Great LezBritain: “It Does Get Better” by The L Project
Great LezBritain is an occasional stroll through the very best of British lesbo-centric entertainment and culture. Plus there will be some jolly good interviews with the top ladies who are waving the flag for gay UK.
On the weekend of the 21st October, many of the UK’s leading lesbian artists got together in London to record a song to help raise awareness and money for charities working to combat homophobic bullying amongst young people.
The resulting song is called “It Does Get Better” by The L Project and was released as a digital download on February 11. To the delight of everyone involved, it shot straight to Number One on Amazon’s Rock Chart and is currently in the top 10 of the iTunes Rock chart.
We caught up with The L Project creators Georgey Payne (singer-songwriter for UK band Greymatter) and Sofia Antonia Milone to find out more about the project and just why they think it has struck such a poignant note with audiences.
AfterEllen.com: What exactly is The L Project and how did it come about? Sofia Antonia Milone: The project is run by founder Georgey Payne and myself and together we gathered a group of lesbian singers and musicians to record the single “It Does Get Better” written by Georgey. Georgey started the project in response to a conversation she’d had with a young friend of hers who had been subject to homophobic bullying at school. She wrote the song for him, and then realised there was so much more that could be done with it.
AE: Who is involved in the project, both creatively and behind the scenes? SM: Performing on the track alongside Georgey and I are many other vocalists and musicians from all around the UK, seventeen in all: Horse, Sandra MacBeth, Jess Gardham, Emma Kavanagh, Amber Taylor-Groves, Mel Sanson, Amy Sutton, Nicky Mitchell, O’Hooley & Tidow, Nina McCann, Juey, Ella Chambers, Lorna Thomas, and Leanna Goring — all of whom are out and proud on the UK music scene.
But we also have a large group of crew behind the cameras as well as the microphones. Abbe Robinson has produced, directed, and edited our official L Project music video. Kate Tartsus is our behind-the-scenes videographer, where The Short and Girlies comedy group pop up from time to time. Katie Lamb is our official project photographer and Helen Setchell has helped with press as well as travel and accommodation when needed.
The list of people involved starts to become quite epic. And all the time given has been done for free, because people believe in the cause.
AE: Were you all friends before or has this project brought people together? Georgey Payne: I knew all of them from working the music circuit for so many years, and have gigged with lots of them. I knew some of them better than others, but after we all spent the weekend in the studio together I would say that everyone has now become good friends.
AE: What do you hope to achieve? GP: We hope to raise as much money as possible for our chosen charities Stonewall and Diversity Role Models, enabling them to go into schools and chat with young people about the LGBT community. We hope this will encourage the younger generations to be more tolerant toward anyone LGBT. We also want to make sure that this song reaches the young people who need to hear it the most. As LGBT people we are already aware of the problems we can face, but it’s the youth who are sometimes lost, and are feeling so desperate that we want this song to reach. I would have loved to have heard a song like this when I was younger.
AE: Why did you pick these particular charities? SM: As one of the most well-known charities for championing gay rights, Stonewall has a lot of experience and history behind it, we don’t have to explain what we stand for when people see that name. Diversity Role Models, on the other hand, are very young, and their aim is very specifically aligned to our cause, in that they take role models into schools to educate young people about diversity. We feel the combination of the two is a good balance.
AE: How can AfterEllen.com readers buy the song/ support the project? GP: The song is now available worldwide on iTunes and Amazon and all good download sites. There are four versions of the song, including a karaoke version. Buy one, or buy them all (for just £1.29) and every penny made will go to the charities. You can also take a look at our official video, like it, comment and share. That’s how you can help further, by making other people aware.
“Great LezBritain” authors Sarah, a Londoner, and Lee, a Glaswegian, met in a gay discotheque one bleak mid winter, eight years ago and have been shacked up together ever since. When not watching Tipping The Velvet, they find time to write, run a PR company, DJ at their own club nights and love a bit of jam on toast. Follow them on Twitter at greatlezbritain.