Interview: Jason Manns and Justin Guarini Talk ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ Charity Single

Courtesy of Mandi Lea Photography, Staff Photographer

If you didn’t know, Jason Manns and Justin Guarini teamed up and collaborated on the song “A Change is Gonna Come” – a cover of the famous song by Sam Cooke, which initially debuted in 1964.

The song, which officially releases January 18 and is sold by Stands, will have 100% of the proceeds go to Random Acts to support operational costs of the Jacmel Children’s Center. Jacmel Children’s Center is doing incredible work to change lives and give hope to the young orphans it houses and helps in Haiti.

You can read more about the Jacmel Children’s Center here.

We got the chance to interview Jason and Justin about the single, and you can read our interview with them below!

Courtesy of Mandi Lea Photography, Staff Photographer

Nerds and Beyond: How did you both meet?

JASON: Like all love stories in the modern era, we met on Twitter. We have mutual friends in Michelle (from Stands) and Misha Collins so we knew of each other, but I think Twitter was the first time we actually “spoke” to each other.

JUSTIN: Have you ever taken the time to get to actually get to know a stalker and been like… “OMG, you’re like, just totally misunderstood….you’re like a GREAT guy?” No? Me neither, but after meeting Jason on Twitter I feel like I can mildly relate. I quickly found out he wasn’t a stalker and was in fact a great guy, then when I heard him wail I knew he was a kindred spirit.

Nerds and Beyond: How did the conversation or idea of doing this come about?

JASON: Fascinating, fascinating tale… get this…they said, “Do you wanna sing a song for charity?” and I said, “Yes, how about ‘A Change is Gonna Come'” and then Justin said, “yes.” It still gives me goosebumps.

JUSTIN: Riveting stuff, really. The whole process was the Saltine Cracker of dramas…but in the end we made time in our busy schedules to get together and have a great recording and production session.

Nerds and Beyond: How did you choose this song; were there others you thought about doing?

JASON: I had actually produced the music for this song for a different project, but it ended up not being on the album. So it was just sitting there, and when this project came up I suggested this tune because a) I already had the basic music finished, so after we did vocals we’d only have some bells and whistles left and b.) I really wanted to hear Justin sing this song. Man, that dude can sing.

JUSTIN: I love “A Change…” and when he suggested it I was immediately on board. I’m smitten with Jason and his voice and I knew that we’d create something special for an amazing cause. Jason is a great producer and a talented musician as well so it was as though it was all written in the stars.

Courtesy of Mandi Lea Photography, Staff Photographer

Nerds and Beyond: Why is this charitable cause important to you?

JASON:  I was lucky enough to get invited by Misha to get involved with this particular charity about 5 years ago. They were in the process of raising money to build an orphanage in Haiti after that devastating hurricane. I helped them in that endeavor and then went with them down there to Haiti to finish a little bit of work on the building and then have the grand opening. It was life changing. It was the first time I’d been able to see the tangible manifestation of donating or raising money. That, coupled with the smiles of those kids faces as we sang together, or had a guitar lesson or even slapped a high five, was so powerful. That orphanage and those kids have really been the thing that I’ve gravitated towards when any one asks me what charity I’d like to support.

JUSTIN: Children are our most important asset in this world. The fact that any child has to go to bed hungry, or starved of an education and basic human rights is a travesty that outweighs even the most popular political argument in today’s polarized landscape. When we spoke about benefiting a charity and this one came up I thought it was the perfect way for us to give to a cause that’s near and dear to my heart.

Courtesy of Mandi Lea Photography, Staff Photographer

Nerds and Beyond: Do you think you’ll do any similar projects in the future?

JASON: Without a doubt. I loved everything about this project.

JUSTIN: Of course. I’d do a million projects with Jason and I’d be continuing to bug him hourly about doing more if it weren’t for the fact he filed a restraining order. If you’re reading this, we should totally be roommates, Jason!

You can watch the music video for the song, which dropped today, below!


Don’t forget to grab the single when it comes out on January 18!

Briar

Briar is the owner and current editor-in-chief of Nerds and Beyond. She started the site in 2015 with the goal of being a unique, professional news site dedicated to all the things she loved - and providing fans with the best content available. She still oversees the day-to-day operations, and can't wait to continue to work hard and watch the site grow.

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