When Danny Lamb began singing lessons as a child, he never could have predicted the role music would play in his life.
Whether he’s travelling the world raising money for charity or contributing to initiatives in Niagara, the Brock alumnus and singer-songwriter now uses his Music degree to create positive social change and give back to aspiring artists in need.
One year after graduating, Lamb (BA ’12) embarked on his first major international tour to raise funds and awareness for hydrocephalus and spina bifida.
Diagnosed with the conditions himself at age three, Lamb created the A Song, A City tour in collaboration with the International Federation of Hydrocephalus.
He travelled to five cities in Europe and, quite literally, wrote one song per city to promote the benefits of music therapy for those living with the conditions.
The initial tour ended in Izmir, Turkey, in 2013, where Lamb co-facilitated a music workshop called P.U.S.H (People United For Spina Bifida) and co-wrote a song with a group of young people who live with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
Since then A Song, A City has turned into a successful social enterprise and continues to support similar initiatives today.
Lamb’s most recent venture took place this past summer, when his band, Danny Lamb and the Association, set out on a six-city fundraising tour to send a child to ME to WE Take Action Camp.
The Bethany, Ont., leadership camp gives children from ages nine to 18 the opportunity to make a difference in their communities.
Lamb, who spent many summers working there as an ambassador and workshop facilitator, wanted to provide a child in need with the chance to take part in the unique experience.
“The whole idea snowballed from a single song really,” he said, explaining the tour began after facilitating a workshop for a group of particularly inspiring youth from Trinidad and Tobago.
Lamb wrote a song about the experience, called Army of Love.
With the support of ME to WE, he then translated the song’s message of hope and desire to make the world a better place into the Army of Love tour.
The tour started in Windsor and made subsequent stops in St. Catharines, Ottawa, Montreal and North Bay, before concluding in Halifax.
In each city, as the band played Army of Love, the audience was asked to toss donations into the body of an old, beaten-up guitar. Lamb also auctioned off a different guitar — this one donated by friend Adriana Cinapri on behalf of Hydrocephalus Canada — to raise the additional funds needed to send 13-year-old Indya Kennedy to Take Action Camp.
As the initiative’s beneficiary, the young visual artist attended the camp last summer, where she discovered a passion for women’s rights.
“I wanted the grant to go towards a young person who is passionate about using their music or art to create positive change in their community and who potentially would not have been able to go to camp without the support,” explained Lamb. “Indya, among so many incredible young folks who applied, jumped out at me.”
Lamb said the initiative would not have been possible “without the support of the local champions, partners and businesses who see music and the arts as having an impact locally and globally.”
“It worked out better than I could’ve imagined.”
Now, after a whirlwind couple years, Lamb is back living in Niagara. He said he is honoured to be part of a supportive community that encourages musicians to achieve their goals.
“I love the community that I’ve grown up in and it’s given me a really good sense of what community is,” he said. “There are so many people in the world who are searching for a sense of community and trying to find what community really means. That’s a privilege I’ve always had, wherever the world takes me.”
Lamb also noted that Brock instructors Deborah Linton and Lesley Kingham, were “huge champions” in helping him earn his Music degree and achieving all that he has today.
The young musician has no plans of resting on his past achievements and slowing down anytime soon.
“I think too much; I have way too many ideas,” he said with a chuckle.
With plans to release new music and another tour in the works, Lamb hopes to keep using his music to create change — both in Niagara and around the world.