PEACEMAN: SIR IVAN INVITES US TO JUMP ON THE PEACE TRAIN!
Banker-turned-singer, peace activist, and television celebrity, Sir Ivan has led a life that movies and dreams are made of. Ivan Wilzig, the eldest son of Siggi B. Wilzig; Auschwitz survivor, legendary financier and philanthropist –turned his back on his family’s multi-billion dollar banking business to reinvent himself as Sir Ivan and follow his dream of pursuing a career in music.
THE BIRTH OF “TECHNIPPY”… DANCE SINGLES
In 2000, while listening to John Lennon’s “Imagine,” Sir Ivan was struck by the lyrics and how closely they mirrored his own beliefs. With sudden inspiration, he realized “Imagine” was the song he would re-create as a dance record with Grammy-nominated producer Ernie Lake. Tom Silverman, owner of Tommy Boy Records, signed the record and released it one week before September 11th. Silverman’s instincts proved correct when over 10,000 DJ’s bought the vinyl version in its first four months of distribution. Sir Ivan’s “Imagine” went on to become a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Club Play Chart. Sir Ivan knew the songs he most wanted to record came from the Woodstock “hippy” music of the 60’s, with their messages of universal love and peace. Having proved that the combination of “techno” arrangements and “hippy” lyrics was a great formula for creating popular music with a positive message, Sir Ivan began to call his new sound “technippy.” Next, Grammy Award winning producer and songwriter Jellybean Benitez signed Sir Ivan to his namesake label, Jellybean Records. He put out Sir Ivan’s remake of the 1967 Scott McKenzie hit “San Francisco” and the single reached #7 on the Billboard Dance Singles Sales Chart. This attracted the attention of Daniel Glass, President of Artemis Records, who put out “Peace on Earth,” Sir Ivan’s first original song, which he also co-wrote. “Peace on Earth” not only hit the Billboard Club Play Chart, but went on to reach #2 on the Dance Music Community (DMC) World Chart.
THE LAUNCH OF “ROCKTRONICA”… POP/ROCK ALBUM
After building his reputation in the dance music community with a string of “technippy” Billboard hits, Sir Ivan is now ready to enter the mainstream pop/rock music arena. His highly anticipated debut full length album, “I AM PEACEMAN” reinvents 15 sixties hits with a new vibe he calls, “rocktronica,” a fusion of live guitar vocals and electronic beats. The album is produced by FORD, who has 18 gold and platinum singles to his credit. It was mastered by the legendary Vlado Meller. Sir Ivan is planning a global “I AM PEACEMAN- Summer of Love” tour with his band to commemorate the 40 Year Anniversary of Woodstock.
THE CREATION OF THE PEACEMAN FOUNDATION
As passionate about helping humanity as he is about his music, Sir Ivan believes that music truly can make a difference in people’s lives and affect the way they treat each other. For that reason, he created The Peaceman Foundation, a private foundation which supports an array of charities dedicated to fighting Hate Crimes and treating the victims of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Sir Ivan is donating 100 percent of his recording artist royalties from his album to his Peaceman Foundation. To further promote peace through his music and foundation, Sir Ivan always performs in peace capes, which has earned him the title “PEACEMAN,” the rock star superhero fighting for peace.
THE BREAKTHROUGH ON TELEVISION
Sir Ivan recently became a TV star after appearing as a finalist on the primetime NBC Sci-Fi Channel hit series “Who Wants to Be a Superhero?” This coincided with his featured performance on VH1’s highly-rated “The Fabulous Life of the Hamptons,” the Travel Channel’s “Grand Castles of America” and the WE Channel’s “Single in the Hamptons.” The combination of the SciFi, VH1, Travel, and WE Channels simultaneously airing programs about Sir Ivan has brought him his highest popularity to date. Based on his life’s goals and ambitions, an original pilot titled “PEACEMAN” is being developed for network television.
And now, an INTERVIEW with Sir Ivan!
Q: So... for our readers... Who is Sir Ivan?
Sir Ivan: After building a real castle in the Hamptons where I spend my summers, I decided to knight myself just to be funny. It turns out “Sir Ivan” is a good stage name because it is unique and literature fans know the name Ivanhoe as the most famous of knights.
Where does your passion for Woodstock come from?
My passion is not for the actual Woodstock concert, rather it is for the music that came out of the sixties. Because my father was an Auschwitz survivor and 59 of my relatives were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust, I decided when becomng a recording artista to sing about love, peace, and the brotherhood of man. The sixties represented a period in time when human rights were finally being respected, civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, etc. That’s why I reinvented many songs from that period.
“Happy Together” and “San Francisco”, mythical songs of that cultural milestone festival, are included in your discography. What other records have you created?
My first 5 dance records were “Imagine.” Blowin in the Wind,” “San Francisco,” “For What It’s Worth” and “Peace on Earth.” The first four were remakes of iconic songs from the sixties. “Peace on Earth” was my first original song that I also co-wrote, but it remained the same type of lyrics you might find in the sixties, but are just as relevant today. The one thing that I did that no one had done before is making them all danceable.
Did the publishing of your version of John Lennon’s “Imagine” change your life?
Remaking John Lennon’s “Imagine” definitely set the course of my career. I believe John Lennon was a prohpet and the words to “Imagine” a prayer. I believe the key to peace on earth is following each and every word of “Imagine” literally. It was this song alone and my family’s tragic history that made me decide to become Peaceman and do whatever I could to end violence in the world.
What does the word “Peace” mean for you?
Peaceman means the end of the violence. The solution is simple. It requires sharing and caring. If everyone of us shares what we have with our neighbors and cares about each other’s happiness, we can have peace. Everyone must believe in this for it to actually happen and everyone must participate in the process.
Tell us something about the Peaceman Foundation.
The Peaceman Foundation is a prívate foundation that allows me to write checks to other established charities that support our misión statement. Our purpose is to battle hate crimes and treat those suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Do you follow what is going on in countries like Israel?
Yes, I follow very closely what it is going on in Israel and the Middle East. One of the reasons I am horrified by what’s going on there is because I see Islamic terrorism as the worst hate crime on the planet since Hitler and the Nazis. It sickens me whenever I read about an Islamic terrorist using women and children suicide bombers to kill as many innocent men, women, and children as possible, not only in Israel but wherever they commit these heinous crimes.
“For What It´s Worth”, your latest single, has been supported by the best DJs, and remixed by important producers. Do you keep the same essence of the original songs when combining hippy influences with electronic elements?
My last single “For What It’s Worth” sticks to my formula of hippy influences and electronic beats, but it is much more advanced musically because it includes live rock guitar. Rocktronica would be the best word to describe it. “For What It’s Worth” is also my first music video, which at the time of this interview has exceeded over 3 million views.
Would you reveal any new projects to us?
My newest project is to get my first full length album, “I AM PEACEMAN” signed and to get a reality television show sold to a major cable network. While that is in the works, I am launching a remix packaging of “Kumbaya-Give Them Love” off my album and making my second music video to go with it. I rewrote the lyrics to “Kumbaya” and made it a tribute to Obama who was called the “Kumbaya Candidate.” The video will deal with the black on black killing in Africa.
Thank you Sir Ivan!
For more visit: www.sirivanmusic.com