Interviews

The “Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert” Interview – ULRIKA, Sweden

As part of The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert, we talk to the music artists who have participated in the concert about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our twenty-third featured artist is  ULRIKA. ULRIKA’S gifted voice and songwriting blurs the lines between pop, indie and electro. Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Ulrika crafted her powerful voice throughout many years of choir school and classical training. With a unique and spirited personality, her global appeal and sound has been compared to artists such as Sia, Ellie Goulding, and Gwen Stefani. Aside from lending her eyes to CoverGirl and her voice to an international campaign for Gillette, Ulrika has been featured in H&M’s 2014 summer magazine. She has reached notable success on YouTube with millions of views and thousands of followers, which has led to sponsorships with TC-Helicon and Tannoy Speakers. Ulrika’s debut single “Animal” was well received by bloggers around the world and has been referred to as “epic pop”. She will be releasing her full EP Summer 2015. To learn more about ULRIKA and her music, visit her YouTube channel or follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

The Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert was held in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide.

Donations begin at just US$1 and while the Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert Indiegogo fundraiser is running from June 5th to July 5th 2015, donors can donate to get exclusive music and artist goodies ranging from personal Skype concerts to treat bundles for the serious music lover.

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Ulrika 1Tell us about yourself and why you have decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert.

My name is ULRIKA. I’m a Swedish pop artist and writer, now located in Atlanta, GA. I have classical schooling, but knew from an early age that the pop genre would be the most natural and important one for me to take on as a career. The Pixel Project’s mission is something I feel strongly about supporting. The overall message in my songs is inspiring and self-empowering. I believe that especially young females need a strong, positive role model in music.

Why is ending violence against women important to you?

I was raised in Sweden which ranks as one of the world’s most gender-egalitarian countries, based on firm belief that men and women should share power and influence equally. Because of the social values of my country and upbringing, I think it’s pretty self-evident that violence shouldn’t exist and especially not violence against women.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?

Music is one of the most powerful tools to influence society. You can’t escape music.  It’s in your home, at the mall, in the car, on your trip etc. If a song is written correctly it can help spread a positive and educational message to the uninformed. It can raise awareness and inspire the community to take action while empowering the abused women to get out of their situation.

What actions can music artists take to help end violence against women?

We can raise awareness by writing songs on the topic. We can perform and speak at events like The Pixel Project. We can use our “power” and be vocal about issues like this in social media and such outlets to inspire our fans to get emotionally and actively engaged.

The “Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert” Interview – Rochelle Diamante, USA

As part of The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert, we talk to the music artists who have participated in the concert about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our twenty-second featured artist is Rochelle Diamante.  Also known as RoRo, Rochelle Diamante is the multi-talented, singer-songwriter and actress quickly making a name for herself in Hollywood.  Originally from Seattle, RoRo developed her love for music at an early age and in 2005 decided to begin making music her career. Buzz about RoRo quickly began to spread after she made her debut on YouTube in 2010 where she has amassed over 26 million views.  

RoRo has worked on hit recording and writing projects with various big producers including David Ryan Harris (John Mayer), Blake English (Kelly Rowland, Brandy), Mike Mac (Beluga Heights), and the incomparable Lauren Christy (The Matrix Team). After signing with Buskin Records/WBR in 2014, RoRo has been working tirelessly with an amazing team on production of several new singles and a new video scheduled for release in 2015. To find out more about Roro, follow her on Twitter and Instagram, or check out her videos on YouTube.

The Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert was held in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide.

Donations begin at just US$1 and while the Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert Indiegogo fundraiser is running from June 5th to July 5th 2015, donors can donate to get exclusive music and artist goodies ranging from personal Skype concerts to treat bundles for the serious music lover.

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Rochelle DiamanteTell us about yourself and why you have decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert.

I’ve been singing since I was 10 years old and ever since I started, I’ve wanted to use my music to make a difference. There are so many women who need help and I am honoured to help raise awareness for this cause.

Why is ending violence against women important to you?       

It’s wrong! Violence in general needs to stop. But there are women dealing with violence everyday, trapped and scarred. We can make a difference.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?

