I never knew that one song could change my life. When I wrote the song “Love Is Louder” (in support of the movement started by actress Brittany Snow, MTV and The JED Foundation), I was just an inspired singer/songwriter who had to channel that through music. Little did I know that it would lead to taking my music into high schools and middle schools and speaking to thousands of young people about the message of love. Now, I'm leading the Love on the Road Tour in schools across the country, during which I get to use music, media and my personal school experience to encourage, motivate and inspire others.
A lot of people ask me if I was bullied as a kid. Why else would I care so much to write a song, plan a tour, and go into schools and talk to students about how love is louder than pain, fear, loneliness, bullying or anything else? One might think I've been through some rough times in my life and want to pay it forward now to a younger generation. I won't lie, I was bullied here and there, but it was never extreme and I actually felt very loved by the people around me while growing up. And that is why it tears at my heart to hear about kids who don't feel loved and want to end their lives because they feel alone and hopeless. I believe that everyone deserves to be loved and told that love is so much louder and bigger and stronger than the struggles and obstacles of our lives.
The Love on the Road Tour has already been to several schools in three different states and continues to grow. The reaction from kids at assemblies is always overwhelmingly positive because the assemblies are positive. I don't lecture or throw out stats about bullying. It's an upbeat, interactive concert, and a positive message combined with pop music and media from a young singer/songwriter is extremely fresh and rejuvenating.
Not only do students leave the assemblies all jazzed about loving others and singing “Love Is Louder,” but they are often touched by how deep this message resonates. On the slightest off chance that they are not connected to bullying (and I believe everyone is, in some way or another), they are reminded about how love covers all imperfections and no one is perfect, including themselves. That bit of comfort in the power of love has made my Facebook page explode with stories of hope from people of all ages. I recently got an email from two parents who told me about their daughter coming home after an assembly and proclaiming the message of love, which ended up being an encouragement for the whole family. Love is powerful and it can do wonders…
Which is why I'm staying open to the possibilities that lie ahead with Love on the Road. When I wrote this song, I certainly couldn't have predicted that I'd be doing all of this, and so I don't plan on predicting where it will be in six months or a year from now. I do know that it will live on and grow because all good things do. In the meantime, I will stop at nothing to get into as many schools as I can, and I hope others will join me in helping spread the love with music.
More about the Love Is Louder campaign: loveislouder.com
Download Cameron's single “Love Is Louder” for free: noisetrade.com/cameronernst
This article originally appeared on ASCAP.