A new music industry campaign has been launched to raise awareness for Dementia Action Week (20-26 September), garnering support from the likes of iconic Cold Chisel frontman Jimmy Barnes and comedian Matt Okine.
Spearheaded by Vera, an “AI-powered wellness platform that uses music as a therapy to help slow down the effects of brain ageing”, the #ShareASong campaign encourages Australian music fans to share memories of songs that soundtracked defining moments in their lives.
The initiative, launched today (September 21), is also backed by a suite of high-profile organisations such as Universal Music Group, YouTube, Jaxsta, Amazon Music, the Australian Institute of Music (AIM) and ARIA.
Take a look at a video of Stephen Hunt – COO of Vera’s parent company, Music Health – expounding on the concept behind #ShareASong:
In a statement, ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd said: “We all have one song that holds a special place – for me it’s Kylie Minogue’s ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’. Join us in highlighting the amazing role music plays in our lives and memories, and help champion an amazing cause.”
Barnes noted that the campaign holds a personal significance, as he’d previously had loved ones pass from dementia.
“Music seems to be one of the few ways of still reaching them as they slip away,” he said, “because we all make such deep connections with the songs that we love. There’s nothing like music to lift our spirits so get behind #ShareASong and send some good feelings to the people you love.”
In a post shared to his Instagram, Okine cited Jay-Z’s 1999 track ‘Hova Song’ as his pick to lead the campaign. He explained that it soundtracked a formative moment in 2006, when he felt as though he’d “made it” after being cast as Laurie in the children’s series H2O: Just Add Water.
Earlier this month, Barnes was one of the first artists announced for the next installation of the Great Southern Nights concert series in New South Wales, set to take place throughout March and April of 2022. The news came after Barnes cancelled the remainder of his ‘Flesh And Blood’ tour in August, citing the uncertainty of border restrictions following a recent COVID-19 outbreak.
Barnes’ 20th album, ‘Flesh And Blood’, was released in July via Bloodlines. NME highlighted the record as one the top Australian releases for the month, with Karen Gwee calling it “further proof that Barnes is going strong and won’t ever stop”.