Music is life. It’s all around us. There is not one person on earth who doesn’t have a favourite song, favourite band, etc… Play music and people will come and be more willing to learn about the cause and help in any way they can.

What actions can music artists take to help end violence against women?

Music artists have an influence on their fans that can help shine a light on issues their fans may not have known about. Opening their minds is the doorway to opening their hearts to help those in need while at the same time giving them knowledge to prevent it from ever happening to them.

The “Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert” Interview – Olivia Thai, USA

As part of The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert, we talk to the music artists who have participated in the concert about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our twentty-first featured artist is Olivia Thai.  She is a powerhouse name in the Asian American new media scene for comedy and music. She posted her first video on YouTube in 2007, which grew quickly to amass over 21 million views, 150,000 loyal fans, and appearances in magazines, newspapers, television, and film.

She has since moved on from her days in sketch comedy, and in less than a year, the combination of her unique persona and thought-provoking original music has gained worldwide media coverage. Olivia and her guitar, Monna Lisa Lucille are currently on an international tour performing the 100+ original songs written in two months. To find out more about Olivia, check out her videos on YouTube.

The Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert was held in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide.

Donations begin at just US$1 and while the Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert Indiegogo fundraiser is running from June 5th to July 5th 2015, donors can donate to get exclusive music and artist goodies ranging from personal Skype concerts to treat bundles for the serious music lover.

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Olivia Thai 1Tell us about yourself and why you have decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert.

Hello! I’m Olivia, a musician and comedic actress who has been in the public eye for a decade now.  There couldn’t be a better time for me to participate in The Pixel Project’s Music for Pixels Summer Charity Concert personally, but I truly believe this is a deeply rooted issue that can and has negatively affected generations of people. I recently wrote and released a song specifically dedicated to victims of domestic abuse, and I am truly honored to play this live for the first time on the internet at this event.

Why is ending violence against women important to you?       

I believe that there simply needs to be more love and trust in today’s society.  Ending domestic violence against women, men, and children will change all our lives for the better. Love and trust can be restored between strangers, and ultimately, that is what I want for all people.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?

Violence derives from anger and results in pain. I have and always will deal with both of these emotions through music and creativity. I want to help the community the best way I know how, which is sharing my experiences through music.

What actions can music artists take to help end violence against women?

I understand that it is difficult to relate if they haven’t personally experienced or witnessed domestic violence cases. However, when we take the time to do our research and reach out to people outside of our comfort zones, we can help many more people through the arts. This is something I do on a daily basis. I allow everyone I meet to inspire my music. It is a truly humbling experience, and I highly encourage all songwriters to explore this.

The “Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert” Interview – Nathen Aswell, Canada

As part of The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert, we talk to the music artists who have participated in the concert about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our twentieth featured artist is Nathen Aswell. A gifted speaker and recording artist based in Vancouver, Canada, and he believes that his calling in this life is to inspire and heal through his words and music. His CDs “Little By Little” and “YES” are celebrations of life, transformation, evolution and the oneness of humanity.  Nathen honours his calling by speaking and performing internationally at Conferences, Concerts, Men’s Retreats and Churches, presenting his music, stories and humour with his voice and the NS Stick (an 8-stringed electronic instrument that can be plucked like a bass, strummed like a guitar, or tapped with both hands like a piano). To find out more about Nathen, follow him on Facebook, or check out his videos on YouTube.

The Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert was held in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide.

Donations begin at just US$1 and while the Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert Indiegogo fundraiser is running from June 5th to July 5th 2015, donors can donate to get exclusive music and artist goodies ranging from personal Skype concerts to treat bundles for the serious music lover.

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Nathen AswellTell us about yourself and why you have decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert.

My mission is to inspire and heal through my words, actions and music, and being a part of The Pixel Project is an opportunity to do just that.

Why is ending violence against women important to you?       

Ending violence against ANY being, male or female, is important to me. We are all manifestations of God / Higher Consciousness / Perfect Love and every one of us needs to be fully loved, honoured and celebrated as such.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?

