Sammi Morelli (top), Mount Pleasant’s John Pirito and Alex Szabo (bottom left) and NØX teamed up to create the track Strange Times last year, which they are now donating proceeds from to Food Banks Canada. (Submitted Photo)

Vernon rapper feeds the need amid Strange Times

NOX donates to Food Bank for every stream

Rory MacLeod never realized a song he released last November would resonate so stongly today. MacLeod, whose stage name is NØX, and Sammi Morelli wrote the song Strange Times last year.

“If I told how life was lately, you might say I’m a little crazy,” sings Morelli in the track. “Look around you’ll see we’re living in strange, strange times.”

Part of NØX’s Home EP, Strange Times delivers a positive message of unity, “which I believe everyone needs to hear and feel right now,” said MacLeod.

Due to the timing of this pandemic and the recent release, NØX is using the song to feed a need. The Vernon artist will be donating all iTunes and Spotify proceeds from the song to Food Banks Canada.

“This is an opportunity to present music fans with a relevant and uplifting song, as well as generate some much needed money to a great cause,” said MacLeod, who launched his initiative at the beginning of May and says Strange Times has almost 500 Spotify streams alone.

Along with the sweet sounds of Morelli, from Richmond, the Home EP was produced by Mount Pleasant, a DJ and music production team consisting of John Pirito and Alex Szabo, of Vancouver.

“After having known NØX for almost two decades artistically and personally, as a group we decided to create a collection of songs that were genuine, thought provoking and introspective both lyrically and musically,” the duo said of the milestone Home EP.

Now, amid these strange times, the team is also eager to be in a position to help their neighbours and community.

“Like everyone else, we are coping as well as we can. Staying healthy, positive and when possible, creative.”

As for NØX, COVID-19 has halted some efforts but hasn’t curbed his creative side. The local artist has been working on new material for two years now and was just about ready to put on a concert when the virus struck.

“As soon as that gets going again I’ll be ready,” said MacLeod.

Artists make pennies per play on Spotify, and approximately $1 per song on iTunes, according to MacLeod, who won’t know the total contribution until payouts at the end of 2020. In the meantime he encourages everyone to do some good and possibly generate some uplifting vibes by playing Strange Times.

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