LA LA PEACE SONG is a powerhouse song with a moral message, both when it was originally released in 1974 and also for today and the world we are living in. Renowned Dance Music Producer Rick Gianatos is creating this music release as a personal statement against all the violence that has been going on in recent years, including in St. Louis, Cleveland, Baltimore, Atlanta, and most recently in Europe. We are hoping to create awareness for the innocent victims and all proceeds will go to DEBBIE JACOBS ROCK’S non-profit in Baltimore, Light Health & Wellness. https://www.lighthealth.org/. LA LA PEACE SONG was written by Johnny Bristol [“Hang on In There Baby” by Johnny and “Someday We’ll be Together” by Diana Ross & the Supremes]. Along with Artists PAM VINCENT, JIM GILSTRAP AND JOYCE VINCENT, the Altair All-stars include Scherrie Payne, Jessica Williams, Cynthia Manley and Garrett Miller.
1. Hello Rick, How and when did the concept of this Peace Project Come about
I was watching riots take place in Ferguson and it reminded me of the riots in my home town, Wilmington, Delaware, after Martin Luther King was killed. I felt a strong sense of Déjà vu.
Johnny Bristol’s song, produced by him for O.C. Smith, was a favorite of mine when I was a DJ in New York, and it came to mind as I thought about doing a charity record for victims of violence.
2. La La La Peace song was penned by the late Johnny Bristol famous Motown artist and writer .Did you ever have the opportunity to meet him or work with him?
Yes I did. I met him in Detroit during Ian Levine’s MotorCity Reunion Sessions, and I co-produced several tracks with him. He was a wonderful talent and a gentleman of a human being.
3. Rick you’ve produced many artists over the past several decades. How does this project stand out among your many productions and projects.
Nothing tops my work with Scherrie Payne, former Supreme (1973-1977] and sister of Freda Payne. I’ve been working with her since she left Motown. Last year we released her album entitled Vintage Scherrie Vol 1: Remember Who You Are, which I’m very proud of. The Peace Project stands out because it is vocally exciting to me and includes all of my musical family. So, it is right up there at the top of my list next to Scherrie.
4. Who are the artists involved in this project and were they excited about working with you?
The single is centered around 3 of my favorite voices: Pam Vincent, Jim Gilstrap, and Joyce Vincent. I’ve been working with them for many years. Pam arranges and conducts all of my songs recorded since the 90’s. They form the center of the production, surrounded by additional vocals by Scherrie Payne, Jessica Williams, Cynthia Manley and Garrett Miller. The demo was sung for me by a very talented actor and singer, Carlos Padilla, Jr. Everyone was in as soon as I asked. They’ve never disappointment me when I needed any of them to come to the studio for any of my projects.
5. Can you tell us more about the non-profit “light health “and Debbie Jacobs Rocks.
Debbie Jacobs Rock is a talented vocalist I had met when she had dance singles out and was out here in Los Angeles doing club gigs. I hung out with her and absolutely adored her. Back in Baltimore, she started a non-profit to help her community, entitled Light, Health and Wellness. https://www.lighthealth.org/about-us. LIGHT provides the highest quality child care, information, guidance and treatment services to individuals and families impacted by poverty, substance abuse, mental illness, HIV/AIDS and other long term health challenges. Clicking on the link will provide more history about her organization.
6. What changes as a producer did you make in the production compared to the original recording by Johnny Bristol.
The original by O.C. Smith is styled very much like a Johnny Bristol recording, with lead vocals harmonizing with each other. [Compare the style to “Hang on in There Baby” by Johnny. I styled mine in the flavor of 70’s group, Faith, Hope and Charity, with the group singing the song and the answers being done by a strong vocalist [in our case Jim]. I thought it would be a fresh approach, and there isn’t anything out there like it.
7. What do you hope to accomplish as awareness grows regarding The Peace Project?
I’m hoping to raise awareness for the victims, and I hope folks will donate money towards Debbie’s charity either by buying the music or donating directly to her non-profit.
8. Would you say that this is a political statement ?
To a certain extent my message is that I am against the current political climate which seems to condone racism, prejudice, separatism, and hatred.
9. Have you or any one close to you been a victim of senseless or any type of violence?
I’ve not had anyone close to me that was a victim, but that doesn’t stop me from having strong feelings for this subject. Music can teach and it also can heal. I hope “La La Peace Song” can do both.