It helps to raise awareness and change consciousness in a way that words alone cannot.

What actions can music artists take to help end violence against women?

LISTEN to the women in our lives. Let them fully tell their stories, so that our hearts break and we fully understand the issue in our HEARTS – not just in our heads.

Share stories / write songs about how this issue has personally affected us (the music artists) and the women in our lives.

Be a part of events like this Pixel Project concert to help raise awareness.

The “Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert” Interview – Miguel Dakota, USA

As part of The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert, we talk to the music artists who have participated in the concert about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our nineteenth featured artist is Miguel Dakota. Miguel Dakota is a soulful and passionate singer/guitar player from Colorado. His first encounters with music came from his parents who brought him to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival at just 10 days old. The festival, which brought the music of B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, and Eric Clapton to the stage, left a lasting impact on Miguel’s heart for music. At age 11, Miguel received his first guitar and began learning to play and write music.

In 2014, Miguel was a contestant and finalist on NBC’s Americas Got Talent where he covered such songs as The Beatles “Come Together”, “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes, and “Billie Jean” By Michael Jackson and caught the attention of the masses with his soulful and heart felt vocals. After his first audition, Simon Cowell tweeted, “Miguel Dakota. A future star…”. On the show’s finale episode, Miguel performed alongside the incredible Lenny Kravitz to Lenny’s “American Woman”

The Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert was held in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide.

Donations begin at just US$1 and while the Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert Indiegogo fundraiser is running from June 5th to July 5th 2015, donors can donate to get exclusive music and artist goodies ranging from personal Skype concerts to treat bundles for the serious music lover.

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Miguel Dakota 2Tell us about yourself and why you have decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert.

My name is Miguel Dakota. I am a singer/songwriter from Monument, CO. I was a finalist on Season 9 of America’s Got Talent. I have pursuing my love for music since receiving my first guitar at the age of 11. Creating music that is therapy for me and connects to my audience is the reason I love song writing. I wanted to be a part of the Pixel Project Summer Charity Concert because the cause that the concert is benefitting is something I truly want to support.

Why is ending violence against women important to you?       

Society has a materialistic view of women. Advertisements, music, and media sell themselves and their products by “selling sex” and associating certain types of beauty with their products. Women themselves then become associated with products and treated as objects. The abuse of women is overlooked because the mind-set of society is apathetic toward people they see as objects. We must realize these negatives and change our mind-sets to protecting women and treating every human being with respect and integrity.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?      

I believe that music is an incredible resource in affecting change in the world. As musicians and artists we have the ability to open hearts and minds through creativity. Music can be used to change the mind-set of it’s audience from viewing women as objects to seeing their true beauty and ending women’s violence.

What actions can music artists take to help end violence against women?

Music artists can join charity events such as the Pixel Project to raise awareness about violence against women. We can also write music that has lyrical integrity and a positive view of women.

The “Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert” Interview – Mary Scholz, USA

As part of The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert, we talk to the music artists who have participated in the concert about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our eighteenth featured artist is Philadelphia raised and Los Angeles based Indie Singer/Songwriter Mary Scholz. Mary has spent the past seven years on the road, playing shows in songwriter venues and festivals all over the country. Singing since the age of four and writing since the age of fourteen, Mary’s music is a blend of lyric folk & pop/rock with a bittersweet twist that puts her in a category of her own. She’s come a long way since her start singing in choirs, school shows and playing in the school band, with a 2011 Hollywood Music and Media Award nomination for her song, “Tennessee,” released on her third EP, “Water Rising.” A graduate of The University of the Arts, Scholz released her first full length album, “The Girl You Thought You Knew,” in February of 2014. It’s release was supported by a three month tour of the US. “I write about things that matter to me – things that are close to my heart. It’s my hope that through music we can connect to one another, to better understand that we are all alike and that no one is alone.” To find out more about Mary, follow her on Facebook, or check out her videos on YouTube.

The Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert was held in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide.

Donations begin at just US$1 and while the Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert Indiegogo fundraiser is running from June 5th to July 5th 2015, donors can donate to get exclusive music and artist goodies ranging from personal Skype concerts to treat bundles for the serious music lover.

