Sanyika Street is a music producer/songwriter & Founder of the World Be Free Campaign. He has written for the likes of Nick Lachey/ 98 Degrees, artists From NBC’s The Voice and in many genres including Rock, Pop, Hip Hop & R&B. He is the co-producer of a 2015 campaign song, “World Be Free.” We think he’s a fearless dude, check it out-
Thelma & Louise: Tell us, what does your name translate to mean?
Sanyika: My name is Sanyika Mensa ADE Street. Its awesome having a name like that – I didn’t really think that as a young child but I definitely do now. For instance, when guys see my name in their phone randomly, they think it’s the name of a girl they met 3 months ago… so I get some of the strangest text messages EVER.
Thelma & Louise: So we shouldn’t call you Sandy?
Sanyika: Please don’t, lol
Thelma & Louise: lol…What do you like to be called?
Sanyika: San or Yika, is fine
Thelma & Louise: and it means?
Sanyika: Sanyika means Leader Of His People, my name is Nigerian in origin. I’m from Washington DC.
Thelma & Louise: You’re Hebrew name must be Moses then! I think its pretty exciting how you’re leading people into a new movement. Did you ever think as a young boy, you would be empowering others to sing against poverty in collective unison?
Sanyika: Oh my goodness no – Moses is flattering but obviously there are people doing great work on the ground in communities fighting poverty that are really leaders. They work in soup kitchens, homeless shelters and food banks. I embrace the privilege of highlighting those people and the work they do.
Only through serving others can we reach our full potential. As I’ve gotten older I’ve grown to understand what real servitude means. These are the types of people I’d like to serve.
Thelma & Louise: Please tell us a little bit about the organization you have started…
Sanyika: The name of our organization is the World Be Free Campaign, it’s a social impact organization whose mission is to unite people through music in order to serve and help fund charities fighting poverty. Our 2015 campaign is a world tour uniting the voices of 10,000 everyday people to create “The World’s Greatest Love Song.” Everyday people will be singing background vocals on our up-tempo anthem “World Be Free.”
Thelma & Louise: I understand every person who participates asks their friends and family to “sponsor” them to be in Flash Mob Concerts-
Sanyika: Exactly. We raise money similar to that of an Alzheimer’s walk or a cancer run. Whereas larger organizations ask participants to raise hundreds or maybe thousands to participate, we’re asking 10,000 everyday people to raise $50 per person. With us, there’s strength in numbers. The goal is to get everyday people to reach their network of support to raise $50 per person so they can “sing to fight poverty.”
Thelma & Louise: …Much like a runner would get sponsored to be in a marathon.
Thelma & Louise: And how do you empower folks to raise these funds? Can you tell us a little more about how these “Music Marathons” work so my friends know what to do to get me on a stage? (a regular habit)
Sanyika: Yes. We’re bringing one stage, to one city and partnering with one charity in each city. Our stage starts the day empty, while at a nearby location we organize a group of 500 or more people, to register, rehearse and suit up (world be free t-shirts, etc) then at the strike of noon, BOOM. We “MOB” over to one stage, with one song and one goal, to FIGHT GLOBAL POVERTY!
Our 10,000 participants (at least 500 in each city) will be empowered to do two things:
1.) Sing our 2015 campaign song, “World Be Free” and rock out to other songs including Boehemian Rhapsody, Happy/Get Lucky/, and One Love by Bob Marley at our concerts.
2.) And become servants of their communities.
Our goal is for 10,000 singers to become 10,000 servants. Changing the world starts by building strong communities. The community we’re building addresses those in the most need, those suffering from poverty. We hope that is enough motivation to get people to participate. Through our Flash Mob Concert Series World Tour, we’ll be raising over 1 million dollars in support of organizations fighting poverty in communities worldwide. Our kickoff event is on Saturday, March 28th in Santa Monica, California.
Thelma & Louise: This is blowing my mind right now!!And these Flash Mob Concerts are then filmed for online consumption, correct?
Sanyika: Yes. Imagine walking by an empty stage while you’re shopping, and then all of a sudden, 500 people show up and start singing the same song, at the same time. We think that’s gonna cause a bit of an uproar. We like uproar.
Thelma & Louise: Oh we don’t like uproar- WE LOVE IT. San, how many flash mobs are you scheduled to perform across the country
Sanyika: Our goal is to reach 10,000 people, so at a rate of 500 people per Flash Mob, we need to do 20 cities. But we’ll have a few cities with more than 500 people. Right now our primary focus is on number 1, Santa Monica, Ca.
Thelma & Louise: This is an exciting initiative. If people want to get involved and be part of your music video flash mob and dance with me- btw- cause I so want to be dancing my but off with you where can they sign up?
