'Tina is my everything' - Jack Mozie's new single benefits Project Neon
 

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posted Friday, March 8, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 10

'Tina is my everything' - Jack Mozie's new single benefits Project Neon
by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Local singer-songwriter Jack Mozie has released a new single on ReverbNation.com from his upcoming album Iron Fist, and he plans to donate a portion of the proceeds to Seattle Counseling Service's Project NEON.

The song, 'Tina,' is about crystal meth (Tina is a nickname for the drug). In it, Mozie sings about Tina as if she were a friend or love interest. Although 'Tina' is a message song, Mozie has penned what is sure to be a local Gay club favorite - which he says is appropriate because that is where many of the young men in his age group use the drug.

'I want to make the young people in the LGBT community aware of the use of crystal meth in popular Gay club culture,' Jack Mozie, 23, told Seattle Gay News. 'I believe that by raising awareness, we can have a positive impact on how we can help the victims of crystal meth addiction.'

AN ONGOING EPIDEMIC
Meth use among Gay men has been a widespread problem for decades. Here in King County, about 10% of Gay and Bisexual men used crystal meth in a given year, according to data from Public Health - Seattle & King County. These rates are twice as high in men under the age of 30.

And Gay men who use meth are among the highest risk for contracting HIV, according to local studies, perhaps because of the invincibility and lack of inhibition people often feel when using.

'As a Gay man I am exposed to Gay culture and the Gay community every day,' said Mozie. 'Being Gay allows me to write from the Gay perspective and from experience. Iron Fist, my upcoming album, talks about a lot of personal experiences as well as stuff I've witnessed others experience in our community.'

Mozie is not a user of the drug, although he says you don't have to look very far to find a young person high on 'Tina.'

'I'm 23 and a Gay man,' Mozie says, 'suffice to say I have seen and experienced a few things. Currently I'm straight-edge, meaning I don't use drugs or drink alcohol. It was a New Year's resolution I've been able to keep. I just choose to focus my energy on my album and working on a tour.'

DIVERSE INFLUENCES
Born in Lima, Peru, Mozie (né Ramiro Alonso Orellana-Guzman) lived in Lima until the age of 12, when he immigrated to the United States. Coming from a strong musical background, Mozie found comfort and pleasure in songwriting and performing. Pursuing a career in music, he released his first album, Sealed for Your Protection, in 2010. He has performed songs from Sealed in several places including the Capitol Hill Pride Festival and multiple venues in and out of Seattle.

His style is pop music with rock, hip-hop, and electronica influences. Known for belting powerful and catchy choruses and making use of his wide range, Mozie brings pop songs that are not just fun, but memorable. 'So why write about Tina?' says Jack. 'Because she's always in our nightclubs, our homes, our parks, yet we choose to not acknowledge it, except for me, I did.'

Jack Mozie says he chose Project NEON as a beneficiary because the Seattle Counseling Service program deals directly with members of the community who are addicted. 'I have to donate,' he told SGN. 'I cannot in good conscience publish a song like 'Tina' without it serving a purpose. My songs have a purpose, and that is to make a change in our community. That's what I hope for 'Tina.' I will be writing a check through Social Outreach Seattle (SOSea) this summer from record sales.'

NON-JUDGMENTAL HELP
According to Seattle Counseling Service's website, Project NEON (Needle Exchange and Sex Education Outreach Network) is a harm-reduction program for Gay and Bi male users of crystal methamphetamine, both active users and in recovery.

'NEON's philosophies are rooted in the concept of harm reduction and the belief that all individuals are capable of making life-enhancing decisions, regardless of their drug use. Therefore, we support informed choice based on accurate and truthful education,' say NEON officials.

At Project NEON, recovery starts with peer educators who are current and/or former crystal users trained to provide education about safer sex and safer injection practices to other users in their communities.

Through their existing drug networks, peer educators conduct safer sex and safer injection education; distribute condoms, lube, educational brochures, and clean injection equipment; conduct one-for-one needle exchange; and provide referrals for social services, health care, HIV/STD testing, and drug treatment/counseling.

Mozie wants people to know that he is in no way judging anyone. 'Addiction is a tough thing and the members of our community that find themselves traveling down that dark road shouldn't have to do it alone.'

'Calling attention to the issue is not the same as calling someone out or belittling a user, ' Mozie added. 'Instead, I am using my platform as a local entertainer to get the word out that help is out there should you need it. Recovery from meth addiction is possible.'

HEAR IT FOR YOURSELF
Mozie says his new album Iron Fist is 'packed full of surprises.' Go to www.jackmozie.com to find out more. You can listen to or download 'Tina' at www.reverbnation.com/jackmozie.

If you or someone you know is addicted to crystal meth and would like help, go to the Project NEON official program site, www.projectneon.org. You can also contact Aleks at (206) 323-1768 or e-mail amartin@seattlecounseling.org.



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