A band of pop music megastars that includes Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Jason Derulo, Mary J. Blige, and many more, along with star songwriter Justin Tranter, have teamed up to produce an anthem dedicated to the victims of the Pulse Orlando attacks, according to Billboard. "Hands" is beautiful in its simplicity -- a very intentional songwriting decision -- and 100% of the proceeds it makes from streaming and track sales will go to GLAAD, an LGBT organization dedicated to helping family and friends of the Orlando victims.Tranter was the largest driving force behind the production of "Hands," and his inspiration for getting it started -- which is also how the song got its name -- is one of the most interesting tidbits about the track.
Tranter was in Miami with Selena Gomez, one of the many pop stars he writes songs for, when the shooting, which caused more deaths than any other terrorist incident in recent American history, went down at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando.
"Like the rest of the world, I woke up to the news that morning and was horrified and sad and scared," said Tranter, who is gay himself, when asked about the Orlando incident.
He continued that he immediately called up an LGBT community center in Orlando, which was obviously hurting from the massacre, and asked if there was anything he could do to help.
"We need as many hands as we can possibly get," said the rep at the center, and, thusly, a creative seed was planted in Tranter's mind.
"We assigned everybody what we thought would be the best part for their voice and we asked them all to sing an additional part, just in case. But everybody got it done in time so we ended up with extra vocals," Tranter remarked.
All along, Tranter knew he wanted to make "Hands" memorable but keep it simple, even limiting the instrumentation in order to allow for a more "timeless" feel.
"We didn't want to have any trendy electronic elements. We wanted it to sound classic, timeless and human. We want this anthem of positivity to be played for years to come."Tranter himself has not commented on the final product yet, as "Hands" was only released several hours ago, but it is safe to assume he feels happy with it. The flawless production, the rolling drumbeat accompanied by soulful piano and soft guitar, the inspirational lyrics about hands having the power to make or destroy, the smoothly harmonizing chorus of flawless voices... "Hands" really has everything a good ol' fashioned tearjerker anthem should have. Tranter is especially happy with P!nk's work on "Hands."
"Her vocal on the chorus is like from heaven directly," he smiled.
Although it is overwhelmingly probable "Hands" will be a Billboard success, though, GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis stresses that she hopes the song's mainstream success will not drown out the gravely important message it is trying to convey. She hopes that the popular artists behind "Hands" will promote the spread of that message rather than overshadow it.
"When you hear the song it talks about hate being the driver here," Ellis explains, "and that's important because we have to be able to identify what's driving these cruel acts in order to stop them. Artists using their platforms to accelerate acceptance is very powerful."She also points out that the Orlando massacre was also an attack on people of color, as the night of the attack was "Latin night" at Pulse and most of the victims were Latinos. This is a fact often grazed over by reports of the Orlando shooting, but it may have been a big reason for Interscope's decision to include a lot of Latin American artists on "Hands" -- the record company worked closely with GLAAD execs during the song's production.
[Photo by David McNew/Getty Images]