Landon Elliott’s “Rainbow”: More Than Just A Song

by | Sep 4, 2020 | QUEER RVA

You can own a piece of art from Landon Elliott’s music video. The cover of Kacey Musgraves’ “Rainbow” creates a fundraiser for Side By Side, allowing listeners to donate $5 and receive a piece of rainbow art featured in the video. 

Another fine Richmond artist has put out a charity project in the midst of the chaos that is 2020. This time, Richmond musician Landon Elliott’s cover of “Rainbow” by Kacey Musgraves recontextualizes the original as an optimistic ode to the LGBTQ community. Appropriately, part of this project also helps fund LGBTQ charities through a charity art auction. 

PHOTO: Landon Elliott, “Rainbow”

The art in question comes from a unique source. In addition to recording his cover of “Rainbow” and releasing it for his charity event, The Rainbow Project, Elliott also recorded a full music video depicting dozens of pieces of handmade rainbow artworks. Each piece of art was created by one of Elliott’s fans after he announced this project via social media. 

“I was a little nervous that people weren’t going to respond to that call to action,” said Elliott. “But people really showed up.” 

In total, there are 50 pieces included that cover a variety of different artistic genres, from simple crayon drawings to mosaic and threadwork. These pieces make up the pool of artworks from the video that will be randomly selected for donors in exchange for their donation. 

Elliott was originally inspired to do this project after seeing rainbow art pieces displayed around his neighborhood. As far as Elliott knew, the pieces were unrelated to specific LGBTQ issues, and were simply meant as a gesture of kindness and optimism towards others in the community. 

“This year has become progressively heavier with COVID-19, and being an election year [with] all the social injustices which have been happening… the heightened atmosphere around that,” said Elliott. “I noticed a bunch of these pieces of rainbow artwork hung up in windows. I came to find out people were doing that since we can’t be in close proximity, as a really nice way to share just a little moment of hope.” 

Instantly, Elliott’s mind went to Musgraves’ “Rainbow,” a song that he became fond of during a tour-related road trip through Ohio last year. The imagery and message of the song’s hopeful lyrics could not have been more appropriate. 

“[The art] brought back the memories of driving through Ohio, hearing that song for the first time and feeling that hope,” said Elliott. 

Soon after that trip, Eliott began recording his cover of the song, which eventually developed into a full-blown charity project. 

“In tandem with all of the rainbow artwork we have been seeing,” Elliott said, “we decided to create a giving aspect to [the project] where the rainbows would be sold to benefit LGBTQ youth and family organizations.” 

PHOTO: Via Landon Elliott’s Fundraiser

Elliott chose the longstanding Richmond-based LGBTQ youth support group, Side by Side, to receive the proceeds from this project. 

“[The LGBTQ community] is a community that deserves support. It needs support,” Elliott said. “There’s a lot of uphill battles they have to fight, which I think are really unjust and unfair… I want community partners that support them to be well-funded.” 

Donations can be made via Elliott’s Bandcamp page. There is no maximum donation amount, but there is a required $5 minimum to receive a piece of art. 100 percent of the proceeds go to Side by Side, so donating more than the minimum is heavily encouraged.

PHOTO: Via Landon Elliott’s Fundraiser

Find the project here on Elliott’s Bandcamp, and check out more from Elliott via website, Instagram, and Facebook

Top Photo via Landon Elliott’s “Rainbow” video

Jonah Schuhart

Jonah Schuhart

Jonah Schuhart is a Senior Broadcast Journalism Student at Virginia Commonwealth University. Jonah hopes to use his work to spread goodwill and a positive message. Despite this healthy outlook, he survives solely on a destructive diet of Japanese action games and Cheetos.

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