Hear the Story Behind the 4th Annual Autism Rocks Concert (Exclusive)

Learn all about this weekend’s upcoming event in Hollywood, from founder Alex Lin and headlining act Single By Sunday

This Saturday, April 20, 2019, Universal CityWalk in Hollywood is being taken over by the 4th Annual Autism Rocks concert. The event, which is a fun way to raise awareness for the autism community, will be co-hosted by Autism Rocks founder, Alex Lin, and social media sensation Piper Rockelle. Many of the talent participating in this year’s event are on the autism spectrum, or are allies using their platforms to promote inclusion. At this concert, you can expect to hear from Single By Sunday, Dylan Bernard, The Miracle Project, and more artists!

Ahead of the concert, Celeb Secrets caught up with Alex Lin and headliners Single By Sunday to hear what they’re looking hoping to share with others this weekend. Catch our exclusive Q&A below.

Celeb Secrets: What are you looking forward to most about this year’s event?

Alex Lin: I am most looking forward to showcasing the amazing talents from the Autism Community because I want to show how capable and talented they are to the public. Thus, I’m super excited to host this concert again with my co-host Piper who is a YouTube sensation.

The thing I want people to get out of this event is that there should be more acceptance, love, and inclusion for those with Autism because they deserve to be treated with the same amount of respect as anyone without Autism. I hope they can also take an opportunity to really see these amazing performers with Autism blow their minds and take a step back to be more eager to not only help them but to tell others that they are awesome human beings that should be integrated into our society rather than being constantly ostracized or cast out by other just because of their neurological differences.

Just like our mission statement states, “Our mission is to de-stigmatize any stereotypes people have on the Autism community by filling the night with performances by musicians with Autism and by shedding a light on the bullying epidemic happening within the Autism Community.”

Single By Sunday: We are most looking forward to the party on stage and getting to celebrate some of the achievements of different people at different levels of the spectrum.

Celeb Secrets: What does it mean to you to be a part of this event?

Single By Sunday: It means a great deal to be invited to take part in an event like this. As a band, we take the platform that we have very seriously and if that means that we can lend our support to a cause like this then we are happy to do that.

Celeb Secrets: Why is it important to you to use your voice and platform to raise awareness for the autism community?

Alex Lin: I think it’s super important for a person like me to use this kind of platform and my voice to stand up for those with Autism because since I was younger I have been heavily bullied, mistreated, ostracized and cast out by many people in my life, so I hope others like me can avoid the same fate I had because they deserve to go through life trauma-free. I somehow feel an important obligation to help those like me because I learned from a young age that if you got mistreated or bullied, you must do something about it and I feel like society must have people like me to step up to the plate to do this type of activism in order to really make some dramatic changes so others can have a better future.”

Celeb Secrets: Why is it important to you to use your voice to foster inclusivity?

Single By Sunday: We believe that this is what music is all about; inclusivity. The art and practice of people coming together and being involved to enjoy beats, rhythms, songs, and verse.

As a young band, we all remember the feeling of wanting to be involved, to be a part of something. We think that all artists should try to ‘give something back’ by ‘paying forward’ the opportunities that music can sometimes afford them. It’s not just about being the center of attention, sometimes it’s just about bringing the attention to the center of that person’s world.’

Celeb Secrets: How do you feel about how the concert has grown over the years?

Alex Lin:Firstly, we have more sponsors in CTBC Bank USA who has kindly sponsored this concert for the past three years and Imperial Toys who have donated their glow sticks to this year’s concert. Secondly, the amount of performers from the spectrum that want to perform has increased because we have gotten more exposure from the last three concerts, and they see an opportunity to showcase themselves on a big platform to raise awareness for not only their own cause but for others like them. Thirdly, our team has grown exponentially from our producers like Peggy Iafrate and Ned Specktor, publicists, volunteers and other team members from the nonprofit who organizes it: Swag Squad Inc. Finally, I felt like this concert also helped me mature into the man I am today to continue to not give up until the work is done in order to make the lives of people with Autism exponentially better.”

Celeb Secrets: What do you hope guests take away from attending this year’s show?

Alex Lin:To quote a line from my script, “I hope you guys will take action to include or give an opportunity to the person sitting alone in the cafeteria or invite them to eat lunch with you and get to know them better because they might just need your help and support more than you could possibly know. People with autism might act or think differently, but that doesn’t mean they can’t joke with you, love you or be friends with you like anyone else. So forget those stereotypes that they can’t socialize because if you give them a chance, they will open up to you and be one of your greatest friends. So I hope you can have more patience, love, and understanding for them.”

Celeb Secrets: What do you hope to contribute to the cause with your work?

Single By Sunday: We hope to contribute a level of ‘pop sensibility’ with our work. Music can and does play a significant role in the lives of so many people at various ends of the spectrum and if by playing some songs we can encourage more people to get involved, then we’d be happy. It would be nice to think that we contributed to a special moment and a special day.

Written by Kristine Hope Kowalski

Kristine is a writer and celebrity entertainment news journalist with a specific obsession with Nickelodeon + Disney Channel shows, boy bands, K-Pop, Broadway, and international series dramas. If she's not writing or tucked away in a good book, she is most likely traveling the world and spamming her friends' Instagram feeds with photos from her adventures. Kristine has a BA in Comparative Literature from Rutgers University (2011), and an MA in Interdisciplinary Humanities and Social Thought from NYU (2013). She is currently pursuing her second Master's in Journalism at Harvard.