Northland farmer turned Social Action Rocker Merv Pinny is gathering huge momentum overseas with his music and videos about today’s social and humanitarian issues, with one of his singles OB (Can You Hear the Children Cry?) making it to No 1 on several US radio stations.
His music is now playing on over 140 student radio stations around the globe, including the USA, South America, Japan, United Kingdom, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Australia. Pinny’s music videos have now been viewed and streamed over 20 million times and he has gathered a huge social media following.
Merv Pinny is no stranger to the music scene. Growing up in a musical family on a Waikato farm, Pinny started playing music at only ten years old and was playing in a band only two years later with his older brothers. Fast forward a few years and a few bands later, he was nominated in the best solo artist category at the NZ Music Awards in the 1990s.
So what inspired his latest music and how has it got so much attention internationally?
"I was watching the refugees, the wars, the terrorism, and how desperate people are to leave their own countries. How desperate do things have to be before you jump on a plastic lilo and set off across the sea?”. Then he saw an interview with actress Angelina Jolie - a UN special envoy for refugees - calling on governments, and ordinary people, to do more to help. And he realised there was something he could do.
OB (Can you Hear the Children Cry?) is sung from the perspective of a fictional character called The Messenger. "He's telling the story about what happened to him. He's a victim of war, he's got these images in his head and he's trying to get them out."
Using social media, Pinny’s songs and videos started gaining a huge amount of interest prompting radio stations in the US to take notice, which has created a massive snowball effect across radio and the internet. It has also prompted young people caught up in conflicts to send the singer heart-felt emails - "Some young people from these countries have told me, 'This is just like my life'. They've really jumped on it. They got excited that someone was writing songs and actually talking about it. I think a lot of them felt that nobody cared," he says.
A song isn't going to silence any guns on its own but at least he feels like he's doing something. "Maybe it'll help, but stopping the wars would be the best thing that could happen for those kids."
OB (Can you Hear the Children Cry?) is being sold through iTunes, Spotify and Google music.
All proceeds will go to a charity for children affected by war, with World Vision's Children in Crisis a likely candidate.
Later this month, Pinny releases his new EP Twisted Minds which will be launched on the 19th October at the Butter Factory in Whangarei and is now available on www.mervpinny.com or from the Sound Lounge
(09) 407 7101 or email@example.com
He is also working on two follow-up numbers. He hopes to release the second before Christmas.
“There is something special happening with Merv Pinny, the talented rock artist out of Kerikeri. A firm believer in the time-honoured tradition of composition and careful attention to detail, Merv Pinny’s work demonstrates how personal and affecting music can be when the right elements come together…He has a deep understanding of the techniques and traditions of the rock genre”. Focal Point