Teenagers love music. So what better way to reach out and send a message to them than through teen music? And who can better deliver the message than musicians who are teens themselves?
This is exactly what the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) had in mind when collaborated with the GRAMMY Foundation to sponsor a contest for the observance of the National Drug Facts Week.
About the music competition:
The contest was sponsored by MusiCares and the GRAMMY Foundation, the two nonprofit organizations of The Recording Academy. Participation criteria included:
- Open to all teens ages 14-18.
- Entries should be an original song and/or music video “that explores, encourages, and celebrates a healthy lifestyle or accurately depicts a story about drug abuse. “
Entries were judged based on musical expertise and “accurate depictions of subject matter.”
Three winning entries will be chosen and “the composers of all three winning entries will have the opportunity to attend a 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards Backstage Experience, a special backstage tour while artists rehearse for the live GRAMMY Awards show on Feb. 13, 2011 in Los Angeles. “
The winners will also receive a small cash prize and their entries will be posted on the GRAMMY 365 and Think MTV websites.
First place winners: Daevion Caves (18)-and Jordan Earle Atkins (16) , junior and sophomore (respectively) at Alton High School in Alton, Ill. Their entry, a music video entitled “Drug Free State of Mind,” showed the boys living daily around drug use, but having the courage to stay drug-free. Their entry included the rap lyrics “We all shootin’ stars, patiently waiting to be seen…remember what you do, you got the power to… determine your future.”
Second place winner: Markeist “Ghost” Jones (15), a sophomore from Plantation High School in Plantation, Fla. His winning entry was a rap song called “A Clearer View” which he described as a “cautionary tale about what happens when you decide to take drugs” based on a personal experience with drug addiction of a family member.
Third place winner: Vera Marquardt (17) in recovery at the Phoenix House Academy in Los Angeles. The Hawaiin-raised musician used a ukulele to tell the story of her path to sobriety, with an original musical composition called “Take It to the Days.” Here are some excerpts from the song “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.”
The winning entries are available for download as video, mp3 and transcript at the National Drug Facts Week site.