Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Plant Killer! Multi Media Outreach produced by Chanel Samson, McCartney's LIPA Student Star Advocates How To Go Green

Chanel Samson is a multi-talented student and entertainer: singer, songwriter, and music video creator who is such a “force of nature” that she took up no less a challenge than to raise awareness about taking care of our Mother Nature. 
Chanel is a passionate artist.  Recently she produced a multi-media Green initiative that calls attention to our need to take action and take care.  Of our environment, our community and our planet. 

Chanel wrote a song, produced a music video, organized a Grow team, (she leaned on her collaborative performance team work experience), produced a fundraising Grow event, wrote a helpful Tip Sheet on “10 Ways to Go Green in the City” and was on a media tour to publicize and promote the Grow Green effort and her Plant Killer!  music message.  Wow.  Did I say Force of Nature?!

It’s no surprise I share Chanel’s commitment and outlook.  I daresay Garden Glamour readers do too.  But I wanted to find out why and how the Green issue so motivated a talented, young, entertainer to take on the effort to get the message out about what we can do – as individuals and as a community -- to make a difference -- to affect change.
There was a time when music especially, was a potent force to illuminate issues and to mobilize action.  No kumbaya, rather a "We Are the World" or Sir Paul McCartney's ode to the environment, "How Many People." 

  1.     What made you want to do a song and music video and an event about plants? You write it started as a love song – was it a love song about plants? What changed your mind about the “love” part/how did it evolve?

Chanel answers: Well I was kinda’ dating this guy, Matthew, about whom I’ve written what seems like a million songs: He is the Matthew of “f___k you,” Matthew, in Plant Killer! I had to go home to Los Angeles for the summer and he was staying in England so I asked him to take care of our love plant and he let it die!! Of course I found out three months later because he didn’t want to upset me.
I was sitting at the breakfast table with my family in LA, so angry, and my dad said I should write a punk song. I’m a huge Green advocate and thought how great it would be to turn this into a political song about saving the environment, after all, music such a huge platform for movements.
By the time I got to the second verse, it was about cutting down our forests and how so many people are unaware of the terrible state our planet’s in -- or how they simply choose to ignore it. Hence the lyric: ‘You don’t know.’
I think doing nothing is just as bad as watching from the sidelines. So I went back to my school, The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA), and organized a band; within a month recorded Plant Killer! Since I love making music videos, I got all my friends together, pulled favors, and filmed the whole feature in two days at my Liverpool flat without spending a cent.

*  About LIPA from its homepage: LIPA opened in 1996 to forge a new approach to performing arts training.  It was co-founded by our Lead Patron Sir Paul McCartney and Mark Featherstone-Wittey…LIPA is an acknowledged part of the UK’s higher education provision for the performing arts… LIPA provides learning for the main skills needed for putting on a show (performers and those who make performance possible)…
And boy, did the school ever meet its match with the energy and beauty Chanel embodies.  

No wonder Chanel is the sultry siren poster child for LIPA’s 2015 prospectus (Even Sir Paul and Mark take a back seat: their overview appearing on page 3!))


 2.     Did you write the lyrics to Plant Killer!? Can you provide some of the words here as a sample for readers?

Chanel answers: I write all my own lyrics and melodies.
Sample Plant Killer! lyrics:

I thought you'd water me with love
I thought you'd be my very own Sunday
I thought your heart was evergreen
but now I know you got a black thumb babe

You don't know. I said you don't know...

I can't believe you killed my plant!
You didn't have the decency to call me!
No. No. No. No. No. No. plant killer!

I have this earth the same as you
but I don't go burning down forests
I grabbed my spade and dug anew
and now you wanna’ kill that to?! No!

You don't know! I said you don't know...

I can't believe you killed my plant!
You didn't have the decency to call me!
No. No. No. No. No. No plant killer!

You don't know. No. No, you don't know. Hey, hey.
Get out now. You don't know...
You gotta’ get yourself a real job or something man...ha!

You don't know. I said you don't know...
I can't believe you killed my plant!
You didn't have the decency to call me!
No. No. No. No. No. No plant killer!

