''Mask It Up'' Strikes a Chord

Generations Family Health Center and Northeast District Department of Health Produce Hip-Hop Song and Music Video to Promote Mask-Wearing Among Young Adults 

Fresh off the paws of creating Norm, the COVID-19 Community Watch Dog to help children pre-K through 5th grade develop and maintain healthy habits and reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19, Generations Family Health Center and the Northeast District Department of Health (NDDH) have teamed up again to produce a hip-hop song and music video to promote mask-wearing among middle-school to college-age youths. 

According to NDDH Education and Communications Coordinator Linda Colangelo, “Mask-wearing is one of the most important prevention strategies we currently have in reducing the risk of COVID-19, but it’s also the most challenging behavior to convince people to adopt. We wanted to find a platform that would be appealing to teens and young adults – and we found it in artist Zack Kindall and ‘Mask It Up’.”  

Kindall, a 20-year old Connecticut-based recording artist, is a former student-athlete at Eastern Connecticut State University. His creativity and growing popularity as a social media influencer crossed paths with Generations and NDDH at a perfect time. 

“We were collaborating with Miranda Creative in Norwich on Norm, the COVID-19 Community Watchdog, and it was a Miranda team member who introduced us to Zack Kindall,” explained Allison Heneghan, Director of Communications and Development for Generations and Producer for “Mask It Up.”  “Adapting original lyrics written by Linda Colangelo, Zack created a new version that would resonate with the  middle-school to college-age demographic for use in the song and music video. We are hoping that 

‘Mask It Up’ will become a theme song throughout the pandemic and that its message, catchy lyrics and beat will stay with people.” 
The music video was filmed in Willimantic by Eighty Six Media using popular sites such as City Hall and the Frog Bridge, which featured appropriately masked amphibians. A local casting call attracted six background dancers tasked with making mask-wearing look like the new social norm, to which Heneghan remarked, “they covered perfectly.”  In addition to the song and music video, a virtual dance contest with celebrity judges is also being planned by Generations and WILI-FM Hit Music i98.3.  

“I am inspired to use my music as a platform to uplift people and bring more joy to this world just like other artists have done for me,” said Kindall. “I love being able to see people smile from my music – especially during these stressful times - and I want to have a positive impact on them. At the end of the day that is what matters most to me. I hope people like the song, but more importantly, I hope they take the message seriously and ‘Mask It Up’.” 

Kindall will add “Mask It Up” to his repertoire as he prepares a music tour to Europe and North Africa in 2021.  
The “Mask It Up” music video can be viewed for free at: http://bit.ly/GenHealthMaskItUp.  To find out more about this project and download the song, go to genhealth.org/maskitup

The project is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the CARES Act.