Andrew Huang is no stranger when it comes to performing in front of a crowd, nor is he to someone to shy away from taking the crowd's feedback to heart. That's because the singer and songwriter crafts his songs using "crowd sourcing," and that made Huang a natural choice to write the official anthem for this year's Earth Hour.
The song is Canada's first crowd-sourced song, and for two weeks, recommendations for lyrics have been flooding Huang's inbox in hopes that he would include them in his song, Earth Hour Anthem. Partnering with the World Wildlife Fund Canada, the songwriting process was one part social interaction and one part creating a message for a greener planet.
Facing 900 user-submitted lyrics, Huang got to work and read each submission as they came in. Within a week, he'd had crafted a song using a mix of user-submitted lyrics and a few of his own. But the hardest part for the Toronto native wasn't choosing the lyrics, but rather, setting the tone for his new tune.
"It was tough to find the right balance for the song. I wanted it to be catchy but also to capture the serious topic of climate change," said Huang.
The song may have been created with input from hundreds of people, but its direction is purely from Huang.
"I didn't go into the piece with any guidance other than knowing it couldn't be 'We Are the World'," he says. "I wanted the song to be upbeat and not pull at the heartstrings."
Fans can see the final product on YouTube and on March 31st for Earth Hour, as Huang will perform the anthem live with a choir to back him up.
While Huang's Earth Hour Anthem may be the first Canadian crowd-sourced song, it's not the first song to inspire global change. Here's a playlist of inspirational tunes over the ages:
- Wavin' Flag By Young Artists For Haiti
- Sunday Bloody Sunday By U2
- Where Is The Love By Black Eyed Peas
- Waiting on the World to Change By John Mayer
- Stand By Me By Ben E. King
- We Are the World By USA For Africa
- Tears Are Not Enough By Northern Lights
- Imagine By John Lennon
- The Rising By Bruce Springsteen
- Peace Love And Understanding By Elvis Costello
- One Love By Bob Marley