The Love Mob Is Saving the World With Group Sing-Alongs | West Coast Sound | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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The Love Mob Is Saving the World With Group Sing-Alongs

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Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 3:30 AM

click to enlarge Preston Smiles, Allison Kunath and Mustafa Shakir
  • Preston Smiles, Allison Kunath and Mustafa Shakir
Albert Einstein said, "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." The Beatles said, "All you need is love." The Love Mob, in essence, combines these two concepts.

The Los Angeles-based group performs a capella covers of classics. Their goal? Nothing short of creating a cultural/social/spiritual revolution, by facilitating organized acts of love. (No, not that kind you maniac.)

It comes down to this, say Love Mob founders Preston Smiles, Allison Kunath and Mustafa Shakir: Love makes everyone feel good. And therein lies the answers to our web of societal challenges: violence, greed, sadness, loneliness, etc. Happy Valentine's Day!

"There's already organized crime, why not organized love?" says Shakir. "This is about creating moments where people can see that they have more power than they think. That they don't just have to go into their bubbles and be a battery in a machine that they don't even like."

What they do is this: 1) Get a bunch of people together to sing a popular song about a positive emotion 2) Dance a bit 3) Feel good 4) Carry that good feeling out into the world.

"As a society, we're in this place where everyone feels like they need to do something, but they don't know where to go," says Smiles. (While Smiles is not his last name by birth, he is currently in the process of legally changing it). "The Love Mob gives people a place to go and to deal with that energy."

The group's first event was on December 15, at the Hollywood and Highland mall. There, on one of the biggest shopping days of the year, 500 people assembled, flash-mob style, and sang "All You Need is Love."

"If you've ever been to a rave when everyone's at that peak moment," Smiles says, "that was the feeling in the air that day." By chance, the event took place a day after the Sandy Hook shooting. "To have a moment," Smiles says, "to celebrate life as opposed to wallow in the sadness was cool, and beautiful."

The Love Mob received thousands of emails in response to the event. People wrote to express their gratitude and ask how they could organize their own Mob. The ripple effect was in motion.

"Thinking about everything that's going on in the world can be really overwhelming and disempowering," says Kunath. "What we do is create accessible opportunities for people to come and get a charge and re-evaluate how they're thinking in their everyday lives. That's the only place change begins."

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