Austin Willacy is the award-winning singer, song-writer, voice actor, and activist who joined the #BecomingHero project to voice Jace, the nervous #blerd who must decide between the real world and the comic book world when he discovers his roommate’s a comic book character. Willacy ended up producing the entire audiobook, which you can download for free with a free trial of Audible. He joined the project because of his keen sense of social justice, but his record of award-winning voice excellence speaks for itself.
POSITIVE MUSIC AWARD
In 2018, Austin and his co-writer, Ariel Thiermann won a Posi–Positive Music Award–for the Social Justice category at the 13th annual Posi Awards.
The song that won is “Thrive: What on Earth Will it Take”, from the documentary with the same name.
They were nominated by Gary Malkin, the scorer of the film and producer of the song, and awarded by emPower, an organization that was founded to amplify the awareness and impact of positive, empowering art.
In case you’re itchin’ to hear “Thrive” now:
“Thrive” is the theme song to “THRIVE: What on Earth Will it Take”, a film about the Thrive Movement which aims, among other things, to decentralize power from government and corporations to the common man.
This began because in 2013, Austin co-founded, co-organized, and co-facilitated the Artist for Social Change Jam, a creative gathering for people working at the intersection of arts and social change. In 2016, alumnae of the US Arts Jams invited him to co-organize and co-faciliate two international Arts Jams, the Anatolia Arts Jam—in Turkey–and the India Arts for Social Change Jam. Arts Jams are places where writers, film makers, actors, dancers, singers & poets come together; share their challenges and breakthroughs; nurture themselves; support and inspire each other; and explore their identities as artists, activists and whole people. At their respective Jams, artists from all over the U.S., Turkey, and India convene and co-create a space where people can slow down, connect deeply, recharge their batteries, find intersections for future collaborations; build a more resilient network of artist-activists (artivists), and explore ways to leverage their artistry to create social change.
The House Jacks is “the original rock band without instruments” (SF Chronicle). The band’s pioneering innovations laid the groundwork for the current a cappella renaissance. Millions of people listened to The House Jacks worldwide as the sound of The Sing-Off, NBC’s hit live a cappella competition. Their jingles for radio stations in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco have been heard by over 1.5 million listeners.
Their riveting performances, groundbreaking recordings and award-winning songwriting have energized and inspired live audiences in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Brazil, Sri Lanka, France, Canada, Puerto Rico, Italy, the Netherlands, Singapore and Japan. They’ve performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the World Expo. They’ve appeared in Rolling Stone, on CNN and Monday Night Football (ESPN). They are featured on Sony Sound Systems in Ford vehicles and have worked with corporate clients from Coca-Cola through Verizon. They’ve shared the stage with some of the biggest names in live entertainment, including Ray Charles, James Brown, Train, LL Cool J, the Neville Brothers, Crosby Stills and Nash, the Pointer Sisters, Live, Nia Peeples, Johnny Clegg, 5 Blind Boys of Alabama, the Temptations, George Carlin, Pam Tillis, The Four Tops, The Gap Band, Tower of Power, Starship, Jon Secada, Run-DMC, and many others.
`Til Dawn, Youth in Arts A Cappella ensemble is an advanced vocal music program for motivated young artists. `Til Dawn celebrates the value of the arts, encourages positive messages about meaningful social issues, and inspires children of all ages. The group performs a mix of rock, pop, blues, jazz and soul standards and contemporary hits, in addition to original songs by group members.
The Thrive Choir was born to sing the music for the revolution. They are a diverse group of vocalists, artists, activists, educators, healers, and community organizers based in Oakland, California – directed by Bay Area musicians Austin Willacy & Kyle Lemle. Their heartfelt and soul-stirring original music is a fusion of gospel, soul and folk.
As part of Thrive East Bay – a purpose-driven community focused on personal and social transformation – the Choir’s music illuminates the joy, pain, and beauty of what it means to be human in this time of systemic transformation. They lift up the house every first Sunday at Thrive East Bay in downtown Oakland; they have performed with Rising Appalachia, recorded with MaMuse, and shared the stage with social justice luminaries Ericka Huggins, Joanna Macy, and Fania Davis; and they perform at marches, conferences and festivals across California, most recently at Bioneers, Blessed Unrest, IONS, and the North America Permaculture Convergence.