Songwriters behind hits from the likes of Beyoncé, David Guetta, Dua Lipa and Lewis Capaldi have worked with Holocaust survivor and educator Ben Lesser for “Choose Love” as part of an inspirational new global music campaign based on real-life stories and experiences from some of the world’s most extraordinary people.

 Over the course of five days at a BMG Soundlab songwriting camp conducted in Los Angeles, Lesser met with a group of 14 songwriters, producers and artists from the US and Europe including Toby Gad (John Legend, Beyonce, Fergie), Lindy Robbins (Jason Derulo, David Guetta), Edd Holloway (Lewis Capaldi, Martin Garrix), Georgia Ku (Dua Lipa, Zedd), and Emily Vaughn (Netta), among others. 

Choose Love EP by Ben Lesser
(L to R:) Emily Vaughn, Magnus Bertelsen, Ben Lesser, Lindy Robbins (Sitting L to R:) Toby Gad, Edd Holloway, Marian Wolf

Drawing on Lesser’s deeply affecting stories and experiences during the Holocaust and his life, the songwriters and producers went on to write four songs that conveyed his message into their music. Lesser joined the sessions, gave feedback and even participated in one song with a recorded Jewish prayer (‘Zachor Intro’). 

 The campaign was launched by Ben Lesser in a special edition of The Global Classroom webcast on Tuesday September 22 to an audience of an estimated 1.8m schoolchildren worldwide.

Lesser, founder of ZACHOR Holocaust Remembrance Foundation and ZACHOR Holocaust Curriculum, said, “The opportunity to partner with BMG, WHO, UN, UNICEF, Microsoft and so many incredible artists to create unique music based off of my life story and then to bring this to students worldwide through the Global Classroom has been truly humbling….I hope the students worldwide feel the same way about the lessons we learned together.” 

UK songwriter Edd Holloway, who co-wrote much of Lewis Capaldi’s Number One hit album Divinely Inspired To A Hellish Extent, said, “Ben Lesser’s words really inspired us to go and write some music about how we can hopefully change the world for the better in the future.”

These songs are now available as part of the  Choose Love  EP, available on all major streaming platforms (search for Ben Lesser).

The EP includes four tracks:

  1. ‘Zachor Intro’ Performed by Ben Lesser; written by Phil Schardt (David Bisbal, Alex Aiono) and Kady Taylor
  1. ‘Change Somebody’ (ft. Oda Loves You) Written by Magnus Bertelsen (Alan Walker, Marcus & Martinus), Georgia Ku (Martin Garrix & Dua Lipa, Zedd), and DWY
  1. ‘Letter To The World’ (ft. Emily Vaughn) Written by Toby Gad (John Legend, Beyoncé, Fergie), Lindy Robbins (Jason Derulo, Demi Lovato, David Guetta), Edd Holloway (Lewis Capaldi, Dean Lewis), and Emily Vaughn (Netta, Simply Rayne)
  1. ‘Zachor’  Written by Phil Schardt and Kady Taylor

The new campaign is driven by online education and charity initiative The Global Classroom, a collaboration with the United Nations World Health Organization in partnership with music company BMG.

It is the first of a series of releases expected to emerge from a collaboration between The Global Classroom and BMG SoundLabs, the company’s proprietary songwriting series. Proceeds from the special projects will go to benefit global humanitarian efforts. 

 Future SoundLabs will include collaborations between songwriters and the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to create a song for the Refugee Olympics Team and a separate project with Covid-19 survivors, relatives of victims of Covid-19 and healthcare workers. Proceeds from the projects will go to benefit global humanitarian efforts. 

 ”My story surviving the atrocities of the Holocaust and my mission to ensure we NEVER FORGET is just as important today, if not more, than it ever has been for students and artists to hear and understand,” said Ben Lesser.

Marian Wolf, BMG VP, Head of Global Writer Services, said, “Ben’s story and his message are both incredibly moving and of great timely relevance. Bringing together Ben and some of the world’s best songwriters to convey his message into song has been an extraordinary experience. We are extremely excited to be collaborating with the Global Classroom, WHO and the United Nations to create a series of BMG SoundLabs inspired by our project with Ben and following the release of the EP Choose Love.”

The ZACHOR Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization founded by survivor, Ben Lesser, is dedicated to spreading awareness, to remember, and most notably, TO NEVER FORGET. It offers educational programs, outreach and online resources to preserve the memory of the Holocaust, along with advocating for change for our future by teaching tolerance.

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