Emmy-nominated Artist and Songwriter Alexander Star collaborated with Broward Non-Profit HANDY to create the “Library Of Us” Album
HANDY (Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth) partnered with Emmy-Nominated Impact Artist and Songwriter Alexander Star (Star) released Library of Us, a collaborative musical album which features songs written and performed by Star and youth from HANDY. The album consists of six original songs written to express the journeys that youth in foster care (and other vulnerable situations) encounter during their lives.
This project was made possible through the generous donation of the BBX Capital Foundation’s $100,000 charitable giving initiative directed towards South Florida nonprofit organizations helping to advance social justice initiatives locally. “The BBX Capital Foundation is proud to support HANDY’s “Library of Us” Album, said Lois Marino, Executive Director of the BBX Capital Foundation. We want to be at the forefront of giving to those organizations who are getting to the root of the problem and developing programs that provide our youth with an outlet to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions in a healthy manner.”
The album was created during the height of the pandemic, therefore none of the recordings were created in-person or even at the studio. Rather, Alexander Star coached HANDY students through the songwriting process via Zoom and taught them how to record clean vocals using only their cell phones. Star then gathered the students’ cell phone recordings, gave the vocals a professional audio mix, recorded his own parts, and solidified the final product all from the safety of his home.
“Alexander Star is known internationally as an impact artist and locally for his heartfelt community work. He has dedicated so much time over the years to teaching and guiding our youth,” said Kirk Brown, CEO of HANDY. “We are so grateful to have his support in leading therapeutic songwriting and recording collaborations with our HANDY teens. In addition, we cannot thank the BBX Capital Foundation enough for their dedication to support programs which provide our youth with an outlet to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions in a healthy manner.”
The Library of Us audio experience features Alexander Star alongside a diverse lineup of HANDY youth performing original songs written around intimate discussions led by Star. Kirk Brown, HANDY CEO, had a vivid vision for what HANDY wanted this project to be. Working together as a team, HANDY and Star designed the album’s flow to be a ‘song library’ consisting of six chapters focusing on the students’ (and Star’s) experiences with the following realities:
Chapter 1 – What are You Afraid of? (Fear & Insecurity)
Chapter 2 – Volcanic (Abandonment)
Chapter 3 – I’m Aight Though (Insignificance / Failure)
Chapter 4 – My Solid Ground (Lessons & Realizations)
Chapter 5 – Not Like This (Lost & Found – finding your gifts amidst your circumstances)
Chapter 6 – Way Too Much Faith (Spirituality)
Alexander Star guides the songwriting workflow of each track on the album by engaging in meaningful conversations with the HANDY youth. For example, in the album’s first song, “What Are You Afraid Of?,” Star poses four specific questions to his collaborators:
1) What are some of your flaws?
2) How do you think people see you?
3) How do you want people to see you?
4) What are you afraid of?
The finished product is personal, powerful, and likely to ‘hit home’ with all who hear it as these young people pour out their hearts into the recordings.
The Library of Us album is available for download on all streaming platforms (e.g., Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, etc.) as well as YouTube. To download the album visit: http://smarturl.it/LibraryOfUs.