BASIC INCOME INSPIRED SONG EXCITES NABIG
Tyler Prochazka
July 2016 - Basic Income Earth Network


“Shouldn’t I have enough to eat?  And don’t I deserve a safe place to sleep?" These are the first lines from the song that shook up this year’s North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress. The song, “Just Because I’m Alive”, was performed live at the congress by musician Brandy Moore, an advocate for Basic Income.  Moore started a GoFundMe campaign to help fund a studio version of the song that she hopes to release this year.  Moore said she has already raised over 10 percent of the goal in just a few weeks, and she hopes “the momentum keeps going".

One of the primary reasons that Moore supports Basic Income is that it would let all of us be “free to do what we want with our lives.”  “I believe that art is a priceless contribution to society and artists should be valued.  All unpaid work that people carry out in our society should be recognized as priceless as well..."  About two years ago, Moore came across the idea of basic income on Facebook and, as she puts it, became “intrigued".  Her curiosity did not stop there.  Moore was inspired to write a song about basic income and wrote it in “one sitting.” She said she started with the first two lines of the song “and everything else just flowed out of that.”  Moore said that it is important to create art related to basic income, because art “has the ability to touch hearts and inspire minds in a very immediate way.  It gives a voice to feelings and subjects that people may find hard to talk about, but which still need to be expressed.  It helps people feel less alone and more connected with the rest of humanity,” Moore said. “It beautifies our lives, captures people’s attention and gets conversations going.  Art can also make an unfamiliar idea feel more acceptable as it often touches people in a deeper way than it might by just talking about it."

Ursule Critoph, an attendee at NABIG, said Moore’s performance “struck a chord” with the audience. Critoph said using art to promote basic income will help “appeal to the human heart and spirit".  “Brandy's lyrics express the essential foundations that underlie the importance of a guaranteed basic income... appealing to the universal human need for affirmation, food, shelter and other aspects of a full life is critical to convincing persons that access to a basic income must be a universal right,” Critoph said.

Maria Wong, a worker at the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, also listened to Moore’s live performance. She said she loves the lyrics because they illustrate the reason she is “fighting” for a basic income: “it’s a human right.”  Wong said the basic income would help women, such as those at the shelter.  “Women experience poverty at higher levels because of responsibilities in caring for family, and a lack of options and/or value in the workforce. We think a Guaranteed Livable Income will give women more autonomy and allow them to be less invisible in society,” Wong said.

An officer worker by day and a musician by night, Moore sings because she loves it.  “We were meant to be free, and when enough of us believe we deserve to be free, we will be.”

JUST BECAUSE I'M ALIVE
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Shouldn't I have enough to eat?
And don't I deserve a safe place to sleep?
Where no one can take what doesn't belong to them,
And I don't have to look over my shoulder?

Why must I pay for my existence?
And why must I prove my worthiness?
I have a right to basic needs
Why, why, why, why, why?
Just because I'm alive---

I don't look like you,
And I don't act like you,
And I could never make it in your world,
But I still deserve a decent life
Why, why, why, why, why?
Just because I'm alive--
I'm alive---
Just because I'm alive--

Just because I'm alive--

I'm hungry,
I'm cold,
I'm lonely,
I feel-----
Just like you do...

Because I'm alive--
I'm alive---
Just because I'm alive--
Just because I'm alive--
Just because I'm alive--
Just because I'm alive--
Just because I'm alive------

Why, why, why, why?
Why, why, why, why?
Why, why, why, why, why?

This song was written with the homeless population in mind, but Basic Income would help every member of society.


OFF THE ROAD AND INTO YOUR LIVING ROOM
Brian Bowman
2013 Buzz City Online Magazine


Late last fall, Brandy Moore loaded her cat and guitar into her self-contained camper van to tour the southwestern United States. 

I love adventure, so driving down there was a blast, said Brandy.  My boyfriend came along as far as New Mexico. He flew home from there, and I continued on touring through New Mexico and Arizona before meeting up with him again in San Diego on Christmas Eve. We drove on to Palm Springs and Las Vegas, and eventually all the way back to Regina together. We feel really lucky that we got to experience so much beautiful and varied scenery together.

"...I've found that most people really are the same wherever you go. It’s more the venue that determines the type of show you’re going to have," she observed.

