Launch Day! One woman song for International Women’s Day

It doesn't get any better than today.

March 8, 2013. A very snowy Friday. Despite the traffic snafus, the room at the UN is overflowing - hundreds of men and women in colorful outfits, excitement bubbling. It's International Women' Day.

It's not yet 10am, but they almost won't let me in - it's the overflow room for me. No! But someone snags me and pulls me into the room, to a seat in the front row. It's reserved in my name. Wow.

Isha Sesay, CNN anchor, makes introductory remarks. She says, Today we have a special treat for you - the first theme song ever written for a UN Agency. 

That would be our song.

Then Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon makes his remarks. He closes his speech by saying, " If we work together - as our new song says - We Shall Shine." 

That would be my lyric.

Then they played the video for "One Woman." Ms. Bachelet, Exec Dir of UN Women and former president of Chile, sang along; if she could have stood up and danced, I think she might have (that's what she did at the pre-launch sneak performance on Tuesday).

And when it was over, people cheered.  Ms. Bachelet and Ban-Ki Moon gestured for me to stand up, so I did. People cheered. I cried. 

Here's a terrible picture of Mr. Moon shaking my hand.

And then - how cool is this? - UN Women rented a karaoke booth so people could sing the song. They audio and videotaped the performances for the next fun and fabulous music video for "One Woman." 

May everyone sing this song, in their own language, in their own voice. May we all shine.

Q&A with Songs 4 Sandy Artist Mario Moita

We connected with Fado-artist Mario through WOMEX, the World Music Expo. Though Mario is from Portugal, and was on tour in Brazil, he wanted to do his part to help Sandy victims - going so far as to include the sounds of Brazilian waves on his song!

It's clear Mario has a huge heart - and from the insights we get below, tremendous faith as well. What a gem!


Who/what are your musical inspirations? Love, peace

What gives you hope about the world? Hope in god

What causes do you support – in your heart and/or with your actions? All I can, in my town and in the world, always, when I can.

What fills you with great joy? A smile.

What breaks your heart? Bad persons who complicate my life...

Do you write and sing from joy and hope - or from fear/ anxiety/ need? Always for joy and hope.

What gets you out of bed in the morning? Travel with a flight very early

What was your biggest setback, and how did you overcome it? In 2001 I lost 20.000 euros with a producer. I overcame that with hope in life. In 2012,  a Brazilian producer took me to court just to get my money. Again, faith in God always guided me thru the road of life.

Do you meditate? Yes. And pray.

What’s your favorite chord? C.  Because in life the most simple sings are the most beautiful.

What word or phrase do you overuse in your lyrics? “My love”

What are you most proud of about yourself? Respect for everyone, and have many friends that love me around the world. not having debts and sleep soundly!

What’s your favorite food? Portuguese alentejo coriander soap



Mother's Day gifts to help women through microfinance

Every Mother's Day we pay tribute to our own mothers through dinners, gifts, phone calls, cards or fond memories.  

This year, celebrate all mothers everywhere - especially those mothers living in poverty, working hard, but not earning enough money to feed their families or send their children to school -  with Hope Sings and our partners.

Today, why don't you visit HS partner –

Kiva is offering Kiva Cards that help mothers around the world who lack access to basic opportunities in life - like financial services.  "Mothers nurture, love, and support us, and every year we take a day to celebrate this, yet not all mothers around the world have the ability to provide for their children and families as they wish they could.  Kiva works to help give Mothers around the world opportunities to succeed."  

Another thing you can do in honor of Mom's Day? Buy a Hope Sings song.  Profits from our songs go to our partner microfinance organizations to help fund small loans to individuals  -- many of them women -- to start small businesses and begin the journey from poverty to prosperity. Direct donations are great, but songs have the potential to reach thousands of ears and create thousands of new donors – that’s the Music Multiplier Effect!

Exclusive interview with icon Andrea Echeverri!

In honor of Mother's Day, we have here on the website an exclusive interview with Colombian wonder woman Andrea Echeverri.

She shares with our correpondent Allie Silver how motherhood is changing her as an artist.

Check it out under the "interview" section. It's four minutes long - and in English!

More installments of Andrea and Allie chatting to come...

Crowdsourcing for music?

Hope Sings crowdsourced through Kickstarter to produce new songs.

Now, Microfundo is using crowdsourcing to help support musicians and their local events. Social Edge has a nice little overview of the company.

We're all for interesting models for how artists can make money in this business so they can keep creating great music. In fact, feel free to shoot us any ideas about opportunities you see for Hope Sings

I thought Microfundo used to be part of Mondomix, but I could be wrong. Anyone know the answer to that?

And I love that title: Chief Inspiration Officer...