Music industry veteran and humanitarian Ken Kragen, the driving force behind the “We Are The World” and “Hands Across America” campaigns, has joined hands with award-winning composer A.R. Rahman for a climate change initiative.
Kragen, a recipient of the 1985 United Nations Peace Medal for producing “We Are The World,” has teamed with immersive entertainment entrepreneur Neil Morgan for an augmented reality project, “Hands Around The World,” that will raise funds and awareness about climate change. The initiative, along with an AR app, will release on April 22, 2020, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
To complement the release of the app, Rahman and a team of international composers are creating a song called “Hand in Hand,” thematically reminiscent of “We Are the World.”
The smartphone app will allow people to download 3D volumetric captured celebrity holograms and take photos standing beside them holding their hands. They will then combine users’ photos with hundreds of millions of others to form a virtual selfie chain that will become the digital Hands Around the World. Users will be prompted to spread the word or make a donation towards ending climate change.
Several celebrities have already signed up to the cause, including David Oyelowo, Herbie Hancock, Lily Tomlin, Master P, and Sugar Ray Leonard. Travis Cloyd from Worldwide XR and Ravi Velhal, who co-produced Rahman’s VR project “Le Musk,” are executive producers.
“The mind of the human race is hard wired to seek higher ideals and wisdom. For that, the very first step is to protect that which holds us — planet earth,” Rahman told Variety. Kragen said: “It is easier to accomplish the impossible than the ordinary”.
“There are people that will deny climate change, but they can’t deny pollution,” Morgan added. “Our project intends to galvanize and unite people like never before, in a positive and fun way to help save the planet.”
Pictured: Ken Kragen, A.R. Rahman, Julia Zuzanna Sokolowska, Daniel Caesar, Kevin Doucette.