“#Song4Unity” was a song project envisioned, created, organized, and led by Sahffi Lynne (she/they). The concept came to Sahffi after their first trip to Peru, when one of the residents of the Andes mountains was sharing food with their group and said, "we don't have much in the mountains, but what we have, we share." Coming home to her city in turmoil after Freddie Gray's murder, she wanted to give back to her city, but knew she didn't have much to give. Inspired by her experience in Peru, Sahffi realized what she had was music, a skill to lead group songwriting, and many connections to different musical communities in Baltimore through her background in classical music, her work with house and R&B musicians, as well as her own acoustic music community. To share what she had, a "We Are the World"-type project was born in her mind.
The concept was to have a diverse musician community come together to write a song to unite the hearts and minds of their communities in Baltimore through music. Proceeds of the song would go to an organization working towards unity, and it was decided to choose #SaveADopeBoy, a grassroots organization founded by the late Derrick "OOH" Jones of Brownfish. (Over $500 was raised for the organization!)
The project began in July, 2015, with a call on Facebook from Sahffi with a simple request; who would be interested in being a part of such a project? With over 125 responses, Sahffi began the process in August, 2015, with a volunteer group of 15 multi-genre musicians (rap, R&B, folk, indie, rock). The Living Well (a community space in the city) kindly donated two nights to the writing project. A producer and recording engineer at 430 Entertainment Studios came forward to offer his services for the song. In the end, over 50 musicians, producers, photographers, artists, and talent came together to conspire to release "Let's Make It Happen" in April, 2016, to coincide with the anniversary of the April, 2015, Baltimore uprising. All participants donated their time, talent, and in some cases finances. The song was also performed live by several members in rallies and festivals around the city in 2016. https://song4unity.bandcamp.com/
Inspired by the project, Sahffi's child encouraged a “Kids #Song4Unity” at his school, Catonsville Middle. Sahffi visited his choir's class and in two sessions co-wrote "All Sorts of People" with the students and the choir director, Mr. Tom Dickerson. The choir performed their original song at their end-of-year choir concert in May, 2016. Watch the kids sing their unity song, "All Sorts of People," here: https://youtu.be/euR1gveVudc