I had the pleasure to interview Matt Sorum, a Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Grammy, Ama, Billboard award 2 Time MTV award-winning musician from Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, The Cult and now Kings of Chaos. He is a philanthropist, activist and co/founder of Adopt the Arts a 501c3 Non- Profit for music and Art in k- 6 public schools in LAUSD
What is your “backstory”?
We started our charity 7 years ago and have been working within the public school system at K-6 getting music and art to kids in LAusd during the school day. We’ve done over 1 thousand guitar donations as well as other instruments like Keyboards, Drums and any other instruments the kids need.
We pay our teachers and have created a curriculum of modern music as well as classics and jazz to give our kids a well-rounded history of music and art.
We’ve done partnerships in Art with IFAW teaching kids about animals and the environment.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
Well, I was in Guns N Roses, there are so many stories, So you will have to read my book that comes out next year, HaHa
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Are you working on any meaningful non-profit projects?
Adopt the Art is my baby and a passion, after seeing the way our program changes these kids lives there’s no way I can stop. With my Partner Abby Berman we work daily trying to build and get to as many kids as possible.
I also am on the board of Dolphin Project with Ric Obarry a world renown environmentalist and activist and have traveled to the Cove in Taiji, Japan protesting the slaughter and capture of Dolphins for abusement parks worldwide.
I serve as US Ambassador to Animals Asia which works in Vietnam and China rescuing Moon Bear for horrific bear bile farms.
I serve an advisor to IFAW and have written letters to President Obama fighting the Ivory Trade and to ban ivory import in the US.
Wow! Can you tell me a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?
I’ve seen so many kids affected by our program, but many of our students have become songwriters and accomplished musicians. I am very proud of the honor choir The Changels who perform at events around Los Angeles.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
1)”Believe in yourself “ I truly believe that daydreaming isn’t a bad thing, and really a manifestation of your future and where you want to be in your life. Set your own stage
2) “Be the best you can be” Practice, Study, Learn. Take as much information as possible in your craft and be the best at it as possible.
3) “No doesn’t mean give up” No only means you need to work harder Hard work gets you there, keep going till you hear yes.
4)”Be professional and Kind” Always be on time, Be kind, Open minded and willing to try things. It’s not always easy but you will make friends with a great reputation.
5)”Live Life on Life’s Terms” Life will throw many curve balls but with dedication and perseverance, you will get everything in life that you want and desire.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, or I might be able to introduce you.
I’ve been so fortunate to meet so many great people through my life, but I am a huge fan of President Obama and having lunch with him would be spectacular. A perfect example of a man who stayed calm and collected through so much diversity and struggle. That’s a great lesson, “Say what you mean, But don’t say it mean “
Originally published at medium.com