Teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg has spent much of her high school years warning the rest of us that the old guard won’t save us from near-certain global apocalypse due to rising seas and temperatures. Her message has long been: step aside and let the next generation fix the problem you ignored.
Well, now drumming prodigy and viral music superstar Nandi Bushell, 11, has teamed with 10 year-old pre-teen shredder Roman Morello, 10, son of Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, for a tooth-rattling rock anthem that makes that urgent message crystal clear. The pair, working with the elder Morello, wrote the original anthem “The Children Will Rise Up!,” on which a swell of children’s voices promise that they will not be silenced when it comes to shouting from the rooftops about environmental injustice.
“The children will rise up/ Our voices will be heard/ Our voices will be heart,” Bushell sings on the chorus before Roman rips off a searing solo that gets a virtual thumbs up from his famous dad.
The video is introduced by none other than rock comedy legend Jack Black, and in addition to images of the the global destruction caused by the burning of fossil fuels, it features Bushell raging against the carbon machine. “They let the Earth bleed to feed their filthy greed/ Stop polluting politicians poisoning for profit/ While they’re killing all the trees, now we all can’t breathe,” Bushell sings in the visual, which also features her doubling-up on drums as Roman swings his hair around and chops out the song’s chunky riffs.
Thunberg appears near the end with the simple message: “rise up,” which precedes a short monologue by Bushell in which she breaks down the song’s vital message. “Scientists all agree that the world is warning up at an alarming rate,” she says. “Which could lead to loss of habitats, loss of species, famine, starvation and mass migration. Scientists also know what is causing climate change, which is the increase of carbon dioxide and methane gases, which is generated by deforestation, overfishing, burning fossil fuels and industrial farming.”
In a statement accompanying the video, Bushell said she learned about climate change at school and wanted to do her part to made a difference. She said she asked the Morellos to collaborate with her and once they had the tune locked in they asked Black and Thunberg if they wanted to help them raise awareness about climate change.
In collaboration with Fridays for Future Brazil and England — branches of the global youth climate movement started by Thunberg — all proceeds from the song will be donated to the non-profit conservation organization The SOS Pantanal Institute. The superstar pre-teen summit is the capper to a pretty epic summer for Bushell, who joined the Foo Fighters on stage during their Aug. 26 show in Los Angeles and recently played along Ringo Starr and dozens of other legendary drummers on a cover of the Beatles’ “Come Together” as part of WhyHunger’s Drum Together campaign to end hunger.
Watch the “Rise Up!” video below.