“LET’S CHANGE THE WORLD”
RINGO STARR PUTS KIDS AT THE CENTER OF HIS NEW VIDEO BY COLLABORATING WITH KIDS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
See Video Here
Photo credit, Scott Robert Ritchie
Tuesday, September 28, 2021 -- Today Ringo Starr released his new video “Let’s Change The World,” the lead single off his current EP Change The World. The song and video deliver a welcome dose of hope and Starr’s trademark optimism. The song was written by Joseph Williams and Steve Lukather, both of whom also played on the track, with backing vocals by Amy Keys, Zelma Davis, Billy Valentine and Darryl Phinnessee.
Lukather also appears in the video, which was created in collaboration with Kids In The Spotlight, a nonprofit that provides a platform for foster care youth to tell their stories through film. These underserved youth write, cast, and star in their own short films, and the experiences help them to heal and grow, as well as to prepare and lay the groundwork for future employment opportunities.
“Let’s Change The World! I wanted to make this video with kids because they are our future and this is for them. They deserve clean water and fresh air. I believe we should leave this planet in better shape than we found it for our kids, and right now we are not doing that. Half the world is on fire and the other half is under water. We have got to change, and I believe we can. Peace and love, Ringo.”
KITS was the perfect organization to partner with to fulfill Ringo’s vision for the video. The kids were involved in the entire process, including a zoom meeting with Ringo where they discussed the concept and shared some of their ideas, such as using a huge screen displaying images, fire-fighters putting out fires, smoke machines, and showing how this video could become an anthem of acceptance and fighting the effects of global warming. On the shoot days, which took place in Los Angeles on location by Starr’s Peace Sculpture in Beverly Hills Park, and at the Standard Vision Studios in Glendale, they were able to shadow and assist in all areas including directing, lighting, choreography and photography.
“The collaborative effort between Kids In The Spotlight and Ringo Starr to create the music video for “Let’s Change The World,” is a perfect example of the opportunities our organization strives to bring youth in foster care year round,” said KITS Executive Director, Tige Charity. “The experience our youth had in bringing Ringo Starr’s positive message to life through film and music is a memory they will have forever.”
Both during pre-production and on the production days, many of the kids contributed ideas for set-ups, wardrobe choices, etc. For instance, Santiago Chavez is a KITS youth and budding director, and shadowed the video’s director David Mahmoudieh on the shoot on the first day. Rodney Jackson-Brown, another KITS foster youth, is an aspiring writer and actor, who helped conceptualize and appeared in the video on both shoot days. (Rodney actually won the KITS National Foster Youth Screenwriting Contest with his script "Bully", which David Mahmoudieh also directed).
"I have been working with the foster youth of Kids In The Spotlight for the past six years now, watching so many of them come of age as actors, writers and future directors,” said director David Mahmoudieh. “KITS provides them with a truly transformative platform, where they can channel their experiences within the foster system and life in general into films that represent their identity. All of these kids have their own stories and KITS nurtures them into storytellers. I am continually blown away by the variety of unique voices in the program, and working with them on the ‘Let's Change The World’ music video demonstrated the kids' ability to apply their skills as storytellers to a whole new platform. One of the KITS affirmations is 'I can do great things, because I was created to do great things.' In Ringo and the positive message of his song, they found the perfect partner to do just that."
“These kids were so great to work with,” added Ringo. “I loved the way they jumped in and I think it turned out great. I want to thank each and every one of them for being so peace and loving and giving their all.”
Here is some more information on the KITS kids who participated and quotes from some of them about their experience:
“This music video is all about changing the world. Ringo is not enough to change the world, we’re not enough to change the world. It’s got to be all of us. You can change the world by doing it your own way. We can help people in need, homeless, people who are sick…. we can be 10 times stronger if we work together. I was so honored to work with KITS and Ringo on his music video, and I hope that everyone who watches it will do their part in changing the world for the better.” - Rodney Jackson-Brown, 23, KITS Program Participant.
