After losing their bandmate and close friend, Simone Battle, to suicide in September, G.R.L. have become involved in raising awareness about depression, mental illness, and suicide prevention. In the past few months the band has partnered up with Give An Hour, a nonprofit organization with a mission statement focused on offering support and raising awareness regarding the tragedy of suicide. On Wednesday, the band took things a step further when they teamed up with First Lady Michelle Obama to found Change Direction, a campaign to raise awareness about mental health across the nation.
The girls of G.R.L. claim that partnering up with these organizations helped them get back on their feet in the wake of losing Battle, claiming “it’s the perfect opportunity to make something positive out of an awful situation.” In January, the group released “Lighthouse,” their first piece of music since Battle’s death. The track and its accompanying music video were dedicated to Battle’s memory, as the remaining girls sang of the eternal bonds of friendship and sisterhood. In the music video, the girls stood back to back, united and lighting the way to a better tomorrow as images from Battle’s life flew by. The girls hope that the single helps “crack the door open a little bit” so that people become more comfortable talking about the dangers of depression.
G.R.L. performed an emotional rendition of “Lighthouse” for Michelle Obama and everyone else at the Change Direction event, including Battle’s mother who was in the audience. The band was proud of their accomplishments, stating, “we’re making our own history by being able to perform for the first lady and have this amazing group of people come together.” G.R.L. will be performing the single and making appearances in LaCrosse, Wisconsin at another Change Direction event in the coming weeks.
G.R.L. came together in 2011 under the careful tutelage of Robin Antin, who was hoping to create a new generation of her burlesque group turned pop stars The Pussycat Dolls. In 2013, they appeared on the soundtrack for The Smurfs 2 alongside Britney Spears. In 2014, they followed up with the release of their self-titled debut EP, which was supported by the release of lead single “Ugly Heart.” The girls are scheduled to hit the studio with master craftsmen Max Martin in the coming weeks, and they promise that their music will remain as bright and pop-oriented as ever.
FDRMX Eyes: Eminence is a four-piece Brazilian metal band. They’ve released their music video for “Unfold.”