Piera Van de Wiel is a British singer-songwriter, actress, and entrepreneur who utilizes her art to raise awareness of global issues. She is passionate about social impact and storytelling and advocates for sustainability, mental health, and the elimination of violence against women and girls.
As these lines are written, Piera works on the Abaco Islands and communicates with us when her solar internet connection allows it!
Spreading awareness of domestic violence
Piera’s music is powerful. It invites the listener to understand and take action while offering hope for a better and brighter future.
She recently released her single “Used,” which is raising awareness of domestic violence and abuse against women and girls amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. A pandemic within the pandemic, or as the UN has described it, “a shadow pandemic,” domestic violence has increased significantly during the COVID-19 confinement period.
This is proof that staying home is not the safest option for everyone. Piera has chosen to be a part of the solution and uses her music as an empowerment tool. In her own words, “‘Used’ is an emotional rollercoaster where one can feel used, abused, and taken for granted, but it ends with a positive message of hope.”
Launched on November 2nd, 2020, with the support of the United Nations Spotlight Initiative, the accompanying official music video shows the warning signs of domestic violence, who it affects, the shelters for survivors, and how we can offer aid. It also includes the global “Signal for Help” released by the Canadian Women’s Foundation. In the video, women from all over the world perform the hand gesture as a distress signal, making a promise that nobody will be left behind.
Piera goes beyond her capacity as a singer to raise awareness about domestic violence. In the framework of the UN Spotlight Initiative, she has also interviewed survivors of domestic violence about the abuse culture and how social media influencers can contribute to making a decisive step towards meaningful change.
A colorful celebration of love
Piera’s music is a celebration of human rights. A proud member of the LGBTQ+ community leaders group, Piera released her song “Dear Mrs” during Pride Month to celebrate love. This electro-swing pop song captures the passionate and powerful flame inside every woman, no matter her age.
The Abaco Islands – a place to call home
Piera spent a large part of her childhood on the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas. In 2019, in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian’s destruction, she wrote the single “Come Back Home (Abaco Relief Song)” to support humanitarian aid efforts. The song was awarded a Silver Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Listener Impact at the Global Music Awards for independent artists.
Stronger With Music
Piera is also the founder of “Stronger With Music,” a collective that promotes the importance of music and mental health and music and social impact. Stronger With Music campaigns aim to uphold the Sustainable Development Goals to achieve the UN’s agenda of 2030.
“Arts are the avenue towards change, they have the power to evoke, inspire and even alter opinions. The orange economy includes all businesses and sectors that are driven by intellectual property (IP). IP includes expression, creation, and inventions. We, the orange economy, are making new creative solutions based on talent, culture, IP, and connectivity using art as a vehicle towards a more sustainable future.
Music is one of the only mediums that releases three neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. These chemicals released in your brain can help you feel good, happy, comforted and even feel love and connection that can work to benefit our mental health and well-being. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, music acts as a medium for processing emotions, trauma and grief, but music can also be used as a calming agent for anxiety or for dysregulation.”
Piera is conscient of how her being an actress and a musician aligns with her humanitarian activism.
“As an actor, every day we communicate a story and invite our audience and listeners and viewers to be a part of our journey. This journey could help change deep seated opinions. As a singer, musician and songwriter I communicate in note through melodic and harmonic structure and influence the feeling and emotion of the song. Artistry and humanitarian activism go hand in hand as they have the power to bring people together as a community, and this will bring about change. So, when we hear a piece of music we are consciously and subconsciously brought together.”
What does the future hold for Piera
Piera has a lot of plans in the making!
As declared by the UN, this year is the International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. This is the year for artists, innovators and creators. With her company, Stronger With Music, Piera aims to continue to push forward supporting the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Climate Change and Gender Equality. Her “Come Back Home (Abaco Relief Song)” focuses on community and Disaster Relief resulting from Climate Change, and her “Used” | End Domestic Violence music video campaign works to End Violence Against Women. Now in 2021, her “Used” | End Domestic Violence campaign and her company ‘Stronger With Music’ were mentioned on January 5th in the House of Lords debate on the Domestic Abuse bill in the UK, by Baroness Floella Benjamin.
As a member of the creative economy, Piera puts theory into practice with her own Ocean Conservation song.
“We depend on the ocean, we depend on its water, we depend on its marine life, its ecosystem. We need to take action now. I am currently in development of a new ocean conservation song. Climate change continues to exacerbate the frequency and severity of natural disasters that affect our ocean beds, ecosystems, and our coasts. Through the medium of music, I am essentially tailoring a creative strategy into making people more conscious and aware of how our coasts and oceans are being affected and how we can do our part in protecting and conserving it as best we can.”
Finally, her new single “Hold you in a Month” releases on February 5th, 2021 on all digital platforms. She is more than excited to share this song with all of us as “it speaks to what we are all feeling at the moment, our fear of the unknown, our family, friends, and loved ones.”
Piera leaves us with a powerful and inspiring message:
“To be a part of change is to make a conscious decision to get involved, use your voice to make a difference and to influence policy. There are many strategies and I am here to tell you that a creative strategy filled with intervention, innovation and creativity can lead to a better world.”