Want to celebrate healthy attitudes and lifestyles? Have something to say about drug use and abuse?
NIDA, along with MusiCares and the GRAMMY Foundation, is sponsoring an exciting event called the Teen Substance Abuse Awareness through Music Contest
SBB encourages readers to submit original song lyrics or music videos that reflect healthy choices. Three winners will have the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles and attend the 53rd annual GRAMMY Awards Backstage Experience during a GRAMMY rehearsal in January 2011!
Plus, your song might end up on the GRAMMY web site for all major artists to see.
Your musical story can be about many different things: maybe it will be about your own experience or that of a friend or family member who is struggling with substance abuse…your view of peer pressure, your approach to personal choices, etc. We know you have something to say---here’s your chance to say it with music!
Who Is Eligible:
Young people age 14 to 18 who want to help shatter the myths about drug abuse.
What To Do:
Compose or create an original song and/or music video that explores, encourages, and celebrates a healthy lifestyle or accurately depicts a story about drug abuse.
Deadline for submission: October 15, 2010
Winners will be announced during NIDA’s first National Drug Facts Week, which begins on November 8, 2010.
First, second, and third place winners will have their musical entries posted on the GRAMMY 365 and Think MTV Web sites, as well as on the Above the Influence campaign site.
For details on how to enter and contest rules visit the contest Web site
. Tell your friends!
Find out more information about National Drug Facts Week
SBB has the scoop on the lucky teens who have won the the MusiCares and GRAMMY Foundation Teen Substance Abuse Awareness through Music Contest---their prize includes a trip to Los Angeles to attend a GRAMMY rehearsal backstage! You might remember from a recent blog that the contest is part of NIDA’s National Drug Facts Week. We asked teens ages 14-18 to compose or create an original song and/or music video that “explores, encourages, and celebrates a healthy lifestyle or accurately depicts a story about drug abuse.
The three winners focused on personal experience living around drugs, and told their stories through original music and lyrics.
First prize went to the songwriting team of Daevion Caves, an 18-year-old high school junior, and Jordan Atkins, a 16-year-old sophomore, both students at Alton high School in Alton, Illinois. Their music video, “Drug Free State of Mind,” shows them living daily around drug use but having the courage to stay drug-free: “We all Shootin’ Stars, patiently waiting to be seen…remember what you do, you got the power to… determine your future.”
Watch Video Here: “Drug Free State of Mind" by Daevion Caves and Jordan Atkins
Second place went to Markiest “Ghost” Jones, a 15-year-old 10th grader from Plantation High School in Plantation, Florida. His musical composition, “A Clearer View,” is a rap song he described as a cautionary tale about what happens when you decide to take drugs: “Do better than addicted/Make love the true prescription/Hope is all you gonna need/So believe you can achieve.”
Listen here: "A Clearer View" by Markeist "Ghost" Jones (MP3, 3.6MB)
Third place went to Vera Marquardt, a 17-year-old in recovery at the Phoenix House Academy in Los Angeles, California. Raised in Hawaii, Vera strums a ukulele to accompany the story of her journey that she calls “Take it to the Days.” Her lyrics include these words: “Take it to the Days When I didn’t have to Depend/the easy way out has slowed me down… but I lift off the ground.”
Listen here: "Take it to the Days" by Vera Marquardt (MP3, 3.1MB)
The winners will be given star treatment at the 53rd GRAMMY awards. But more important, they are living proof that you can pursue your dreams without getting distracted by drugs.
Interested in watching and hearing the winning entries? Go to: http://drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov/contest.php
If you are having trouble listening to the audio files you may need to download the free Windows Media Player
MusiCares and GRAMMY Foundation Teen Substance Abuse, in collaboration with NIDA recently sponsored the Awareness through Music Contest for high school students to create and perform an original composition called the Teen Substance Abuse Awareness through Music Contest. The first-place winners, Jordan Atkins and Dae’ Vion Caves, write here about what this experience means to them.
