Quite the promise! After visiting a school in Guatemala built with money from charity Pencils of Promise, DJ Justin “3LAU” Blau was inspired to raise $200,000 through his record label, BLUME, to build more schools around the world.
Pencils of Promise is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building schools, training teachers and funding scholarships to underserved communities. The charity has attracted attention from celebrities including Justin Bieber and Sophia Bush in the past, who have gone to Guatemala to build schools.
“The way BLUME works is every song that’s streamed — so far there have only been two, which have both been my songs ‘Is It Love’ and ‘Fire’ — raises about a half of a cent,” he explains to Us Weekly. “Which it doesn’t seem like that much, but when you multiply it by millions, and these songs are getting millions of plays, every million plays on Spotify raises about $4,000.”
Since hitting his goal, Blau is now committed to raising more money for Pencils of Promise before he starts expanding his fundraising to other charities. His next single, “You Want More” with YouTube star MAX, premieres on Friday, November 25, and plays on Spotify will continue to benefit PoP.
“Max is super stoked about the charity component as well,” the 25-year-old explains. “When he heard the idea, he was like, ‘I want to do this right now.’”
While the money has yet to be put to action, Blau is excited to figure that out.
“In the beginning of 2017, we can start releasing information on where the schools are going to be built, and potentially where we’ll do a trip with all the fans,” he says.
The DJ, who has shows on November 25 at Terminal 5 in NYC and November 26 at Hakkasan in Las Vegas that are part of his 3LAU Haus tour, has also been busy remixing songs by Krewella and Ariana Grande when he’s not busy working on his original pieces.
Blau’s inspiration for a recent remix of Grande’s “Into You” came quickly.
“In the case of Ariana, it was an idea that I was sitting on, and I was like, ‘Wait, these go together, and I love the Ariana vocal.’ So I literally put it together in a day, showed it to SIRIUS XM BPM, and they actually called the record label saying, ‘You have to approve this now, because we want to start playing it tomorrow,’” he explains. “It’s doing really well, it’s really exciting.”