Musical act Coma Pony could hardly contain their enthusiasm when speaking in a video about what moved them to join The Outlaw Ocean Music Project, a collaboration with investigative reporter Ian Urbina to draw attention to human rights and environmental abuses at sea.
The Outlaw Ocean Music Project, run by the label Synesthesia Media, is a global and expansive effort to disseminate The Outlaw Ocean Project’s investigative journalism to a broader audience by releasing music inspired by offshore reporting.
Spanning genres from classical to hip-hop to electronic, hundreds of musicians from around the world have joined the effort. Many of the artists who participate in the project draw from an audio archive of field recordings captured by Urbina while reporting offshore.
Originating in Chihuahua, Mexico and now based in Mexico City, Coma Pony recorded their first EP “Pony En Coma” in January 2016. In 2017, Coma Pony participated in the SXSW Music Festival and later the same year they released the band’s second four-song EP, “Sad Boys With HappyFaces.” In 2018, Coma Pony went on a two-month U.S. tour, traveling to cities from El Paso, Texas to New York City. In 2020, the band released “Between the Ocean and the Sea” with The Outlaw Ocean Music Project.
In the video posted by The Outlaw Ocean Project, Coma Pony reflected upon their creative process and pondered the perilous challenges Urbina faced while reporting for his 2019 book The Outlaw Ocean.
“We’re more visual people, so we created our songs from watching Ian’s videos, and trying to capture the emotions from them,” Coma Pony said. “From the interviews, to the live action clips, Ian seems to be in dangerous situations.”
They also acknowledged the importance of getting the word out about ocean crime: “We can’t wait for more people to know about what is happening in the ocean because right now, only certain people know. Since the music will be on a popular platform, it will also help spread awareness to more people.”
““This type of journalism is already so impressive without music. Music only adds the finishing touches to create an even larger impact. When Ian contacted us, it was very, very exciting,” they added.
“Between the Ocean and the Sea” by Coma Pony is available in all stores, including Apple Music, YouTube, and Spotify.
Synesthesia Media announces new waves of releases monthly on its social media.
About The Outlaw Ocean Project:
The Outlaw Ocean Project is a non-profit journalism organization founded by Ian Urbina that produces investigative stories about environmental and human rights concerns at sea globally. The project seeks to not only produce polished, narrative investigative journalism, but also to amplify that reportage by converting it into other other mediums to reach new audiences all over the world.