Hello fellow listeners and fans. This is Jordan Atkins and Dae’ Vion Caves. We would just like to share with you why we wrote this song. We give special thanks to God, first and foremost, but we received news about the contest through a counselor at our school. The counselor went to our manager/leader, Mrs. Wittman, of the group and from there we worked on the song and video.
It took a lot of dedication, since we had only two weeks before the deadline, but we were able to let that be a minor issue and finish the song and video with help from our friends that lived in the community.
We have a rap group at our school named "Alton High School’s 618," which consists of four members, but only two of us were able to compete in the competition, due to the rules.
The reason we wrote the lyrics is because we are trying to tell people to rise above their circumstances. We know, from our own family experiences that things can get rough at times, especially when you have no one to turn to.
We just want to let all of the fans, children, and even adults know that no matter how hard the struggle becomes, you can always follow your dreams. You shouldn’t let anyone get in the way of that!! We are just another two artists who are trying to make something happen with our lives, but when we come together as one, we can have the world on our side.
We thank everyone for all of the support and hope to come out in the industry so you can all enjoy our music. The feeling is unimaginable, although we want to stay humble. We have A LOT of support throughout our city, school, and friends. Along with us, our community is helping to raise funds so we can get our other two members to attend with us in February.
We thank our school, community, and fans for all of the support and once again, we hope we can get into the music industry so you all can hear our music. Thank You!!
When the first-place prize was announced “you could hear the screams all the way down the hall.” That’s the word from Zac Lovett, Dae’ Vion Caves, Jordan Adkins, and Farrell Terry, who won top prize in the MusiCares® and GRAMMY Foundation's® Teen Substance Abuse Awareness through Music Contest. Their prize included going backstage at a GRAMMY rehearsal on February 11, where they got to see Rhianna rehearse, we well as B.o.B., Bruno Mars, Janella Monae, Miranda Lambert—and they even got to meet Drake, the rapper who performed with Rhianna on GRAMMY night.
A long way from their hometown of Alton, Illinois, 18-year-old Dae’ Vion Caves and 16-year-old Jordan Earle Atkins flew to Hollywood with their mothers and teacher to collect their first place award, which also included a visit to the GRAMMY Museum and an afternoon at the famous Venice Beach. Two of their friends, Zac Lovett and Ferrell Terry, who collaborated with them on the winning song, also attended. SBB interviewed Dae’ Vion and Jordan in Hollywood, who both said they had big dreams and were not going to mess up their lives with drugs.
NIDA plans to hold this contest each year, in partnership with the wonderful Musicares® and the GRAMMY Foundation®. The 2011 music contest will begin in May this year, so stay tuned and charge up your creative energy. We will announce the winners during our 2nd National Drug Facts Week (October 31 – November 2, 2011). Everyone’s got a chance to win! Check out other SBB blog posts on the GRAMMY music contest:
This is your chance to be a star. Enter the 2011 Teen Substance Abuse Awareness Through Music contest, hosted by the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares in collaboration with the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Teens who submit an original song or music video promoting a healthy and drug-free lifestyle have a chance to win an invitation to Los Angeles to attend the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards rehearsal for a backstage experience and other awesome prizes. Visit NIDA’s National Drug Facts Week page for more information about the contest.
SBB recently talked to Super Star (his legal name), who is a member of the ROCKSTAR SUPERSTAR PROJECT. He told us about his real-life experience with drug addiction (and even a few tips about being a rock star). This is a project he started with his twin brother Rock Star (also his legal name) to help others learn from his experience.
What is the ROCKSTAR SUPERSTAR PROJECT?
I started the ROCKSTAR SUPERSTAR PROJECT (RSSS) with my twin brother to increase awareness about addiction, celebrate recovery from it, and spread hope to those affected by it. Our mission is to get people talking about how substance use, affects teens and their families, and to involve them in important conversations about drug and alcohol abuse in homes and schools across America.
