Love and peace will be the message in the music when Stop the Bleeding USVI: The LIATI (lee-ah-tee) Project premieres its first single entitled “Believe” on September 2, 2011. Radio stations in the Virgin Islands, the Caribbean and on the mainland will simultaneously air the debut of the song at 7 a.m. on Friday. Internet listening parties will take place on the weekend of the release.
According to Cheryl Francis, Executive Producer of the musical project,”Believe” is a unique musical collaboration of musicians who reside in the Virgin Islands and abroad. “It is such a beautiful example of how we can work together to promote peace, and send a message of hope to our youth here and throughout the world,” said Francis, wife of V.I. Lt. Governor Gregory R. Francis. She founded Stop the Bleeding, Inc. in 2007 to actively involve parents and their children in reducing violence in their communities.
This project was especially heartfelt by the six popular V.I. musicians who made the recording because they were either born or raised in the territory. As a result, they generously gave their time and talents to collaborate on this masterful message, Francis said. Five of the musicians wrote and contributed their own lyrics to the project. “It was amazing how the verses from each artist complemented the other,” she commented. “The project’s collaborators understood the work of Stop the Bleeding and what we want to tell the people of our communities. If each one stands firm and believes, we can change tomorrow for the better.”
Contributing artists Pressure Busspipe (“Love and Affection”), Verse Simmonds (“Dat Girl”), Elijah Vegas (“They Don’t Understand Me”), Rena Faith (“Without You”), Raynaldo ‘TSR’ Canton (“Make It Home”—soon to be released), and Mada Nile (“I Would Like to See”) voluntarily spent hours in St. Croix’s state-of-the-art Aqua Sounds recording studio to complete the project. The song mix was then mastered by Disc Makers. All proceeds from the sale of the single will go towards the work of the Stop the Bleeding Foundation. An album set to be released in 2012 will include “Believe” and other songs contributed by Virgin Islands musicians and will further add to proceeds.
STB is a registered member of ASCAP, which will protect the copyright of the tune, monitor the broadcasts and performance of the tune and collect the royalties for STB, which is a non-profit organization. Believe is being distributed by Tune Core, a leader in music and video distribution. The five minute song can be downloaded this Friday from internet stores including iTunes, Amazon.com, Zune, I Heart Radio, Myspace music and Vervelife. It can also be purchased at local music stores. A ringtone for mobile phones will also be available through iTunes, said Kareem Francis, coordinator of the LIATI Project, the arm of STB which spearheads the organization’s musical endeavors. This collaboration of musically diverse artists will be reminiscent of the popular 1985 “We Are the World” song written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie to aid famine relief in Africa and then remixed later to benefit Haiti earthquake relief efforts. “Our product will be distinctly Caribbean but we are certain that we will have an equally successful result for this project,” he said.
Collis “Krunkmaster DJ Slik” Mitchell, a popular Virgin Islands on-air personality, is credited with bringing the concept for a recorded musical collaboration to Francis and her son, Kareem. “I knew that music was the driving force behind some of the greatest movements for change, so I wanted to promote this first-of-its kind collaboration of V.I. musical artists to benefit Stop the Bleeding,
” Mitchell said. He then brought electronic musical genius Masai Harris to the LIATI team. Harris has the ability to generate almost any genre of music from R&B, rap, hip hop and soul to reggae and calypso. “We love his work,” Mrs. Francis said. “Masai understands that when young people listen to music they learn more about their world. Youth often find comfort in music, and when it seems like no one else understands, the words or sounds of music seem to express it best for them. The LIATI Project will always present positive messages through music and lyrics to counteract the negative and lewd messages our children so often hear and see in today’s media,” she added.
LIATI is an acronym for “Love Is All There Is,” explained Mrs. Francis. “The team was searching for just the right name for the project. One of our members had previously heard the expression and offered it for consideration. We researched it further and found
lia means “to climb” and ti means “tree” in the West African language of Ewe spoken in parts of Ghana, Togo and Benin. We felt both interpretations were the perfect fit for our LIATI message—we want to take our youth to higher levels of understanding through promoting love and peace as alternatives to violence.”
Francis and the project team say “Get ‘LIATI-ready’ for the premiere of “Believe” this weekend. Call your favorite radio station and ask to hear “Believe” every day!