Bootsy Collins, Steven Van Zandt, and producer Chew Fu have teamed up to create a theme song for the Music4ClimateJustice festival, a series of events set to coincide with the United Nations’ ongoing Climate Change Conference (known as COP26).
The Music4ClimateJustice festival — which was organized by the nonprofit of the same name — will feature eight days of performances from over 350 artists from around the world, with the aim of supporting efforts to curb the climate crisis. The festival will officially launch Thursday, Nov. 4, and run through the end of COP26, Nov. 12, with performances being broadcast on the Music4ClimateJustice event site.
Ahead of the launch, Bootsy, Van Zandt, and Chew Fu shared their eponymous Music4ClimateJustice theme song — a blast of righteous, hopeful funk rock that finds Bootsy meditating on the need for climate action while Van Zandt lays down a dizzying guitar solo that practically extends the length of the song. The track also arrives with a music video, which Bootsy directed. And on Nov. 4, the song will be released as an NFT, the first in a series designed to raise money for the nonprofit.
In an email, Bootsy told Rolling Stone how the “Music4ClimateJustice” theme came about, saying it started with the discovery of a track Chew Fu had shown him while the bassist was working on his most recent album, The Power of the One. “Since we all have an interest in helping to educate and save our planet, I thought this would be a great project for us to collaborate on,” Bootsy said.
He continued: “I started to write some lyrics about ‘Mother Earth giving birth’ to so many different breeds of living things. I thought about the psychedelic Seventies when music was our food that fed the people and kept us growing. I tweeted to Van Zandt and asked him to play lead guitar on it. He got to crankin’ and got it all back to me to be mastered. Mother Earth is fatherless, with only us spreading hope until we choke. So we have to help her in decision making, because we all have to share the air, it makes good sense to care! It’s funny when u think about it—we all have that same Mother!”
Other artists and celebrities set to appear during the Music4ClimateJustice festival include Akon, Matthew Modine, and Sean Astin. On top of the nightly performances, the event will also feature interviews and panels with business leaders, athletes, and activists.