Band Foster the People saw the bullying story of Japanese teen Nanae Munemasa on CNN
The band wants to bring Munemasa to Los Angeles to record a single
It’s another example of how one person’s story can make a big impact.
Nanae Munemasa, 17, spoke to CNN in September about the rising teen suicide rates in her home country of Japan.
She shared her story of being bullied since elementary school, which became bad enough that she once contemplated taking her own life.
This story caught the attention of the Los Angeles-based band Foster the People.
“When I read the story on Nanae and the teen suicide rate in Japan, it shook me up,” Mark Foster of the band told CNN.
“It took me back to a time in my own life when I was just trying to survive high school and didn’t have many allies. I remember trying to get through the day by sprinting from one class to another so I wouldn’t get caught in the hallway by a group of kids looking for a fight. Bullying was real back then. And I was surprised to learn that it’s just as real now.”
Earlier this week, the band launched an Indiegogo campaign to combat bullying and raise funds for Munemasa to travel to Los Angeles.
Munemasa encourages bullied teens by posting supportive messages online. She and her brother also started a band called Nanakato, which is the reason Foster the People wants to produce and record a song with her.
“The goal of this campaign is to help put an end to bullying in Japan and worldwide,” the band says.
The money raised will be used to fly Munemasa to Los Angeles to record a single produced by Mark Foster, he said. The rest of the funds will go toward sending Kind Campaign to Japan to “raise awareness and put and help put an end to bullying.”
Two days into the campaign, it was already 16% of the way to the goal.
“I can’t still believe it,” Munemasa told CNN.
“I feel as if I were dreaming. There will be a chance, if we continue to live.”
CNN’s Rebecca Wright and Junko Ogura contributed to this report.