“It was surreal having the chance to collaborate with Ringo, and I couldn’t believe that KITS and the director trusted me to help bring this music video to life. This video brings you nothing but joy, it brought me joy! Most of the time I’m sitting around sad, walking through my life sad. I just felt happy when I was there with Ringo and having him play his song with everyone dancing and jumping around.. there was no way that was real! Changing the world means peace, no violence… accepting others. I feel our biggest problem is acceptance. The more accepting you are the more at peace you are.” - Daniel Williams, 21, KITS Program Participant.
“As an aspiring artist, I always remember how KITS helped me believe that I was capable of achieving great things. Collaborating with Ringo Starr, a living legend, was a dream come true and proof that you can speak things into existence.” - Aliah Monae, 23, KITS Program Alumni.
“Giving our current circumstances with life right now, We all just need a good laugh, a good smile. That’s how I think people will feel listening to this.” - Daniel Williams, 21, KITS Program Participant.
“I want people to be nicer to the planet because it matters!” - Billy Jones, 22, KITS Program Participant.
KITS Program Youth that were involved:
- Lania Whiteside - Helped conceptualize music video with Ringo via Zoom, also was an extra during production
- Aliah Monae- Helped conceptualize music video with Ringo via Zoom
- Aisa Johnson - Helped conceptualize music video with Ringo via Zoom
- Ezekiel Almonte - Helped conceptualize music video with Ringo via Zoom, also was an extra during production
- Santiago Chavez - Helped conceptualize music video with Ringo via Zoom, also was an extra during production
- Daniel Williams - Helped conceptualize music video with Ringo via Zoom, also was an extra during production
- Tatiahna Bentley - Helped conceptualize music video with Ringo via Zoom, also was an extra during production
- Billy Jones - Helped conceptualize music video with Ringo via Zoom, also was an extra during production, and is the kid with the cool dance moves throughout the video (*Note: He's been with the program for a number of years and is currently trying to start a career as a dancer and choreographer. He taught himself to dance and has a great backstory).
- Rodney Jackson-Brown - Helped conceptualize music video with Ringo via Zoom, also was an extra during production
- Bai-inga Bangura - Helped conceptualize music video with Ringo via Zoom, also was an extra during production
Non-KITS Youth that were involved:
KITS also cast some younger children to be extras in the film, including: Ebony Jewel Charity, Cari Daniels, Zoe Rawlings, Naviah Hines, and Isaac Grijalva.
In addition, creative students from Hollywood High School and Santa Susana High School were cast to be extras. And the younger kids who comprise the "Beatlettes" (as they were fondly called during the shoot) are not foster kids but are KITS-affiliated.
Change The World is available everywhere digitally and on CD and cassette; the 10” vinyl releases November 19, 2021. The EP contains 4 tracks - “Let’s Change The World,” “Just That Way,” “Coming Undone,” and “Rock Around The Clock” -- all the songs were recorded at Starr’s Roccabella West studio. Creating songs that span the spectrum of pop, country, reggae and rock and roll and featuring frequent and new collaborators, including Joe Walsh, Linda Perry and Trombone Shorty, Fully Fullwoood and Tony Chin, and many more. For more information on the record and a full list of credits click here:https://umusic.app.box.com/s/vuf5trer9wre77rbwv0355b2zc9i3fwy
About Kids In The Spotlight:
KITS is a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to help foster youth confront, address, and overcome their psychological, emotional, and developmental trauma through transformative storytelling and filmmaking. The organization provides foster youth with the skills needed to maintain employment, pursue higher education, and become stable and productive members of society. Donations are welcome to help continue the incredible impact the program offers these amazing youth. To learn more and donate to Kids In The Spotlight, visit www.kitsinc.org or simply text GIVE to 833-514-0427. To buy tickets to the upcoming KITS Awards on November 6, 2021 at the Orpheum Theater, visithttps://www.kitsinc.org/events.
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