It requires agility to write deeply personal songs that include social messages and invoke the human spirit. John Ondrasik from the band Five For Fighting has consistently accomplished this with his past three albums. Ondrasik first came on the scene in 2001 with his Grammy-nominated song "Superman (It’s Not Easy),” from the Platinum certified America Town (Aware/Columbia) CD. Already climbing the charts prior to 9/11, "Superman" went on to have a life of his own, becoming a song of healing for the nation. John joined superstars Paul McCartney, Elton John, Billy Joel and others for the now legendary post 9/11 fund raiser The Concert For New York, which paid tribute to all the firefighters, policeman and paramedics affected by the events of September 11th. In 2004, John recorded the now platinum album, The Battle For Everything, which yielded the massive hit, "100 Years”.
With the new album, Two Lights, featuring “World” and “The Riddle,” John continues to craft songs with much of the material drawn from his personal experiences in regards to love, war, culture, family, humanity and mortality. The recently-released new single “World” is a call-to-action song that proposes the question “What kind of world do you want?” and “be careful what you wish for, history starts now.”
In the spirit of the song, Ondrasik recently launched a charity-driven web site, whatkindofworlddoyouwant.com, which launched February 26 and is the first music video community site that will help raise money for charitable organizations. Ondrasik came up with the concept, after receiving hundreds of unsolicited homemade videos for his hit singles “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” and “100 Years.” Visitors to the site can make a charitable donation by posting a homemade video for the song or by watching videos made and uploaded by others. The charities were personally chosen by Ondrasik and includes: Save The Children, Fisher House Foundation, Autism Speaks, New York Police & Fire Widows & Children’s Benefit Fund, VH1 Save The Music Foundation and the Breast Cancer 3-Day.
“People always seem to take these songs and make them their own, and I thought, well, how can we take that to the next level and do a little good along the way? With today’s technology, everybody is a filmmaker and hopefully it will take off and raise a lot of money for these good causes.” Ondrasik said.
Ondrasik also donated the licensing rights to “World” for the new Breast Cancer 3-Day national television and radio advertising campaign that is airing through March.
Ondrasik, under the auspices of the USO, recently performed for service members on a USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour of Guantanamo Bay and other bases in Cuba. This was the first USO/AFE tour for Ondrasik, who in addition to performing, met with numerous service members and their families. "I am struck by the sacrifices the troops and their families make for our way of life and I felt was important to show my support." Ondrasik said.
In addition to his passion for music, Ondrasik is an avid sports and politics enthusiast. He is currently writing a monthly hockey column for SI.com (Sports Illustrated´s web site), and he is a frequent contributor to Hotsoup.com, a political web site dedicated to bringing together public figures from the worlds of politics, business, religion, and popular culture with influencers who drive opinion at the grassroots and community levels.