By Devlin Smith
Musician Shawn Brady is offering his covers of U2's "Kite" and The Killers' "When You Were Young" on iTunes, with proceeds benefiting the African Well Fund. Brady is a singer-songwriter who also performs in the cover band EyePod Shuffle and the U2 tribute band Elevation. In addition to posting the covers on iTunes, he's also created videos of the two covers for YouTube.
Brady answered a few questions about his covers and shared why he was inspired to donate proceeds from the songs' sales to AWF.
How did you choose the songs that you covered?
I am a huge fan of U2 and The Killers, which is why I chose those bands. I chose U2's "Kite" because it is one of my all time favorite U2 songs but it is also a bit lesser known and I thought the diehard U2 fans out there would enjoy the acoustic version I put together. As for "When You Were Young" by The Killers, I found my stripped-down, slower version quite different from the original and wanted to share my take on it.
Why did you want to release these cover songs for charity?
My friend Elsha [Stockseth], who is a mega U2 fan and Killers fan, inspired me. I saw how she was using her artistic talents in making Christmas cards and donating the funds to AWF so I stole her idea! In fact, I asked her to collaborate and, lucky for me, she agreed. The artwork you see on iTunes was made by Elsha.
Why did you want the proceeds to benefit the African Well Fund?
Being a long-time U2 fan, I am well aware of the AWF and the great work they do. It is practical and it isn't a handout and I appreciate that 100 percent of funds raised go directly to building the
wells. It is really a life-sustaining project that provides a long-term solution rather than a "band-aid."
How long will the songs be available on iTunes?
The songs will be available for one year. If they continue to sell, I may keep them up or pick new songs for 2014.
What kind of response have you gotten from the songs and the fundraiser?
To be honest, not a whole lot. People who have downloaded them really have enjoyed them but it is a challenge to get people's attention these days. I recently made two simple performance videos of the songs that will hopefully generate some interest. The songs are only $0.99 so I hope people give it a shot and download the songs. If you see the links please share on your Facebook, Twitter, etc.
What are your goals for the fundraiser?
It would be great to raise $500-1,000. That would require between 700-1,400 downloads (iTunes takes 30 percent of every download).
Anything else you'd like to share?
If you are a fan of music, U2, Killers or even singer-songwriter type artists, give the songs a shot. Even if you decide they are crap, at least you've contributed to a great cause!
For more information, visit www.shawnbrady.com.