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Mary Sholz 4 - Jason Decker_croppedTell us about yourself and why you have decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert.

It’s important to me that we bring awareness to this issue in any way that we can. Being able to use music as a platform for that is a wonderful thing – it makes it easier for me to raise my voice and be heard.

The fundraiser is in support of NCADV (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence), which works to promote helpful and necessary legislation, as well as provides support for victims of domestic violence, and The Pixel Project, which works to create change through facilitating awareness and discussion on social media platforms, where much of today’s news and information is gathered. The NCADV’s mission to care for those affected is hugely important to me – we must take care of each other. And the Pixel Project is working towards making it a real conversation, and there cannot be change without that.

Why is ending violence against women important to you?                                            

Ending violence of any sort is important to me. And violence against women specifically spans generations, continents, cultures.

The smaller, less obvious representations of violence is overlooked and deemed acceptable – the large representations of it are ugly, and overlooked as a manner of avoiding an uncomfortable issue. Sweeping the topic away just perpetuates the problem.

Violence is used as a controlling tactic to put people in their place. Women are an integral part of our society. We should be working, together, to better that society. We are all human beings, and this is our world. Think about what we could do with it if a huge percentage of our population weren’t living in fear for their safety.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?      

Music reaches people in a way that conversations, articles and news stories often do not. We absorb information in a different, more open way with music. We take it to heart. It promotes introspection and awareness of your own internal instincts of what is important to you. Consciousness promotes action. For me, musically, my role is to reach those who have, or are in, the struggle. To remind them that they are beautiful, that there is hope, and that their life and freedom is always worth fighting for.

What actions can music artists take to help end violence against women?

Start the conversation. Be a living example. Write to reach those who need to be reached.

The “Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert” Interview – L. Young, USA

As part of The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert, we talk to the music artists who have participated in the concert about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our seventeenth featured artist is L. Young. Born and raised in Louisville, KY, L. Young was groomed for music in the church. By age 5, he was already singing in the adult choir. While attending the prestigious “Youth Performing Arts High School” in Louisville, he performed abroad in Belgium (Brussels), Bahamas, the UK (London), and the U.S. L.Young is an established artist, writer, and performer who has been credited for writing, music, and production for several artists, as well as platinum selling soundtracks. Writing credits include the top 5 single and title track off Jessy J’s #1 Billboard debut Album “Hot Sauce.” Keke Wyatt’s projects, “Who Knew” and “Unbelievable.” He is also credited for music in film and network TV to include: BET’s The Game, ABC’s According To Jim, 20/20, One Life To Live, VH1′s Basketball Wives, USA Network’s Burn Notice, also the movies Don Jon. Booty Call, and The Long Kiss Goodnight among others. He has recently released his 4th album entitled “ReVerb” featuring his Billboard Urban AC top 20 single ‘Love Is A Verb.’  To find out more about Young, follow him on Facebook, or check out his videos on YouTube.

The Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert was held in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide.

Donations begin at just US$1 and while the Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert Indiegogo fundraiser is running from June 5th to July 5th 2015, donors can donate to get exclusive music and artist goodies ranging from personal Skype concerts to treat bundles for the serious music lover.

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L Young 2Tell us about yourself and why you have decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert.

I was born and raised in Louisville, KY to a wonderful single mother. I witnessed first hand violence against her from a few unhealthy relationships she had as my brother and me were growing up. It was not only devastating to her but to us as well. it seemed there was no one there to speak for her or us as a family. That’s why I’m lending my voice today.

Why is ending violence against women important to you?  

Because no civilization can rise higher than its woman. How high you elevate, respect and honor the mothers, sisters, and daughters of society determines what heights you can reach as a nation.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women? 

Music is and always will be one of if not the most effective tools for social change. Music shapes thoughts, and those thoughts become action. I don’t know anyone on this planet who doesn’t listen to music of some sort. They may not watch TV or movies, possible don’t choose to or are unable to read, can’t see the beauty in a painting, or maybe hate the theater. But music, need I say more?

