Artists As Limitless Changemakers

The following post is part of our ongoing content partnership with the team from Muddy Paw PR.

The creative path sometimes feels like a selfish and lonely road. Finding ways of using your talents to make a difference and give back to the community can truly be a positive shift. It was for me.

Several years ago, I came across an ad for a nonprofit event that was truly transformative. It was a screening of the documentary, Very Young Girls, about underage sex trafficking in our own backyard, the US of A. When the movie was over, everyone in the room was bawling or enraged. All of us wanted to get involved somehow. As an artist, I immediately started thinking about how I could raise awareness through my work.

Due to my background in film production, I decided to make a PSA. After researching for several months, I reached out to local organizations, the police department, and abolitionists to deepen my understanding. Upon completion, Channel Austin added the video to their rotation. I also screened it at one of the music showcases I put together as the Editor and Event Planner of The Deli Magazine. People were shocked and disturbed, the community was moved. They wanted to know more, including ways to get involved, so I referred them to local organizations working to fight against modern day slavery.

To be able to make a positive impact on the world with something I created was not only fulfilling, but also very motivational. It was a game changer for me as an artist and entrepreneur and something I work to incorporate into projects I take on moving forward. As long as you are authentic in the charitable work you align yourself with, the change you can make as an artist is limitless.


A worldly musical soul at heart, Oakland-based Charise Sowells – under the moniker of Lake Lady – is combining styles past and present to create a refreshingly modern new sound that holds your attention from start to finish. With influences ranging from the chilled-out trip hop of Massive Attack and Portishead to the blues stylings of Billie Holiday, Lake Lady is ready to take 2016 by storm with her brand new EP titled ‘Better Day’.

Co-produced with Midnite Tiger, Lake Lady’s ‘Better Day’ EP is set to release on March 25, 2016. At times haunting and always bursting with soul, these five songs see Sowells paying loving tribute to her influences while crafting a sound that is entirely her own. Check out the EP’s opening track, “Will Your Feelings Change” HERE.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.