Kanye, Goulding to use fan lyrics in anti-poverty album


Top names in music including Kanye West and Ellie Goulding will record songs from lyrics submitted by fans in a unique interactive album aimed at fighting global poverty.

Global Citizen, best known for organizing giant annual concerts in New York to further the goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030, on Tuesday announced the project titled “Metamorphoses.”

The 12-track album, to be released later this year, will also include British folk revivalists Mumford & Sons and New York-based indie rock giants The National.

Fans will have until March 31 to submit original lyrics, poems or stories. The artists will then select from the suggestions and collaboratively turn them into songs.

The album will be available for “purchase” by listeners who commit to take action against poverty, such as petitioning their governments to boost development assistance.

“‘Metamorphoses’ has the potential to break down our preconceptions of the voices of creativity, what different people around the world are thinking and who has the right to be heard,” said Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons, who dreamed up the project with Global Citizen chief executive Hugh Evans.

“In my own life, I’ve experienced people trying to define me and put me in boxes and categories,” he said in a statement. “Through collaboration we can show people how those lines can be blurred and are ultimately redundant.”

Mumford & Sons won the prestigious Album of the Year Grammy for 2012’s folksy “Babel” but went in a more electric direction on last year’s follow-up “Wilder Mind,” on which the band worked with The National’s Aaron Dessner.

West, one of the most successful artists in rap history, has increasingly experimented with form. His latest album, “The Life of Pablo,” is available only through streaming, with West continually fine-tuning it.

Fans, who can make submissions to the new project at GlobalCitizen.org/Metamorphoses, are welcome to write about any topic.

Evans said the producers would take material from around the world with the aim of making the album “a truly global tribute to our collective responsibility” to fight extreme poverty.

Further artists and an exact release date will be announced later, Global Citizen said.

The group said its supporters took two million actions in 2015 to support Global Citizen’s goals.

Its latest festival, held in September in Central Park and televised internationally, featured Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Pearl Jam.

US First Lady Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance to push the goal of bringing education to the estimated 62 million girls around the world who are out of school — a key component of the UN’s strategy to end extreme poverty.

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