What actions can music artists take to help end violence against women?

Speaking out more and louder. Creating more positive contents towards women and making music that promotes healthy relationships..

The “Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert” Interview – Lauren Ruth Ward, USA

As part of The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert, we talk to the music artists who have participated in the concert about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our sixteenth featured artist is Lauren Ruth Ward. In 2012, Baltimore, Maryland, Lauren Ruth, whose smoky voice and raspy tone show vulnerability and strength, was recognised on YouTube for one of her cover songs gaining over 1 million hits, capturing the attention of labels such as Warner Brothers Records, Sony Records and Copeland Entertainment.  

Ward’s fan base crosses from folk to rock and easily appeals to country fans as well as mainstream audiences. She made her first radio debut on 89.7 WTMD’s Baltimore Hit Parade. In 2014, Ward signed with Copeland Entertainment Management. In less than one year, she’s written with Lauren Christy and world renowned Producer Linda Perry. Ward is set to release her EP in Fall 2015.  To find out more about Lauren, follow her on Twitter, or check out her videos on YouTube.

The Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert was held in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide.

Donations begin at just US$1 and while the Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert Indiegogo fundraiser is running from June 5th to July 5th 2015, donors can donate to get exclusive music and artist goodies ranging from personal Skype concerts to treat bundles for the serious music lover.

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Lauren Ruth Ward 2Tell us about yourself and why you have decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert.

I’ve decided to take part because I feel very passionately for what The Pixel Project stands for. As a child, my parents always stressed the importance of equality. In some parts of the world, I believe violent acts against women are triggered by inequality. Music applies to all races, sexes and ages. By reaching out musically, there is great hope of opening more eyes and touching more minds thus shinning a light on this very serious issue.

Why is ending violence against women important to you?      

I am so fortunate to live in a country where women rarely face half the brutality that others endure. As a human, it makes me sick to know cruelties such as genitalia mutilation and trafficking are happening everyday. As a woman, I feel it is only logical to do what I can to help end these cruelties and others.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?      

I remember learning in history class that music came before language. It is in every culture. In my life, it’s usually the number one topic I use to relate to whomever I am meeting. I’ve also used music many times as a healing mechanism for death, heartache or just a bad day. It applies to all races, sexes and ages. By reaching out musically, we can touch lives who’ve suffered and gain attention from those who can help.

What actions can music artists take to help end violence against women?

Not only taking part in events like The Pixel Project’s Summer Charity Concert but sharing my experience and how great it feels to be able to help others will spread the word about violence against women. Hopefully one day I will be able to give generously to charities I feel so passionate about such as The Pixel Project.

“30 For 30″ Father’s Day Campaign 2015: Interview 22 – Doug Gertner, 55, USA

Welcome to The Pixel Project’s “30 For 30″ Father’s Day Campaign 2015! In honour of Father’s Day, we created this campaign:

  • To acknowledge the vital role Dads play in families, cultures and communities worldwide.
  • To showcase good men from different walks of life who are fabulous positive non-violent male role models.

Through this campaign, we will be publishing a short interview with a different Dad on each day of the month of June.

This campaign is also part of a programme of initiatives held throughout 2015 in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that is in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate via the Pixel Reveal website here or the Pixel Reveal Razoo donation page here.

Our twenty-second “30 For 30″ 2015 Dad is Doug Gertner from the USA.

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The Dad Bio

I’m Doug Gertner, a.k.a. The Grateful Dad. I’m Marc Gertner’s son, partner to Maggie Miller, father of a teenage son, Jordy Gertner, and a speaker, blogger, educator, broadcaster, author, and activist who has been active in the National Organization for Men against Sexism, and taught men’s studies and involved fatherhood classes nationally.  We make our home in Denver, Colorado, and as The Grateful Dad my ‘long, strange trip’ takes me far and wide teaching, training, and speaking about the dynamics of masculinity, and the joys and challenges for fathers and families.    

