Forget Trump, Brexit and the ideologues that seek to divide us… legendary house label TRAX Records is kicking off 2019 with a call for the world to find more ‘Common Ground’.
Released on 14th February, Common Ground is the first TRAX release of the year and looks set to storm the dance charts with its message of optimism and positivity.
Written by renowned songwriters Mike Greenly, Gil Polk, and award-winning UK singer Sam Stevens, Common Ground has been given a dash of dancefloor magic by the legendary Tony Moran for its release on TRAX, a year on from its original release as a Prince-style rock anthem.
Common Ground is available to purchase via the following platforms:
The release is also particularly timely – UK Prime Minister Theresa May called for “common ground” in her Christmas speech last year, while director Peter Farrelly also referenced the same subject in his Golden Globes acceptance speech for Green Book.
“It’s a fractured world,” says Greenly. “The idea of finding common ground and the need for it it’s something I’ve cared about my whole life.”
The opportunity to work alongside Stevens on the track gave Common Ground a new sense of purpose, he explains, while Tony Moran, who previously worked alongside Greenly on a number of projects, has increased its allure to a wider audience.
“Sam is a special artist – a singer, a musician and a songwriter – and he has his own sensibility about music,” Greenly explains. “What’s been beautiful to see is that we were able to keep the essence of the original song, and translated it in a way that a different audience can hear it.
“When you hear a song remixed into a club version, it takes on new characteristics, but at the same time stays true to its heart. I have no doubt that Common Ground will be heard on dancefloors around the world, the planet needs it..!”
Stevens, who has been making music since the early 1980s, agrees that the Common Ground is particularly attuned to the times we live in.
“It’s about overall empathy towards people. I have spent a lot of time in the US recently, and there seems to be so much polarisation – in politics, in society,” he says. “There’s this sense that ‘I’m right and you’re wrong’, and if you don’t subscribe to my viewpoint I’m going to be violent or aggressive towards you.
“But the world isn’t like that. If you look at the planet as a whole, people don’t live in the north or south poles – they live in the common ground in between. While the extremes of opinion have gathered pace, at base level we all have the same instincts, the same feelings.
“We have more in common with everybody else than we might think, and there’s something about Common Ground that really resonated with me.”
Stevens worked closely with Moran on the remix of the track, making sure it had the right sort of energy for a club setting.
“Tony came to me with a version of the track that he had remixed, and we were both really excited with how it turned out,” he says.
“But if you’re going to do a house version, the direction has to be different, so I said to him ‘let me take it back into the studio and see what I can do with it’. That’s what led to the Daft Punk-style harmonic vocals you can hear on the finished track.”
As for the track’s release date, Valentine’s Day, Stevens believes it sends an important message that will hopefully resonate with listeners.
“February 14th is a day of love – it’s not a day of hate or division, it’s a day of coming together,” he says. “With that in mind, it makes so much sense for a track like Common Ground to be released on this day, talking about the love we have for each other, rather than the same old rhetoric that is driving people apart.
“If people listen to the track and take a step back to consider that, I think we’ve accomplished our goal.”
President of Trax Records, @screaminrachael, interviews with @909originals about our 35th Anniversary and plans for the future!#screaminrachael #traxrecords #homeofhouse #909originals https://t.co/iW5Jj5hU5C— TRAX RECORDS (@TRAXRECORDS) February 12, 2019
Common Ground is released on TRAX Records on 14 February. For more information, or to purchase the track, visit traxrecords.net