Music Can Make The World A Better Place – Dance (Red) Save Lives

*written by A’Damaged Pro for Electronica Life

Real-world problems require real-world solutions. (RED) is the brainchild of Bono and Bobby Shriver. Designed originally as a global awareness initiative for the: education, treatment, and advocacy of those affected by the HIV virus, (RED) has embraced the power of the global EDM community in an attempt to raise a united voice. (RED) CEO, Deborah Dugan explains some of the organization’s intricacies and projects that have helped elevate their method of effectiveness.

Check out the video below… it’s dope!

Even if you can’t choose your parents, where you were born, or the socio-political structure of where you were born, life is still all about the choices you do get to make. If I don’t like cold weather, finances permitting, I can elect to move to the beach. If I get hurt at my new beach house I can choose where I would like to seek medical attention. An eye-opening revelation, that some are blind to see, is that some people are not always fortunate enough to be afforded the option to choose. One drastic example of this lack of choice would be a child that is brought into this world, HIV positive. Misinformation, miseducation, and the lack of proper medical care for those affected by HIV are very real obstacles around the globe. There are organizations, whose missions are to seek out ways to help remedy these specific problems in an attempt to eventually eradicate the death-grip AIDS has on the world’s population. One such organization is (RED). (RED) CEO, Deborah Dugan, was kind enough to speak with me about how their organization is trying to make a difference about the global AIDS epidemic, using the power of music and the positive momentum of the EDM community.

A’Damaged Pro – What is your role and what are your responsibilities within this organization?

Deborah Dugan of (RED) – I am the Chief Executive Officer of (RED).

(RED) was founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006 to generate private sector money to help finance the work of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, in Africa. Over the past seven years, (RED) and its partners have generated more than $240 million for the Global Fund, and it is my job as CEO to ensure those critical funds continue to flow to support the AIDS fight. We do that by continually tapping into creative communities – whether its collaborating with EDM artists like Tiesto, Skrillex, Nero, and Kaskade or albums, events and live-streams, through to graffiti artists like Futura who co-designed the latest cover of DANCE (RED) SAVE LIVES2, we are always looking at how we can use creativity and imagination to engage and rally people around the AIDS fight.

A’Damaged Pro – Can you walk me through the process of taking the concept behind “RED” and positively manifesting it as this organization?

Deborah Dugan of (RED) – There’s a great quote from Bono about where our organization’s name originates. Bono said that “Red is the color of emergency”, and the AIDS pandemic was and is exactly that. Today, approximately 35 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, and nearly two-thirds of those people are in sub-Saharan Africa. This original concept behind (RED) was to create an organization that would bring together some of the world’s most creative and successful people and businesses, to work on behalf of some of the world’s poorest, sickest people. Companies like Apple signed up right away, and since then we’ve seen branding including Belvedere, Beats by Dre, Coca-Cola and many more all partner with (RED) to support the AIDS fight in truly incredible ways.

A’Damaged Pro – What elements would you credit as being responsible for bringing about such a diverse mix of power house corporate partners? Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Apple, Belvedere and Live Nation, just to name a few.

Deborah Dugan of (RED) – The fight to end AIDS is one of those unique situations where you see people, businesses and governments put aside their differences to collaborate on an effort which is just so important. (RED) has always brought together companies – big and small – to fight AIDS through amazing (RED) branded products – of which more than 130 are available today! – as well extraordinary events such as DANCE (RED) SAVE LIVES and the (RED) Auction.

A’Damaged Pro – Can you shed some light on why this organization has chosen to align itself with the EDM community, versus another genre?

Deborah Dugan of (RED) – EDM is without doubt one of the hottest categories of music out there today. It’s reach extends right around the world, and its following consists mainly of young, passionate fans – people who care about the world and want to make a difference.