Doug Gertner 3

1. What is the best thing about being a dad?

Joy. In a word, that’s what has always made fatherhood great. From the news that we were pregnant, through labor, delivery, and those many sleepless nights with a newborn, I’ve always celebrated the gift of being a dad.

My first teacher was my own father, and when it came time to take on this role myself, I had some definite ideas about how to do it differently. My pro-feminist activism has informed our shared care parenting from the start, and to this day I experience the joy of a close relationship with both my partner and our son. The sleeplessness has returned now that my son is a teen – as we wait up when he’s out late for work or with friends. Yet, even if we’re all a bit sleep-deprived, we all connect every day, and the joy of this regular connection is the best thing about being a dad.

2. A dad is usually the first male role model in a person’s life and fathers do have a significant impact on their sons’ attitude towards women and girls. How has your father influenced the way you see and treat women and girls?

My own dad taught me early and often about what fatherhood looks like. His long hours and dedication to his work helped me to value work-life; his absence, physically and emotionally, made me resolve to make parenting a priority and be available to my son. I left a traditional job to work from home, and adjust my schedule to fit around his, so that I am integral to my son’s life. He is accustomed to seeing me at his school as I’ve been active since the time of day-care. And he knows I’ll always drop what I’m doing to talk to him, which happens almost daily.

My father was a product of his times – the 50s – and I joined the pro-feminist men’s movement as a response to how he treated women, including my two sisters, his three wives, and his various secretaries. I’ve also modelled my pro-feminist stance for my son, who continues the family tradition of working for gender justice, particularly transsexual rights.

3. Communities and activists worldwide are starting to recognise that violence against women is not a “women’s issue” but a human rights issue and that men play a role in stopping the violence. How do you think fathers and other male role models can help get young men and boys to take an interest in and step up to help prevent and stop violence against women?

Talk to your sons and daughters. No topic is off limits in our family, and violence is among the most ‘real’ topics we discuss on a regular basis. My son sees me speak up and speak out, and he’s made me so proud by doing the same. 

The “Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert” Interview – Katie Sky, UK

As part of The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert, we talk to the music artists who have participated in the concert about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our fifteenth featured artist is  Katie Sky. Katie Sky is a Bristol, UK singer/songwriter who has released four solo singles as well as featuring on numerous EDM tracks from some of the most noteworthy labels in the genre (Ultra, Circus, OWSLA). Her first major pop collaboration was on the single ‘Monsters’ by New-York duo Timeflies (Island Def Jam) which she performed on Good Morning America. The official video now has upwards of 2.6 million views. To learn more about Katie and her music, visit her YouTube channel or follow her on Twitter.

The Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert was held in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide.

Donations begin at just US$1 and while the Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert Indiegogo fundraiser is running from June 5th to July 5th 2015, donors can donate to get exclusive music and artist goodies ranging from personal Skype concerts to treat bundles for the serious music lover.

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Katie Sky

Tell us about yourself and why you have decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert.

I am an artist & songwriter and i believe in using that platform to promote good things and help raise awareness for important issue’s. In 2013 & 2014, i was involved with an incredible charity called One25 based in Bristol where i live. They work alongside women, enabling them to break free from street sex-work, addiction and other life-controlling issues and build new, independent lives. I had the chance to be part of their “Give it up” Campaign, perform alongside Ed Sheeran for their charity concert and even did a few volunteering sessions where i met the women we were raising money for. All in all, i was honoured to be part of it all and so when the Pixel Project came up, i was very keen to be involved!

Why is ending violence against women important to you?

Every woman deserves happiness & freedom to be who they are, to know they are loved. Its their right. I want to help fight for their right to happiness. I’ve been in a few awful relationships in the past and so experiencing it first hand, i’d like to stop other women having that kind of life.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?

As i mentioned before, I see music not only as a creative artform, but also as a good platform to raise awareness about certain issue’s. Fans are eager to listen to new songs and thoroughly read every lyric, so of course they would listen when you want to speak about something your passionate about.

What actions can music artists take to help end violence against women?

Promote various charities and raise money by doing concerts such as this one! But also being an example of a strong independent person in our own lives & writing empowering music/lyrics to inspire our female audience.