Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber aren’t the only singers donating profits from iTunes downloads to Japan relief.
Before the pop stars released their Songs for Japan compilation, a team of View Royal musicians listed an original track dedicated to the people of Japan on the Internet music store. The money from 99-cent downloads for their song “Tears At My Door” will go to the Canadian Red Cross.
“It was so hard to watch what was going on over there, we needed to do something to help,” said Marlon Narciso, who started composing the song’s piano accompaniment on March 12, the day after the devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck the island nation.
He asked his musical partner Connie Dunwoody to write lyrics.
“I said, ‘okay… when?’ and he wanted them right away,” Dunwoody laughed. She was at home preparing for a dinner party, but dutifully pulled out her laptop. “I was typing while I was cooking. The words just poured out of me.”
Dunwoody hosts Japanese exchange students, so the disaster was already at the top of her mind. By that night, they had the music written, and Ryan Narciso, Marlon’s son, agreed to lend his voice to the project.
The team spent a weekend producing the song in the Narcisos’ home studio. Ryan, a prolific YouTube user with over 20,000 subscribers on his channel, made a music video, and at 4:30 a.m. Monday morning they were ready to release their gift on the Internet. The video was viewed 30,000 times the first week it was online.
“It’s amazing to think about lyrics I wrote standing in my kitchen being heard all over the world,” Dunwoody said.
The group don’t yet know how many copies have sold through iTunes, but many of their friends have told them they bought it.
“If even half the people who view the video click the link and buy the song, we’ll have a lot of money to donate,” Dunwoody said.
But more than making the money, Marlon said the song is about spreading awareness and positive intention. “We want the people in Japan to know they’re in our heart, that we’re supporting them through this,” he said.
The groups have teamed up with several local Japanese societies and are performing their song at fundraising functions. They also plan to do press limited edition EPs of the song, which will sell for a $10 donation to the Canadian Red Cross.
“It feels good to know you’re doing something, even something small, to help. It all adds up,” said Ryan.
To listen to “Tears At My Door” search the song title on www.youtube.com.