New York City-based artist Ian Mellencamp has his bases covered—from songwriting, audio/visual production, making art, and modeling, he does it all. “I get bored easily!” he says with a laugh. “I try to be creative in everything I do, in any way I can.”

Mellencamp began his musical adventures at an early age, playing music in school; “I was a damn good tuba player,” says the self-described former band nerd. “I might have missed my calling. Maybe that will be my retirement plan.” Jamming with friends in angsty teenage garage bands began his foray into the rock & roll world, which resulted in experimentation with what he calls “computer music.”

He released his latest EP, Free AF, last August, and in September, performed at Farm Aid outside of Washington, DC in September with Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, Alabama Shakes and more, a cause close to his heart. “I’ve always been an outdoors person, and studied ecology in college,” he explains. “It made me more aware of consumption and its effects on our environment. I have family members who are farmers in Indiana, and the struggle is very real for them. A lot of times we don’t think about where our food comes from. There are a lot of parallels between trying to be an independent farmer and trying to be an independent musician, it’s a difficult road.”

While making the trip to Farm Aid, Mellencamp made a stop at an organic farm and befriended the farmer who operates it; he also decided to record live footage from the trip to the festival, and pair it with his song, “A Race To End A Race,” a track from Free AF.  “‘A Race To End A Race’ was inspired by current events, I actually wrote it after the Paris shooting. It just came out of me. I feel like it’s pretty applicable to what’s happening in the world,” he says. “I hope it gives people hope.”

Without further ado, East of 8th proudly presents “A Race To End A Race,” the new video from Ian Mellencamp:


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