added: 15 Aug 2013 // by: Andy Snipper
Jo Hamilton was recently asked by a charity to write the music for an Italian TV and cinema advert highlighting the torment of child soldiers in the Congo.
The advert is currently airing on Sky TV across Italy and you can see the advert at http://vimeo.com/65494357
About 3 months prior Jo had watched the inspiring film 'Machine Gun Preacher', the true story of a former Hell's Angel who went to some extreme lengths to help similar children, so was really pleased to have been asked to help.
Here is how the head of the advertising agency described the campaign to Jo:
"This phenomenon is a truly horrific one. These children are often kidnapped, abused and forced to kill their own family. Then they are trained to use guns and they are given drugs until they lost their own self and humanity, and are turned into disposable weapons to be used by the lords of war of those truly unfortunate territories.
If they survive war they are often sold to small tribes as children shamans, which means that they are the ones that will be sacrificed if something in the village goes wrong. Those few children that somehow manage to escape all of this - if lucky enough - get to the association we are working for (or other of the same kind) that try to find a way to their soul, soothe the emotional wounds and scars and light their spark of life again."
Jo Hamilton is the daughter of a Jamaican mother and a Kenyan father. She was brought up in the Scottish Highlands and went on to live in in Turkey, UAE, Kuwait, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.
She is the first artist in the world to work with an airpiano (The airpiano is a new musical interface which allows playing and controlling software instruments simply by moving hands in the air) and her debut release 'Gown' has received huge acclaim in the U.K. The album has also won three awards in the 2010 Recharged Radio awards In January 2011 Gown leapt to number 3 in the Amazon movers and shakers chart and was featured in the Rolling Stone France Magazine. The song 'Pick Me Up' went to number 2 on the Music World Radio charts, and made the B-list in Northern Ireland's Q102.9FM station.
Jo is also about to unveil a summer tour of 10 Apple stores in the US where she will perform exclusive city sets with the Air Piano.
Award winning Jo Hamilton is an enigma. Occasionally compared to Goldfrapp or even Bjork, she's more likely to crash into your consciousness as some kind of perfectly imagined symbiosis of K.D. Lang fronting Sigur Ros. Stemming from a nomadic family with roots in both Kenya and Jamaica, Jo was brought up in a house two miles from the nearest neighbour in the wilds of northern Scotland.
A snapshot of the intensity of this wilderness is revealed by Jo herself: 'There were three of us in our one-room primary school at the top of a hill in the Highlands. With our teacher from the Isle of Skye, we sang together, nostalgic old Gaelic lullabies and island folk songs about the land, sea, and returning home, while in the distance we could hear the roars of the rutting stags.'
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