Digital artist and kickass musician Erika M. Anderson (EMA) released her latest single today, "Take One Two." Not only is it a great song, it comes with a touching (and nostalgia-inducing, for those of us who were teens during the '90s) video, and the proceeds go to a great cause. Take a look at the video, and what Erika hopes viewers take away from it, below:
Because I couldn't say it any better myself (and because I am a little verklempt after watching that video and reading how it came about), here's Erika on the project:
This footage comes from a South Dakota trailer park in the mid-90s, and features a small group of freaks and misfits who seem to be having the time of their lives. Dressing up, hanging out, making up funny skits, and lots of laughing. When I look back now at our fresh young faces (yes that is me with the short dark hair and cat-eye liner), I'm amazed at how simply happy we all look. This is especially remarkable as I know what was going on outside those plywood walls: getting called names, shoved into lockers, and threatening to get our asses kicked for being queer or punk or just plain weird. But despite all that, there is a joy, strength and self-acceptance in our faces that I find inspiring and wanted to pass on.
I'm offering the proceeds of this song to an anti-bullying non-profit called the Jamie Isaacs Foundation. The organization was started by Jamie, a 15-yr-old girl in Long Island who was a victim of bullying for years before switching schools. It works to bring youth advocates into schools and pass anti-bullying legislation, as well as empathic education of students and faculty. To learn more, visit her site or check out this video.
When I first put together this video I sent it out to the people involved to get their take on it before it was released. My friends thought it was "adorable" but I didn't hear back from the sweet boy in the turquoise teddy. I worried that it was too much, too revealing, and he wouldn't want that footage put out into the world. Finally, I got a message back:
"That was the most beautifully done video I have ever seen I love it I love it I love it! I could not stop bawling. I don't think I've ever felt so secure as when we were all hanging out in the trailer bedroom.
Erika. Lacy. We all 3 of us went thru some pretty tough shit. But we made it through. Let's use what we learned and give it to somebody else that needs it."
I couldn't have said it better myself. This one's for all the weirdos out there: cherish your friends, fuck the haters and let your freak flag fly.
You can download "Take One Two" from iTunes.