LGBT music fans, be ready to fall in love with eccentric dance pop artist Sir Ivan.
The 50-something banker-turned-musician this week releases a video for his upbeat antibullying anthem, "Kiss All the Bullies Goodbye." The catchy tune has quite the dance-pop pedigree: It features guest vocals by 1980s dance-floor queen Taylor Dayne, and it's mixed by legendary British DJ and producer Paul Oakenfold, who's collaborated with artists as diverse as Massive Attack and Madonna.
So who is the mysterious Sir Ivan? If you know him only through his PR, he's a synth-pop caped crusader whose number 1 mission is to combat LGBT bullying, which he does by creating music and making generous donations. He has, since 2005, run his own charity, the Peaceman Foundation, which works to stamp out violence and intolerance of all kinds.
His civilian name, however, is Ivan Wilzig, and he is the son of legendary Holocaust surivor, financier, and philanthropist Siggi B. Wilzig. Ten years ago the younger Wilzig ended his own career in finance and devoted his life to making music -- and change.
The video for "Kiss All The Bullies Goodbye" features a series of vignettes in which street thugs begin to harass young LGBT people only to be thwarted by Sir Ivan's magic powers. In one scene, a mean-girl cheerleader sees a flash of herself in the schoolmate she's taunting and is overcome with emotion. The video's message is simple: empathy and compassion transform us.
Sir Ivan also this week makes donations totaling $100,000 to 10 antibullying organizations that support LGBT teens: the It Gets Better Project; the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network; the Born This Way Foundation; Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center; PFLAG; Stomp Out Bullying; Campus Pride; Love Is Louder/The Jed Foundation; the Trevor Project; and the Anti-Defamation League. The donations will include all net proceeds from video views, song streams, and downloads of "Kiss All the Bullies Goodbye."
This is his second $100,000 donation to such groups.
Check out the video for "Kiss All the Bullies Goodbye."