It’s March 1st, 2019. Winter is still in full swing and so are we! In January we stayed warm with rehearsal and a performance in Florida. In February we shared the love singing during Valentine’s week for our favorite vineyard and celebrating Chinese New Year in song. Coming up we will be in residency with Cuatro Puntos at a middle school in CT, marching in a parade, singing in Maryland, and hopefully keeping our audiences warm through song, drama, and movement.
Well well. 2018 has seen us doing live performances and facilitating workshops all over! Whew! As summer draws to a close, we’re taking this opportunity to say THANK YOU to all of the children, teens, and adults we’ve been blessed to work with thus far. Alika Hope has also been busy back on the airwaves co-hosting CT Perspective TV which airs on FOX-61 Sunday mornings. Lawrence, Dexter, Ray, Rachel, and Alika were at Riverway Studio recording a song commissioned by a dance company. The team has also been focusing on in-school assemblies performing historic and 20th-century social justice music for students of all ages! Stay tuned…
Award-winning Alika Hope heads up The Ray of Hope Project’s newest production, music video “I.R.L.”. The video focusing on the importance of kindness on social media will premiere on various social media channels on World Kindness Day, November 13.
The song was written by Alika Hope in collaboration with Sonia Morant, Doug Wilson, and Lawrence V. White to highlight the difference kindness can make on social media. “So many people find their confidence, an emotional outlet, and a community behind the computer screen. Though social media gets a bad rap, it can also be a saving grace for many, and the connections can literally save lives,” says Alika Hope. “It’s important to be kind to one another, in real life and on social media. You never know what someone is dealing with.”
The song also features Ray of Hope Project musicians (Guitar: Doug Wilson, Bass: Lawrence V. White, Percussion: Ivan Santiago, Drums/Keys: Dexter Pettaway, Background Vocals: Sonia Morant), and is produced by Grammy-nominated producer/composer/arranger Ira Sakolsky. The “IRL” video incorporates talented actors who seamlessly tell the true story of two individuals and their personal struggles and how their online “angel” offers support and encouragement making them emotionally stronger to face the challenges of life. “IRL” is directed by Kewan J. Harrison.
“IRL” is produced and sung by award-winning Alika Hope. Ms. Hope was noted for her “sassiness, humiliation, and sensuality” by Opera News and The New Yorker for her “luminous aria”. Alika is Co-Host of CT Perspective TV, which currently airs on FOX-61.
Alika is the co-founder and president of The Ray of Hope Project, which works with organizations across the U.S. to address issues of social justice through music and dialogue. She recently won a Gold Global Music Award for the album, Hope for a Motherless Child, and has received awards from numerous other agencies.
“This creative process was very personal for me. The song was inspired by a friend I met via social media who shared with me how just the simple act of kindness from his twitter followers had helped tremendously with his sadness and self-induced isolation. With the bad rep that social media gets, we forget that there are so many people who have been saved by the support groups and personal connections they receive from strangers turned angels via social media outlets. I wanted to highlight that there is good in this world, there are strangers being kind to strangers and there is nothing more beautiful than that,” says Hope.
The motto of The Ray of Hope Project is Feel the Music, Change the World. The goal is that the release of this music video will shed light on isolation and depression and encourage people to be more loving and supportive online, changing the world one Ray of Hope video at a time. Hope wants to make clear that though online relationships can be extremely supportive and even life saving for some, it is not a substitute for the help of a professional.
As of November 13, the video will be available on You Tube and Twitter. The song will be available for purchase on I-Tunes, Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music, and other retailers. For a media sneak peek, please contact Dana Swinney at [email protected]
About The Ray of Hope Project-ROH was founded by Alika Hope and Ray Morant in 2013. ROH includes 12 musicians and other performers, and also uses the music and lyrics of 20th/21st century songs as a way of creating conversations around current issues of global social justice. Engagements with schools, libraries, and museums throughout the United States have allowed ROH to collaborate with over 12,000 people. Hope for a Motherless Child, their first album, was released in 2016, and won a Gold Mom’s Choice Award, a Creative Child Magazine award, and a Global Music Award. In 2017 ROH released the single Oh, Freedom! to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Oh, Freedom! was awarded a silver global music award.
To see the premiere and join the conversation on November 13, follow @AlikaHope on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Lots of things in store for Alika Hope and The Ray of Hope Project this fall! New Music video for “IRL” (released November 13th in honor of World Kindness Day), joint concerts with Cuatro Puntos, special appearance at event in NYC headlined by the one and only Kathleen Turner, and more. Check out our events/live music page!
Alika Hope and The Ray of Hope Project will be performing in several places this summer…check our events page for more information. Hope to see you soon!