Once in awhile, an artist has a calling that seems to go beyond the work of art itself. For Dino Jag, this experience came on the day of the massive earthquake in Haiti. On that day, he was in his studio working on a demo for his song "Calling All The Saints (S.O.S. Haiti)". The most devastating natural disaster, unbeknownst to him, was just about to happen. Haiti was on the other side of the world: his home was Adelaide, Australia. In fact, Mr. Jag admits not even knowing where the country Haiti was exactly located on the map.
Like most of us who learned more about Haiti on the day of the largest earthquake to hit the region in more than 200 years, taking upwards of 250,000 lives, Dino Jag began to think of his song as having a purpose way beyond his understanding. He didn't quite know where he conceived the inspiration for "Calling All The Saints (S.O.S. Haiti)", especially since he had been previously concentrating on Electronic Dance music. But, once it was in the making he knew it was bigger than the self, having much more of a purpose than just another song on an album.
It was clear that the song needed a voice to realize itself. And Dino's sincere voice was the perfect channel for calling all of the saints to assist in the humanitarian endeavors gravely needed. Emotionally, his vocals attached to the lyrics effortlessly while delivering a universal cry for help. The people of Haiti surely must have felt that they lost everything making lyrics like "It's too late, I've lost tomorrow/It's all gone, lost in sorrow" resonate. Just as compelling are the following lyrics "The light's so bright/I'm so warm inside" reflecting the optimism of the Haitians even after such enormous loss.
It is every artist's lifelong quest to speak with the heart's voice. In the immediate aftermath of the catastrophe, Mr. Jag used the song as a way to encourage people to make donations. By working with the American Red Cross, who gave him permission to use photographic images for the video that accompanies the song, Jag offered to have the single downloaded in exchange for a $1 (or more) donation to support the humanitarian efforts in Haiti.
However, while Dino's campaign helped to bring attention to the issue, it has been reported that, even after three years, of the $7.5 billion dollars in official aid only $215 million was allocated for safe and permanent housing. It has also been reported that $1.2 million was used for short-term solutions, tent camps, temporary shelters, and cash grants that pay a year's rent. Currently, four million lack safe water, seven million have no sanitation services, and 80 percent of the population lives in poverty, according to water.org. Last January, to ensure that the people of Haiti were not forgotten, Dino felt a need to cast light on the persistent suffering by re-releasing the song and video. Available for sale through ReverbNation's Music for Good program, 50 percent of the proceeds go directly to Oxfam America who provides aid and support to Haiti, making the line "I'm so deep in trash and treasure" sound like a poignant statement.
You may be asking what Dino did before "Calling All The Saints (S.O.S. Haiti)". His achievements consist of nominations for "Best Male Vocalist" for three consecutive years at the South Australian Music Industry Awards (SAMIA). Other breaks came for Dino through recording projects that featured such icons as Paul McCartney, Ray Columbus, Alan Gorrie (Average White Band), Mark King (Level 42) and Carmen Grillo (Tower Of Power). Dino has shared the stage with a wide range of artists including Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi and Sammy Hagar of Van Halen. Now in pre-production for his new releases, Jag is sure to be busy touring worldwide this year. But, it may very well be that his greatest success will come from "Calling All The Saints".