Brandy is a flexible performer with a large repertoire of material. She can play to any audience, but she says some venues, such as bars, do hold drawbacks for solo performers.  "In a band, the volume level is such that you won't be crowded out. But when I perform solo, I prefer to play in a listening room environment. It's more satisfying for the performer as well as the audience. You get to share a more intimate experience," she said.

Time alone in unfamiliar environments can be a game changer. Brandy met new people, shared tunes and ideas, and spent time communing with both nature and her soul. She's returned home with new material and a new determination. House concerts, listening rooms, and self-organized solo shows is where she's placing her primary focus now.

"I'm kind of regrouping right now. I really love the Listening Room experience," said Brandy. "I used to do more of that when I first moved to Regina. I'd sell tickets to a solo show, light candles, and include dessert and coffee in the price.  I also love doing house concerts. I performed at a home in LaRonge several years back. There were people on chairs, on the couch, on the floor, and even sitting on the steps up to the second floor. You could hear a pin drop, and everyone really got the story and emotion from each song."  

It's a concert, not a sing-along or a party, and Brandy sets the play list. But it's casual, too. "I usually do two sets with a nice break in the middle so everyone can talk and mingle," said Brandy, adding that if someone knows she does a particular tune, she's happy to accommodate a request.

This could be quite an experience. Brandy has her own style and her own music, but she’s also been influenced. Ask for the right tune, and if you turn your head or close your eyes you just might think it’s Eva Cassidy, Etta James or Patsy Cline singing in your living room.

"I've performed a few house concerts here in Regina, but I haven’t really promoted it. So I'm working on marketing myself more in that area," she said. "This is what I love - I love songs - and they don’t have to be mine. I just want to get the story of a great song through to the audience's heart."

A tug on the heart strings can be food for the soul, and this lady has plenty of that. For more information on how you can bring great tunes and a world-class performer to play for you and yours in the comfort of your home, contact Brandy through her website at www.brandymoore.ca

 


BASKING IN GOOD FORTUNE
Kelly-Anne Reiss
2010 Regina Leader Post


Singer Brandy Moore is trying to make the most of her recent good fortune.  She is launching her fifth CD, Real Good Love, which she was able to record in Nashville with the help of a successful business woman.  Based in Connecticut, the woman - who's also a fan - loaned Moore the funds for the project.  The fan found one of Moore's cover tunes on iTunes, and had a listen to some of her originals as well, and liked what she heard.

Moore had been looking at going down to Nashville after meeting an accomplished keyboard player, Eric Bikales, who has a studio there.  The two had met at Craven Country Jamboree where Moore had been singing backup for the group Fran Moran and the Nervous Wrecks.

Originally, Moore had planned to record a three-track demo, but, with the help of her benefactor, she was able to do a full album.  The fan had emailed Moore with an offer of help from out of the blue.  While in Nashville, Moore had the opportunity to work with George Marinelli, Bonnie Raitt's guitar player.  Since Moore is a huge fan of Raitt, the opportunity was a huge thrill.  "It was a terrific experience," said the 41-year-old.

Real Good Love, which includes six originals and four covers, is Moore's first recorded album done with a full band.  Her previous four albums were recorded with just guitar.  Moore has found recording a few covers beneficial to attracting new fans online - because people find her searching for those songs.  "A lot of my sales are in Europe," said Moore.  She'd eventually like to go overseas to do a tour, and, now that she has her new album out, she will be working with SaskMusic to promote it.  The title track to Moore's new album is a ska tune, which is a little out of the norm for Moore.  "I'm really excited about it," she said, adding she'd like to write more upbeat songs in the future.

When it comes to being a musician, Moore calls herself a lifer.  She gave her first public performance at the age of 10 in a small town talent show outside of Penticton, BC.  By junior high, in Fort McMurray, AB, Moore began performing songs at school functions with fellow students accompanying her on piano.  At 15, she picked up her first guitar and started to accompany herself.  By Grade 12, she was writing her own songs.  Now based in Regina, the rest is history for Moore who is an office worker by day and a musician by night.  "I sing because I love it," she said.

Brandy lived in Regina from 2001 to 2017.  She's now based in Victoria, BC.