Some of the biggest songwriters in music came together with Holocaust survivor and educator Ben Lesser for a new global music campaign based on stories and experiences from some of history’s most extraordinary people.
The meet-up is part of online and educational campaign The Global Classroom, a collaboration with the United Nations World Health Organization in partnership with BMG. The campaign released the Choose Love EP on all major streaming platforms on Wednesday (Sept. 23), and was launched by Lesser in a Global Classroom webcast on Tuesday to an audience of an estimated 1.8 million schoolchildren worldwide.
Over the course of five days at a BMG Soundlab conducted in Los Angeles, Lesser met with 14 songwriters, producers and artists including Toby Gad (John Legend, Beyonce, Fergie), Lindy Robbins (Jason Derulo, David Guetta), Edd Holloway (Lewis Capaldi, Martin Garrix), Georgia Ku (Dua Lipa, Zedd) and Emily Vaughn (Netta), among others to create the EP drawing from Lesser’s experiences during the Holocaust and his life.
The result is the four-song EP, featuring tracks “Zachor Intro” (a Jewish prayer performed by Lesser), “Change Somebody,” “Letter to the World” and “Zachor.”
“My story surviving the atrocities of the Holocaust and my mission to ensure we NEVER FORGET is just as important today, if not more, than it ever has been for students and artists to hear and understand,” said Lesser in a press statement “The opportunity to partner with BMG, WHO, UN, UNICEF, Microsoft and so many incredible artists to create unique music based off of my life story and then to bring this to students worldwide through the Global Classroom has been truly humbling….I hope the students worldwide feel the same way about the lessons we learned together.”
Future SoundLabs will include collaborations between songwriters and the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to create a song for the Refugee Olympics Team and another project with COVID-19 survivors, relatives of coronavirus victims and healthcare workers. The Global Classroom is a virtual series of lectures in collaboration with the WHO and UNICEF which are translated into over 40 languages benefitting millions of learners around the world.
Listen to the Choose Love EP below.