Krewella took a turn in front of the camera to speak with Officer Shafiq Abdussabu, from New Haven, Conn., in a powerful video as part of Billboard‘s coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
He told the artists how important it is for young people, ages 18 to 25, to vote not only in presidential elections, which already have historically low turnouts, but in municipal and state-level elections as well. He suggested young people take it a step further and run for municipal office. That way, young people can affect change within the system as well as applying pressure from outside.
Officer Abdussabu also spoke about the disaffection plaguing the nation’s youth and suggested the Yousaf sisters channel their power and join forces with other influential celebrities and musicians to organize toward action against gun violence, police brutality, or fair wages.
“Now you (would) have the artists all working together, you have more financial resources, you have more professionalism, you have more influence,” he says. “That one voice becomes magnanimous.”
“When I grew up, Marvin Gaye was also a civil rights leader. Jimi Hendrix was a civil rights leader,” he continues. “Almost every artist had that built into their every day life so you saw it on stage. We miss that now, it’s like you have to be one or the other, and I don’t think you have to choose.”
The sisters, who were raised Muslim, also asked the officer to explain what positivity he found in converting to Islam later in life. He expressed how the religion so often portrayed as violent helps him find an inner strength and peace to keep working in his field, to keep speaking on civil rights and social justices, and to keep inspiring his fellow Americans at any cost.
“This country belongs to nobody, it belongs to everybody,” he says. “Therefore it’s everybody’s responsibility to spread this message and make it work.”
Watch the full video below.