By Alex Kantarelis
21 year old DJ and producer Justin 3LAU has been touring all over the country for the past couple of years, bringing his unique house-infused style to the masses (who, but the way, go absolutely crazy for him). But above and beyond being a prolific and sought-after entertainer, 3LAU is also a very pro-active philanthropist. Some musicians are selfish, money-hungry maniacs who have no problem stepping on everyone around them to get themselves to the top. 3LAU (pronounced “Blau”) is not one of those guys. In fact, he’s the farthest thing from it. He hooked up with Pencils of Promise, a foundation that is all about building schools and educating the children of the world, and helped raise funds to build a new school in Guatemala, and remains actively involved with the foundation, helping educate youth who, without the kind of assistance, would never have a chance of attending school.
3LAU is a Las Vegas native who was first exposed to house music in 2011 during a trip to Sweden when he witnessed the wonderful insanity first hand. He already had a musical background, and when he returned to the States, he decided that being a DJ was his calling and dedicated all of his time to working his craft. He describes his style as ever-changing and hard hitting: “It’s about moving through the set with different melodies and breakdowns that really keep things going fast,” he explained, adding that he is always learning new ways to get a crazy response from the crowd. “This A.D.D. culture of the internet and everything that exists goes really fast these days, sometimes I try to change things every minute.”
After his music started garnering him significant success, a lot of press, and slots on various tours, he decided to put his new found fame to good use. 3LAU helped raise $25,000 for Pencils of Promise (which now has 74 completed schools, 20 ongoing builds, and 12 upcoming builds), and they just broke ground on the new elementary school in Guatemala. “It’s a whole community building measure, not just about educating the young, but about making the entire community a better place through education,” he said. He’s not quite done, though. In December he will be on site in Guatemala, filming a documentary about the process of turning the idea of a school into an actual school.
For 3LAU, the money he raised was simply not enough, and for every show he currently plays while on tour, one dollar from each ticket sold goes straight to Pencils of Promise to help build the next school.
He is also donating all the proceeds from every single song he sells to the foundation. The music industry can be tough, and record labels are a necessary part of said industry. Those labels need to sell the music that artists make. “Artists don’t make that much money off music anyway. I steal so much music, and I hate selling it, I’d rather give it away for free. So the only way I can justify selling it is to donate the proceeds,” he said.
I think it’s easy to see that for 3LAU, it’s not about the money. It’s about things that are much, much more important. We tip our hats to you, 3LAU, you really are quite the dude.
Check out his music here: l3au.com.
And for more info on Pencils of Promise, including how to donate money, head to www.pencilsofpromise.org.