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Jack: When it comes to our children who we hand the future to, what is it that we need to instill most? From the work you are doing, what do you want your daughter and for the sons and daughters of others to take away from it.

Cole: We want Rocker to understand what it really means to live a life guided by high moral standards. We want her to recognize that all people deserve the right to live free of oppression.

Shpresa: Yes. And I think we need the next generations to really appreciate that everyone is fighting their own battle. We all have more in common than we do differences. We share the same fears and insecurities and we share the same desire for a happy and healthy life. We need them to aim for a world where our common humanity is honored.

Allié: From the outside in, you use your music as a means to move the needle on social issues. ‘You’re Somebody Else’ made it okay to speak up about identity and mental health issues. ‘The Bright Lights’ shined a light on domestic violence and homelessness. It was ‘Soul Mate’ that tapped into racism in a way never before attempted with your unforgettable video that I still can’t watch without tears. What is it about music that makes it an ideal instrument to inspire change?

Cole: Music is so much about what’s happening at “the gut level.” We might think about what the lyrics mean and there can be a ton of intellectual stimulation but ultimately a song is not a book nor a poem. A song is mostly about feeling and often in a visceral way; we’re moved by the bass, we can feel the high notes ringing in our ears. And a lot of what plagues humanity is taking place below the intellectual level, at gut levels. We think music is a powerful tool for reaching people at a gut level no matter who they are or where they come from. Music has the potential to move even the most hardened heart toward love and goodwill. It’s a lofty notion and music on its own often falls short but it can at least let a little light in through the cracks and move hearts in the right direction. ∎

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Profile for AwareNow

AwareNow: Issue 18: The Outside Edition  

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