Q&A with multi-talented artist Sir Rod Patterson, "A Man On A Mission" motivational speaking force to be reckoned with

"That is my hope and dream is we can bring people together with our music."

Sir Rod Patterson: A Man On A Mission

Sir Rod Patterson is a driven multi-talented man has his eye on the prize and more importantly a solid master plan on the verge of becoming a dream come true that will make Sir Rod Patterson a motivational speaking force to be reckoned with. There is no man more fitting of the description “A Man On A Mission” than Roderick Patterson, aka Sir Rod. His positive outlook has awarded him tremendous success for many years. As a resident of Atlanta, GA, he has founded several organizations, such as the Sounds of Knowledge, a school-touring company that visited local and regional schools, delivering positive messages to youth through the medium of music. Previously, Sir Rod headed one of the country’s largest school assembly companies, Diversity Showcase Assemblies, where he spearheaded efforts that touched more than a million children across the nation. He has also worked as an art director for So-So Def Recordings, as well as Georgia Perimeter College. As an entertainer, artist, motivational speaker and a new author, he believes his life to be a positive example to others, especially, young people.

Sir Rod, recently, founded Don’t Bully, Inc., which is a non-profit company that operates as a community organization dedicated to empowering underserved children and communities by delivering anti-bullying and anti-drug educational assembly programs. Sir Rod is member of Sir Rod and the Blues Doctors (with Adam Gussow and Alan Gross) offer a powerful mix  of down-home blues, old-school soul, and uptown funk. 

Interview by Michael Limnios

How has the Afro-American music influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

I had no interest in music at all until about the age of 12. That all changed after I went to a Jackson 5 concert in 1978. I’ve been hooked ever since. Music has taken me literally around the world. Even in my motivational speaking career I use music to set myself apart from other speakers. As far as my views I know the power of music. I’ve seen it firsthand working with youth and singing to the elderly in nursing homes. I’ve seen music bring dementia patients back to life during my performances.

How started the thought of Sounds of Knowledge? What is the hardest part of this project?

Sounds of Knowledge is a school touring company. Delivering positive messages to K-12 Schools mostly in the southeastern United States. We have expanded into nursing homes and independent living facilities to providing nurturing artists and music therapy.

What characterize your mission and philosophy? Do you have a dream project you'd most like to accomplish?

My personal mission is to be a blessing not a curse to people. I am a typical Aquarian I love people. My dream project is to reach millions of students across the world to be a part of a Big event called Knowledge Fest. Knowledge Fest will be a festival of positive knowledge and music.

"I am very optimistic about the future. I have been privileged to work with the youth and I realize that there is new spirit in them a spirit that isn’t racist and none discriminatory… or any of the hang-ups from our older generation… LOVE IT!!! I am a Christian by faith, and I know that ultimately the Good Guys Win!!! So, no Worries Only Love!" (Photo: Sir Rod Peterson)

What touched (emotionally) you and started the anti-bullying and anti-drug educational assembly programs?

Every time I see or hear a news story about an 8,9,10…11 yrs old etc. committing suicide because of bullying in school… it just breaks my heart.  On the subject of Drugs, I ask students to stay away from not just illegal drugs but legal drugs cigarettes, alcohol, and someone else prescription pills. I also let them know I lost my mother to cigarettes and cancer.

As part owner of my first school touring company (Diversity Showcase Assemblies … DSA) 2001-2004. I was in charge of checking the company email, but the one day that I didn't, a life-altering email came through that I did not get the opportunity to read and the results was devastating.

“You see at first when our company started, we were getting around 20 emails a day, but as we grew, we began to get 100’s emails a day. I couldn't check all of them, but one of those emails were from a girl who was contemplating suicide, and come to find out later on, she did end her life. That has always remained in my mind because I always felt that was my responsibility and so I have just been on a quest. I know about the one that I lost, I don't know how many I have saved and that fuels me to keep going." Bullying is very real.

What do you think the major changes will be in the future of the world? what are your hopes and fears for the future?

I am very optimistic about the future. I have been privileged to work with the youth and I realize that there is new spirit in them a spirit that isn’t racist and none discriminatory… or any of the hang-ups from our older generation… LOVE IT!!! I am a Christian by faith, and I know that ultimately the Good Guys Win!!! So, no Worries Only Love!

"I had no interest in music at all until about the age of 12. That all changed after I went to a Jackson 5 concert in 1978. I’ve been hooked ever since. Music has taken me literally around the world. Even in my motivational speaking career I use music to set myself apart from other speakers. As far as my views I know the power of music. I’ve seen it firsthand working with youth and singing to the elderly in nursing homes. I’ve seen music bring dementia patients back to life during my performances." (Photo: Sir Rod)

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experiences in the schools?

That people are by nature 99.9% good. Kids have to be taught to Hate or to Bully they are not standard issue. No matter whether I’m in the deep woods of Mississippi or the hard-inner city hoods of Washington DC… I’ll get hugs from young kids. They really don’t see color. Bullying is usually starts at a Child's home or they just simply don’t know it’s bad to treat someone a certain way.

What do you love most working with the kids?

I love kids honestly. Kids have known problem letting you know how they feel or think… it helped me to become a much better performer and motivational speaker.

What is the impact of music on the socio-cultural implications? How do you want it to affect people?

As part of the Blues Trio (Sir Rod & The Blues Doctors) our first album is named COME TOGETHER.

That is my hope and dream is we can bring people together with our music. Entertainment and purpose Coming Together. The effect on people and the world is Coming Together.

Sir Rod Petterson - Home

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