Midlothian, Texas (February 22, 2016) – The Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, dedicated to serving military and first responders through meaningful interactive experiences that enrich family relationships, today announced that the Foundation will benefit from funding that is raised from the song “The Legend.”
January of 2015 Jim Kinsey, executive producer of Skull Bound TV, headed for the annual SHOT show in Las Vegas. Along his twelve-hour journey something happened that would inspire some of the biggest names in the music industry to come together to carry on the spirit of an American Hero and United States Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. “Lyrics started flowing in as if someone was whispering them in my ear. I pulled over and had my girlfriend Jana finish the last leg of our journey. I grabbed my iPhone and began to type down everything that was coming in. Four hours later I had a great start on what would later become a multi-generational song called “The Legend”.
After meeting Chris Kyle in January of 2013 at a private Kryptek party in Las Vegas, Jim had him sign a copy of his new book American Sniper, which chronicled the most lethal sniper in US history. A twenty-minute conversation led to planning an antelope hunt in Eastern Montana with he and Jim’s girlfriend Jana Waller, the host of Skull Bound TV. That was the last conversation the Marine and SEAL would have. Two weeks later on 2-2-2013 Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield would be murdered. “I remember the moment like yesterday. I was sitting on the couch looking through the social media news feed when I saw a post pop up that said Chris had been gunned down. Jana and I immediately burst into tears.”
The following year American Sniper hit theatres and was a box office sensation. “I was again overwhelmingly saddened by the loss of such an incredible man. Clint Eastwood’s brilliant story telling and subtle ways on the big screen showed what it’s like for our veterans to suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). The movie made me think about Chris and Chad again.”
Arriving at SHOT show in 2015 with the freshly written lyrics Jim reached out to Taya Kyle through Kryptek Outdoor Group’s CEO Butch Whiting, who put the two in contact. “Jim was walking the SHOT show floor on the way to his hotel room when he ran into Taya.
“I remember her giving me a hug and saying she loved the lyrics I’d written and asked me what I wanted to do with them? My answer was simple… to carry on her husbands legacy through the song and raise money for the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation and her family.”
Nine months later Oct 2-2015
Jim had just showed up at the first annual Battle Born Banquet in San Diego, CA put on by a Marine buddy of his named Bryan Marshall, founder of Wishes for Warriors. While there he ran into a guy named Jason Fougere wearing a T-shirt that had the words “Fight Music” printed on it. The two made small talk and that’s when Jim asked Jason what the shirt was all about? Jason explained that he was a rap artist and had a degree in psychology and felt he had to come to San Diego to help out our veterans. Jason had written several songs that WFW had used in their promo reel and Jason showed Jim one of them. Impressed by what he’d heard Jim handed the lyrics off to him. “I knew Jason was legit because he felt called to be there and I believe we were meant to meet”. The lyrics he’d held onto for almost a year now was in the hands of a complete stranger. One week later Jason Fougere would send back the first rough draft of “The Legend” that would bring Taya Kyle and her son to tears and grant her approval to move forward with the song. Jim leaned hard on Multi Platinum producers Mike Hartnett, out of Nashville Tennessee and Record producer WLPWR, (pronounced Willpower) from Atlanta to drop the original beat on “The Legend”. With WLPWR and Hartnett riding high on the success of Yela Wolf’s latest album “Love Story” and the smash hit “Till it’s gone”, Jim knew that these two were the right people for the job.
“ Call it destiny, but I believe rap music bridges gaps, especially for our young service men and women returning home who have a lot on their minds, and meeting Jim connected a passionate writer to a passionate artist. I have a drive to write songs addressing tough topics often overlooked in pop culture and mainstream media. The mission is to make mental health “pop culture” and to transform the message to mainstream media. There isn’t a lot of attention on this currently and I believe we can improve on that. I was chosen to bring the story of Chris Kyle to life and to bring attention to his mission and Mission22. I have to express to people, it’s an absolute honor to be entrusted with lyrics that are a tribute and show respect to our military and to an American hero. When Jim and I met in California he was overwhelmed with passion for these songs. It’s been all I think about since the day he and I met and to be asked to sing “The Legend” as my break out song is nothing short of heaven sent. I believe that.” – Jason Fougere
“ The heartbeat of the song ‘The Legend’ represents the collective military experience powerfully.” – Taya Kyle
At the same time “The Legend” was being written Jim was working on a second song in the background called “What Say You” after being moved by Tom Spooner, founder of Mission 22 and a 21-year career U.S. Army special operations veteran and retired Army Vet Mike Krampitz. Both men suffer from PTSD and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). “Their real life stories helped me write the lyrics about what many of our men and women suffer from and bring light to the epidemic our nation is facing where twenty-two veterans a day commit suicide.”
