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Alternative 13/10/2020

Portugal The Man & 'Weird Al' Yankovic Release 'Who's Gonna Stop Me'

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts) GRAMMY award-winning rock band and social justice advocates PORTUGAL THE MAN have teamed up with "Weird Al" Yankovic and fellow Portland artist The Last Artful, Dodgr for "Who's Gonna Stop Me," out today via Atlantic Records. The song arrives on Indigenous Peoples Day and aims to honor and raise awareness about Indigenous culture and rights. "Who's Gonna Stop Me" marks the first time Weird Al - who Portugal The Man has long cited as one of their biggest influences - has been credited as a featured artist; it also marks his first non-comedic release.

"Who's Gonna Stop Me" was produced by 5x-Grammy winner Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Harry Styles, Rihanna) and co-written by Paul Williams, one of the most respected songwriters of all time, whose songwriting credits include everyone from David Bowie and Helen Reddy to the Muppets and The Love Boat theme song, just to name a few. The song's companion visual - directed by Aaron Brown and Josué Rivas - stars indigenous artists and leaders from around the country including world champion jingle dancer, Acosia Red Elk, of the Umatilla people of Oregon.

Last week, PTM Foundation announced a fundraising campaign and $20,000 match program to support human rights nonprofit DigDeep's Indigenous-led Navajo Water Project in expanding water access on the Navajo Nation across New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, where over 30% of residents are living without clean, running water in their homes. A limited-edition t-shirt with "Water is Life" messaging is now available for purchase on the band's website, with all proceeds going towards fundraising efforts to be split between DigDeep's Navajo Water Project and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in the band's home state of Oregon. The band will match fan donations up to $20,000.

Musically, "Who's Gonna Stop Me" started a few years ago and took a while to find the voice of the song. PTM, Jeff Bhasker, and the legendary Paul Williams were reminiscing the feeling of youth and what freedom feels like when you are young. Of course, when PTM lead singer, John Gourley thinks about growing up, he thinks of "Weird Al." Ironically, when the lyrics came together during quarantine, it only made sense to just ask Al if he wanted to sing on the song. He sang and nailed the second verse.

Directed by Aaron Brown and Josué Rivas (PTM, Artic Monkeys, Vic Mensa) and produced by W+K Studios, the video is conceptualized best as "where do we go from here?" in regard to topics of social unrest, the COVID-19 pandemic, etc. It was important to the band to highlight both the traditions and thinking of Indigenous Peoples and their ability to recognize the good and bad in themselves and move beyond it to find harmony. It fits hand in hand with the recent launch of the band's PTM Foundation.

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