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Shining a Bright Light on Local Charities

  • Welsh electro-pop musician Bright Light Bright Light aka Rod Thomas, recently became an ambassador for Localgiving.

    It has been an exciting and hectic few months for Rod including an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, a support slot for Take That and the release of his third album, Choreography.

    While in London, Rod swung by for a chat.

    During our conversation Rod explained why he feels so passionately about grassroots charities, how his friendship with Elton John has influenced his desire to ‘give back’ and his experience of growing up in South Wales as a young artist.

    Can you sum your incredible year up in 3 words?

    “Amazing, Brilliant and Exhausting”

    What makes you so passionate about grassroots charities and community groups?

    “It’s really cool to be involved in something that isn’t just music based – as well as music based.

    Getting involved with Localgiving is really nice because you get to think about the real world outside of music which is a really refreshing change.

    Nobody knows what a community needs more than the people within that community, so grassroots charities are very important. It is people addressing specific needs within a specific location and trying to improve things from the bottom up

    When I was growing up I didn’t feel connected to places like London or New York or even really Britain generally because it felt like such a small part of the world. It was south Wales and a lot of the talk of what was happening in culture or education or finance was very localised. So I think that having charities that really focus on localised operations and localised problems is important”.

    You  are friends with Elton John, one of Music’s leading philanthropists. How has he influenced you?

    “It is really inspiring seeing someone who is one of the busiest musicians in the world and one of the most successful musicians in the world also finding as much time as he possibly can to raise awareness and raise money for charities. I think this is so incredible and I think that’s something that very very few people make the time to do when potentially they’ve got a platform to do that.”

    If you could set up a charity in your home town of Neath what would it do?

    “It would probably be something quite arts based, particularly focussing on business skills. When I was growing up people weren’t really taught about ways they could make the arts into a sustainable career or even an option.

    I always thought that music would be alongside a job and be a labour of love. I think being taught younger about how to make long-term plans would really help a lot of people to have a feeling that there is support and possibility for their ambitions because a lot of talent goes to waste because people just don’t know how to translate that talent into success.”

    Why should people support local charities?

    “Whether you like it or not you are always thinking about your locale and your neighbourhood, you town, your city, your friends… or at least you should be.

    So whatever you can do to support people within that immediate network is really important Localgiving is an excellent opportunity to do something small that makes a big difference!”

    Find out more about Bright Light Bright Light, including his music and his work with Localgiving by following him on twitter @Brightlightx2 and facebook. 

    And why not take this opportunity to find a charity near you?