The first part of doing anything should start with thinking for yourself. Sometimes I get caught up in what everyone else is saying and doing, and forget about my own ideas and actions. The Libertines song Campaign of Hate isn't as angry as it sounds. It's actually about kids who get so caught up in their surroundings and peers, they give in and become 'sheep'. And how it doesn't really matter if people like you if you aren't acting like yourself or thinking for yourself. Coming from the Libertines who are notorious for drug use and destructive behavior is a little ironic, but regardless, they have an alright message in this instance.
Secondly, I think that when dealing with problems in countries other than our own, or with cultures we're unfamiliar with in our own country, we need to walk in their shoes before making any decisions. Sometimes doing what we as a nation do to others what we think is best without taking their point of view first. I was fortunate enough to see Vusi Mahlasela perform a couple years ago. He's a musician from South Africa whose songs often revolve around emotions connected to the apartheid. In an interview, he reminds us that everyone should be respectful and aware of cultural differences, it's why he sings his songs in so many different languages. He also sings about forgiveness, a virtue that can resonate through an circumstance. Plus Vusi has really cool songs.
But moving on from my underlying influence, I'm taken by media and culture surrounding youth. It breaks my heart learning about uneducated and under privileged children and particularly girls. Especially in third world countries, but in ours as well. Two musicians who hone in on the conditions of youth are M.I.A. and Dizzee Rascal. Maya has songs about African children selling everything in order to obtain visas (Hussel or Paper Planes), children being forced into combat ($20), and child prostitutes both who are sold into slavery or do it for money in Asia (10 dollar).
â€śCambodian children are sold inside the borders of Cambodia and between various brothels, but also to the neighbouring countries, primarily to Thailand. Children are similarly smuggled to Cambodia, mainly from Vietnam. The price of a child is determined by appearance, age, and virginity. Average value is approximately $150/child.â€? BBC
Dizzee Rascalâ€™s song Jezebel is about a girl who ruins her life with a teen pregnancy, and various songs of his are about the conditions of the lower class in England.
All of these raise awareness of social issues that need to be dealt with.
An organization I find relatable to our project is Love Music Hate Racism. It â€ścelebrates our our multicultural and multiracial society. Racism seeks only to divide and weaken us.â€? So artists come together to support anti racism by recording albums and having benefit concerts. Great artists as well that already have a following, like M.I.A. and Pete Doherty of the Libertines.
And Finally, as random as it may seem, I think we can all either live by Oasisâ€™ Roll with It, or Regina Spektorâ€™s Ghost of Corporate Future.
Or anything that makes you want to dance.