Every year, there are hundreds of anti-LGBT violent incidents (about 1,300 non-fatal crimes in 2014, the last year statistics were available for at this writing) and homicides increased 11% in the last year captured. Trans women and LGBT people of color were the hardest hit and violence against these two groups are on the rise, although many of these crimes are not reported.
As a follow up to last year’s hit anti-bullying single “Kiss All the Bullies Goodbye” (feat. Taylor Dayne), singer, songwriter and philanthropist SIR IVAN, has released a new electronic dance music version (EDM) of John Lennon’s “Imagine” to focus attention on why people can’t seem to live together in peace and to help heal those who have been traumatized by violence – particularly the LGBT community.
The song is co-produced by Grammy Award winner Omar Okram and legendary music arranger Peter Rafelson. It is the first single released off SIR IVAN’s new 10 song album called Peaceman Shines. Each of the 10 songs, created by 10 different producers, are all well-known anti-war and peace songs from the 60s and early 70s, except for two original songs, co-written by SIR IVAN, that share the same theme.
SIR IVAN stated, “In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, violence against LGBT people, and to pay respect to John Lennon, who passed away 35 years ago, on December 8th 1980, it is an appropriate time for a new generation to listen to Lennon’s optimistic lyrics, which offer hope to all people on the planet and a formula for world peace.”
This is not the first time SIR IVAN has released a new version of “Imagine,” He did so on September 4th, 2001, exactly one week before September 11th, when he launched his music career and became the first recording artist in history to turn any slow ballad of the Beatles or John Lennon into an up tempo dance record. Personally signed to the Tommy Boy Label by its owner, Tom Silverman, SIR IVAN’s revolutionary fast paced version of “Imagine” became an instant top 40 hit on the Billboard Dance Chart. This proved that even thirty years after the original was released by John Lennon in 1971, the lyrics of “Imagine” were just as relevant to a whole new generation. Now, 15 years after SIR IVAN’s 2001 release, because the planet still has not learned to live in peace, SIR IVAN is once again giving the world an opportunity to come together as one while raising money for a good cause.
As the son of Auschwitz survivor Siggi B. Wilzig, SIR IVAN has seen firsthand what victims of bullying, violence and hatred go through. His own father suffered from classic PTSD symptoms; severe headaches, flashbacks, nightmares and depression, as a result of brutal beatings in the concentration camps and the deaths of 59 members of his family during the Holocaust. PTSD is a debilitating mental condition that often results from exposure to bullying, extreme stress, severe acts of violence, or atrocities of war and terrorism.
In 2005, in memory of his father, SIR IVAN created his philanthropic non-profit organization, The Peaceman Foundation, to spread his message of positivity, acceptance and goodwill around the world. His tireless efforts have made his charity a leader in the battle against bullying, in supporting the transgender community and in fighting P.T.S.D (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Net proceeds from SIR IVAN’s single “Imagine” and the album Peaceman Shines will be donated to the Anti-Violence Project (www.avp.org), New York City’s non-profit organization geared to ending violence against LGBT people. Both are available on iTunes, Amazon MP3, Beatport Pro and many other top digital music stores. Physical CDs can be purchased at CD Baby.
For more information on Sir Ivan and The Peaceman Foundation