Inspired and outraged by the terror attacks in Paris and California, Top Five Billboard artist Robert OZN has released his first recording in 25 years.
The new track is called Je Suis Paris! (I Am Paris).
“The Charlie Hebdo assassinations slammed me deeply in the gut,” says OZN, a groundbreaking MTV recording star in the 80s and 90s turned screenwriter-film producer. “Then came the Paris attacks. I have family in France. I’m a writer. My grandfather was the Chaplain of the NYPD and I’m a Jew. I was sick of complaining about terrorism and arguing for freedom of expression for artists. I knew instantly that I had to do something and that meant making a record again.”
In response to the attacks, OZN returned to the recording studio in L.A., pulling together musicians from Moby, Alanis Morisette, Exzibit, Belinda Carlisle and Sergio Mendes. Je Suis Paris! has been released on iTunes and Soundcloud in English and French-English version.
“Music can be a unifying focal point for a movement,” OZN says. “Music is an avenue for people on an individual level to safely experience their emotions whether it’s rage or fear or sorrow or the desire to protest. Every movement has songs. The antiwar movement had John Lennon’s Give Peace a Chance and Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. The Civil Rights movement had Bob Dylan’s Blowing in the Wind. Ireland’s anti-violence movement had U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday.
“There’s a burgeoning global anti-terrorist movement showing solidarity with victims of terror, which has accelerated in America after the San Bernardino attacks – and this song can unite its participants,” OZN says. “Music is a profoundly powerful tool because it interrupts fear neurologically and builds the neural pathways of bravery. I want this song to become an anthem for free of speech, freedom of expression that inspires courage.”
When OZN listened to the first mix of Je Suis Paris!, “I felt a rush of positive energy coursing through me as if it had its own voice saying, ‘I’m alive. I want to celebrate life! I am not afraid!’ I would love if it had that same affect on everyone else.”
After making the record, OZN wanted people to have a vehicle for their individual voices, so he launched the pro-peace, anti-terror social media campaign, The Je Suis Charlie Movement, on Instagram, Twitter (@JSCMovement) and Facebook (#JSCMovement).
Twenty-five years ago, OZN was the vocal half of the synth pop duo EBN/OZN, widely credited as the creators of the first commercially released record ever made on a computer in the U.S., the Top 20 dance hit, AEIOU Sometimes Y, (1983, Elektra Records, US, Arista UK).
He also had two Top Five Billboard Club Chart hits: Haunted House (1989, One Voice Records USA) and Deep Love (1990, One Voice and Polydor U.K.), both milestones in the genre in its day as it features OZN’s white rap vocals. The tracks showcase OZN’s collaborations with the late Godfather of House, Chicago’s Frankie Knuckles, and House Music legends David Morales, Mike Hitman Wilson and Bad Boy Bill.
Much of OZN’s screenwriting and film-producing career reflects socio-political themes. His human rights themed feature film, I Witness, starring Jeff Daniels, James Spader and Portia de Rossi, resulted in the Method Fest Best Screenplay Award for OZN and co-writer Colin Greene. His documentary, Turned Towards The Sun, was groundbreaking in its theme: British aristocrat, WWII war hero and out-bisexual Micky Burn.
OZN is utilizing Indiegogo as the initial distribution channel and growth catalyst for Je Suis Paris! via funds for a music video and mixes. Here is the link to the campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/je-suis-paris-the-record#/. In the first week alone, the campaign raised 40% of its goal, OZN says.
•Robert OZN co-writer, co-producer, lead vocals. Label Owner One Voice Records
•Co-writer/co-producer Gabe Lopez (Belinda Carlisle) who is signed to Universal
•Guitarist, Julian Coryell, son of jazz legend Larry Coryell (Alanis Morisette)
•Bassist Chris Golden (Exzibit)
•Brazilian percussionist Gibe Dos Santos (Sérgio Mendes);
•Background vocalist Mark Strom (Innovate)
•Background vocalist Mindy Jones (Moby)