If organizing your day-to-day life seems daunting, imagine organizing the biggest music charity event in Georgia history. Meet Josh, who coordinated 1500 artists together for a 10-night, fundraising extravaganza called 500 Songs for Kids. The whole event benefits The Songs For Kids Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to connect the music industry with kids in need. He puts his blood, sweat, and tears to make this event awesome, and you shouldn't be afraid to break the world record of seeing all 500. So, yeah, fold those socks, pay your rent and support 500 Songs For Kids:
SCOUT: A pleasure to meet you Mr. Rifkind. How might the people of Atlanta know you?
JOSH: I founded Open Mic Madness in 2002, Songs For Kids Foundation in 2007, and for 7 years I managed a wonderful band, my favorite band, The Whigs.
SCOUT: Not too shabby. What’s the inspiration behind 500 Songs For Kids?
JOSH: It’s a big fundraiser for our Songs For Kids Foundation, which brings musicians to children’s hospitals and special needs kids camps.
SCOUT: Amazing, like seriously. Can you sum up the mission of 500 Songs For Kids in one sentence?
JOSH: It’s to raise funds for our foundation, helping us maintain and increase our programs that are having a huge impact with hospitalized children.
SCOUT: Word. So, this is your 4th year around the block. What's been your favorite performance thus far?
JOSH: Local artist Xylah, performing Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” in 2007. It was overwhelmingly electric and beautiful. Mute Math performing a Ray Charles song with Charles’ daughter. Every time Janelle Monae steps on the stage with us…..so.
SCOUT: So, yeah, I can only imagine. Is there another local group that inspires you?
JOSH: I like the Mixtape Atlanta girls because they have big hearts.
SCOUT: Takes one to know one. Since you are a vet of the music scene, what would you say is your favorite venue?
JOSH: If I don’t say Smith’s Olde Bar I might get a brick thrown at me over the next ten nights! Nevertheless, Smith’s is truly fantastic. They run a first class operation and always have my back.
SCOUT: I guess that was pretty obvious, huh? And even better now that they’re smoke-free! Where in ATL do you go to get new ideas or find inspiration?
JOSH: I love walking through aisles. Usually Target. I stare at the wide assortment of 18 gallon tubs I don’t need and wonder what I might put in them, should I ever need them. I have gotten some of my favorite ideas in aisles, which are even better for ideas than showers. And yes that’s lame, I definitely need a girlfriend.
SCOUT: You hear that, ladies? We got a bachelor in the house! So, with or without a lady companion, where do you go to unwind with a good drink and good company?
JOSH: I’ve never really gone out much, unless I’m working on something. I get antsy sitting on stools, drinking beer, people watching.
SCOUT: Mixing business with pleasure, very very nice. Got some Atlantans that inspire you?
JOSH: Sanjay Kothari, Justin Kerenyi, and Kendra Gurkin. They made my initial dream FAR better and they made it OUR reality.
Also Butch Walker, Drivin N Cryin, Angie Aparo, Arrested Development, Karen DeVault, Pam Hatcher….how much time do you have? I could go on and on….
SCOUT: I'm sure you could come up with quite the army. Let's get random-- tell me a fact or something people wouldn’t expect about you?
JOSH: I am constantly counting the number of people in front of me at the bank, post office, etc. And it just kills me when I realize I’ve counted wrong – there is always a tiny woman being camouflaged in the line by a tall huge dude.
SCOUT: What are you currently working on?
JOSH: Working on coordinating roughly 1500 musicians for 500 Songs For Kids, event logistics, starting to learn a dance routine I may attempt this week….. And coordinating the hundreds of hospital and special needs kids camps visits/programs we’re running this year for the kids.
SCOUT: Quite the undertaking, indeed. Finally, throw out a shameless plug of where people can get the goods.
JOSH: If you care about the children please come out and see us at 500 Songs For Kids at Smith’s Olde Bar, April 28 – May 7.
All the info here! www.songsforkidsfoundation.org