EDM.com Spotlight

EDM.com Spotlight

Gareth Emery Sheds Light on a Grave Issue with New Single [INTERVIEW]

Gareth Emery is a well respected name in the dance music world and returns with a new single "Saving Light" that embodies the spirit of trance music. The track features vocalist Haliene, who sings the emotional lyrics with her beautiful voice. The track was produced by Gareth Emery and Standerwick, but most notably is a track with a cause attached.

From now until March 1st, 100% of all profits made from streaming and sales will be donated to the efforts of an anti bullying organization called Ditch. Make sure you support the track to give back to a great cause.

The video for “Saving Light” is just as moving as the song and can be viewed below. We got the chance to sit down with Gareth Emery to talk more about the track and what makes it so special.

From now until March 1st, 100% of all profits made will be donated to the Anti Bullying group Ditch. Can you discuss this partnership and their efforts?

They operate the world’s largest anti-bullying hub over at their website DitchTheLabel.org. Initially we spoke to them when we decided the video would touch on the subject of bullying – we really wanted to address it in an authentic way that tackled the subject right – otherwise it might have ended up feeling like an ill-judged PSA. They were an incredible partner and really helped us tell the story right, and a month or so before release we realized we wanted to give something back ourselves.

You called the track one of the most powerful songs you've been involved with. When did you realize “Saving Light” would be a track with a cause?

From the moment the vocal was first written, we knew we had something really powerful… nobody could listen to it without getting goosebumps or tearing up, and that’s usually a good sign. It was also an incredibly personal song for Haliene – that’s really her story to tell, not mine, but in short, it was pretty clear we’d be short-changing everyone by making a standard music video of me jumping up an down at a festival.

Gareth, you're a very well respected and established trance artist. You've spearheaded the raising of over $100,000 for various charities. Do you feel a responsibility to bring attention and support all these different philanthropies?

I don’t bring attention to the money I’ve raised because I don’t feel it’s nearly enough. I’m a little embarrassed talking about it to be honest. I mean, it’s better than nothing – which is what most other DJs do – but I feel I could have done so much more (and hope to in the next decade or so). A friend of mine is the drummer in the band Simple Plan and they’ve raised over a million dollars through their foundation – that’s a figure to be proud of.

Have you ever had to deal with a situation with bullying in your life or the ones around you? Does this cause strike home for you?

Not really. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met many horrible, unpleasant people in my work life, many of whom had bully-like tendencies but school & college treated me well for the most part. As a parent though, it’s one of your big fears – that your kid goes through something like that.

What is your advice for people who feel trapped in the vicious cycle of bullying or prejudices.

This sounds obvious, but talk to someone who really knows about this stuff. I don’t want to give generalized advice, because the way out of any challenging personal situation is highly individualized and I don’t think any one-size-fits-all answer I could attempt to give would be helpful. But talk to someone. Whether you do it anonymously or not, we live in a world where there are 1000s of places online where you can get advice, help and support. Find people who’ve lived through similar experiences and come out stronger. Take hope from their stories. And then plan how you do the same.

We noticed the comments on the music video and on social media where people expressed their appreciation for bringing attention to the issue of bullying and prejudiceness, people shared their experiences, some which you replied too. How does it feel being a part of something that genuinely moves people? How has this song and the conversation you all have started among fans impacted you?

Ultimately, music’s about moving people in some way. With the CVNT5 project, we hope to make people laugh. With this, we wanted people to have an emotional connection to the characters in our story, and have a deepened understanding of the issues. My biggest fear is making work that misses both marks that people just think is “OK”.

Do you have further plans with the track? We heard you may release alternate versions and there seems to be an accompanying tour!

Most of my club shows this year will be branded as the Saving Light tour, we’ll get some remixes done, and who knows what else. We’ll probably rinse it as much as possible, otherwise I’ll have to set about writing the next big record, and I was looking forward to some time off ;)