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All Stars charity song sets new record

Friday 21 Jun 2013 4:23 p.m.

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A Kiwi classic is being remade for a good cause with 14 of New Zealand's reggae stars remaking Herbs' 'Sensitive To A Smile' to raise awareness of child abuse.

"We were blessed to have such giving artists, they volunteered to pretty much give their time and a lot of them do have busy schedules, Katchafire actually sent their vocals from the USA over to New Zealand, just to be a part of this campaign," says Mark Arona, CEO of Illegal Musik, which is backing the track.

News coverage of violence against children is what persuaded Rio Panapa to do something, organising the campaign.

"[Rio was] basically were on Twitter and Facebook and they saw a lot of this violence towards kids on their news feeds and for them they felt 'we need to do something about this'," says Mr Arona.

The Herbs hit got to number 9 on the Kiwi charts in 1987 - the new version has already broken Warner Music's pre-sales record.

So how much money is going to the big names?

"Nothing. All proceeds go to charity," says Mr Arona.

The charity, Mana Ririki, aims to help prevent child abuse in the Maori and Pacific Island community. Former Warrior Awen Guttenbiel is one of the charity's ambassadors.

"When you look at the statistics, the child abuse figures are heavily slanted towards Maori and there's no escaping that, so Mana Ririki have looked at what will inspire Maori parents," he says.

"The words in the song, beautiful children come into our lives, it's about getting that into our consciousness and then trying to figure out a solution."

The Aotearoa Reggae All Stars 'Sensitive To A Smile' can be downloaded via iTunes for $1.69 or on the Google Play Store for $1.79.

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