Delivering messages of kindness, caring, community and more, Canadian singer/songwriter Russell Sprout’s new single “We Rise Above” is one for the ages — young and young-at-heart alike.
Check out “We Rise Above” here:
Produced by GRAMMY Award-nominated and JUNO Award recipient Ken Whiteley (Raffi, Fred Penner), the song is freshly picked from Sprout’s new sophomore album; the youth-friendly release stitched with lessons of tolerance and kindness is called Together.
Beginning as a plucking melody with simply beautiful lyrics, and speaking to rising above through the verses, the lovely new kindie ballad sees Sprout churning out a gentle chorus along with a children’s choir of “we rise above!” while asking elsewhere: “Are you kind? Are you fair? Do you help, do you care?”
Rounding out the instrumentation on the track, calming strings, violin and a crescendo-esque percussion builds as the message grows stronger. “Like a bird that flies above the sea, open your wings, be all you can be!” Sprout rolls out the anthem in fantastical fashion, giving promise to another day, month, year of positivity and smiling in the face in whatever obstacles may be presented in front of us. His appeal to keeping the lyrics in line with his audience of youngsters is an endearing representation of the artist.
Sprout (Russell Leon) is a long time teacher of music, a multi-instrumentalist, and accomplished performer in Toronto and has been for more than two decades. A faculty member of University of Toronto’s Jackman Institute of Child Study (OISE) and Humberside Montessori School, Sprout has involved himself in children’s music during the tenure of his career, including having received the “Best Children’s Song” award from Folk Music Ontario.
Sprout is as entertaining in his music as he is in his on-stage persona; an oversized cap, a bee adorning his blue suit jacket. In wide sunglasses and sneakers, he is silly and funny — and capable of getting onto the level of his audience through song and rapport.
“I knew the underlying theme of the record was going to be about kindness, mental and physical health, and events that would have a positive outcome,” Sprout recalls of creating Together. “Even if a cat was chasing a mouse, or there was a barn fire, or if you are in a bad mood, everything was going to work out.”
“We Rise Above” was chosen as the single because “the message is so important,” says Sprout on the notions of kindness, caring, educating, and community. “It was also the song that selected schools that I work with have already adopted as their own. Kids love to sing along, they especially like the actions that go along with it. The music video was shot in a local Toronto music studio and elementary school.”
The album is currently available to be sung along with, note by note, having been posted online at Sprout’s website with the option of reading the professionally notated sheet music. In addition to physical CDs, Sprout has also packaged a vinyl recording of Together featuring a 12-page fully illustrated sheet music booklet included.