“All of us as artists have been doing what we’ve been doing for many years – releasing records, writing songs, touching the earth in some way, but the fun of it is what we do when we come together,” Smith said. “I thought, let me get some of these guys together under one roof for a week. And let’s write some strong, killer songs, but more than that, let’s try and give these songs away and really sew into some of these social problems around the world.”
From touring throughout
Fifty percent of the proceeds from each song will go to a charity of the individual artist’s choice while the other half will be donated to another charity decided amongst the group. “I want those conversations to happen around the dinner table and for us to get an idea together that we really feel as a team we can put our time and money into. And that may be anything. I want that to come from all the people gathered there and not just from me,” he said.
While it’s still too early to see how and when the songs will be released, whether on iTunes or Compassionart’s website, http://www.compassionart.co.uk/, Smith said he hopes to eventually release a compilation album of all songs written.
So how exactly does one get 12 people to write a dozen songs together in just five days? Smith explained each day, the artists are going to get together and throw ideas into the pot. “We’ve got four writing rooms/studios set up and we are just going to go crazy for a week and just bring ideas. Then we’ll meet up after for an hour and a half. We’ll play each other’s ideas; see who wants to write a lyric for that. It’s going to be crazy. It’s a great experiment and we hope it takes off.”
While it’s uncertain how the week will turn out, Smith said his hopes for the project is that 12 fantastic songs are written which people can start performing in their own gigs, shows and churches as well as earn money, which will be given to charity and be distributed to many different projects. “Who knows what the future is? What’s amazing is when you gather people together, then that’s when the fun starts. It's when you sit around and you have an amazing group of people dreaming up new ideas and I think that’s where the future is.”
The group of singer/songwriters will be meeting up Jan. 7 – 11. Smith says the concept behind Compassionart is to do something together, remembering that the sum of all the parts is going to be greater. “That’s definitely going to be what we can give back to the music world and also to many, many thousands of kids out there that are struggling to get through the night.”
***Special thanks to Rick Hoganson for setting up the interview with Martin Smith and the photos above of Martin Smith in Cambodia, Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith.***