From March 27 to March 31, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) hosted their 39th Annual Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. Their theme for this grand event was “Honoring Our Past, Driving Our Community Forward.” SaulPaul was amidst several professionals sharing their passion for technology, education and changing lives. Asked to speak about his experience and perform, he debuted the newly released mobile gaming app, SaulPaul: Dream in 3D (Available on iTunes and Google Play) to the audience.
The convention was filled with many different programs, events, and guest lecturers. Such events like a graduate school kick off luncheon, Teen Summit, celebrities fit challenge, and award ceremony, like the Torch Award. This year Torch Award was hosted by Nicole Lyons, who was the first African American female to Drag Race on a national level. The Torch Awards are to award the accomplishments of distinguished African American engineers and technical professionals with college bound dreams of pre-college students.
NSBE is the nation’s leading 501 (c) 3 non-profit, student-governed organization with more than 35,700 active members world-wide. The organization is dedicated to the academic and professional success of African-American engineering students and professionals.
NSBE’s Annual Convention recognizes excellence among technical professionals, corporate, government, and academic leaders, as well as university and pre-college students. There were over 9,000 students in attendance as well as 300 companies represented. SaulPaul enjoyed the conference and looks forward to meeting other NSBE members across the country on his upcoming annual national tour.
SaulPaul kicked off his summer in front of roughly fifty summer campers hailing from four different camps all associated with Austin Parks and Recreation. As they sat in the overcrowded room, they listened to the music, knowledge, and the inspirational story of SaulPaul. With his central theme revolving around leadership and what it takes to be a true leader, SaulPaul used personal examples to display his knowledge on the topic. He told the students that, “having confidence in oneself is the key to being a true leader because it allows you to stand above those who have to feel strong by making others feel weak.” After his talk, SaulPaul brought up to the microphone a few volunteers who helped to make a loop track layered with his guitar chords, a melody made by one of the counselors, and a beat made a middle school student named Terry. Once the song was laid out, SaulPaul made a freestyle rap using ten words dished out to him by the audience. The words varied from “nose” to “hope” to “platitudinous” to “leadership.” SaulPaul flowed from word to word and made a song, instrumentals and all, on the spot.
After he was done entertaining the large group of students, SaulPaul showed them his film, Tower to Tower that documents his journey from the ghetto of Houston to his life after graduating from UT. What the movie provided for the youth was a visual representation of both the bad and good parts of growing up. The film’s candid reality is its most powerful force because it allows the audience to see the truth behind how drugs, intolerance, and a lack of guidance can negatively influence a person. Luckily, SaulPaul was smart enough to change his life around after he was given a second chance—making him an especially authentic motivational speaker. After the movie was shown and SaulPaul discussed some of the underlying implications, the students seemed to have gained an understanding of the point that he was trying to make—that “being proud of an individual skill or talent should never come second to what you think other people expect of you.”
One last song titled, “#ShineRightNow,” was a sendoff note to the students inspiring them that they could do whatever they wanted and that now is the right time to embrace whatever it is they are good at. SaulPaul spent time after his performance to invite some of the campers who showed interest in music to his free summer camp, which is to start next Tuesday, June 12. The camp, which is a part of his “Dream in 3-D Project,” is meant provide an opportunity for students to find what their dreams are and figure out a way to pursue them.
I Can On Be Me by SaulPaul
This is one of my most requested songs when I do a live show.
I like it. People love it.
This is the strictly acoustic version. Just me, my guitar and my DJ.
That’s how the song was born.
Later I produced another version. Same song, just more musical.
I chose to add more instruments and a guest vocalist.
Check out that version on the player below: I Can Only Be Me by SaulPaul by SaulPaul
Featured in the Picture: SaulPaul, along with youth from the Lawrence Street Recreation Center in Marietta with Parks & Recreation Supervisor, Joel Mills. Over 150 youth from Marietta Parks & Recreation attended a special musical performance by SaulPaul, where he performed his hit song, “Do That Hula Hoop” and shared the impact of positive life choices and how he went from “Tower to Tower.”
The following is a interview that was conducted by the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange.
Video shot and edited by Clay Duda
t’s safe to say Adam “SaulPaul” Neal, 35, has come a long way since his youth growing up in “one of the worst ghettos in Houston.” Raised primarily by his grandmother, SaulPaul grew up without much supervision around a lethal mixture of drugs, violence and street life.
Prison was almost a family tradition. In fact, every male in his family had either been to prison or is currently serving time behind bars.