     3.  What was the event you created? A party fundraiser?

Chanel answers: I created the Plant Killer! event to spread awareness about saving our earth. At the moment, humans are consuming more than the environment can handle. A lot of the people in Liverpool either don’t know what’s happening or don’t care. Consequently, I was motivated to create the “10 Ways to Go Green in the City” as a way to green.
The goal was to influence my community and build hope so we had artists from around England come and perform Green-themed acts.

We organized it so that every sale online for Plant Killer! on iTunes went to planting trees in my community with Mersey Forest. For every CD sold, Mersey Forest will plant a tree – with the effort providing nearly 50 trees, to date! Included on the CD are 10 ways to Go Green. Likewise, proceeds from our bake sale and raffle sales from items donated on behalf of independent Liverpool shops.  

* To really take it to the people, Chanel walked along the street, handing out roses -- fresh ones - and in keeping with the theme of Plant Killer! - dead roses -- along with the invitation to the Plant Killer! event invite

      4.  Why did you choose Mersey Forest?  Do you have a relationship with the Forest?

Chanel answers: I chose Mersey Forest because it is located in Merseyside, my community district. I wanted to get across the point of starting “getting Green,” in your own home, sustaining your community, and then growing – or expanding - outwards to other parts of the planet. Green starts in at home...

 5.  Did “Climate Coalition” come through to support Plant Killer! ? Any other associations        come on board?

Chanel answers: They did not but were very supportive and said it was a great idea and wanted other communities to do the same.  If anyone belongs to a Green or Sustainable organization that wants to support our efforts, please contact me!

6.     It looks like you had a fantastic turn out at the event – was there drink/food? How did you fund it? I see there were potting up elements too – tell me what your takeaway for the event was – and did it meet your goals? (I Love the poster!) - see the Plant Killer! Facebook events page It is still so interesting and entertaining to experience.)

Chanel answers: I was so pleased with the event! There was a smoothie bike machine, a homemade bake sale with treats from friends and family, tree seedlings, and raffle prizes! I funded the overall event from my own pocket but the community all pitched in at the end because it was a good cause.

7.     Do you do all the work or is there a team? I loved the decayed/dying plant being buried – even though it was beautiful “you”… And in that spirit – do you think plants need to be anthropomorphized / morphed with human traits in order for more people to relate to them as "Living" things?

Chanel answers: I put together a team for this event, and in the spirit of community… the more the merrier! Ian Weller and Eve Howlett are two Liverpool promoters who helped me with organization, ideas, and getting the word out.
I’ve always had a special connection to plants; we cannot survive without them. We need to show more appreciation and take care of what we have (our community/our planet) before we lose it…

8.     Your visuals are so vibrant and the costumes so robust on the Plant Killer! music video – how do you come up with the ideas for the look and how is that key to the video and song’s success? Where do you source the materials? Do you have a “costume closet” of sorts??

Chanel answers: I have a wild imagination! I get an image in my head and I do my best to create that. Because of my many live shows with my band, I collect tons of crazy costumes and things borrowed. I’m a glitter punk kind of girl: got the class and the sparkle but never afraid to get my hands dirty or in this case, be buried alive!   

I think it’s important to share your head notes on the Plant Killer! YouTube Music Video – you wrote: What started out as a love song became an environmental piece, and I'm so glad it did. Instead of just talking about how humans use more resources than we can replenish, I've decided to take action. For every CD sold, a new tree is planted with The Mersey Forest. The 'Plant Killer!' release event spread awareness and brought together the green community. We can still save this world!

9.     Do you have a garden?  Do you frequent parks and botanical gardens?  

Chanel answers: Since I live in a small flat, I grow my own herbs and plants on my windowsills and often attend the farmer’s markets, supporting the local producers and growers, instead of the chain stores. I always feel at peace in parks and gardens, and of course the air is magnificent!

10.  What does Going Green mean to you?

Chanel answersWe have no choice but to “Go Green.” We’re over-using our resources and polluting the environment when we’re done with them. Four planets would be required to sustain US levels of consumption, and 2.5 Earths for UK consumption levels.  Not to mention the wildlife population has dropped 505 in the past 40 years, according to Chanel’s research.  “We cannot keep ignoring these facts!  We absolutely must take action," Chanel advocates. 

