HANDY youth create the “Library of Us” album to express their life’s journey “Library of Us” Album to be released on August 24
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – HANDY (Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth) partnered with Emmy-Nominated Impact Artist and Songwriter Alexander Star (Star) to release Library of Us, a collaborative musical album which features songs written and performed by Star and youth from HANDY. The album consists of six original songs written to express the journeys that youth in foster care (and other vulnerable situations) encounter during their lives. This project was made possible through the generous donation of the BBX Capital Foundation’s $100,000 charitable giving initiative directed towards South Florida nonprofit organizations helping to advance social justice initiatives locally.
“The BBX Capital Foundation is proud to support HANDY’s “Library of Us” Album, said Lois Marino, Executive Director of the BBX Capital Foundation. We want to be at the forefront of giving to those organizations who are getting to the root of the problem and developing programs that provide our youth with an outlet to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions in a healthy manner.”
The album was created during the height of the pandemic, therefore none of the recordings were created in-person or even at the studio. Rather, Alexander Star coached HANDY students through the songwriting process via Zoom and taught them how to record clean vocals using only their cell phones. Star then gathered the students’ cell phone recordings, gave the vocals a professional audio mix, recorded his own parts, and solidified the final product all from the safety of his home.
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“Alexander Star is known internationally as an impact artist and locally for his heartfelt community work. He has dedicated so much time over the years to teaching and guiding our youth,” said Kirk Brown, CEO of HANDY. “We are so grateful to have his support in leading therapeutic songwriting and recording collaborations with our HANDY teens. In addition, we cannot thank the BBX Capital Foundation enough for their dedication to support programs which provide our youth with an outlet to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions in a healthy manner.”
The Library of Us audio experience features Alexander Star alongside a diverse lineup of HANDY youth performing original songs written around intimate discussions led by Star. Kirk Brown, HANDY CEO, had a vivid vision for what HANDY wanted this project to be. Working together as a team, HANDY and Star designed the album’s flow to be a ‘song library’ consisting of six chapters focusing on the students’ (and Star’s) experiences with the following realities:
- Chapter 1 – What are You Afraid of? (Fear & Insecurity)
- Chapter 2 – Volcanic (Abandonment)
- Chapter 3 – I’m Aight Though (Insignificance / Failure)
- Chapter 4 – My Solid Ground (Lessons & Realizations)
- Chapter 5 – Not Like This (Lost & Found – finding your gifts amidst your circumstances)
- Chapter 6 – Way Too Much Faith (Spirituality)
Alexander Star guides the songwriting workflow of each track on the album by engaging in meaningful conversations with the HANDY youth. For example, in the album’s first song, “What Are You Afraid Of?,” Star poses four specific questions to his collaborators:
- What are some of your flaws?
- How do you think people see you?
- How do you want people to see you?
- What are you afraid of?
The finished product is personal, powerful, and likely to ‘hit home’ with all who hear it as these young people pour out their hearts into the recordings.
“I’ve built a career using music as a vehicle for positive impact and sticking by this mantra literally brings me around the world,” says Alexander Star. “Along the way, I discovered that one of my strongest gifts as an artist is unearthing self-confidence buried within people and using it to help them locate their [often suppressed] talents for writing powerful and relatable lyrics. The purpose of HANDY’s Library of Us album is to explore what is going on inside the minds, hearts, and ambitions of teens who face daily troubles yet feel like their voices aren’t being heard. Our goal is to give them a voice, a stage, and an audience who not only listens but responds with love and support.”
The Library of Us album will be available for download on all streaming platforms (e.g., Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, etc.) as well as YouTube. To download the album visit: http://smarturl.it/LibraryOfUs.
HANDY, which stands for Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth, is an award-winning 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Founded in 1985, HANDY has met the needs of more than 45,000 Broward County children in foster and relative/nonrelative care associated with the child dependency system. HANDY’s mission is to achieve positive, lasting change for youth by providing life skills, education, and a supportive community. HANDY strives to provide customized programs that meet the individual needs of a child that take them from early childhood to adulthood. For more information visit https://handyinc.org.
About Alexander Star:
Alexander Star is an Emmy-nominated recording artist, songwriter, and social impact activist based in South Florida. Star has toured 10+ countries as an independent artist and is one of the few musicians invited to perform inside the United Nations multiple times. His song “Pass The Good Vibes Around” was the anthem for France’s #1 rated TV series (Les Anges 9) and was later utilized by MSC Cruises in a music video campaign highlighting the natural beauty of the Eastern Caribbean. In 2020, Alexander Star’s song “This Is My Era” was branded into a Super Bowl LIV campaign featuring NFL stars rapping Star’s lyrics alongside him to promote eco-friendly habits and coral reef awareness. Message-wise, Alexander Star’s songwriting disrupts the music industry’s status quo with an award-winning blend of singing & rapping that intentionally uplifts and inspires social impact. On a community level, Alexander Star has led hundreds of therapeutic songwriting and recording sessions for teens in foster care (in collaboration with HANDY, Inc. and other nonprofit orgs) helping them turn life experiences into original music they can share with the world. “I just wanna spread love to folks who need good energy in their life. Music can be powerful medicine, so I write my own prescriptions that cause real positive side effects.” -Alexander Star Experience and share Alexander Star’s music on all major streaming platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, etc.) and follow his handle on social media (@MrAlexanderStar) for all major updates.
About BBX Capital Foundation
The BBX Capital Foundation is a 501(c)(3) corporate foundation. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $20 million in contributions and in-kind services to charitable organizations throughout the state of Florida. The BBX Capital Foundation focuses on three key areas: the arts, education, and human services.