Blinky Bill Teams Up Global Stars In Sh5bn Conservation Initiative

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What you need to know:
  • The money will be generated from music streaming revenues.
  • The project is a call to action for a collective effort to protect the Earth.
  • Kenyan artiste Blinky Bill has teamed up with English singer Ellie Goulding and Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora to raise Sh5 billion ($40 million) for conservation.

    Blinky Bill alongside the two platinum-selling artistes is one of the selected global stars who have been picked to raise the colossal sum of money for conservation.

    The 41-year-old, the only one picked from Africa, will be part of a new global music initiative dubbed Sounds Right.

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    The money will be generated from music streaming revenues in the initiative's first four years.

    Blinky Bill, who is the founder of the Kenyan alternative music collective Just A Band, will work alongside Goulding three-time platinum-certified album-selling artiste and two-time platinum-certified album-selling singer, Aurora, to record new tracks or remix hits featuring nature by including sounds from the natural world.

    The artistes have been ensembled by the Museum of the United Nations-UN Live ahead of the Earth Day which will be marked on April 22.

    The Museum for the United Nations-UN Live said it believes the Sounds Right project will activate fans and raise the targeted funds while at the same time spark a global conversation about the value of nature.

    The project will also be a call to action fora collective effort to protect the planet.

    The Museum also said that, from now on, it will categorise Nature as an official artiste.

    With timeless classics such as ocean waves, wind, rainstorms and birdsong, nature has a long history of contributing to music. Now, Nature will be recognized as an official artist with her own profile on major streaming platforms. By simply listening to music that features sounds of the natural world, fans will help to fund nature conservation and restoration projects in our most precious and precarious ecosystems, the Museum said in a statement.

    The coming together of these global artistes, including legendary rock star David Bowie, Tom Walker, London Grammer among others has seen a 15-track playlist already released on Spotify under the Feat. Nature playlist. The playlist is also available on all major music streaming platforms in the world.

    Blinky Bills track Oh Wah is number 13 on the playlist.

    The artiste, who delivered an outstanding performance at the Blankets and Wines in Nairobi a fortnight ago, said he was excited to be lined up with great global artistes for the project.

    It's a big honour to be selected for this project. Since when I was a kid, I've always been fascinated by the artistry of nature. I remember being in the village and being amazed by the sight of fireflies. I don't see them as much anymore, Blinky Bill said.

    The full range of nature's artistry must be protected. This is one of the ways I would like to be involved. It is also really cool to have the sounds of birds singing and the ocean waves as the instrumentals in my track, he said.

    Sounds Right is banking on more than 600 million individual listeners on streaming platforms where the playlist has been distributed to raise $40 million in the intitiatives first four years.

    The initiative comes at a time when wildlife populations have declined by an average of 69 per cent in the past 50 years. At least 1.2 million plant and animal species are also estimated to be facing extinction.

    Katja Iversen, the CEO of The Museum for the United Nations-UN Live said incorporating artistry in the project will be a game changer in mobilising the masses to pay more attention on conservation.

    Popular culture, like music, has the power to engage millions of people, ignite positive global change at scale, and get us all on a more sustainable path. In a world where empathy is declining and many people often feel that their actions hardly matter, Sounds Right and UN Live meet people where they already are on their screens and in their earbuds with stories and formats they can relate to, and actions that matter to them. Recognising nature as a valuable artiste will truly be a game changer, Iversen said.

    Revenues from royalties generated by Nature, the artiste and donations to Sounds Right will be collected by the UK and US registered charity EarthPercent then directed to biodiversity conservation and restoration projects in threatened ecosystems worldwide.