11.  Who provided the “10 Tips to Go Green in the City?” (See Tip Sheet below)

Chanel answers: I live in the city center here in Liverpool where I attend school. I’ve been researching how to Go Green in the city because I’m so passionate about it. So I came up with the “10 Tips on Going Green” based on my own experience, which makes it realistic and proves going Green CAN BE DONE. Just packing a small bag in your purse and using it for shopping or recycling can help. Making people understand that it is possible and easier than they think to get in the habit of living a Green lifestyle.

12.  What are next steps for Plant Killer! ?  How will you extend the program and outreach??

Chanel answers: I will continue selling my CDs at gigs and online, sending all the money to Mersey Forest. People can help the environment while having a good time.  And as ever, spreading the word, inspiring people to have hope and take action.

13.  Tell me about the radio interview – and what was the take away/upshot? Can you share a link for that?

Chanel answers: Jon Morter, who got Rage Against the Machine to win Christmas #1 against the X Factor, now has a rock station. You can find my song there at 1:45

Plus, I’m going to be played and interviewed by Dave Monks of BBC Radio Merseyside hosted by Dave Monks December 6th! Interview is at the 1:04:45 time mark.
Chanel also appeared on the “newish” BBC Show, BBC Introducing...that features “unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar musicians.

Very exciting. For Chanel, Plant Killer! And for the message of going Green and nurturing our environment. 
Surely, Mother Nature is hugging Chanel -- her Green-child -- and her efforts to love the earth and care for its denizens. 

Thank you, Chanel. 

Love Chanel.  And Like her Chanel Samson! Music Facebook page   

Below is Chanel and the Grow team’s tip sheet: (Honor it and share it like your world depended on it!)

10 Ways to Go Green in the City
Our main aim is to cut back the consumption of natural resources. At the moment, humans are consuming more than the environment can handle. The UK would need 2.5 earths to sustain it at current rate, but you can help. Here are 10 ways to lessen consumption in your everyday life. Even if you only do a few, it’s a start!

1. Bring Your Own Bags

Bring your own bags. Plastic bags are not biodegradable, meaning they take upwards of 1,000 years to degrade and in the meantime, harm the environment.  

Take a re-usable bag from home when you go shopping.  If you must take a plastic bag from the store, keep it to use again.

2. Use Less Paper/Recycle

70% less energy is required to recycle paper than making it from raw materials.
Check the companies your with and switch from physical bills to online. and opt out (In the States, you can go to: or pay

Ask if your work/school/library recycles paper

3. Shop and eat local
Not only are you supporting your community, but also reducing the global footprint by less manufacturing and transportation.
-Find Farmer’s markets
-Support Liverpool Independent stores

4. Re-use
-Purchase gifts and clothes from charity shops to lesson waste and the need for new production.
-Take a re-usable water bottle and/or coffee mug to work/school/gym
275,000 tons of plastic are used each year in the UK, 15 million bottles per day.

5. Recycle
Although it’s best to reduce and re-use, recycling uses less energy and resources than new production. Everything not recycled gets dumped into the environment and poisons wildlife and natural resources we need to survive.
-Use a separate bin, or bag for recycling in your house. If your flat or house doesn’t have a recycling bin you can order one from your city council.

6. Use Eco-friendly cleaners
Many companies make non-toxic and biodegradable-cleaning products, just read the labels, or order online:

7. Control Power usage
-Turn off all lights when you leave
-Use energy efficient light bulbs
-Turn appliances completely off, standby mode still uses 85% of electricity

8. Control Water usage
The average person in the UK uses about 150 liters of water for daily living.
With a few changed you can save water, and it lowers your bill J

-Install low flow or eco friendly showerheads, and diffusers on faucets
-Shut off faucets when brushing teeth, dishwashing, shaving etc. 
-Make sure when you’re done the faucet doesn’t drip
-Run dish washer/washer/dryer with full loads
-Limit shower time as much as possible: 5-10 minutes is preferable

9. Join the ‘Big Energy Saving Week’
Go online to lower your energy costs and usage.

10. Spread the Word!
Talk to your family and friends about going green. Go shopping together with your canvass bags, attend farmer’s markets, even start your own green event. The more we talk, the stronger we become; the more action we take, the clearer the reality.

Become a supporter of The Mersey Forest by logging on, and find out what you can do in your community.
We thank you for being a part of ‘Plant Killer!’ and making a difference!
Chanel Samson and the ‘GROW’ team

Chanel ! 


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