It's hard to think of great music or anything else these days with all the oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico every minute. Sadly, most musicians feel as helpless as I do in terms of how to help clean up the mess, but thankfully, Sophie B. Hawkins has figured it out.
Sophie B. -- the Grammy-nominated singer of such hits as "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" and "As I Lay Me Down" (the longest running single in Billboard's history) -- has just put out another catchy number, "The Land, the Sea and the Sky" with 100% of the new proceeds benefitting clean up efforts in the Gulf via the Waterkeeper Alliance organization. Amazing, but simply by downloading another one of her pop gems, you can help!
The '90's radio staple and mother is currently on the road and prepping her next album, Dream Street and Chance, for a late summer release, but she still caught up with me to discuss the new endeavor and how the money raised is being put to good use.
UsMagazine.com: You're one of the only celebrities to do anything about the oil spill.
Sophie B. Hawkins: I don't think there's anybody else standing out in the forefront. I just performed a sold out show as a benefit for the organization Waterkeeper Alliance. It was a really good show and I met all these people, so [my outreach has] really been blossoming from there because what I realized is that everyone is looking for some way to do something. In addition to the concert, I am donating the proceeds from my song's iTunes sales -- I'm not taking a penny of this.
Us: Why did you choose to donate to the Waterkeeper Alliance?
SBH: Because the federal government really has been slow to act, and that's exactly why I went to the Waterkeeper Alliance. They're not funded by the federal government, and they are an international organization. They are top marine biologists who have been around for a long, long time, and they work all the time on this stuff. They work with all the locals in the Gulf, testing the animals and the water constantly, making assessments hourly on what's working and not working. They basically have to fight everyone because [oil company] BP is so powerful. The alliance [employees] put their lives on hold and make this their life.
Us: What inspired you to act?
SBH: We certainly can't sit around waiting for the government [to act]. What if we realize in a year that we lost our oceans? I'm not this big person who says we can never drill, but few people can function in this country without gas as it stands. So, we can't just say 'oh, you never can drill, and shame on people who drill.' No, we have to do this. But you see, if people had followed the rules, if we could get people to follow the rules and make it a more cohesive institution, [we wouldn't be in this situation]. BP has been fined more than anyone. They have done this so many times. They're reckless.
Us: So how is the song going to help exactly?
SBH: Well hopefully it's just going to [afford] the Waterkeeper Alliance relief effort money. They desperately need money. The Waterkeeper Alliance is the one organization I felt was the most hands-on and the most sophisticated and scientific. The Environmental Protection Agency has been really covering up the spill -- there's no transparency about the spill. They knew immediately how bad this was. That's the truth about it I think. The only reason I can say that is because I have been dealing with the Waterkeepers from day one and Robert Kennedy is the president of it. Those people from the Alliance, they are truthful. They have no agenda politically, and I don’t have an agenda politically. I think the [situation] sucks.
Visit sophiebhawkins.com and iTunes.com to download the track and help the cleanup effort.