Iranian singer Omid had known NBA player Metta World Peace for a while before he found that the New York Knicks player changed his name. When he did discover the meaning, he was moved to want to work with him. Metta World Peace shared the sentiment as he found that Omid was working on a song with Thomas Adler. entitled “We Are One” promoting peace and unity.
Already popular among the Iranian community with his efforts of peace, Omid is confident that with the projects they are working on that the community will embrace Metta even more.
Music and film director Alec Cartio, who is currently working on another project with Omid, sat down with Metta to discuss what he wants people to know about his message and his connection to all cultures.
Javanan: What inspired you to change your name to peace?
Metta World Peace: I decided that changing my name was necessary because things are happening in the world. I am from the neighborhood of Queens, which is a small area in New York City. I never experienced a lot of places outside of my neighborhood, but I read about things happening in the news. The same things that happen in the Middle East happen in Africa, and in Compton, and in Queens. The violence is the same all over so I wanted to be a voice for change.
Javanan: Do you want to expand your talks to other places outside the United States globally, maybe to refugees or the Middle East, Africa, and other countries?
Metta World Peace: It is hard to reach out to other countries. The organizations need relationships which take years to build. We are trying to do this so we can reach out to other countries. When these countries hear a voice other than a political voice, sometimes they will listen. People don’t like to hear political voices all the time, but when they hear a regular citizen’s voice with the popular version they like that. You need to bring yourself into the forefront to make a change.
Javanan: I noticed you are involved with music like “Project Urban Song” and “We Are One”, what do you like about these songs and what drew you to do this?
Metta World Peace: These songs make sense. I like all types of music, especially music that makes a difference and is inspirational. In this day and age, everyone is influenced by something, especially the kids. We need to influence the kids in a different way. The kids want to be inspired, but too many times they are influenced by negative things and violence. Whether it is someone in jail for life, a terrorist, a thief, or anyone who has done something bad. Once upon a time there was a baby, then they were molded and raised to be violent and taught to be how they become. I don’t think the people that are getting into trouble want to be in trouble, especially as a child. This is not what they want. We need more voices to speak out and help kids. It starts at the bottom when they are babies. We need to keep them positive.
Javanan: When you take the show on the road and promote your message, I would like to attend if you are in Los Angeles or New York.
Metta World Peace: I would love for you to come. I spoke at a show at the Hollywood Bowl. It was an Iranian show. I understand the different communities, the Mexicans, my own community of African Americans, Middle Easterners, and all other communities. It is necessary to know their needs.
Javanan: What is your specific message for the Iranian and Middle Eastern community? A majority of Iranians and Middle Easterners are your fans and love you.
Metta World Peace: The hard part for me is not being able to travel to the different places that have conflict. I want to go to North Korea, Iran, and other places. It is hard because I have to go through so many different things each time I try to go. It should not be like that, but because of basketball my fans are all over. But some of my fans are suffering, like in Mexico, Detroit, or the Middle East. I hate to see my fans suffer. I have fans all over the world and that makes me want to fight for my fans.
Javanan: You use your power for peace, people all over the world know you. You just moved to New York. Are you excited? How long will you stay there?
Metta World Peace:I am very excited because I am from Queens. I have been in Los Angeles for four years and did a lot of great things for the community. I did the name change there and it helped bring awareness. Now it is time to go back home.
Javanan: How can someone donate to your charity?
Metta World Peace: We love to do charitable things. Last time I raffled my ring and raised $780,000 for children causes awareness. Now we are trying to raise a million dollars for different projects in different communities. We want to start a fund for this. When we raffled my rings fans could buy a ticket for a dollar and someone won it. We will do the same type of thing again with different items or rewards. You can go to www.mettaworldpeace.com for updates.