“ I got involved because I wanted to be in support of giving PTSD victims and their families a voice. I also wanted to be a part of a song that gives hope. I’m thankful for all the people in our armed forces. I thought Bubba Sparxxx would be the perfect guy for helping on these songs. He represents the hardworking American. Musically his passion will resonate with listeners.” – WLPWR
“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of both of these songs. Being a musician I don’t have much to offer but my music. I feel fortunate that I can help in this regard. If I can evoke human emotion while spreading awareness, hopefully it will save lives. – Mike Hartnett
WLPWR and Hartnett reached out to a highly talented rap artist. Warren Anderson Mathis, better known by his stage name, Bubba Sparxxx, is an American hip-hop multiplatinum recording artist from Troup County, Georgia. “Hartnett called me out of the blue and said Bubba would love to help out where ever he could and that he wanted to merge me into a phone call right on the spot. Bubba’s voice came on the line and he had a lot of questions about how the lyrics for both songs had come to fruition. We talked for twenty minutes about both Chris Kyle and Tom Spooner and the effects war had on both of those men. Bubba asked Jim for a copy of the lyrics and the rest was history.
“ I couldn’t imagine being a part of a project that was more meaningful. In these unsettling times, when we as Americans have so many reasons to be tempted to live our lives in fear, the life and legacy of Chris Kyle is a much needed symbol of hope, resilience, and courage. The many sacrifices he laid down at the alter of freedom and faith will forever inspire. Plus, with both of these projects having the opportunity to reach millions of people and shine a bright light on a horrible affliction like PTSD, as well as the many veterans/families of veterans impacted by it, I felt a very powerful call to get on board. It’s crazy because Kinsey was telling us about the “call” he heard when he initially had the idea for the whole thing, then the very next night I felt moved in the exact same way he had described! I’m sure Hartnett, WLPWR, Connors and Fougere felt something similar…It’s just one of those type of deals! It doesn’t get any more real than this! And it’s always fulfilling to take on musical challenges like this one. Especially, when you’re working with super talented cats like these!” – Bubba Sparxxx
Bubba Sparxxx and Michael Connors would refine the lyrics while the multiplatinum dynamic duo dropped another beat. A week later the song “What Say you” was in the bag!
“What say you” is a song about “The War at Home” that combat veterans face everyday. It’s a call to action to help stop the 22 veteran suicides that take place each day across America. It gives a voice to what every combat veteran is struggling from inside. The only weapon that is strong enough for us to survive this “Internal Battle” is the relentless love and support of our nation’s people. – Tom Spooner
“ Jim sent me the lyrics for “What Say You” and told me about his friend Tom Spooner, the founder of Mission 22. I immediately gravitated to them and wanted to be a part of the song. The chance to do something positive with music is the only reason I take the guitar from the bedroom to the stage. Everything seemed to happen on a fast track. Jim flew into Nashville with his camera gear ready to capture the making of both “ What Say You” and “ The Legend”. Mike Hartnett and WLPWR were at the studio in East Nashville ready to roll. That day with my schedule made it impossible for me to stay and collaborate on either one of those songs. It was really hard to leave. However the way it worked out… Will headed back to Georgia; I was able to come back in at a later date and work on “What Say You” with Bubba. Both songs were on my heart and I felt I had to be a part of them. Motivating, inspiring and authentic music is what I seek out. I have the upmost respect for those who protect and serve our country. It takes a truly inspiring and amazing individual to put their life in harms way for the sake of saving others. When the good Lord has a plan nothing can stand in his way.” – Michael Connors
With two incredible tracks laid down the last part of the equation was to bring in the big guns in the mixing department. There is no better studio engineer in the mixing world than Skidd Mills. Mills may be best know for bringing the Mississippi rock act “Saving Abel” to the forefront. Mills opened Skiddco Music LLC in 2006 and has worked with legendary artists for over 25 years. “When I was asked to be a part of this project, I didn’t hesitate for a second. I am honored and humbled to be a small part. I see great things ahead.” – Skidd Mills
There are rumors floating around Nashville already that a remix for “The LEGEND” is in the works featuring Bubba Sparxxx. At the end of the day we all need to “Continue the mission” CPO Chris Kyle US Navy SEAL.
ABOUT THE CHRIS KYLE FOUNDATION
The Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, www.chriskylefrogfoundation.org, is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to serving military and first responders through meaningful interactive experiences that enrich family relationships. Founded and led by Taya Kyle, Chris’s wife, the foundation is entrusted to shepherd a community where the successes and struggles of these families can be shared. Its programs and partners reflect the service excellence that these individuals and families provide in service to their communities and country.
