As part of The Pixel Project’s 30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” project in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign, we talk to the artistes who have participated in the project about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women.
Our twenty-second featured artiste is Pete Ahonen. Pete is an East Bay native / singer-songwriter — pairing his blend of ‘alt-country / folk-rock’ with an incredible knack for storytelling. Pete says: “When I was a kid , maybe just 5 years old, I was obsessed with this little push-button guitar. It only played ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ but every time I hit that button I felt like Jimi Hendrix! My mom gave me the guitar that she used to mess around with in high school and the obsession is still going! I’ve played everything from intense studio sessions, to festivals, to Jam bands… My favorite moments in life are being part of the music while its happening. Its almost like your not playing music, but you are the music!” To find out more about Pete, follow him on Facebook.
Pete contributed his song, “Picture In My Pocket” to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that 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 here.
Tell us about yourself and why you decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” project.
I am a songwriter from the Bay Area, California. I originally wanted to be a part of the pixel project because I’d written a song pertaining to slavery and hoped it could be used in some way to help.
Your heart and your music together have a way of becoming stagnant if you’re just thinking about yourself all the time. You see all these musicians who make a lot of money, who have big record contracts, and who are just too self-focused. I believe that we weren’t created this way – we were made to give pieces of ourselves back to others and I hope this song can do that in some way.
Why is ending violence against women important to you?
Violence against women is far too accepted in our male dominated culture – people are affected everywhere, they’re scared and full of fear. I see it all the time, in my neighbourhood. People do things because it was done to them. If you see it in your house when you’re growing up, it’s so easy to continue that trend in your life. You’re not even conscious of it. If you’re living your life in fear, you’re not being all that you could be; you’re not doing what you could be doing, because you’re afraid. It steals your potential, it steals your right to love and be loved in the way you’re meant to. It’s not a predestined thing though, and the cycle can be undone. We can be whoever we want to be in life. It’s in the way we live, the way we are and the way we treat other people.
In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?
Everywhere around the world women in particular are victims of violence of some form. We need to give people the right information, skills and opportunities to take action when women’s rights are violated or compromised. With music, there’s a way to reach people that you may not normally reach, I mean, everyone listens to music. Music can help end violence because the words and melodies can influence and challenge the soul.
What actions can music artistes take to help end violence against women?
Artists and performers should carry their strong anti -violent messages to the ears of the people who follow them… and word spreads like wildfire. You want all people to have access to this information. It affects all walks of life to different degrees. Musicians can help because they have an outlet that others don’t have, and when people hear music that they relate to, it confirms how they feel and gives them hope or brings some fight back in them. If you can create a song that brings a shot of vigour into the life of somebody who needs it, in my opinion, you’ve done your job.
The “Music For Pixels 2014” charity digital album is available from 1 April 2014 – 1 April 2015 as a companion to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign. The album features a selection of 12 positive and empowering songs from the campaign by artistes including Adam Web, AHMIR, AJ Rafael, Bob Sima, Courtney Jenae, Debbie Reifer, Delaney Gibson, Ellis, Macy Kate, Mary Sholz, Pete Ahonen, and Troy Horne.
The album is the perfect and affordable gift for music lovers and for celebrating special occasions such as birthdays and Mother’s Day. It is available for download worldwide via major online music retailers including iTunes and Amazon.com. 100% of the album proceeds will benefit The Pixel Project to help keep their anti-Violence Against Women campaigns, projects, and programmes running.