Singer/songwriter and all-around cutie Charlie Puth is using his fame for good by signing onto CustomInk’s “Be Good to Each Other Campaign” in honor of National Bullying Prevention Month. The campaign seeks to raise awareness about bullying prevention and to encourage people to be kind, accepting and inclusive of others. Charlie and other celebs have joined together in support of the cause, and he even designed his own limited-edition tee shirt to raise funds for this special project. Check out our interview with Charlie below as he explains why being part of “Be Good to Each Other” was a must for him!
Justine Magazine: Tell us about CustomInk’s “Be Good to Each Other” campaign and what inspired you to participate in it.
Charlie Puth: I’ll start by saying the phrase “be good to each other” really hit home for me because when I used to live at home in New Jersey, that phrase should have been spread out to a lot more people. I wasn’t really getting the warmest feeling from people, and I wish I had the confidence I have now so that at that time I could have really expressed what I wanted to express. So signing onto a campaign like this where they’re encouraging people to be unique, which is on the shirt I designed (it says “Be unique” and the words are all upside down) even that is something that I wish I had the confidence to say back then when I was being verbally hurt and even harassed at some times. It’s been a blessing in disguise because I have an even bigger platform now and I can spread the word to millions of people instead of just a couple thousand.
JM: We’ve all heard about bullying our entire lives but sometimes we forget to discuss what even constitutes bullying. How would you define it?
CP: Bullying can be anything from something physical to something verbal, like a snarky remark even. The smallest of remarks can hit somebody and affect them mentally so much that you don’t even know how it affects that person. Also, anything like a snide comment or anything that’s ignorant and you don’t know enough about, but you’re making a snarky remark about it. In my opinion, that’s what bullying could be. I tried not to let it bother me, not let it affect me in any way—just let it happen if it did happen, and take that negative energy and turn it into positive energy.
JM: Do you think that your own personal experiences with bullying, as either the victim or the bystander, helped prepare you for the music industry and the platform you have now?
CP: It definitely gave me a strong callous for sure. There’s a lot of non-genuineness in this industry, but at the same time there’s some of the best people in the world who are working in this industry. You just surround yourself with those people.
JM: If you could get inside a bully’s head and make them realize one thing, what would it be?
CP: I would want them to know that it’s okay to let people know what’s going on. You don’t have to put up this barrier; if you’re open with people, people are going to listen. And as crazy as it sounds and as crazy as this world sometimes is, everybody wants each other’s well being to be as strong and positive as possible, even though it may seem otherwise. I used to deal with this kid who verbally beat me up all day and it was so annoying. I finally knew after high school that he was going through some rough times at home. If he had just told me, if he would have brought that up with me at the time, I would have compared it to my experience and maybe even invited him over. That’s the type of person that I am; that’s the type of vibe I’m trying to spread verbally to myself and throughout my music.
JM: What else can you tell us about the campaign with CustomInk or your tee shirt design?
CP: I’m just very happy to be a part of this campaign, and I’m very happy that there’s a type of campaign about bullying prevention. Even the words anti-bullying… you don’t want to out those people, you want to rehabilitate them and get to the core of people. It’s kind of how I wrote “See You Again” and brought out the emotions of people. With that song people were showcasing that they could cry. It’s cool to be emotional; it’s cool to be open with people.
For more about the bullying prevention campaign and to purchase limited-edition tee shirts designed by your fave celebs, click here!