As part of The Pixel Project’s 30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” project in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign, we talk to the artistes who have participated in the project about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women.
Our twenty-third featured artistes are Shane Cooley and Paulo Franco.
Shane grew up in rural Virginia, where he soon found solace in music. By the time he was 13, he was already performing live. After graduating with a BA in English at The College of William and Mary, he took to the road, booking his own tours solo and in collaboration with other artists across the United States. Shane also did a tour in Europe, covering Germany, The Netherlands and England. In September he re-located from Virginia to the Austin, Texas, where he’s always making music. Follow Shane on Facebook or check out his videos on YouTube.
Paulo is a Richmond, Virginia based singer/songwriter, whose music has been featured on radio stations in Richmond, WNRN in Charlottesville, and Hampton Roads, VA. His music draws heavily from influences like Steve Earle, the Gram Parsons inspired music of the Rolling Stones, and The Grateful Dead. The music tells tales of love and loss, introspection and redemption, and the journey that is life itself. Head on over to Paulo’s website for more information.
Shane and Paulo contributed his song, “Married In A Black Dress” to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate here.
Tell us about yourself and why you decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” project.
Shane: I’ve been writing songs and making music most of my life, and have pretty much been on the road since I graduated college in 2010. I grew up in rural Virginia, and recently I re-positioned myself in Austin, TX, where I am putting finishing touches on my upcoming solo album. I met my friend Paulo Franco when I was spending time in Richmond, and we recently released an EP of co-writes, including “Married in a Black Dress,” which we chose to use as our contribution to the 30/30/30 Campaign.
Paulo and I both believe in the power of song, and I’ve seen music perform miracles on many occasions throughout my travels. We hope our small contribution to this cause inspires and uplifts. Violence against anyone is senseless, and we are in an era that has no excuse for not being self-aware of right and wrong.
Why is ending violence against women important to you?
Shane: I personally support this campaign to end violence against women because I feel like it is my duty as an artist to report the human condition. I don’t underestimate the power of art and song, and I hope this project not only reaches its goals, but that it reaches women everywhere with inspiration and empowerment.
In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?
Shane: I’m more convinced than ever that those who create can have a world of influence on others. Art doesn’t have to be blatant to affect someone, but the message has to be there. I write about a variety of things, but what my songs mean to me doesn’t matter nearly as much as the interpretations others draw from them. We artists tend to be intimidated by things like the music industry and the games within, but when it comes down to it, touching the life of someone in need is more important than any record deal. Keep making art for the humanity of it… that’s why it exists in the first place.
What actions can music artistes take to help end violence against women?
Shane: There is too much beauty in the world to sit back and allow the ugly to reign. I commend every artist who is involved in this for their empathy and strength to take action.
The “Music For Pixels 2014” charity digital album is available from 1 April 2014 – 1 April 2015 as a companion to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign. The album features a selection of 12 positive and empowering songs from the campaign by artistes including Adam Web, AHMIR, AJ Rafael, Bob Sima, Courtney Jenae, Debbie Reifer, Delaney Gibson, Ellis, Macy Kate, Mary Sholz, Pete Ahonen, and Troy Horne.
The album is the perfect and affordable gift for music lovers and for celebrating special occasions such as birthdays and Mother’s Day. It is available for download worldwide via major online music retailers including iTunes and Amazon.com. 100% of the album proceeds will benefit The Pixel Project to help keep their anti-Violence Against Women campaigns, projects, and programmes running.