Sanyika: Thanks. We’ve put a lot of work into developing the idea into something real. If you like to sing,
Thelma & Louise: ahem…CHECK
Sanyika: ….if you want to change the world,
Thelma & Louise: Double check
Sanyika: …..if you want to be at the beginning of a global movement then you can sign up at WorldBeFree.Org for more info on our March 28th Flash mob Kickoff Concert.
Thelma & Louise: Damn We will!! San, can you tell us a little bit about what inspired this idea?
Sanyika: Failure inspired the idea.
Thelma & Louise: We fail all the time, actually you could say we’ve become professional at it.
Sanyika: Lol – Well the song our flash mob will be singing is called “World Be Free.” I named the song after a former NBA player named, Lloyd Bernard Free, who I used to watch play as a kid. He played in the NBA/ABA during the Dr. J days. They used to say he was “All World” so he changed his first name from “Lloyd” to “World” now making his name “World B. Free.” But my first real life failure was being awful at basketball. I was absolutely horrific!
Thelma & Louise: But you’re almost 7 Feet tall! How is that possible??
Sanyika: I just wasn’t born with it. I was so bad I blocked my own teammates shot twice IN THE SAME GAME!
Thelma & Louise: lol
Sanyika: But as i grew (now I’m 6’8″), I decided to work harder and get better. I’m a pretty good player now, I mean I can do a lil sumthin sumthin on the court. But I had to fail a bunch of times on the court to recognize that basketball was just destined to be a hobby, which helped me recognize my true passion, which became songwriting. Basketball inspired that path.
So I pulled from my basketball past for this song. It was Lloyd Bernard Free aka “World B. Free” that got me thinking “What would a free world look like-”
Thelma & Louise: So rather than becoming a basketball player, you decided to emulate your favorite player “World Be Free” by uniting All of the world- literally.
Sanyika: Ha, sort of.
Thelma & Louise: We think it takes a whole lot of guts to unite people – especially this many people. What would you like people to know about Mr.Sanyika Mensa ADE Street that might surprise us? I mean in terms of overcoming fear?
Sanyika: That I’d like to fail more- A lot more! I’d like to fail on an epic scale. In fact, I want to fail so many times and in so many ways that my failures need to be written in a book, because if I have failed that many times, in that many ways on that epic a scale, it means I’ve succeeded far more than anyone could ever imagine.
Thelma & Louise: Wow. Some would say they’d rather succeed on an epic scale. But you don’t mind failing-
Sanyika: You build the guts as you build the vision and the desire to want bigger and better for yourself, but it gets even bigger when you want success for others and that’s why my core philosophy, our core philosophy is- “Only through serving others can we reach our full potential.”
Thelma & Louise: That really takes guts. Who in your life inspired this willingness to attempt such large failure?
Sanyika: Darren Hardy for one… (publisher of Success magazine) I’ll tell you a quick story- I had just been handed a really big failure, I don’t remember what it was exactly, but I was probably working on music, and I’m sure it was relating to a song that didn’t get picked up that I had knew was gonna be a big hit. I was on a plane, and I was stirring in self-doubt and feeling like a loser- like I’m nothing. I had absolutely no money- and I’m sitting next to this guy and glance over, and he’s reading the Harvard Review entitled “The Failure Issue.” It was highlighting why failure was important, what it meant, and why we need more of it. I guess you could say, it was meant to be. I saw that at that EXACT moment I needed it.
More recently, I came across Daren Hardy’s speech about Super-achiever’s vs Overachievers, but having read that magazine on the plane, and having that as a foundation- together with hearing Darren Hardy speak on the subject- something just kicked in and I realized that I’m not failing enough.
Failure is not just ok, it’s necessary….its an absolute must. It doesn’t mean that we must embarrass ourselves. For example, when I am working out in the gym…when I can’t life another rep….we call that working out to failure. I am not embarrassed! It just means I couldn’t lift anymore. In that moment failure is success, because it means I’ll be stronger next time and I can lift more, do more, be more.
Thelma & Louise: So at the foundation of it all, it is about not living in shame and not allowing shame to dictate our next move in life.
Sanyika: Exactly…lift the shame from failure. Failure just means you couldn’t lift the weight- it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to next time. That’s why G-d created workout partners.
Thelma & Louise: I think we might have a great song in the works
Sanyika: great song indeed!
Thelma & Louise: Thanks so much for inspiring us with your new campaign!
Sanyika: The pleasure was all mine!
The World Be Free Campaign is a social impact organization that is setting out on a global mission to unite the voices of 10,000 everyday people to create “The World’s Greatest Love Song.” Through this campaign they plan to raise over 1 million dollars to support organizations that fight poverty in the US and worldwide. “We’ve walked to end Alzheimer’s and we’ve run to cure cancer NOW let’s sing to fight poverty.” For more info visit WorldBeFree.Org or to reach him directly email Hello@WorldBeFree.Org. Come dance with us, we’ll be there shakin our booty too!! Hey who wants to sponsor us?? Anyone- Anyone?
Love, Thelma & Louise