Emerson Windy, an up and coming hip hop artist, is using his music to make change. Through his songs and new campaign, he's raising awareness about an issue he's passionate about – homelessness. In 2014, Emerson is taking his campaign #STOPHOMELESSNESS on the road, traveling to colleges across the country to speak about the cause and what can be done to help.
We recently caught up with him to get the scoop on his music, the new campaign and his passion for helping the homeless. Check out the interview below!
DoSomething.org: What inspired you to start the campaign #STOPHOMELESSNESS?
Emerson Windy: It's been a passion of mine to help others who had a tough go at helping themselves. I have my late mother to thank for that. Homelessness was something she made me aware of very early on in my childhood. She would always say, 'They're people too, don't just look through them. Let their hardships make you more grateful for what you have, son.' Ever since then, I wanted to see homelessness end. Now that I'm a public figure, my lifelong campaign to help others is just more visible now. It needed a name so I kept it simple and very to the point. #STOPHOMELESSNESS.
DS: What part does your music play in this campaign?
EW: Music makes it easier to spread any message. In my opinion, it's one of the greatest conductors of all things. I want my fans and the general public to see a normal guy that enjoys the same thing that they do; doing something for others just because he can. And so can they. Music gives me a platform, this is what I'm choosing to use it for at the moment.
DS: You’re going on tour to get college students involved in this campaign. What are you asking them to do and how can they get involved in the campaign? How can high school students get involved?
EW: First off, I'm embarking on this tour to get young, enlightened minds together to have a good time. But before I go I want to show them how they can get involved with local and national organizations that do great things for the less fortunate. I also want to make them aware of the little things that everyone can do to help people that costs not even a dime and no more than a couple of minutes of their time. Here's an example: Everyone eats fast food right? So you know when you get your receipt that you usually just throw away? Don't throw it away! Here's what you do...
- There's usually a number you can call to do some survey that only take a minute or two. Do the survey if it's says they will give you free food. Most of them do. Simply:
- Save the receipt
- Write the confirmation # on receipt
- Give the receipt to somebody in need. See? That costs you nothing and it's low mileage on your schedule.
Anybody can do that. High schooler, college graduate, blue/white collar worker, anybody...
DS: What's it like being an up and coming artist on the hip hip scene?
EW: It's a lot of hard work but I love what I do so I'm enjoying every moment of it. I could have a job I hate, but I don't so I'm blessed for that.
DS: How has your life changed since becoming a recording artist?
EW: Life has changed somewhat I'm sure, but I haven’t noticed as much as the someone else may have at this point. I have always been a people person with a dynamic personality so I'm just doing what I've always done.
DS: Is there one particularly inspiring story related to your campaign that you've heard or seen that sticks out in your mind?
EW: There are so many inspiring things that have come about, too many to list to be honest, but one of the biggest things that stands out to me is this; I was truly touched when I realized how much the young children cared about others. I'm talking about 5-10 years old. Their young impressionable minds are so pure and caring, so thoughtful and present to people's struggles when they are made aware of them. If we start with them, the world can change.
Watch Emerson's music video about homelessness below!
Learn about teen homelessness. GO