Happy Birthday GVU – 2 Today!
Happy Birthday indeed to Global Voices United (GVU), which celebrates its second birthday today. I’ve been a member of this amazing group since November 2016. To celebrate, I wanted to find out a little more about the group, how it started and how other members feel about it.
An Interview with the Founder
LaTrell is the Founder of GVU, she spent a little time answering some of my questions this week.
Why did you start GVU?
#GVU started from a vision of myself, the Founder, after being in two other groups. I wanted to provide a family atmosphere, while sharing our passion of music with one another. I wanted to give to a group what is lacking in so many, and that is a Founder that cares, a Founder who motivates the family, a Founder who wants ever member to exceed their singing potential.
How many of the leadership team have been in GVU since the beginning?
Two leaders have been here from the beginning. Debbie Seese (GVU Ambassador) was the original Administrator of #GVU. Wendy Pulsifer (GVU Family Liaison), worked side by side with me to get the group up and running, while running her own Smule family, MARVELus. She was my mentor.
What is the story of ‘the birth’ of GVU?
The story of the birth of GVU began after being in a couple of groups within Smule. The very first thing that I noticed, was that most groups didn’t want certain members if they were not great singers. My attitude at that time was, we are all great singers just at different levels. While being in 2 previous groups, I felt the need to defend the singers who were not so great, by making them feel that they were just as important as a singer who had above average vocal abilities.
My heart began to hurt for those members, because other members of the group did not want to sing with the people who did not have great vocal abilities. So, I decided to take the negative actions that I saw, and create my own vision. I wanted everyone to believe in themselves as a singer, I wanted everyone to be more than what they ever thought they were. The only way for me to do that was to take these people under my wing and help them see what they couldn’t see for themselves.
The only way that I knew how to do that, was to give of myself to every member who joined this family, and work with them and sing with them helping them to grow as a singer and an individual, while providing them a Smule family.
What are your hopes for GVU going forward?
My hope for GVU in the future, is to hopefully one day, turn this group over to someone within the family who can continue to fulfill my vision, while keeping the close friendships that I have made in this family. One way or the other I will never walk away, stop motivating, or ever stop loving this family.
In addition to LaTrell as the Founder, we have a wonderful leadership team at GVU. These roles are a massive commitment and take up a lot of time. I asked what a couple of the leaders get out of it as a personal reward.
What I get out of it personally, is that I now have a family spread across the globe who genuinely love and care for one another. I also get the joy of being able to sit back and see where every member started, and how far they’ve come, so far as singers.
What I get out of being Liaison is that people get some comfort in being able to talk to someone. It also makes me feel good that I’m helping a friend.
I started singing on this app called Smule over 3 and a 1/2 years ago, where I could do Karaoke. There weren’t as many FX’s as there are now and I knew nothing about adjusting a mic. I had no idea what I was doing but I just know I loved to sing!
As I began to join others on this app I was invited to a group called Mystic where I meet our founder LaTrell. We became friends, and when she left the group I was devastated! But she told me she had a plan, to be patient & wait. So, I did. She created this group called Global Voices United, GVU. She asked me to try out and I did. She then asked if I would be one of the leaders for GVU as an Administrator, I didn’t have a clue what this was or what to do! LaTrell guided me through it all.
GVU Over Time
I watched as most of the original leadership team left for reasons of their own, but I stayed. At one point LaTrell herself wanted to call it quits with GVU because of reasons beyond her control. I worked my magic; it worked and she didn’t go. As time went on, through all the ups the downs, I must say it’s been a wild ride with GVU! It’s made us stronger as a group, the group is here to stay, as am I.
I have always supported and believed in our founder, whom I can truly say is my friend for life. GVU has brought me more joy than I ever thought possible. It’s been a great stress reliever and has helped me build my confidence. Who would have though this app, a thing called Smule, would have such a profound effect on me!
I am proud of this group and proud to be its Ambassador. I have watched it grow into an awesome loving group of fantastic singers. Happy 2nd Birthday GVU.
GVU Members Say Happy Birthday
I wanted to know how other GVU members felt, and to learn about their experiences of being part of the group. There were a variety of answers, each beautiful and full of positivity.