My brother and I are showing people it is fun and cool to spread the facts about drugs and drug abuse. For middle schools and high schools, we host live Skype sessions and give a presentation called “Got Serenity?” We also released a music CD called Serenity
, focused solely on beating addiction. On the CD, we worked with some of our own rock ‘n roll heroes who share our passion about sobriety. We published a book called The First 30 Days to Serenity
, and we’ll be taking our Rockin’ Recovery Tour to cities across the United States during the month of September in honor of National Recovery Month.
Why did you create RSSS?
I fought drug addiction for 15 years. When I was 21, I remember getting high and swearing to myself that I would not go back for more drugs when they ran out, but I did. I remember thinking I probably had a problem, but I couldn’t stop. I tried to quit hundreds of times, but even a heroin overdose was not enough to stop me.
My addiction cost me a lot: all of my friends left me and my family lost hope and stopped calling me. It wasn’t until I made the decision for myself that I finally stuck with it. Even after 3 years sober, the trail of devastation caused by my drug use has not been fixed, and I’m still working to get back the trust that I lost during my drug use. Getting sober was not easy, but by staying sober, I realize I can give people hope of overcoming dependence on drugs and alcohol and the despair that can come with it.
Who is your greatest influence?
Paul Stanley from Kiss. He made it to the top of his profession by choosing to stay away from all the substances that destroyed many of his peers. I respect him for encouraging others to stay on the right path, and I am proud that I can now call him my friend.
What advice do you have for aspiring rock stars?
Hold your ground. Believe in yourself, perfect your craft, and remember that the person you see in the mirror is the most valuable thing you have. The beauty that lies within us is what will allow each of us to achieve our dreams, whether it’s becoming a Rock Star or Super Star or something else! Finally, always love, always encourage, and never let despair get in the way!
Three teens used music to turn the destruction of drug abuse and addiction into music and hope.
The winners of the second annual MusiCares and GRAMMY Foundation's Teen Substance Abuse Awareness through Music Contest featured compelling stories of addiction and recovery. Two entrants wrote their submissions while in treatment; a third wrote a song about how his sister’s addiction affected the whole family.
The 1st place winners were Harvie and Amanda, two teens currently in treatment at the Phoenix House Academy in Los Angeles, CA. Their entry, an original song entitled "Like a Phoenix in the Air," chronicles their feelings about being teens in drug treatment and their desire to rise above their addictions “even with a broken wing.” The song ends with the lyrics "Cuz I may fall one hundred times before I sleep, but I promise you I'll get back up tomorrow."
The 2nd place winner, Kevin Simmons, wrote “My Life” while at the Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations, a residential center in Spokane Valley, WA. Kevin told his story of addiction and recovery through powerful lyrics that included, “My life was over until I got sober, but I found another way to get through life.”
The 3rd place winner is 14-year-old Grant Davis, a student at Silver State High School in Carson City, NV. In his entry, “Just a Child,” the young lyricist referenced his experience growing up in a family dominated by his older sister's struggle with addiction. He created a haunting but hopeful composition that included the lyrics, “You were not supposed to be in charge of the world created for me.”
Composers of all three winning entries will have the opportunity to attend the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards Backstage Experience, a special backstage tour that includes watching artists rehearse for the live GRAMMY Awards show early in 2012. Also, the winners will have their musical entries posted on the GRAMMY 365 and MTV Web sites, as well as on the Above the Influence campaign site. They will each receive a small cash award from the Visions Adolescent Treatment Center in Malibu, CA, and a certificate from NIDA acknowledging their role in spreading the word about health about substance abuse.
How Do You Cope?
In a video essay, 2nd-place winner Kevin added, “Whenever I have a bad day I go to my room with a pencil and paper and write down how I feel.”
What do you do to cope with stress, anxiety, or when you’re just feeling low? Tell us in the comments what works to help you through life’s rough patches.
Visit NIDA’s Web site to listen to the winning songs
. Read the official press release