What Is PeaceTones®?



PeaceTones® takes a unique approach to addressing economic empowerment worldwide.  We work with musicians as they can be powerful agents of change within their communities.  We train these artists in legal, marketing, and community development tools, produce an album with them which we sell online, and send 90% of net profits back to artists, a percentage of which the artists agree to contribute to their communities through a development project.
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Want to be part of PeaceTones®’s journey of discovering, educating and supporting the next big world music activist? Join our movement by becoming a member or signing up for news and updates about campaigns, artist releases and events!

In The News 

A Story Of Kickstarter Success + 10 Reasons to Continue to Give to Our New PeaceTones Ambassador from Kenya!

THANK YOU- together we raised over $5,000 in less than one month!!!
…And just because our Kickstarter campaign is over doesn’t mean you can’t still support and take a stand for music and social justice! Why? Read on. 


San Francisco, CA (July 2015)– As we reflect on this last beautiful, humbling month and consider our last 24 hours, we are compelled to answer the most basic question- why give? And why continue even to surpass our original goals? Here’s just a few reasons our current donors and team have come up with:
  1. Changing a life (and many lives, really, if you think about it!)
  2. Supporting amazing, socially conscious music and counter-voices for peace and dialogue in Kenya
  3. Helping provide a platform for voices not traditionally heard
  4. Being a crucial part of launching the music career of the aspiring new “voice of Kenya”
  5. Helping set an example for what is possible when musicians around the world are empowered and are heard
  6. Learning and help others learn about the struggles faced by so many in the Kibera slum of Nairobi
  7. Creating economic opportunity for producers, managers, and sound engineers across Kenya and market access for those with positive, constructive social justice-oriented messages.
  8. Inspiring other artists to dream big, renew our focus on what we have in common, and act as positive agents of change in their communities
  9. Changing the global music landscape for the better!
  10. 10887117_934855089879856_2277104732675068373_oCool rewards! (Including a Huthead poster, an autographed photo from the Songs For Justice project by acclaimed photographer, Joshua Smith, a digital visit to the recording studio w/ Emmanuel, a live-streamed concert from Emmanuel himself, and even a VIP experience in Nairobi, Kenya!)
As you can see, completing this project goes far beyond just dollars raised. Because of YOU, Emmanuel’s strong voice for peace will be heard.As we take that next step towards launching Emmanuel’s career in Kenya, we continue our quest to change the world for the better through music! If you haven’t already, you can donate via our Rally online donation portal OR become a PeaceTones Member to help support this vital work.

Musician Empowerment Creating Lasting Community Impact In Recife, Brazil

Recife, Brazil (May 2015)

3In the early days of PeaceTones®, our president was introduced to the incomparable Kurt Shaw and “Shine A Light.” Shine a Light teaches the digital arts to marginalized children all over Latin America, so that their communities can come to see themselves — and show themselves — in a new light. With PeaceTones’ dreams of musician empowerment and strengthening the rule of law in tow, it quickly became clear that this was a perfect place to start the PeaceTones® journey. For the last decade, Shine a Light has worked to use culture as a tool for peacemaking in the favelas of Recife, often supported by PeaceTones®. Their initial music, dance, and video projects developed a group of young leaders committed to make a difference. This laid the foundation for the development of a news channel called FavelaNews which has inspired real structural change in Recife and beyond. As Kurt, their Director, describes,
“In a 2011 research project we published as the Cartography of the Favela, we found two major reasons cited by young men and women for joining gangs: the desire to be respected and rage at an unjust world.  Crime provided a way to be recognized as powerful and important, while guns offered one of the few ways to express rage into action. With a local news channel that recognized young people for the good things that they do, and offers a productive way to express their rage when the police or another gang kills their family or friends, FavelaNews has diffused two important motivations for violence. In addition to other channels to recognize young men and to express rage, FavelaNews has also created new role models. Passing through the streets of the favelas with the reporters, one hears little kids say, ‘Isn’t that such-and-such, the reporter?’  Previously, one had heard such hushed, reverent tones only in reference to gang leaders.  Community leaders and small business people also feel themselves admired, and feel that their work is worthwhile.”4PeaceTones® and Shine a Light have long worked to show that culture and law can make important contributions to peacemaking. FavelaNews is proof of concept, showing that this model truly works, especially when we expand the idea of “law” to include the many formal procedures that people in marginalized communities use to express, think through, and resolve their problems. The goal of sustainable, lasting community development adds an even more depth to our partnership. Over time PeaceTones®, in its capacity as a fair trade music label, has sold and distributed Shine A Light music and DVDs in the 90-10 split model we pioneered. The proceeds of this collaborative endeavor were to be dedicated a community development project of the musicians choosing, demonstrating yet another way music and musicians can be positive agents for social change.
2Last weekend, this vision came to life. Our original artists that we worked with years ago- Okado, Detefon, and Jonas- organized the first day of a series of events designed for positive and lasting community development. They hosted a breakdance competition for almost 50 dancers, then opened the stage for anyone else who wanted to participate with an audience of a cool 500 community members. Okado, Detefon, and Jonas will next meet with some of the most interested participants. Their plan is to run a series of dance workshops, rap workshops, as well as hire a professional silk-screener to train people in designing their own logos and shirts. The latter is a significant moment as there exist several big apparel makers whose expensive clothes stimulate young men to deal drugs so they can have the money to buy them. With cool local brands, they hope to undermine that logic and that hegemony, not to mention generate income and develop rule of law in the favela (contracts, SalesForce, taxes, etc)
The power of fair trade music at work!For more information on Shine A Light, visit http://www.shinealight.org/

Sponsors & Partners

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