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Randy Thomas - Netflix Documentary 'Pray Away'

Having grown up in the city of Nashville, Tennessee, in the ’80s, when the AIDS/HIV crisis was in full swing, Randy Thomas was not only exposed to constant homophobia but was also kicked out of home when he came out to his family. Apart from all this, there was also the bullying he suffered in public and the media’s snide remarks on his community. He thus moved to Texas, where he fell into the slippery slope of alcohol and drugs before he learned about an “ex-gay” ministry affiliated with Exodus in a local church. Randy soon devoted himself to the path and rose through the ranks

‘Pray Away’ is a Netflix original documentary movie that explores the story of a handful of individuals who either underwent the traumatic experience of conversion therapy or served as advocates for the “ex-gay movement.” With Exodus International and Freedom March, every similar group aimed at the LGBTQ+ community and promoting “change” through Christianity is highlighted, as their primary goals are the same. And it’s all done for the sobering reality check that such “treatments” are simply virulent, which former Vice President of Exodus agrees with. So, let’s find out more about him


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9/22/2021

The Private Language

Their StoryIn one of most uniquely offbeat collaborations of the year, celebrated pop singer Blake Lewisjoins forces with EDM’s most accomplished drummer producer KJ Sawka to form The Private Language, a new project that combines cutting edge electropop, indie dance and future funk into one irresistible package. Their boldly unexpected debut single is a fresh take on the Tears For Fears smash ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’, spinning the classic songcraft of the original with state of the art modernist production. Released on Earth Day, the video for the song conveys an impassioned plea for peace and unity in these uncertain times. Watch ithere.Sawka and Lewis originally crossed paths amid the vibrant Seattle hip hop and rave scene, becoming fast friends and fellow musical travelers.Lewis rose to fame as one of the most distinctive and memorable finalists on American Idol, winning over the world with his charismatic singing, beatboxing and scat-singing. He went to collaborate with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, releasing a top 10 US album and a #1 Billboard dance track. Sawka has been playing drums and producing for over 28 years, working with artists such as Illenium, BT, Amon Tobin, Andy Summers of the Police and dubstep supergroup Destroid. He is most known as the incendiary drummer for drum n’ bass legends Pendulum.Covering this classic 1980s hit has been a unique experience for both artists, as Sawka explains: "This song was a real challenge to reinterpret. It’s such an iconic song with a unique pulse. we slowed it down to 100 BPM and that changed it enough for an original feel and it fit our style and vibes. We then continued to produce in the way we do our original music by diving deep into the drum parts, vocal and keyboard effects and live bass. It was so much fun to create.”For his part, Lewis was drawn to the song for both artistic and sentimental reasons, as he relates “From their brilliant production, grooves and soaring vocal talent, I’ve been such a fan of Tears For Fears ever since I could remember. Any time one of their songs came on the radio as a kid in the 80’s I couldn’t help myself from singing at the top of my lungs. I love how melodic their music is in every way. After being amazed seeing them in concert two years ago, I knew I wanted to try taking a stab at one of their songs. Deciding to cover this song in particular, was tricky for us. Keeping the artistic integrity of the original while trying to make it your own is such a challenge but we had so much fun shaping this song in our style and think we nailed it.”“I came up with the idea for the music video during the height of the pandemic. Seeing so much tragedy and the impact we make on the environment I wanted to say something about it. I’ve always been mindful about the environment I’m in and human rights issues, from standing with the Dakota Tribes protesting at Standing Rock and performing charity concerts on Earth Day. I want to unite people with our music and message. The earth was here long before us and will remain long after. We need to be kind to each other, ourselves and Mother Nature. It’s just so simple to help and I hope whoever sees our version of this classic takes a little bit of that away with them.”Look for more music from The Private Language coming soon!