Some Skaterboarders Went to India to Fight Human Trafficking. Here's What Happened.
The Sound team from left to right: Adam Nolan, Chris Weigele, Jordan Lovelis, Ryan Flecklin
When we last caught up with Jordan Lovelis, former pro skateboarder and co-founder of Sound clothing, he was preparing for a 10-day trip to India to pursue his company's humanitarian efforts in New Delhi. His cause, known as the Sound Movement, exposes the evils of human trafficking to young men using skateboarding as a conduit. Lovelis and his 10-man crew returned from the trip in late March, and after clearing away months of red tape, shared their story last Friday night at the Hurley Town Hall in Costa Mesa. The event not only recapped their journey, it touted music from experimental rockers Kiev, dreamy psych outfit The Gromble, and surf rock act Freckles.
The Town Hall bustled with people of all ages, wandering from the makeshift stage area to a wall lined with photographs of the group's trip to India. The Gromble jammed out for a lively audience, and just after the set, Lovelis spoke to the crowd. Composed and impassioned, he briefly described The Sound Movement's purpose and goals to onlookers before introducing a short film summarizing their accomplishments in India. After the film, Kiev gathered before the projection screen and tore into an hour-long set that was both groove-fueled and hypnotic. Front man Robert Brinkerhoff paused halfway through the performance to point out Sound's noble efforts, and asked that the crowd feel free to bid on photos during their set. While the vibe throughout the evening was upbeat, the conversation in the room was thoughtful and inquisitive -which is exactly what Lovelis and the bands had hoped for.
"You hope that when you make music, it's not only about community, but about giving you the ability to start dialogue; to create awareness about things that are important," Brinkerhoff said after his performance. "When we see these photos being sold and taken off the wall, you think 'Hell yeah!' People aren't just taking a piece of art home to hang on their wall. They're leaving with something that's going to give people a reason to talk about this. It's opening things up to people that they may not be completely aware of."
Prior to the awareness show, Lovelis, 24, shared that a large part of his latest trip was to renovate the skate park he helped build four years ago. The construction was a catalyst for drawing in the youth of New Delhi, who were very curious about his presence in the poverty stricken area. "We didn't make sense to [the kids], they couldn't figure out why we were there," Lovelis says. "They'd ask us why we would come all that way to work on a skate park. That question always prompted the conversation of what we hoped to accomplish, and what our message was."
During the show Lovelis took time to chat with anyone who had a question or a comment to share. In between running around he explained that The Sound Movment's message is about living life as a "sound" individual -which their merch and tag lines define as being free from moral defect; upright. He also shared that a new clothing line from Sound is in the works, as well as more humanitarian travels. According to Lovelis, if he can reach even one child, his mission is successful. Gauging by his latest effort in India and the turnout for the Town Hall show, The Sound Movement is capable reaching many more.
"Most of these kids were orphans, and they just needed to be loved on and have someone spend time with them," says Lovelis. "I'd tell them why human trafficking is a shock to me and why what's happening to women in their country isn't the way it has to be. We tried to give them the power to influence their friends and inspire them to understand they can change the future."
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