McCann Manchester is getting behind one of its employees - who is also a Grammy-shortlisted DJ, producer and writer - to help him launch a charity single featuring a sample of his own heartbeat to raise money for the British Heart Foundation, four months after having life-saving heart surgery himself.
The single ‘No More’ is being released on Applique Music to coincide with World Heart Day (29 September) by agency Content Designer Mike McGuinness - better known as DJ Lempo - who co-wrote and produced the single.
All proceeds from the single will go to the charity to help fund cardiovascular research in the UK.
Lempo underwent an emergency operation earlier this year to fix a heart condition that could have otherwise killed him within six months. It took five years to diagnose his condition, yet only a few days for a solution to be put in place.
A key feature of ‘No More’ is Lempo’s use of samples. Using his iPhone, he recorded the sound of the heart rate monitor before his surgery at the Royal Stoke University hospital, and his own heartbeat after the operation using a stethoscope app.
McCann Manchester was keen to get involved to support one of its employees and to help the British Heart Foundation in its vital work.
It has helped produce the music video, which utilises user generated content from McCann employees as well as a raft of celebrities. The agency is also working to share and amplify awareness through social channels using the hashtag #NoMoreHeartbreak.
Celebrities signed up for the video include Hollyoaks’s Ashley Taylor Dawson and Kieron Richardson, X-Factor winner Shayne Ward and Team GB athlete Samantha Murray, and clips of them individually making a heart sign will be used alongside McCann employees, and it is hoped that celebrity involvement will be a catalyst to share through social media.
Lempo’s music career began in 2006 with residencies at Manchester’s now legendary Sankeys and Venus nightclubs. His success has seen him perform for global club brands including Ministry of Sound, Cream and The Warehouse Project. As a producer Lempo has remixed artists such as Snoop Dogg and General Levy, as well as releasing original music with prestigious New York labels Strictly Rhythm and Todd Terry’s InHouse Records.
Mike says, “My operation cost the NHS more than £20,000. More importantly, the research that developed the technology was funded by charities such as the British Heart Foundation. The morbid reality is that 1 in 4 are not as lucky as me; heart disease can attack anyone of any age and fitness.”
Music producer Chris Robinson, aka Ruff Diamond, has been integral to bringing Mike’s vision to life. Chris has worked with artists such as Beyoncé, Mark Morrison and Shapeshifters, selling millions of records in the process. In addition to giving up his own time as co-writer and producer, he also allowed Mike use of the facilities at his studio free of charge.
Chris says, “I had no hesitation in saying yes when Mike invited me onto the ‘No More’ project. I offered the use of my studio, SupaEarth, to him to make the record, and we brought in Victoria-Jane, who blessed the song with her tone and energy. Mike is a great guy and throws his heart into music and creativity - I believe this record will touch people deeply and inspire them to help others.”
The vocalist on No More, Victoria-Jane, explains, "My father underwent mechanical aortic valve replacement in 2012 and is due to have another procedure. I’ve wanted to work with Mike for years, so once he approached me I jumped at the opportunity. Knowing we are raising awareness about something so close to my heart means everything to me.”
Leah Goodhind, Fundraising Manager for the British Heart Foundation, says, "We never cease to be amazed by the extraordinary ways people like Mike fundraise for the BHF and we're incredibly grateful to them for their efforts. Our supporters like Mike power our research, and this means we can ultimately go on to help save thousands of lives."
Mike adds, “How we react in the face of adversity is paramount. Take a bad experience and use it for good. That’s the plan; to use my skills, knowledge and contacts to make a difference for others facing similar complications.”
‘No More’ is releasing on Mike’s own label, Applique Music, and the single will be available on all major download stores and streaming networks from 1 October.