In 2012, (RED) had the opportunity to collaborate with Tiesto, to release our first EDM album, DANCE (RED) SAVE LIVES. The album features tracks from so many of the world’s hottest DJs – Tiesto, Aviici, Bingo Players, Afrojack and Dada Life, to name but a few, and all proceeds from sales went to the Global Fund. We were thrilled to see it top the iTunes Dance Charts at number 1 in 33 countries. That same year we also partnered with the Stereosonic Festival in Melbourne – meaning we could create a global live-stream for dance fans around the world and in doing so, raise huge awareness around the fight to end AIDS. More than 3 million people watched the 2012 DANCE (RED) SAVE LIVES videos, so EDM proved to be a fantastic way to engage and rally young dance fans around the AIDS fight. Quite literally, people we’re dancing in support of the AIDS fight all around the world. In 2013, we brought out DANCE (RED) SAVE LIVES 2 and again partnered with Stereosonic for our World AIDS Day livestream. The album went #1 in more than 40 countries (!) and millions tuned-in to see their favorite DJs perform live from Sydney, Australia.

(Tiesto)

A’Damaged Pro – How were artists selected to be a part of the DANCE (RED) SAVE LIVES2 album?

Deborah Dugan of (RED) – We collaborate closely with Josh Neuman and the team at Recreation Worldwide/Priority Records who do such an amazing job of producing the DANCE (RED) SAVE LIVES album and livestream. Truly there is no better team who can bring together so many huge names for an album which helps fight AIDS. The 2013 album had not only tracks from EDM DJs and producers (Baauer, RL Grime, Felix Cartal, Martin Solveig and Deadmau5, among others), but also new and exclusive remixes from some of the hottest names in pop including, Madonna, Robin Thicke, Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar, Katy Perry and Coldplay.

The following quote from Avicii really captures the essence of the EDM community’s generosity and support when it comes to (RED)… “I was on last year’s album and was a part of the World AIDS Day live-stream from Stereosonic and feeling proud to be a part of a project that was making a real difference in the world. So when I was approached to be on the album again this year, I was definitely excited. If, at the end of the day, the electronic music community can help save lives in Africa, then let’s do it.”

A’Damaged Pro – Given the success of the last year’s release, how is the recently released second volume anticipated to be received?

Deborah Dugan of (RED) – I’m beyond thrilled to say that DANCE (RED) SAVE LIVES 2 went to #1 in the iTunes dance charts in more than 40 countries! Unbelievable!

A’Damaged Pro – World Aids Day coincided with Stereosonic in Australia this year. How did RED establish their level of involvement with the 2012 event?

Deborah Dugan of (RED) – The collaboration with Stereosonic began in 2012 through the Recreation Worldwide team and Tiesto who was headlining their Melbourne event on World AIDS Day. Thanks to the Stereosonic team’s unwavering support and enthusiasm, we expanded the livestream in 2013, bringing live sets from the world’s hottest DJs across both Stereosonic days in Sydney right across the World AIDS Day weekend.

A’Damaged Pro – Are there any new expansions or collaborations in the works that you’d like to talk about?

Deborah Dugan of (RED) – There are always new expansions and big new ideas in the works! Stay tuned for more exciting upcoming (RED) announcements this year.

A’Damaged Pro – How can people help, on an individual-basis, take this movement to the next level?

Deborah Dugan of (RED) – People can be (RED) in so many ways – whether you sign up to join (RED) viawww.red.org, make the choice to buy (RED) products such as the DANCE (RED) SAVE LIVES2 album which is available on iTunes at www.iTunes.com/danceRED – or swing by a Jonathan Adler store and pick up a (RED) candle. It’s never been so easy to become an activist and help make a difference.

A’Damaged Pro’s final words…

In times of darkness, a beacon of hope is the first step that is needed to light the way. This guiding light can take on many forms, and (RED) is one of those beacons. Utilizing the power of music, as a platform for spreading awareness, and providing support for those in need is a noble mission. This mission is something that we can all play a role in helping make more successful. The time to make a difference is now. I believe in the unifying and healing power of music. Do you? Without trivializing your answer, even though I think the question is rhetorical, I simply appeal to your humanity. If you are remotely in-touch with your innate compassion, that should be present in all of us, wanting to make a positive difference in the world is an easy choice. There’s no need to wonder how you can help. Getting involved is the only way that change will be made. WE ARE THE DIFFERENCE!!!!

http://www.red.org

(Above & Beyond)