What happens when you combine a soulful tribute to the late Bill Withers with the current need to amplify frontline workers during the COVID-19 crisis?
Well, you get the feel-good rendition called, We Still With Bill: A Soulful Artists Video Tribute To Bill Withers.
“This is dedicated to all frontline workers. Because of you, there will be lovely days,” the video caption reads as the familiar tune of one of Withers’ most popular songs, “Lovely Day” fades in.
Just like the many artists who are using their creativity to adapt to our new social distancing world, Goapele, Raheem DeVaughn, Anthony David, Eric Roberson, Avery Sunshine, Kindred the Family Soul, Algebra Blessett, Omar Lyefook and Cam Anthony joined together from their own respective homes to sing the Withers classic. The video was produced remotely by Senior Creative Director at Big Bowl of Ideas Wyatt Closs, Tone Walters of the Tonesetters, Creative Director at National Education Association Steven Chavers and Culture Shift Creative CEO Anasa Troutman.
According to a press release provided to The Root, “the video seeks to amplify organizations that are driving COVID-19 relief efforts by providing personal protective equipment (PPE) and other vital resources to frontline workers, as well as unrestricted grants to impacted artists and activists.”
“We’re so grateful to each artist for donating their time and talent to celebrate Bill Withers and help raise public consciousness around ways to support everyday people and families through this global crisis,” Closs said in a statement. “Even amidst all of the devastation and suffering around us, we hope his words serve as a joyful reminder that lovelier days lie still ahead.”
This project supports the following organizations:
Protect All Workers, which has launched petitions geared towards delivering more vital resources/PPE to frontline workers, and to demand expanded access to healthcare and economic supports for working people and families of every race and socioeconomic background
The Artist + Activist Relief Fund, which is providing unrestricted grants between $250 to $750 to struggling artists and activists across mediums and which, to date, has sent out more than $150,000 in grants to 462 artists and activists
Dear Frontline, a digital postcard website where viewers can send a message of thanks and appreciation to healthcare workers while choosing artwork and designs created by everyday visual artists
“As an artist, Bill Withers crossed genres of blues, R&B, soul, and jazz to create a catalog that is treasured and frequently covered by generations of artists all over the world,” David, who produced the music track heard in the video with Eddie “Gypsy” Stokes, said in a statement. “With his passing and especially in this moment, his words and melodies invoke a sense of solace and healing and deliver a message of love and hope that is sorely needed.”