Doreen Lorenzo interviews entertainment legend Cher
Doreen Lorenzo, Director of The University of Texas Center for Integrated Design and a leader of global creative firms, interviewed Cher for Fast Company Co.Design. Cher discussed her motivation for pursuing many creative and humanitarian endeavors outside of music and shared her inspirations while evolving as an artist. Cher and Doreen were also co-keynote speakers for the 2016 Fast Company Innovation Festival, in a session entitled, “Being Human in the Age of the Algorithm.”
Cher spoke about the difficulty of being an artist and the importance of creating music that people want to hear, staying fresh, and avoiding boredom. Cher said, “I started out doing what everyone’s doing now—making a big show. I did that because I didn’t want to be bored.” In light of owing the government $270,000, Cher and Sonny began playing more shows at dive venues in which very few people showed up. The famous Sonny and Cher banter developed out of desperation–trying to make the band and the audience laugh during those performances. They learned and evolved their style of humor along the way.
Cher is passionate about humanitarian efforts and, instead of just writing a check, she is much more hands-on with projects. She has rebuilt an all-girls school in Ukunda, Kenya, that she actually helped design; students now have bathrooms, a kitchen, and access to medical care on campus. Cher has also brought her creative eye to social enterprise Vida, where she has designed a line of clothing that will feature her name. All profits will go to fund educational programs for the factory workers who make the clothes.
Elsewhere in the interview, Cher reflected on her adoption of Twitter and her love of emojis, which stems from her dyslexia. Encouraged by her ability to project her authentic self on Twitter, Cher has since amassed millions of followers and used the platform to bring awareness to social issues that she cares about.