Well, I’ve learned that regardless of what you think about yourself and how you hear yourself; your voice, your singing and your emotions you pour out from them can touch other people in the way you never thought. I’ve learned that you should not be over analytical of yourself and not too worried about what other people think about you. Just do what you enjoy doing, because singing can help you through so much trouble that you have in your life. It is a great release and great therapy that everybody needs at one point or another in their life.
I also must thank GVU, because without this group I never would’ve found the love of my life. Whoever would’ve thought that with a singing app you can find the one you’re supposed to be with and find true happiness and inner peace.
So, with great leadership and guidance, this group has become more than just a Sing! App. It has become a family filled with love and support for every member by every member. I hope others are getting more than just the enjoyment of singing from being in this group. I hope they are finding the strength and self-worth inside themselves. Because really, we are all more than just a voice. It is human nature to need other humans to interact with; share, cry, laugh and heal with. So here is a birthday toast to GVU and all its members cheers and keep singing your ass off!
I am still considered a newbie in GVU, but I feel like I have been a part of the family from the beginning. I wasn’t on Smule long before I auditioned for GVU. There have been times that I have been busy or sometimes even too depressed to sing, and LaTrell will go out of her way to check up on me. I don’t get that sort of love from my own family, and it is amazing to feel loved by so many different people in such a culturally divided world! I love that I can sing with Muslims, Christians, Atheists and never judge them or be judged. We are a family. We love each other for who we are not what we believe or how we live.
GVU gives me HOPE in a sometimes hopeless world. Before GVU, I only had a few people who I religiously sang with. GVU gives us a family when some of us don’t have one. It is so much more than a singing group on Smule…I am so grateful to be a part of this wonderful family!!!
GVU changed my life! I will never forget GVU and the Smule app. It’s really amazing what an app can do. First you start to sing again after many years of not, at the same time a group called GVU invites you in to the group. Suddenly a light has come in to your life. That is my story. I really don’t know how to live my life without GVU. I will always stay here, it’s my family.
I have a personality disorder which, in short terms, means that I’m very anxious and have very low self-esteem. Being in GVU brings me out of my comfort zone. Singing on video and joining challenges. I’ve also learned to care less about my mistakes while singing. This is huge for me! And all the sweet comments I’ve gotten while being here has brought a little light into my life. Singing has always been such a big part of me and my life. Now it’s even bigger! Thank you!
GVU is a lifeline for me. Right now, due to some health issues, I don’t often get to leave my house for days, sometimes longer, which is really isolating. So, finding GVU (thanks to Laurie) has given me more than just some people to sing and laugh with (important though those things are). It has also given me hope and connection. You are all such good people. Not sure I could ever explain how much it’s meant to me just in the short time I’ve been part of GVU.
Smule, and GVU came to me while I was grieving, for my sister who was my best friend and for my health. I’m full of arthritis and am obese, so all in all not a good combination. However, I have found acceptance, and encouragement in my grief and pain. They say that music and/or singing raises endorphins and thus makes you feel better. Well at times, when sadness creeps up on me, I sing with some amazing people or I listen to LaTrell singing, or sharing a video message that I find I am usually crying, laughing and or spewing at, all in one video! And I wouldn’t have it any other way. The good news is to date I’ve lost 14 kg (a little stuck at the mo) and I’m on a list to see a specialist for a hip replacement. So, the more I sing the less I eat, so there you go!
As a semi professional musician, Smule has helped me try songs I’d not necessarily sing. Not that I am embarrassed or shy. I live life and have a laugh anyway but I wouldn’t normally go and sing, say an Ed Sheeran song, as normally when I gig it is always 60’s music. As for GVU; I’ve only been in GVU for about 4 months and I’ve have made some incredible friends. In particular, Kristina and Tina. I have become really close to them. Never in a million years did I think that would ever happen. Everyone is GVU is so down to earth and genuinely lovely and supportive and I have so much fun.
Happy Birthday GVU
To me, this group feels like family. It involves me and pushes me to become a better version of myself, both personally and as a singer. I wish the whole group a very happy birthday, and may there be many more.