ABOUT JIM KINSEY
Jim Kinsey is an award-winning filmmaker based out of western Montana. As the executive producer of Skull Bound TV, airing its fifth season on the Sportsman Channel, Kinsey travels around the globe capturing adventures on film, which has inspired his songwriting career. He currently has three songs he co-wrote on ITunes, Amazon and Pandora; “Open the Cage”, “Gladiator” and the new theme song for Kryptek Outdoor group called “Overcome” Learn more about Kinsey at http://skullboundtv.com, http://twitter.com/kinseyHD and http://instagram.com/kinseyHD
ABOUT JASON FOUGERE
Jason Fougere is a rap artist out of Maine with a degree in psychology and minor in business management. JJ’s latest project, Fight Music, he makes a commitment to truly reach out and support those who fight in life. With tracks like Nobody Fights Alone, Beat The Demon, and Fight Terror you can see there are strong messages. “The entire record is built on the idea that anyone with a microphone, some poetry, and some music has a deep responsibility to humanity and to society to do what’s right and to do what’s good.”
ABOUT BUBBA SPARXXX
Bubba Sparxxx, is an American hip hop multiplatinum recording artist from Troup County, Georgia. He is perhaps best known for his TOP TEN HITS “Deliverance”, “Ugly”, and “Ms. New Booty. http://www.bubbasparxxx.com/index.php/about
ABOUT MIKE HARTNETT
Mike Hartnett is a multiplatinum producer with more than 30 years experience as a musician, engineer and producer. He’s the “first-call” for talent on the forefront of today’s music scene
working with scores of A-list talents including, Fergie, Yelawolf, Cee Lo Green, Travis Barker, Rehab, Lil’ Wayne, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Nelly, Ludacris, Mary J. Blige, OutKast, Pink, Talib Kweli, Enrique and more. His most recent project has been working on Yelawolf’s latest album with the hit single “Till it’s Gone,” which was recently used in the new feature film trailer with Johnny Depp called “Black Mass.”
ABOUT MICHAEL CONNORS
Michael Connors is a Nashville based singer/songwriter known for engaging stage performances. As a guitar slinger Connors delivers a range of styles including metal, hard rock and all genres of country. He was an accomplished guitarist at age seventeen and began to learn to compose, write and sing, as he knew becoming a performing artist was his destiny. Inspiration from Metallica, Zakk Wylde from Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society and James Hetfield are why he started shredded guitar. Connors has been collaborating with famed Nashville producer Mike Hartnett for the past three years and will soon release a collection of songs they have written and produced. More about Michael Connors http://www.michaelconnorsmusic.com
WLPWR (pronounced Willpower and referred to herein as “Will”) is a musician and music producer who is the founder of SupaHotBeats a Record Label and Production Studio based out of Atlanta founded by Will in 2002. In 2009 Will produced Yelawolfs Mixtape Trunk Muzik which was later re-released by Interscope Records as Trunk Muzik 0-60 Trunk Muzik launched Will further into his career as a Hip Hop Producer. Though he continued to work with Yelawolf on his debut for Shady Records, Will and Yelawolf never became exclusive to each other in terms of their work, despite their chemistry. Will’s production style attracted many other artists, including Rittz, Wiz Khalifa, Tech N9ne and Eminem. The way he describes his production style is a unique one-on-one collaboration with each different artist, tailoring his beats and sounds to the artist’s personal style and working off the vibe they create together in the studio. When he is not working with other artists he continues to create music for himself as a musician, and helps other producers learn the business.- Wikipedia
ABOUT SKIDD MILLS
Skidd Mills is a songwriter/producer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Skidd began his career at Ardent Studios in 1991. There he learned from the likes of John Hampton, Joe Hardy, Jim Dickenson, and Paul Ebersold. In 2001, Skidd left Ardent and started 747 Studios with fellow producer Paul Ebersold. It was there that Skiddco Music was started. In 2009, Skidd moved his operation to Nashville TN, where he has studios in Nolensville and on Music Row. Skidd has spent his career as a songwriter, producer, mixer, and engineer in Rock, Country, Pop, Blues and Christian music. In 2006 Skidd started Skiddco Music LLC. The production company’s first signing was Mississippi rock act Saving Abel. After developing and writing with the band, Skiddco Music teamed up with Virgin Records and released their first self-titled CD. The CD was certified gold, and the first single, “Addicted” sold over 2 million. Other acts on Skiddco Music include Jared Blake, Billy Dawson, Ashla Taylor and Jared Weeks. -Wikipedia