the latest Live 8 concert, who could forget that?
That being said, there were some very memorable collaborations where many performing artists put aside their busy schedules and egos and came together for some truly genuine causes, united in harmony by music alone. Here are some of the highlights:
3: Young Canadian artists for Haiti: Wavin’ Flag
Following the devastating earthquake of 2010 in Haiti, the Canadian Government was one of the first to jump on board a relieve-and-rescue mission – and why wouldn’t they? Its not like they have to pick bones with any other country, or secure their borders against a horde of illegal immigrants (which would actually help their labour crises) – might as well give their armed forces (!!) something worthwhile to do.
All jokes aside, the entire nation (estimated population of 34.6 million) contributed generously – in cash and kind – sending one of the largest contingents of manpower, supplies, and over $770 million in aid! To put things in perspective, their neighbors, with a population of 312 million, donated MAYBE $100 million. I guess this goes to show how the widely played Young Canadian Artists’ collaboration might have had something to do with it.
2: Various Pakistani artists: Yeh Hum Naheen
Owing to the various inflammatory rumors (or proven facts?) doing the rounds about how Pakistan is the breeding ground of state-sponsored terrorism, a group of Pakistani citizens decided to stand up for themselves, in an effort to absolve their fellow countrymen of all such negative associations.
While pessimists may dismiss this as nothing but ‘damage-control’, the reality is, not all Pakistanis are fundamentalists at heart. I can vouch for this myself – and relax, I’m not trying to pull a Shekhar Suman, a lá Laughter Challenge days, awarding laurels to the Pakistanis for political reasons. In all my time abroad, of all the ‘desis’ I befriended, 95% of them were Pakistanis (my fellow compatriots were all too keen to shed their true heritage in favor of their ‘naturalized’ status) – and they were probably some of the nicest people I’d met!
1: Various Indian singers: Jana-Gana-Mana
Numero uno, for some not-so-obvious reasons:
– No over-the-top production
– No fancy studio enhancements
– No vulgar display of nuclear warheads
– No political propaganda whatsoever.
The only bit of colour displayed within this collaboration is on the Indian flag, which, instead of distracting, actually adds more substance to the simplicity of this minimalist music video.
Fusing together various vocalists, hailing from diverse backgrounds, musical and cultural, this truly manifests our motto of ‘unity in diversity.’ Okay, before I get sentimental and carried away some more, suffice it to say that I actually got up from my cushy chair and stood still for the entire duration of the anthem. As should you.