Climate change, sustainability and personal responsibility to be kind to our earth are all topics that music producer Sam Feldt holds near and dear to him. So near and dear that he took action and formed the Heartfeldt Foundation to address and promote an environmentally conscious lifestyle through event collaborations and recruited other music producers to become ambassadors. Heartfeldt uses the UN Sustainability Goals as a guideline for its mission and works off a "Give / Do / Inspire / Empower" model.
To date, Sam through Heartfeldt has held a beach clean up during Miami Music Week with artist GoldFish and Orca Sound Project, launched an eco-friendly phone case, partnered with Greenseat, a company that offsets CO2 emissions caused by flights and has an upcoming fundraiser called Heartfeldt Neon Jungle at ADE on October 19, 2019. He not only talks the talk but walks the walk as he inserted a plastic-free artist rider in his contracts and started driving an electric car for example.
In an interview with Magnetic, Feldt talks more in-depth about why he started the Heartfeldt Foundation, a new development of an online eco-friendly merchandise store and his latest track "Post Malone" feat Rani.
DS: How did you start the Heartfeldt Foundation?
SF: I started the Heartfeldt Foundation during last year's ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) after spending a full year focusing on making improvements in my own lifestyle and learning about sustainability. We launched it during ADE Green and over the last year we have been able to make a big impact by hosting sustainability-focused events (like a climate change-focused show at Coachella), spreading the word at conferences like WMC, ADE and IMS and by inspiring other artists and their fans to do the same.
DS: What were your inspirations and why were you compelled towards sustainability?
SF: My parents are both earth-loving hippies that raised me with sustainability in mind at every step of the way. About two years ago, I realized my lifestyle had drifted away from these ideals and I was one of the most polluting people on the planet. I was doing over 200 flights a year, eating a lot of meat and my shows were filled with plastic (both on stage and backstage) - a complete disaster. Shortly after, I posted a public New Years' resolution to my social media promising to find out how to do better and take my fans along for the journey.
DS: What are some recent projects and reoccurring projects of Heartfeldt?
SF: Over the past year, we've been primarily focused on getting the word out and setting the right example, by speaking at leading conferences and events like ADE, IMS, and WMC and showcasing what I am personally doing to live a more sustainable lifestyle. I've removed all plastics from my rider, started touring carbon-neutral by offsetting all flight pollution through projects in Uganda and traded in my polluting car for an electric one - for example. We also got fans involved, by cleaning up beaches together in Miami and by launching sustainable merchandise like a phone case that's completely made from recycled plastics.
DS: Elaborate on any upcoming projects with Heartfeldt?
SF: One of the main events we are focusing on right now is my Heartfeldt Neon Jungle party during Amsterdam Dance Event this year. It will be a donation-based fundraiser event of which all profits will directly benefit the Heartfeldt Foundation and its mission for a greener and healthier planet. People can't buy tickets - instead, they need to donate to the foundation to secure their entry. All DJ's play for free and on top of all that, the event is made completely carbon neutral with the help of the Climate Neutral Group. Around the event, we are also planning a big clean-up in Amsterdam in the afternoon where both fans and artists can get involved and take responsibility.
DS: Since 2018, which artists have you collaborated with for Heartfeldt?
SF: As I mentioned earlier in the article, we haven't started actively signing on new ambassadors for the foundation yet, since we are still laying down the groundworks for it. We have pledges from a couple of artists that want to get involved like Jay Hardway and Dutch actor Tim Douwsma and we will roll out a plan with them in 2020. We have done collab events with, for example GoldFish, combining forces to clean up a Miami beach together with our fans and rewarding them with a private concert.
DS: Will you be doing anything for the Amazonian fires?
SF: Yes, both personally, and through the Heartfeldt Foundation, I've donated to the Rainforest Trust to protect lands in the Amazon and hopefully make a difference. We've also raised awareness about the issue on social media through all available channels to hopefully inspire my fans and our followers to take action too.
DS: What is your take on deforestation issue and what are your global thoughts on the fires?
SF: I think in the case of the Amazonian fires, it is a political one. The main reason for the fires is deforestation to make land available for agricultural development (something the president of Brazil has incentivized), not taking into account the environmental disaster that it creates. It is also a societal problem: we are eating too much meat. Most of the agricultural development in the Amazon (and thus the reason for the fires) is to grow pastures for cattle for us to eat. If we can bring the global demand for meat down by consuming less, we can help solve the issue too.
DS: Congratulations on your one billion streams on Spotify? What was the most-streamed song?
SF: Right now it is "Show Me Love" still, but my new track "Post Malone" will be in a month or so.
DS: Can you speak more about where you're at in the development and launch of your eco-friendly merchandise line? What can we expect?
SF: We are currently in talks with multiple manufacturers to see what's the best fit and I'm working with my art director to find the best designs and products. Hope to be able to announce more around it soon! Aside from a merchandise collection, we will also work to sell eco-friendly Sam Feldt versions of products from other brands in the store.
DS: In achieving your initiative goal by 2021, what steps/plans do you have to reach that?
SF: Our main efforts right now are focused around three things: increasing awareness around the foundation and its vision through PR and talks, raising money (for example through the Heartfeldt Neon Jungle ADE event where all profits are donated to charity) and enlisting new ambassadors to the project.