At the beginning of 2020, despite having so much motivation to create a better world in a new year, we saw so many terrible humanitarian crises and environmental disasters taking place. Events such as the Australian bushfires, the deforestation of the Amazon, to the US’s conflict with Iran and the deaths arising from various plane crashes, made it difficult for us to maintain our positive outlook.
To get rid of this feeling, we thought it would be a great idea to put together some music to make people feel better and wake people up to the terrible things going on around the world, while also providing hope and encouragement that we can get together and create a better world. We would then take any proceeds from this music and donate it straight to one of the causes that have been going on this year, which could include the current coronavirus pandemic relief fund.
We decided to work with local South African artists, of which there are some very talented individuals and we found someone who seemed perfect for a project like this – LEXLEO.
Lex is a Johannesburg based musician and is also a follower of the Baha’i faith, a religion that is based on unity and service for humanity. In addition, Lex dedicates a lot of his time and resources to uplifting disadvantaged communities, and works with their children, youth and adults on a weekly basis. Lex is also a Cosmetic Dentist by profession and runs various projects that provide free dental care and education to those who need it most.
As a musician with the exact values we were looking for, Lex was also excited to work together and wrote “Kancane Kancane”, meaning “little by little” in isiZulu, about people taking responsibility to make their own small positive changes to the world gradually, so that if and when everyone comes together, we can create very significant positive change.
The AWAKE team, including myself, were very inspired when we found out about the work that Lex does in disadvantaged communities, and in order to bring his own story into the music video for the song, we decided it would be very fitting to shoot one of Lex’s classes with small children in townships, as an example of an individual doing their part to make positive change.
Our team took a trip to the Zandspruit township, where we shot parts of Lex’s class with young children, where he teaches them important values and manners to become aware of and incorporate into their daily lives. During the particular class that we witnessed and shot, Lex planted an avocado tree with the children in the school premises in Zandspruit. This also became a part of of the music video, as Lex invites the world to start planting more trees in the song.
What particularly struck me personally about the work that Lex does, is that he’s been doing so much of it every single week for over a decade alongside the crazy amounts of professional work that he does, as a dentist, lecturer and jeweller, as well as his music career on top. It just shows us how much more we could all be doing, no matter how busy life might seem to be. Lex is definitely the perfect example of a musician that practises what he preaches.
Now, during a time when the lockdown is probably at its peak, we have decided to release the song and music video. I hope you all enjoy it; a lot of hard work definitely went into all parts of the process. Let’s hope the song can act as a wake-up call for as many people as possible, proving that we can be doing more in our daily lives to create positive change.