This week we are putting all of our efforts behind an incredible cause that we are so proud to be a part of. The Boxtones have partnered with Gulf For Good to use our music to help children all around the world who have been affected by the pandemic.
Gulf for Good are a charity organisation under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum and they have been doing amazing things.
They have organised over 87 charity fundraising challenges, with over 1545 participants, in 27 countries, in support of 61 children’s charities; raising over US$3.9 million, building schools, children’s homes, hospitals, and more, changing the lives of countless children around the world”. We couldn’t be prouder to support them.
When we wrote our song “Humanity” back in 2018 we knew it had a strong message and so we wanted to use it for something meaningful. We knew instinctively it was a song of hope. Little did we know when we wrote it just how the world would have changed by the time it was released. It feels now like its message is more poignant than ever.
“Now’s the time to lift our hearts
Learn from the past
Rewrite our story
If we stand join as one
Hand in hand
Make it better for the human race
And forget the borders
Let them all… fall…..down” (“Humanity” – The Boxtones)
If ever there was a time to learn from the past, this is it. We have all had time during lockdown to think about how a new world could look. How could we better it? How can we be better humans? This pandemic has shown us that there are no real borders. We are all suffering the same fate the world over as a result of COVID- 19. The Coronavirus doesn’t confine itself geographically and neither should we. We need to work together to help each other.
We wanted our music video to reflect that message too and so we featured children of all races. Children have the best way of knocking down all of our prejudices and simplifying the important things in life beautifully and we think our video has shown just how simple the message is. These kids were amazing, but more on them later.
I asked each of the band mates to send me a few lines on their take of the whole experience of making “Humanity”. So, here’s a little more of the background of our latest track.
“Humanity is a song I wrote in 2018. I was seeing so many posts on social media about division, racial inequality and general unrest around the world.
The situation in America particularly has worsened since then but that only means it’s getting the most media attention, when this kind of thing happens all over the world, and the quieter voices just don’t get heard.
I wanted to write about it in a meaningful and impactful way to highlight some of those quieter voices, and speak about how as children we have an open mind and are innocent to the harshness of bigotry and inequality.
It’s only through our peers and our life experiences that people are jarred into this way of thinking, and “Humanity” is a song that wants to provide hope to victims of this oppression, and to highlight that we are made of the same stuff no matter where you are from.”
“Love has no colour,
no race, we’re the same.
Don’t look outside start looking in”
(“Humanity” – The Boxtones)
“Humanity is a drum-heavy song and a lot of fun for me to play! Not long before we headed into SoundStruck Studios to record, I was gifted a vintage silver sparkle Ludwig drum kit from a friend, which previously belonged to Michael Lee (used on the Page & Plant tour). With 4 toms and a monster 28” kick drum we had to try it out in a studio setting.
The massive kick didn’t sound right for the song, but we ended up using a couple of the large floor toms to fatten up the bottom end and it sounded awesome!
It’s one of my favourite songs of ours and I’m so excited that we get to use it for such a great cause with Gulf for Good.”
“Following Gill’s description of her experience recording, I’d like to add a few key instruments utilized to create the song “Humanity”!
As our old bassist Pat recorded this last original tune with us, he was happy to get his hands on an Ampeg SVT classic bass rig that carries that ‘sweet vintage growl behind it’ (quote taken from the man himself). Gary couldn’t stop talking about how he loved the sound of his Fender as he tracked electric guitars via a mighty Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier set up.
The piano you hear in the track was recorded on a finely tuned Yamaha acoustic grand piano! Nothing beats the real instrument when it comes to performance and recording, especially when it brings me back to my classical roots!
All of those legato and pizzicato strings, massive regal sounding brass (consisting of 4 trumpets, 4 trombones and a lead trumpet), soft female choirs and a glorious pipe organ patch were from my trusty Nord Keyboards. I absolutely loved the recording atmosphere as every layer of golden goodness was tracked over 5 or 6 days until we added the icing on the cake – the vocal parts!
Now you know I’m always on the look-out for new content to capture. Whether it’s with our multiple GoPros, borrowed DSLR cameras from our friends at NMK Electronic Enterprises for behind the scenes content (music video shoot) or with the band’s favorite video tool, the Shure MV88+ Video Kit! You’d be surprised at just how many video clips we’ve had to go through during the marketing phase.
But we really have to mention the amazing work our long-time friend and photography extraordinaire Waleed Shah and his crew did when they came to Greenfield International School. They were the most professional team you could work with and captured the perfect takes needed for the creation of the music video! All in all, from my perspective, this project has been handled in the best way it could be! Hope you’re all enjoying it!”
“What can I say about “Humanity”? I can say that the practice and prep did help out a lot. I was more or less behind the scenes on the video, queuing, starting and stopping the audio for each take. It was a lot of fun, and time just really flew by. There was a lot of talent coming from the children and was great to see everything piece by piece come together.
This was my second experience shooting a video with The Boxtones, and it couldn’t have turned out any better! If any reader noticed back on the QE2 video, I had only been out in Dubai a short while, and was just concentrating so hard haha! Not on this one, well, that’s because the camera was all on the children this time around!”
It’s no secret that I love kids, so a project involving children and music is only my very favourite kind!
I have to say there was something so overwhelming about hearing those little voices sing it through the walls in rehearsal before the shoot. We were in the next room setting up when I heard them. As I opened the door I could hear all their little voices singing at the top of their lungs. They had just reached a really uplifting vocal in the pre-chorus. Instinctively they had attached a lot of energy to that line. It was incredible!
They sang it so powerfully “Stand side by side’. I’m not ashamed to say there may have been a watery eye or two at that point. Bless their little school socks!
They always say ‘never work with kids or animals’ in show business and although it’s definitely a learning curve it was also so much fun. Every child is so unique and had their own way of doing things and of incorporating ‘their take’ on what we were asking of them. Sometimes it was spot on with a touch of their own flair and others were very amusing and very original. I loved every minute of working with them.
We ran a little short on boys at one point and thankfully our youngest member of the cast that day stepped in to save the day. Little Jacob was only in Grade one and hadn’t even heard the song before his debut, but rocked it like the champ he is. After a five-minute run through of his line with me he had it nailed and the missing teeth were just the cutest addition ever.
In addition to our youngest helper, my daughter Rosie stepped in to do a line. Rosie’s appearances in our music videos have become a bit of an ‘Easter Egg’ and if you check out our videos you will find her popping up in each one.
And lastly, Gill and Will’s baby boy Luke was a mere few weeks old on the day and joined us for a morale boost of baby cuddles and ‘oohs and ahhs’ at his cute dinosaur onesie. And now that he is one year old he has provided an extremely cute and moving image for our campaign. I mean…just look at him!
So, on behalf of The Boxtones we would love to give one huge thank you to all the super smart and beautiful children of Greenfield International School who made our music video for “Humanity” such a special experience. We hope you all enjoy their input.
We are sure that they will help Gulf for Good raise a whole heap of money to help the other less fortunate children out there affected by this pandemic. Let’s get more kids safe, well and smiling again together!
Please check out our video on our Youtube channel below:
Stream the fresh new “Humanity” single on all major platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Deezer, Anghami and more:
And follow the links for the Yallagive donation page if you can find a way to add some monetary support to Gulf For Good’s campaign, to help them make a difference.
IACAD license no 3133 #WeAreHumanity #HumanityIsSolidarity #Humanity #StrongerTogether #WeAreAllResponsible #GulfForGood #TheBoxtones