My Inspiration: Greg Genre – Animal Cry | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Greg Genre is a multi-instrumental singer-songwriter from Newcastle upon Tyne, now living in York. He currently works as a Primary School Teacher, running keyboard and guitar clubs for children and many of his songs link directly to a positive charitable cause. His single ‘Animal Cry’  released Friday 24th April will raise money for Friends of The Earth.

The track Animal Cry was inspired firstly by my trip to Costa Rica a couple of years ago. My wife and I were amazed by the diversity of wildlife there and were taken back by how the local people spoke of how important looking after the natural world was to them. I remember a taxi driver speaking to us about how proud he was of his country and that unlike the majority of countries with rainforests, Costa Rica has reforested to such an extent that over half of their land is now covered with trees again! As he drove us to our hotel, he also showed us lots of the bridges above the roads, which have been made especially for monkeys, sloths and other creatures to safely get across to the other side. After returning home I watched a number of documentaries about the destruction of the rainforests in other countries for palm oil, soy and other crops. Whereas it was clear that needs of animals were being well considered in Costa Rica I was devastated to learn about how many species have become or are a close to becoming in extinct in other parts of the world as a result of rainforest destruction. 

I taught my Year 5 pupils about Rainforests and the negative effects of deforestation and the children were so inspired that they organised a fundraising event for the Rainforest Alliance. At the end of the topic I arranged for each child to plant a tree, kindly given to us by the Woodland Trust and we made Save the Rainforest posters to display in our classroom. David Attenborough’s Blue Plant 2 was also on TV at this time and like many I was shocked by the extent of plastic in our oceans. I decided to write a song to raise money for Friends of The Earth as I knew that they were campaigning to reduce Ocean Plastic as well as working to protect rainforest habitats around the world. 

We recorded the track Animal Cry at Crooked Room Studios in York and I had great fun not just recording my guitar and singing parts but also making a range of animal noise samples with my voice! Have a listen out for me impersonating an orangutan and kookaburra amongst other things! I’m joined on the track by good mates Jesse on bass and Simon on percussion. After completing the track in the studio, I played it to my Year 5 class and was chuffed when some of them designed artwork to go with the song! They’re really excited to see their picture on Spotify and Apple Music and I’m chuffed that even if the song doesn’t go viral, I’ve got a dedicated fanbase of ten-year olds already!

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