Northern Heart + Home was designed to celebrate the people, places and positives that set the North apart. This spotlight series focuses on exactly that: the people who are at the very heart of our Northern communities. Each profile highlights leaders who are pursuing their dreams, creating meaningful lives and truly shining in the North. This Northern Heart Q+A features Jim Payetta, the co-writer and producer of ‘We Are One’ – a song to inspire, give hope and bring us all together. #WeAre1WorldSong

Northern-born Jim Payetta is a husband, father, grandfather, businessman, and musician.

He is a co-owner of the Barrie Colts OHL team (The HorsePower Sports & Entertainment Group Inc.), and has owned businesses in several cities across the North, including Sudbury, North Bay and Thunder Bay.

Like many of us, Jim’s daily life has been put on ‘pause’ due to the COVID-19 crisis. Not one to let circumstances dictate his outcomes, Jim decided to make use of his time spent at home to create something to bring hope to others; something that unites us all and brings light to our present situations. The result: We Are One — a song he co-wrote and produced with country music icon, Jason McCoy.

The song has since been recorded by many artists around the world and now they invite you to record your own version. Their goal is to make it the most recorded song of all time and donate any proceeds to COVID-19 relief efforts around the world. Not musically inclined but want to get involved? They have made their version free so you can listen along or you can simply upload a photo holding a sign with your hometown and #weare1worldsong to show your support. 

The following interview with Jim includes how this project came together and how you can get involved and help bring the world together through the power of music.

The Northern Heart Q+A: We Are 1 World Song

How did the idea for the song, We Are One come to be?

I was into my second week of isolation, sitting having my morning coffee and poking around online looking at all of the various artists, from Keith Urban to John Legend, doing concerts from their homes for their fans. 

I was thinking about how great that was. They were doing their best to entertain and stay connected with people. It was about music, their craft of creating it and staying connected.

If ever there was a world event that demonstrated the simple truth that we are all connected … this surely is it. 

Then I thought how amazing it is that the virus started with one person. And from that one person, within weeks, it had spread around the world to the point that it completely changed life for every human on the planet. Talk about The Power of One.

Then an idea came to me. What if we could get one song; a song that was about hope, about the human spirit, about the Power of One, about the fact that we are all connected … what if we could get not only well known artists and singers, but every person who wanted to participate, to record their own versions and share them? How fast could we make that one song spread all over the world? Using technology and The Power of One, it’s possible.

I called my friend and occasional songwriting partner, Jason McCoy, and shared the idea with him.

Four days later, we had the first demo of the song we wrote, We Are One. Within a week, Jason was sending the track around to musicians and singers he knew. In less than two weeks, the song and video you have now heard and seen here, was produced. Within two weeks, this website was launched.

And without that morning coffee and seeing those artists … the idea would never have been sent to me from wherever ideas come from.

Tell us about partnering with Jason McCoy to write and produce the song.

Jason is a very talented songwriter, singer and artist. He is also an amazing man and great human being. He made all of this happen. He’s the best.

I’ve been writing songs with Jason for the past few years. We’ve written a few including ZAMBONI for The Roadhammers, which you can find on YouTube, and I when I thought of doing this song, he was the first person I called. I knew he’d be perfect singing this, but even more important, I know what kind of man he is and I knew he would love this whole idea. And, he’s an incredible songwriter.

How were you able to get so many renowned artists from around the world to come together and record the song in self-isolation?

That was all Jason and two good friends of his, record producer Russell Broom and video producer Sean Smith. They reached out to artists that were friends of theirs and asked them to participate.

Just from a production point of view, this was quite the feat! Jason recorded the guitar part and a lead vocal to a click track and sent to Russell. Russell then sent the tracks to each individual musician and singer who recorded their parts at home in their home studios and took video of themselves doing it. Even the Harlem Gospel Choir had to do their parts individually at home.

Then, Russell assembled all the tracks and produced the final mix. He sent that to Sean and Sean edited all the videos we received to get the final product that you see on YouTube.

There are so many talented musicians and singers who participated in this project. A huge thank you to all of them. A complete list is available here. And a huge thank you to all of the people who have help launched this.

How can this song help others during the COVID-19 pandemic?

I think the song is about hope and celebrating the human spirit. This is a scary time for all of us. This has never happened in any of our lifetimes … the whole world has been affected. Peoples lives have truly been re-arranged.

When you are isolated at home, even though you may be with family, it’s easy to feel alone. The news is always negative and it’s hard to stay positive.

Music is a universal language. So we thought that by writing a song that is uplifting, that celebrates the human spirit, we can let everyone know that none of us is alone. We are all in this together. We are all connected. And we all have the power to stop the spread if we each do our part.

It’s really about The Power of One. The power of each of us … after all, together we create everything.

How can people get involved to join #weare1worldsong? 

We want We Are One to be the most recorded song in history. That’s why we put it out there for free and are donating any proceeds to COVID-19 relief efforts around the world.

People can go our our website, download the lyrics and download different tracks of the music to sing along too. Or, they can just listen to our version and sing along on their phones. And, we are reaching out to artists around the world to record their own versions.

Then, after you record whatever you are going to do, upload your video to YouTube and use the hashtag #weare1worldsong.

Our goal is to make this the most recorded song in history by having people from all over the world sing it. Hopefully, when you search #weare1worldsong in a few weeks, there will be thousands of versions uploaded! Join us!

Any words of advice for others looking for a way to help during these uncertain times?

There are so many people that are alone, and so many elderly people that could use help, people have lost their jobs and incomes … there is no shortage of ways people can help out.

A simple thing like asking an elderly neighbour if they need any groceries if you are going out to get yours, can make a huge difference to someone. Or making a extra couple meals at dinner time and dropping it off to someone in need. So many things.

I think maybe the best thing to do in a crisis is focus on helping others. It makes you feel better and truly makes a difference. If each one of us did one kind deed a day, think of the difference that would make in the world!

The Power is now with all of you. Show the world The Power of One. Weare1world.

Follow #WeAre1WorldSong






Do you know of an amazing Northerner who is pursuing their dreams, creating a meaningful life and truly shining in the North? Let us know!

During this extraordinary time there are so many people who are making a difference on a daily basis. A simple THANK YOU goes a long way any day, but it’s especially impactful now, when we are all facing so much uncertainty.  To show our appreciation we are giving you the opportunity to say THANK YOU to someone who deserves to recognized for their efforts. Whether family, friends, front line workers, fellow small business owners, community organizations… show your gratitude by commenting on our #kindnessiscontagiouscampaign on Facebook or Instagram. We will pay it forward and give one randomly selected winner a $50 GIFT CARD to support the small business of their choice AND make a $50 DONATION to the charity of their choosing. The winner can select any small business and charity across North America, in any community to support. It’s our way of saying thanks and spreading a little bit of kindness!

And if you are looking to make the most of your time at home, be sure to visit our Northern Happenings page to find out what you can do at home and online while still supporting local businesses!

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