Women from across the world have united in song to celebrate International Women’s Day.
I Am brings together rap and choir to break down gender stereotypes and champion the message that women have both the ability and the right to pursue their passions, no matter the form they take.
Producer and co-writer Dene Menzel – who led 2016’s World 4 Peace Project – said her six year-old daughter was the inspiration for the project.
“On the internet, television, at shopping centres, in movies – on a daily basis, she was seeing images of what a girl ‘should’ be. Eventually, she started questioning it, asking me why some things were for girls, and some things for boys. We had a conversation about it, and by the end of it she understood that there were no limits to what she chooses to do in and with her life, as long as it aligned with her as a person.”
Melbourne singers Mel Van Dyk and Mish Fornito headline the track, which also features a special guest verse from Gizzle – the esteemed US rapper who has spent the last decade collaborating with industry icons including Puff Daddy, Lupe Fiasco, Pharrell, and Nicki Minaj.
The trio are backed by passionate women from Australia and beyond who recognised the importance of I Am‘s message. They include martial artists, firefighters, construction workers, entrepreneurs, and athletes such as Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Lauryn Mark, who called the experience “a complete honour”.
Joining them are Menzel’s Choir in the Cloud, a digital ensemble of singers from areas such as Ukraine, Brazil, Israel, South Africa, Uzbekistan, and rural Australia. Members of the choir record their part of the song on their computers or phones, and upload them to be used in the song.
Menzel says the most important member of the collaboration, however, is the Australian Girls Choir.
“I was so honoured when the Australian Girls Choir jumped on board – they are such a fantastic advocate for girls in the arts, not only in their main choral programs, but through their charity initiatives.”
I Am will be made available for purchase via digital distribution later this week (updates here), with all proceeds going to Girls from Oz – the Australian Girls Choir charity partner which seeks to improve educational and employment outcomes for Indigenous girls and young women in remote Australia, by providing high quality performing arts education and travel programs.