A decade ago, Ivan Wilzig traded in his career in the multi-billion dollar family banking business for the life of a pop star and philanthropist. His latest track “La La Land” has been a summer anthem mixed by some of the top remixers in the business.
What’s the message behind “La La Land,” your brand new track?
The message of ”La La Land” is the same as John Lennon’s “Imagine.” If we can change our ways, our priorities and our values, we can genuinely achieve a peaceful coexistence on the planet. Writing the lyrics of the song completed me as an artist. Now I write, sing and perform. My songwriting partners, Josh Skinner, Russell Ali, Jason Evigan and I, all worked together as a team Module Art Panels. The video was really fun to make, but at the end, when all the characters collapse into a peace sign, my face was in the grass way too long. When you watch it on my website, you will see what I mean. You can watch the “La La Land” video at SirIvan.com.
Tell us about all the remixers who have joined you on this hot summer anthem.
Midi Mafia has been nominated for a Grammy award for Best Producer of the Year. Rosabel has been nominated for a Grammy award for Best Remixer of the Year. And, surely, Papercha$er will be nominated for a Grammy award one day soon. With that dream team behind me, the record has something to appeal to everyone. You just have to love happy songs that make you want to dance.
I heard you have some New Jersey connections.
Yes, I have strong ties to New Jersey. I was born in Newark, went to Clifton High School and worked for 20 years in the family business, Trust Company Bank, “The Bank with Heart,” which was headquartered in Jersey City and had 100 branches in the northern half of the state when it was sold to North Fork Bank (now Capital One). Don’t call me for a cheap car loan or mortgage; we sold the bank eight years ago.
Tell us about The Peaceman Foundation and your Hamptons fundraiser at the castle you live in.
CASTLESTOCK was named because it was celebrated on the 40th anniversary of the famous Woodstock Musical Festival. Just like the original event, it was non-stop love, music and peace. Everyone wore flowers, which were illuminated by dozens of high-powered ultraviolet black lights, turning the whole castle into a psychedelic love shack. Money raised through my Peaceman Foundation goes to fight hatred, violence and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition, I am giving all of my personal recording artist royalties from full-length album sales of “I Am Peaceman“ to the foundation.
And word is, you have a documentary and a possible reality show coming. Do tell!
The one-hour documentary “I Am Peaceman” has been completed, and a reality show sizzle reel with Lionsgate should be filmed this summer. Kardashian sisters, be on the lookout for the Wilzig brothers!
What’s next for Sir Ivan?
New collaborations with today’s greatest songwriters and producers and new videos for each and every song. Also, I am becoming very involved with the Trevor Project, the national organization that saves the lives and prevent suicides of LGBTQ youth who are at risk.