Friday, June 21, 2024

Pattie Gonia, Yo-Yo Ma and Quinn Christopherson join forces for climate change

Critically acclaimed drag queen and vocalist Pattie Gonia joins 19-time Grammy Award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Indigenous trans musician and Tiny Desk Contest winner Quinn Christopherson, to right that wrong and have released their empowering climate change anthem, “Won’t Give Up.”

Produced by Grammy award-winning Producer Tyler Chester (Madison Cunningham, Blake Mills, Andrew Bird) and with performances by players like violinist Paul Cartwright (Kendrick Lamar, Bright Eyes, Olivia Rodrigo) and drummer James McAllister (Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Sufjan Stevens), “Won’t Give Up” is a song about not giving up on this planet and not giving up on each other. The three artists traveled to Christopherson’s native Alaska to shoot the music video for the song. Captured in front of Holgate and Exit Glaciers — two glaciers that are dying because of climate change —the video is an impactful and stunning cinematic contribution to the magnificent track.

“Yo-Yo reached out to me to collaborate on his ongoing environmental project ‘Our Common Nature,’” explains Pattie Gonia. “One of Yo-Yo Ma’s planned activations was in Alaska where I had been planning this environmental song project. We decided to collaborate on each other’s projects and reached out to Quinn as well as they’re a queer musician and native to Alaska and the rest is history. While us three come from different artistic spaces, we all share a common love for people and the planet.”

“Making this song about glaciers started as a goodbye, but through the process we realized we couldn’t do that,” adds Christopherson. “Creating this work activated more of a fight in me immediately, and that feels powerful.” 

“Alaska is an incredible part of the planet and an amazing community. I was deeply moved by my time there: I felt grief when I saw our glaciers receding and when I heard about the effects of melting permafrost — but I also left Alaska full of hope,” notes Yo-Yo Ma. “It struck me that Alaskans have so much to share with all of us about how we can navigate our relationship with the natural world, at once informed by the knowledge of the past and with future generations in mind.”

Yo-Yo Ma, Pattie Gonia and Quinn Christopherson. Photo: William Woodward

On the same trip, Gonia, Ma, and Christopherson did impact-focused work in Alaska, meeting with local queer, Indigenous, and artist communities specifically giving back to youth. Through their efforts, $66,000 was raised for local Indigenous organizations and “Art as Activism” workshops were held for Indigenous and queer youth.

Follow Quinn Christopherson: Website | Instagram | Spotify | YouTube

Follow Pattie Gonia: LinkTree | Instagram | Spotify 

Follow Yo-Yo Ma: Website | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube 

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Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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