Members of the Marley family have launched a reimagined version of the late Bob Marley’s iconic anthem One Love, featuring Māori singer TEEKS to support UNICEF’s work for children affected by COVID-19.
The song, released today by Tuff Gong International and Amplified Music Ltd and available on all major streaming platforms, was recorded by the Marley family in response to a call by UNICEF to help reimagine a fairer, more just world for children whose lives have been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to honour the late Bob Marley.
The Northland-born performer TEEKS aka Te Karehana Gardiner-Toi (Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui) features on the song. It's a great honour for the 26-year-old soul singer who grew up steeped in waiata and the protest songs of Bob Marley.
“One Love is one of the world’s most iconic anthems of solidarity. It is also a song about children, and their hopes and dreams for a better, more united and equal world,” said UNICEF NZ Executive Director Vivien Maidaborn. "We couldn't be more proud to see the anthem reimagined by so many great artists, including one of Aotearoa's own, soul singer TEEKS."
“Today, in the midst of a global pandemic, responding to Bob Marley’s call to hear the children crying one love is more important than ever. We can only defeat COVID-19 together. We need to work together to reimagine a more equal world for children, too”
The song and music video also come during the year-long celebration of Bob Marley’s 75th birthday, and also feature artists and musicians from Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Jamaica, Mali, Nigeria, Sudan, Syria, the United Kingdom and the United States, including: Stephen Marley; Cedella Marley; Skip Marley; Ghetto Youths Foundation; Kim Nain; Manifesto JA; 249Too Dope; Amrit Kaur; Mermans Mosengo; Jason Tamba; Natty; Dawtas of Aya; Raja Kumari; Patoranking; Babsy; Damascus Voice.
“One Love was written as a call for global solidarity at a time when the world was very divided, much as it is now. And yet, only by uniting with one love and one heart can we defeat this virus, protect our children, and make the world a more just and equal place,” said Cedella Marley. “All over the world, children and families are suffering.
Whether they are living in refugee camps, slums or favelas, or they lack access to healthcare or school, or are being treated unfairly because of their race, religion, ethnicity or gender, our dream with this song is to reimagine a world where all children are treated equally – just as my father intended.”
“Being on this record with so many incredible musicians from around the world is a true blessing,” said Skip Marley.
True to the message of global unity in the song, the video is a compilation of footage from all around the world including children from Ghetto Youths Foundation, a non-profit organisation founded by Stephen, Damian and Julian Marley; The Dharavi Dream Project in India; artists from Manifesto Ja in Jamaica and Road To Freedom and featuring appearances by the artists, as well as Indian actor and UNICEF celebrity advocate, Kareena Kapoor Khan and British actress Lena Headey.
COVID-19 has upended the lives of children around the world and exposed rampant inequalities both within and among countries. UNICEF estimates that an additional 6,000 children could die every day from preventable causes over the next six months – almost all of them (over 90 per cent) in low or lower-middle income countries – as the pandemic continues to weaken health systems and disrupt services. Children are also extremely vulnerable to the indirect impacts of COVID-19, such as school closures, food shortages, limited access to basic healthcare, and disruptions to medical supply chains.
In response, UNICEF has launched Reimagine — an urgent appeal to governments, the public, donors and the private sector to support UNICEF’s efforts to respond, recover and reimagine a world currently besieged by COVID-19.
All proceeds from the song and related activities will directly support Reimagine and help UNICEF respond to the immediate needs by providing soap, masks, gloves, hygiene kits, protective equipment and life-saving information for children and families; support near term recovery efforts, including by supporting education, protection and healthcare systems; and further UNICEF’s work to reimagine a fairer, more just world for children.
To coincide with the release of the song, members of the public are invited to engage in UNICEF’s One Love campaign through activations on social media channels, which include support from jewellery brand Pandora and short-form mobile video platform TikTok.
UNICEF is partnering with TikTok to launch the #OneLoveOneHeart challenge, encouraging TikTok users to post videos using the One Love chorus; revealing who or what they hold dear – i.e their One Love – nominating five friends or family members to do the same and donating to One Love for UNICEF.
Continuing Pandora’s support for One Love, the UNICEF global partner has launched an augmented reality #OneLoveOneHeart filter on Instagram. Every use of the filter will unlock US $1, up to the total of US $ 1 million that Pandora has committed to One Love for UNICEF.
The first video performance of One Love by the Marley family will air during a One Love Livestream Show on UNICEF’s TikTok account on 18 July 2020 at 8:00pm EST. TikTok users will be able to donate to UNICEF throughout the livestream, with Pandora matching donations.