Nature-inspired music initiative to raise £32m for green causes

The sound of birdsong, thunder and waves have featured in many hit songs over the years, but now the sound of nature is being recognised as an artist for its contribution to the music industry.

The new initiative, called Sounds Right, will see nature recognised as an official artist on major streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music, to raise money for global conservation efforts.

Artists who use natural sounds in their recordings can choose to list ‘Nature’ as a featured artist, with a share of their profits then being distributed to green causes.

Artists who have contributed songs to the first wave of releases include David Bowie, London Grammar, MØ, Cosmo Sheldrake and Ellie Goulding, who has updated her song Brightest Blue with the calls of speckled chachalacas and Amazonian oropendolas.

It is claimed the initiative will generate over £32m ($40m) for conservation, with an estimated 600m individual listeners in its first four years.

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The goal of the initiative is to activate fans, raise funds and spark a global conversation about the value of nature. Fans will be encouraged to take follow-up actions to conserve nature, such as recording morning birdsong for biomonitoring and adopting other sustainable behaviours.

Digital creative agency AKQA has been a key part of the creation of Sounds Right, crafting the visual identity, website and global campaign.

United Nations under-secretary-general for global communications Melissa Fleming described Sounds Right as a “groundbreaking music movement”.

“It unites people around the world in a shared commitment to recognise the intrinsic value of nature and it inspires all of us to take the actions needed to protect our planet,” she added.

Sounds Right expert advisory panel member Mindahi Bastida said: “Biocultural heritage will greatly benefit from music royalties and donations. In a way, it is about paying back to life systems that have inspired the human spirit through the magic of sound. The time has come to live in permanent reciprocity.”

Circular economyClimate crisisInnovationNature and the environmentNewsPolicy

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