We may all dream of being famous one day, but not all of us dream of doing it to help people. That’s the message that Justin Boreta of The Glitch Mob shares with us after his trip to Ethiopia with water filtration startup Soma and Charity: Water. Working with the charity organization and SOMA to bring clean water to villages in the East African country, Boreta’s experience inspired the creation of his new African inspired EDM track. As one of the most popular electronic music groups in the L.A. scene, The Glitch Mob is most known for their singles “We Can Make The World Stop” and “Fortune Days” from over the years which have made The Glitch Mob a household name to electronica fans everywhere.
The best entrepreneurs use their ideas to better the world by providing education, food, and clean water to those that don’t have access to the most basic resources. Justin Boreta reminds us of one of the best points for why you should be an entrepreneur- to help the world with our ideas, whether that’s through awareness, technology, or outlets like music. We got the chance to talk to Justin over email where he shares his experience in Ethiopia and the inspiration he found for his new track “Honey Heart.”
Tell us about what made you want to work with SOMA and go to Africa. Who reached out to who?
I was in the studio in April working on the Glitch Mob album when Mike (the CEO of Soma) reached out to me. I wasn’t planning on taking such a big trip in the middle of such a big project, but after talking to Mike I knew that I needed to do this. I’ve been a Charity Water supporter for a long time and had donated by birthday to them in 2012. I was also a supporter of the Soma kickstarter project, so it was a perfect match.
What was it like working with SOMA and Charity Water?
It was a complete blast. They all have something really special going on. The drive, the attention to detail, the vision is pretty crazy. These guys are having some serious positive impact on the world, and I am honored to have seen it with my own eyes.
We all imagine that Ethiopia is a really rough place to survive. What were some of the most shocking things you witnessed?
The most difficult thing I saw was in the villages that don’t have clean water yet. We take having unlimited, clean water here in the west for granted. It’s pretty crazy to see people living off of contaminated water. It really makes you stop and think, and want to do something about it.
Artists are much like entrepreneurs in that they provide specific talents and skills and market themselves to achieve success and consequentially fame. What would you say was your ultimate goal in being successful in music?
To me, music is a medium of connection. Whether it’s lifting someone up who’s had a bad day, having a song to fall in love to, or helping bring about change in the world. It’s a universal language that can send a very powerful message and have a lasting impact on people’s lives.
Was there a specific event or any foreign cultural influences that inspired your new single?
The song is a diary piece of how I was feeling at the time. I was blown away with how positive, insightful and triumphant the Ethiopian people are.
Also, the musicians who invited me to play with them in their village were amazing. Even though I couldn’t play their drums for the life of me, I tried to keep up with them. and we all had a good laugh. Poor drumming is universally a funny thing to witness.
Tell us a little about your process of taking something like providing clean water to Ethiopian villagers and turning it into music that pop-culture can embrace. What do you look at to combine the two into something successful?
I see the energy that music creates as a force that can be utilized to create change in the world. There’s nothing wrong with having fun at a concert and rocking out with your friends, but when you can help someone else in the mean time that’s magic.
Obviously you had a very unique inspiration for your single. What is the difference in style and meaning between this single and your previous music?
The focus of this song was the feeling I was trying to get across – the emotion, the vibe, the texture. The goal of the song was not necessarily to make something to have heavy live energy, or to focus on the sounds themselves. I didn’t chop this song up as I normally would have, so that it could breathe more.
What message would you give to your fans about your experience?
Thank you for listening and participating in this project and believing in us – none of this would be possible without the you.
Find out more about Justin’s work with SOMA and Charity : Water here.
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