Some of New Zealand's top musicians have joined forces, virtually, to encourage Kiwis to remain strong through isolation in the fight against Covid-19.
Over seven days of lockdown, more than 20 musicians and music industry professionals connected through screens and technology to write, record and edit a song with the simple message that "this isn't forever, we're in this together".
Among those involved in the creation of Stay are some of the Bay of Plenty's favourite musicians - L.A.B members Brad Kora, Ara Adams-Tamatea and Joel Shadbolt, and fellow Bay artists Tiki Taane, Stan Walker, Ria Hall, Fran Kora and Jackson Owens. Their vocals were featured along with Anna Coddington, Bailey Wiley, Hollie Smith, Theia, Kings, Katchafire's Logan Bell, Maimoa's Pere Wihongi, Rei, Rob Ruha and Troy Kingi.
The bilingual track was written and arranged by Ruha, Coddington, Brad Kora, Adams-Tamatea and Shadbolt, with Brad Kora also producing the song, and Adams-Tamatea and Scott Tindale co-producing.
Stay, showcasing how New Zealanders pull together in a time of crisis, will be released on all platforms tomorrow. The video, directed by Loop's Mikee Tucker, was released at 7.30pm today.
In a similar format to US for Africa's We Are the World, Stay features artists banding together with an important message while, through sales, they will raise money for Music Helps, an organisation helping those in the music industry affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shadbolt said when the call was put out to artists wanting to be involved, there was no shortage of musicians keen to be involved.
"It's come out amazing," Shadbolt said.
He said that while being part of song that was created in "20 different places" would have been a lot of work for producers, dealing with multiple files sent using multiple software applications, it was a lot of fun and a new experience.
He hoped the video and the song could help people through the struggles of isolation with some "good vibes".
"It's a good feeling ... it's all home videos put together. Everyone's in their bubbles, having a good time."
He said working remotely with so many artists was eye-opening, showing what could be created virtually through "about 10-15 Zoom meetings and heaps of meetings online". Those insights will be used by L.A.B in future projects, he said.
"I think it's just given us confidence. We're starting to record our fourth album so it's given us confidence that we can do it from home, seeing what we've done with this song," Shadbolt said.