After landing an academic scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin, SaulPaul thought he had rewritten the family narrative. But within a few years he found himself on the receiving end of a ten year prison sentence.
“I went from the prestigious University of Texas at Austin to the despicable Texas Department of Criminal Justice,” he said.
After serving two years of a ten year sentence SaulPaul “miraculously” earned his freedom, worked his way back into the University of Texas, and regained his footing on his path of redemption.
Today he describes himself as a “Musician with a Message.” He travels the country to speak with at-risk youth and youth in general about everything from life skills to gang prevention.
His stylistic blend of hip-hop, street cred and guitar strumming offer common ground between him and much of the youth, but prison and music are a just a handful of the experiences behind his playful smirk and casual demeanor. He has authored a book, starred in an independent film, and in the process carved a unique career path – somewhere between “executive director” and “street tuff.”
“The audiences vary but the mission remains the same…Change the World. One life at a time.”
(Thank you to Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE). To view this article on the JJIE website, please visit http://jjie.org/saulpaul/15999)
Did you attend SXSW??? Did you miss the keynotes??? Well here you have it - 90 minute keynotes in 90 seconds or less. “Listen and Learn,” as featured at SXSW.com. We have made it easy to listen to SaulPaul’s audio recaps of the keynote presentations at South by Southwest 2011 and share with a frend. Presenters included Seth Priebatsch, “Chief Ninja” of SCVGR, Felicia Day, actress and producer from The Guild, Chris Poole, Founder of 4Chan and last but definitely not least, Blake Mycoskie, “Chief Shoe Giver” at Tom’s Shoes.
SaulPaul along with other prominent Texas artists, Tee Double and Ter’ell Shahid, shared sound advice and insight as artists with the Austin music community last night. Marc Fort from the TX Music Office moderated the discussion.
If so, you can win SaulPaul’s Shine Right Now contest and get the chance to win prizes and perform with SaulPaul.
Here is how you join and be a part of it:
Enter and win the Tower to Tower Essay Contest
Watch SaulPaul’s autobiographical movie Tower to Tower and write a 1 to 3 page essay about it. Topics can include but are not limited to: 1) What the film meant to you 2) What you learned from the film.
Enter and win the Dream in 3D Essay Contest
Read SaulPaul’s book Dream in 3D. His exciting book is about how YOU can help yourself and learn what you are great at and then get paid to do what you love. After reading the book, write an essay between 1 to 3 pages about what the book meant to you or what you learned from one or more of the chapters.
Enter and win the Do That Hula Hoop contest
Download SaulPaul’s song, Do That Hula Hoop from iTunes and choreograph a dance to it. Shoot the dance performance on your video camera, iPhone, flip phone, or computer/laptop camera. The video should be at least :45 seconds long. Upload the video to a video sharing website like Youtube or Vimeo and send us a link to the video. Videos will be displayed on TowerToTower.com and voted on by your friends, family and the general public. The final judgment will be made by SaulPaul and the staff of ReRoute Records.
Enter and win the Get Ya Mind Right remix contest
Post your request on our site and let us know you want to participate in the contest. We will email you the beat. Then you write and record a 16 bar verse about making good choices and being successful in life. Submissions will not be accepted that include profanity, violence or sexual references. Submissions may be submitted as a song or a video.
Enter and win the Do That Hula Hoop contest…
1) Download SaulPaul’s song, Do That Hula Hoop.
2) Choreograph a dance to it.
3) Shoot the dance performance on your video camera, iPhone, flip phone, or computer/laptop camera. The video should be at least :45 seconds long. Upload the video to a video sharing website like Youtube, Facebook, Vimeo or something and send us a link to the video at firstname.lastname@example.org.Be sure to put DO THAT HULA HOOP VIDEO in the subject line. Videos will be displayed on www.SaulPaul.com and voted on by your friends, family and the general public. The final judgment will be made by SaulPaul and the staff of ReRoute Records.
Deadline to enter varies depending on State.
Deadline for Georgia is March 1st, 2011.
Deadline for Texas is March 19th, 2011.
Deadline for Arkansas is April 15th, 2011.
Georgia 1st Place winners get to perform live on stage with SaulPaul at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, GA on March 22nd, 2011.
Texas 1st Place winners get to perform live on stage with SaulPaul at the annual Light of Hope event in Austin, TX on Saturday, April 8th, 2011.
Arkansas 1st place winners get to perform live on stage with SaulPaul at an event yet to be determined.