Sol Guy Interview Pt. 2

The remainder of the Sol Guy interview with TRAVIS can be viewed below. Sol Guy is the host of MTV’s 4REAL.The first part of the interview is available in print format available at the Fuse at Sheridan. Hope you enjoy.

Sol Guy in Peru with Cameron Diaz

Sol Guy in Peru with Cameron Diaz

Q: How powerful is the media in communicating a message such as “Hey Western world, let’s forget about Ms. Hilton and look at what’s going on over here in the Amazon or Peru?”

The Dalai Lama said the media is going to play a massive role in the shift of consciousness. All that I think he is saying is that change is upon us, change is constant and massive change comes in peaks of values and I believe we are at a point where we need a massive change, so the media has a huge influence. It’s the great distracter, the great agitator and the great influencer and the great activator all at the same time. Bill O’Reilly is going to keep being Bill O’Reilly. What I want to be able to do is spark dialogue. By doing this show it puts something out, gives something back, and also puts me in a space where I can have dialogue with a lot of people that I know are great influences on the planet. It’s happening. When I am able to get to meet people they get to know where I am coming from and our conversation starts in a certain place. That’s really cool, man. I like that I can have those conversations with those people; I’m very fortunate. It creates dialogue and I’m able to have that dialogue now that I desire. 

Q: Tell us, what is for real out there, Sol?

The truth, man. The truth is for real and the things that are not manufactured or are based in love. I had to believe at some point that there are only two emotions on the planet: love or fear. Your actions or life will engage in one of those two realms and I try to choose love every time. In choosing love you’re going to feel the fear. It’s not always the most popular choice. I think that love is for real. It’s a real emotion. As K’naan says, “It’s not soft, it’s hard. It’s the hardest thing to attain, it’s freedom when you’re detained.” It’s a very powerful thing, right. There are hundreds, thousands, millions of people around the world that are choosing to take that path and I celebrate them and they’re for real. The 4REAL community is a community that is inspired around the ideas of art, culture and social change, and that’s how we contribute collectively. 

Q: And for an obvious question: After quite literally traveling around the world from Peru to your own backyard in Vancouver, talking to inspirational leaders and figures, like Liberia’s President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, what’s been the most touching story for you?

Well, I was going to say the Vancouver stuff really floored me and every episode and everyone we met. I think for me, because I grew up in hip-hop and am really a hip-hop guy to the day I die, and I see the world through that culture and you can see the hip-hop in the approach in all of these shows. So therefore the MV Bill show really touched me. I really look up to him, man. I’ve rarely met a lot of people on the planet, save a couple of people – my father, or a Muhammad Ali –who I really look up to as inspirational people. MV Bill is a living, breathing example of that and the fact that he’s using what I love more than anything, hip-hop as his vehicle and using it in the most empowering, intelligent, sharp way is just phenomenal to me. First and foremost the guy’s a really dope rapper and that is so cool that all those opportunities came from him falling in love with Public Enemy and their message, and to be able to help spread his message… I’ve known the guy for going on six years and learning about him and getting to know him and him trusting me enough to help tell the story. Hooking up with Mos (Def) who I really look up to and admire for his decisions and putting the two of them together and them forming a relationship and continue it on and bringing MV to Toronto and meet my friends… and to sit on a panel with Chuck D (from Public Enemy) and inspire people, like wow, man it’s possible… And to think that this all just an idea that me and my bro Josh had… I like to look at it and say not “Look at what we did, but look at what we can do. Like look at what we can do.” I’m a music executive man, I used to rap, dance and produce, and then one day I wanted to try this TV thing. It was an idea six years ago, and in three weeks the show is going to be on the CW network next to Gossip Girl and it’s like, “Rock on! Good.” If you think that you cannot manifest anything on the planet then you are sorely mistaken and maybe more fearful than your own power. We create our reality, period. So figure out how you are contributing to your own reality and do your best to harness your own energy. It’s not an easy thing, but it is very much possible.

Q: So, 4REAL got signed for a second season. Firstly, I guess a deserved congratulations is warranted, but more importantly, can you give TRAVIS readers a scoop on what to expect.

Yeah, man. We want to go to a lot of places that we haven’t visited yet and we have some great guests, of course. Would love to be in the Middle East this year, love to be in India and Asia and back to Africa and Canada again and the United States again. Central and South America. We will see where it takes us. I’m just looking forward to digging in and finding new leaders to feature and everybody around the world and all of our broadcasters are super fired up now ‘cuz they say quote-unquote the show has been a success and now people are approaching it a little differently and they are coming at it in a different way. People are hopping on board from all over the world and we are very fortunate. And you can look for fun shows and big names and really wild places and most importantly phenomenal, inspiring leaders. There is no shortage of them out there, which is a really cool part of what we are able to do, man. We get a chance to keep featuring these people that are so awesome, so awesome.

Q: For the kids that are moved by such social movements, how can they get involved?

Yeah that’s the beauty of it, man. The best thing that we can do is create the space for people to stay connected and then get out of the way. The thing I encourage is for everyone to come to and sign up and create a little profile and talk about what you are doing in your community and meet like-minded people from around the world. We’ve got 2,000 people on there and its growing everyday… Whatever the ideas on how you want to get engaged we will facilitate the ways to reflect it back to what you are inspired by. Or maybe you just want to tell the community about your project. Whatever you are passionate about, bring that to and we’ll do our best to facilitate action. Inspiration to action, that’s what happens online and then take it offline to bring it to the school to kick it. Josh and I, we will have a good time. We will sit there and have some ideas and some exchange. The possibilities are only stunted by your own action and the ability to tap your passion. I don’t want to tell you how to do it, I just want to say come check what we are doing at our vibe and we will do our best to facilitate how you may want to hop in and if you don’t have it there then tell us and we will try to connect the dots for someone of somewhere else.

Q: As you finish the intro to the openings of every one of your shows, you say, “This is 4REAL!” Can you give us a send-off?

(Laughs) We are looking forward to coming to Sheridan and kicking it. The world keeps spinning and we got to keep pushing. We all have to do our part and we are privileged to do so. The greatest challenge and obstacle and perhaps defining aspect of our generation is to change what it means to he charitable or to be in service. To be in service is the highest ideal, let’s be in service to one another and lets do that from a love space, do that from a positive space and let’s have fun and throw the biggest party possible. If violence and ignorance and sexism and all these negative things can be cool then we can surely shift the tide and balance it out with intelligence, positivity and love. For me that’s the coolest stuff on the planet and we are throwing a little party over here, everyone is invited. Let’s make it happen and that, that’s 4REAL!

interview by ryanbolton, editor



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