Music Stars Making A Social Impact: Why & How Łukasz LUC Rostkowski of Rebel Babel Ensemble Is…

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Music Stars Making A Social Impact: Why & How Łukasz LUC Rostkowski of Rebel Babel Ensemble Is Helping To Change Our World

Think Big, create a business plans, work not only hard but clever, find time to choose priorities, limit Your expectations.

As a part of our series about stars who are making an important social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing L.U.C.

L.U.C is the alias of Łukasz Rostkowski, a Polish manager, rapper and producer who works in Wrocław. He is the founder, vocalist and co-producer of musical project Kanał Audytywny, and currently works through his solo albums.

Thank you so much for joining us on this interview series. Can you share with us the backstory that led you to this career path?

I think it’s a pretty typical big bang story. I have always loved music and have been playing the guitar since I was young. But I never believed in myself. Cowardly, I took up law studies by the will of my parents. During my studies, in addition to the feeling of lost sense, several life failures accumulated (split with my woman, parents’ divorce, etc.), which made me look for help for myself. Lucky it’s Music not only the alcohol was the saving grace. One day when I was playing guitar and my friend was rapping, something just exploded in me and I decided to write my own rhymes. They were terrible, but I had some friends around who convinced me that it was cool, so I decided to develop it. I didn’t have anyone to produce beats for me, so I started learning music programs myself. Unfortunately, at that time there were no masterclasses or tutorials on youtube, so curses flew like bombs over Warsaw. My friends from the band i’ve started fell asleep around 2 am and I was producing till 6 am :). I wasn’t making any money from music, so I had to take a job at a law firm. But after working day I was still making music at night. I looked like a pale zombie with spongy eye sockets :). When I got my first bigger contract to make music for the theater, I took a risk and quit my job at the law firm. Since then, I live from making music and I don’t complain. The road to founding the international Rebel Babel Ensemble is of course much longer and more complicated.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Many stories here like fallen bitcoins. Here is one of many. Sometimes we push too hard or stray a lot. I remember when we had an accident on our way to one of the first concerts. Broken guitar and instruments, crushed car but all alive. We didn’t give up. Although the concert was in a few hours, we were looking for a bus and borrowed instruments just to play. When we arrived in the city there was not a single poster and only 1 person came to the club. We wondered what would happen if he wanted to go to the toilet during the concert. Should we stop? So we arranged that my girlfriend and her friend exit through the backstage and enter the gate separately, pretending they didn’t know each other. This is how we generated 3 people at the concert so that one fan wouldn’t feel stupid. After 10 minutes of playing, the power went out on stage. It was the pinnacle of embarrassment. The cost of this concert for us was around 5000$ and we have earned 50$.

Less funny but more educational one. in 2009 I received several awards for the album 39/89 Understanding Poland. Accidentally we have created a new genre of documentary music. To the composed film music, we scratched authentic, radio historical statements with DJ’s building an educational story about the history of Poland from the beginning of World War II to regaining independence after the fall of communism. This project was a great success, but then I was drawn a bit into politics and lot of judgement. I didn’t like it so I shut myself up by the lake and recorded a completely different album with my voice only, beatboxing and looping vocal parts. The whole album recorded with one voice without any instrument. Unfortunately, the beatbox culture turned out to be very niche in Poland, so from big concerts for thousands of people I started playing for a few guys like many years before. This project was a big failure for me and that’s how I perceived it for a long time. But it was thanks to him that I understood what my calling was. I left the stage sad often. I realized after a while that it was because I was playing alone — without other people. I realized how important it is for me to connect people and be on stage with them having also a lot of instruments and colors. Today, in Rebel Babel Ensemble, we brought together over 11,000 musicians. To this day, my favorite saying is — when God wants to send you a gift, he wraps it up in a problem. I love it. It helps me every day.

What would you advise a young person who wants to emulate your success?

Try, try and search. Take on many different tasks when young, listen to others, but have your own opinion, build a good team and then when you find what others praise us for and what we like to do, what can improve this world, give yourself fully to it and not let go.

Is there a person that made a profound impact on your life? Can you share a story?

I believe that when we do what we love, the world favors us. I have at least a few angels who have appeared in my life giving me a hand and being a huge support. I think a great inspiration is David Chapelle and the movie Blocparty — he was one of the many motivations for founding the Rebel Babel Ensemble. But there are so many others. Usually not only businessmen but visionaries, directors, artists and inventors.

How are you using your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting causes you’re working on right now?

Yes, that’s a very important and good question. Of course, I love making music, but it’s very important to me that something more comes out of it. To feel the increasing amount of positive energy on the world and also taking care about the Earth in ecological meaning. The concept of our open orchestra was based on this. We invite local musicians wherever we play. We invite local orchestras — sometimes even kids from very small towns, who suddenly have a chance to play on the biggest stages with big names. What I see in the eyes of these hundreds of young people, this joy, motivation is an amazing steam. This is how we want to drive the locomotive of happiness and joy of this planet. We also organize workshops do education, etc. But the most important thing is joy and building a sense of community and responsibility for the Planet. We play many eco-acoustic concerts without electricity.

Can you share with us a story behind why you chose to take up this particular cause?

I think it comes from karma. Once someone helped me and gave me such joy. So I worked for a long time to build this machine that creates mass joy and help young people to develop. When other musicians and students play with us, they often get the opportunity to meet other musicians, soloists, often with great positions and possibilities. This is how we create a chance for them to further develop cooperation and wings spreading. It’s a matter of karma.

Can you share with us a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?

Once, after a small concert, one girl grabbed my hand tightly and with a great emotion, sincerity, straight to my face told me that my music saved her life. It turned out that she had many suicide attempts and in third hospital someone told her about my music. My music helped her in therapy. I never thought that music could save someone’s life. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my entire life.

Are there three things or are there things that individuals, society, or the government can do to support you in this effort?

I have this American attitude 🙂 I rather wonder what I can do myself. But of course, even simple kind words of support and praise are sometimes a vital wind that can blow a huge fire. Certainly also grant programs that allow f.e. our orchestra to develop. It would be great if more wealthy private companies would also spend their earnings on culture and supporting various artists. Art is blessing.

Why do you think music in particular has the power to create social change and create a positive impact on humanity?

Because it is the international language of dialogue, art is sensitivity and sensitivity is peace, love, community and empathy. What more do we need today?

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started”?

Think Big, create a business plans, work not only hard but clever, find time to choose priorities, limit Your expectations.

You’re a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

It’s Rebel Babel Ensemble! It is not only orchestra — it is a movement!

We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Omg there are so many amazing people in the world. I’ve mention Dave Chapelle but also i’m so much inspired by Labrinth, Robert Zemeckis, The Roots, Robert Glasper, Herbie Hanckok, Anderson Paak, Kamasi Washington, Clint Mansell, Daniel Pemberton, Philip Glass, James Newton Howard, Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Peter Jackson and hundrets more!

Thank you so much for these amazing insights. This was so inspiring, and we wish you continued success!

Thank You.

Music Stars Making A Social Impact: Why & How Łukasz LUC Rostkowski of Rebel Babel Ensemble Is… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.