(WSVN) - A South Florida recording artist is using music to shine a light on a service that provides help and hope, so we’re shining a light on him in today’s 7 Spotlight. Here’s 7’s Karen Hensel.
Alexander Star, “impact artist”: “What’s up, world? My name is Alexander Star, and I’m a South Florida resident.”
Alexander Star, whose friends just call him Star, has a story to tell.
Alexander Star: “I was born in Pennsylvania, raised in Tennessee, seasoned in North Carolina, baked in South Florida.”
And he is not your typical singer-songwriter.
Alexander Star: “The market for sex, drugs and rock and roll is saturated. Everybody is doing that, all right? And it’s not really my personality.”
Star considers himself an “impact artist,” delivering messages through his music.
Alexander Star: “I found a unique lane in aligning my music with impactful causes, organizations, even government.”
Like mentoring teens in foster care.
Alexander Star: “I help them write and record original music based around their lives.”
And protecting coral reefs.
Alexander Star (rapping): “‘Cause small things have the biggest effect, we’re livin’ in debt to the Earth, all we gotta do is give it respect.”
Alexander Star (singing): “One, two, three, go, keep Miami clean!”
Star was nominated for an Emmy for the public service jingle “Keep Miami Beautiful.”
But it is in Broward County where the artist’s latest creation came alive.
The song is called “Just One Firefly.” Star wrote and recorded it for 211 Broward, a free, 24/7 crisis helpline that connects people with services and support in the community.
Alexander Star: “You might be facing bankruptcy. Who are you gonna talk to about that? You might be being domestically abused. Who are you gonna talk to about that?”
Listen to the lyrics.
Alexander Star: “The first verse is ‘got some traumas that nobody even knows.’ (singing) I don’t say much, I just deal with it alone.”
Alexander Star: “I was raised in Tennessee. We had a field of fireflies in the backyard and, you know, walking home, it’s like super dark, no street lights. (singing) And I ain’t gonna lie, these voices in me talk a li’l dark sometimes.”
Alexander Star: “A lot of us are in dark rooms mentally, and all we need is just one firefly that can illuminate us enough to see the exit. (singing) Just one firefly. To know that I ain’t out here walkin’ alone.”
Alexander Star: “When the weight gets really heavy, and you have nobody to talk to, when you’re just really in this dark place, 211 is that firefly.”
The message has resonated. “Just One Firefly” is now the official anthem for 211 across the country.
Alexander Star: “This is a 211 Broward creation that went national.”
Sheila Smith, president and CEO, 211 Broward: “It gave me chills. Honestly.”
Sheila Smith, president of 211 Broward, says their trained counselors hear about everything from mental health issues to skyrocketing rent prices.
Sheila Smith: “The song is perfect for conveying the message of 211 in a way that will, I think, encourage people to listen and to reach out.”
And that is the point.
Alexander Star: “I just want people to know they’re not alone. They’re not alone.”
Alexander Star says the hardest part about the music he makes is delivering a message without it coming across as corny.
If you know someone, some group or some place we should spotlight, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.
Karen Hensel, 7News.
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