Former US President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama are producing Netflix’s new animated series “We the People” featuring civic-themed music videos. A number of outstanding musicians are involved in the series, including Grammy and Oscar-winning singer and songwriter HER
In addition to singing and composing songs, US musician HER also wants to be an active citizen empowering the younger generation by sharing knowledge.
The Grammy and Oscar-winning musician is doing both in a new Netflix animated series called “We the People.”
Created by Chris Nee and produced by Barack and Michelle Obama, the 10-episode animated series shares citizenship lessons through three-minute music videos on a variety of topics, including the Bill of Rights, immigration and justice. Apart from HER, the series also features award-winning artists such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brandi Carlisle, Bebe Rexha, and others.
HER itself raised the topic of Active Citizenship for the song.
The animated segment in the series is directed by Oscar-winning director Peter Ramsey, who previously worked on “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”
In an interview with the Associated Press news agency, HER admitted that the idea of making music while educating seemed daunting at first.
“So when I was in the studio, I racked my brain, how do I go about all these cool topics? So the song begins with exactly these words: ‘Writing to the mayor, can you hear me.’ It’s as if we’re actually discussing this with someone who doesn’t fully understand. In the end, the process of making this cool song was easy because it was so much fun.”
He admits that this makes the process of creating songs both fun and satisfying, because he shares important information with the audience.
The musician whose real name is Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, 23, believes that what makes the topic important is the public’s low understanding of their rights and obligations as citizens. “I think sometimes things are deliberately not taught, because sometimes people’s voices tend to be taken from them, tend to be taken from us. And I think, through music, the sound comes by itself.”
He hopes that discussing the rights and responsibilities of public officials with the younger generation will improve the situation.
He exemplifies the power of songs with the theme of social justice, such as those written by Bob Marley and Marvin Gaye. How it’s all thanks to music as a universal language.
“For example, artists like Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley tell something very simple, but we can digest, and we really reflect on how we live our lives from these songs. In addition, because music is a universal language that we often listen to. Because music makes us comfortable, makes us fall in love, makes us sad, makes us learn… So, what better way to teach, especially for young people or even all ages.”
He hopes that the music videos in the “We the People” series can “share knowledge that is not usually taught” about community rights, privileges and responsibilities.
“(In the end) we decide to make a difference and empower the younger generation. So, as we grow and learn, we also teach. And I think it will make a big difference.”
“We the People” has been available to watch since July 4 on Netflix. [rd/jm]