NEW YORK CITY — A week after the first-ever National Gun Violence Awareness Day and “#wearingorange” became a global trending topic, one of Motown’s most promising new bands, James Davis, is donating a cover of The Cranberries’ anthemic “Zombie” to the campaign (www.wearorange.org). Launched last month, Wear Orange is coalition campaign with more than 60 partner organizations designed to amplify existing efforts to reduce gun violence in America. James Davis’ rendition of “Zombie” re-contextualizes the song to address the scourge of modern day gun violence, capturing the anguish a mother feels when her child is stolen by a bullet. Motown Records is generously donating 5,000 free downloads of the song as part of the Wear Orange campaign; details are available at wearorange.org/jamesdavis.
On June 2nd, more than 200 organizations, cultural influencers, elected officials and Americans across the country participated in the first-ever National Gun Violence Awareness Day by wearing orange (photos available here). The #WearingOrange hashtag was used nearly 90,000 times on Twitter alone that day, trending nationally as a top topic for most of the day and even ranking in the top 10 global trending topics at one point. The campaign reached 215 million on Twitter and millions more on Facebook and Instagram.
Motown Records played an outsized role in the campaign last week, with all of their staff and most of their roster wearing orange for the first-annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
“Being a young band in the process of establishing our own voice, it’s so important to connect with something bigger than ourselves, that resonates and speaks to who we are as a band, and socially as people,” the band stated. “Being able to have this platform to effect change and use our voice to add to the dialogue is vital to us, as artists and as a voice for our generation. The cranberries, ‘Zombie’ is not only one of our favorite songs, but we felt that the message is still (unfortunately) a universally powerful and relevant commentary on how damaging gun violence is to our society.”
The “Wear Orange” campaign (www.wearorange.org) was inspired by a group of Chicago teens that asked classmates to commemorate the life of their friend, 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed one week after marching in President Obama’s second inaugural parade – by wearing orange, a color that hunters use to protect themselves in the woods. What started in their high school, Kings College Prep High School, has grown into a national movement, elevating orange as a symbol for the value of human life – and a way to visibly honor the 88 Americans lives cut short by gun violence every day, plus the countless survivors forever altered by shootings each year.
This week First Lady Michelle Obama discussed the Wear Orange campaign as part of her remarks at the graduation ceremony for King College Prep, the school Hadiya Pendleton attended in Chicago.
James Davis Official Site: www.jmsdvs.com
James David Debut EP Available Everywhere: