McCann Manchester is helping spread awareness of the dangers of heart disease by supporting the release of a charity single written by one of its employees.
The single, 'No More', is co-written and produced by Mike McGuinness, one of the agency's digital studio team and one of the brightest lights on the music circuit, appearing under the stage name of Lempo.
A Grammy-shortlisted DJ, producer and writer, Mikes music career began in 2006 with residencies at Manchesters now legendary Sankeys and Venus nightclubs. His success has seen him perform for global club brands including Ministry of Sound, Cream and The Warehouse Project. As a producer Mike has remixed artists such as Snoop Dogg and General Levy, as well as releasing original music with prestigious New York labels, Strictly Rhythm and Todd Terrys InHouse Records. All proceeds from the single will go to the charity to help fund cardiovascular research in the UK.
Mike underwent an emergency operation earlier this year to fix a heart condition that could have otherwise killed him within six months. It took five years to diagnose his condition, yet only a few days for a solution to be put in place. Mike says, 'My operation cost the NHS over £20,000. More importantly, the research that developed the technology was funded by charities such as the British Heart Foundation. The morbid reality is that 1 in 4 are not as lucky as me; heart disease can attack anyone of any age and fitness.'
McCann Manchester was keen to get involved to support one of its employees and to help the British Heart Foundation in its vital work. It will be involved in the production of the music video, which will utilise user-generated content, and then leverage its knowledge and expertise to share and amplify it through social channels.
Music, TV and sports personalities have been showing their support, clips of them individually making a heart sign will be used alongside Mikes family, friends and other McCann employees - it is hoped celebrity cameos will be a catalyst to share through social media.
A key feature of 'No More' is Mikes use of samples. Using his iphone, he recorded the sound of the heart rate monitor before his surgery at the Royal Stoke University hospital, and his own heart beat after the operation using a stethoscope app.
Music producer Chris Robinson, aka Ruff Diamond, has been integral to bringing Mike's vision to life. Chris has worked with artists such as Beyoncé, Mark Morrison and Shapeshifters, selling millions of records in the process. In addition to giving up his own time as co-writer and producer, he also allowed Mike use of the facilities at his studio free of charge.
Chris says, 'I had no hesitation in saying yes when Mike invited me onto the 'No More' project. I offered the use of my studio, SupaEarth, to him to make the record, and we brought in Victoria-Jane, who blessed the song with her tone and energy. Mike is a great guy and throws his heart into music and creativity - I believe this record will touch people deeply and inspire them to help others.'
The vocalist on No More, Victoria-Jane, explains, 'My father underwent mechanical aortic valve replacement in 2012 and is due to have another procedure. I've wanted to work with Mike for years, so once he approached me I jumped at the opportunity. Knowing we are raising awareness about something so close to my heart means everything to me.'
Leah Goodhind, Fundraising Manager for the British Heart Foundation, says, 'We never cease to be amazed by the extraordinary ways people like Mike fundraise for the BHF and we're incredibly grateful to them for their efforts. Our supporters like Mike power our research, and this means we can ultimately go on to help save thousands of lives.' Mike adds, 'How we react in the face of adversity is paramount. Take a bad experience and use it for good. That's the plan; to use my skills, knowledge and contacts to make a difference for others facing similar complications.'