With reporting by Ben Poster and Hinga Vonjo
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, people in and around Houston are rallying to help victims of the “devastating” flooding that has destroyed upwards of 30,000 homes. For some, that means donating money to relief efforts; for others, it means making people smile with simple acts of kindness. And for artists like Ron Bultongez, it means using his voice and the guitar on his back.
Bultongez is a 21-year-old musician from Plano, Texas, a city about 20 miles north of Dallas. He’s spent the past few days playing music at Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in downtown Dallas, which has been converted into a shelter for thousands of Hurricane Harvey evacuees. MTV News spoke to Bultongez outside the convention center on Thursday (August 31), where he explained why the power of music is needed now more than ever.
“I know what it’s like to hurt tremendously and I know what music can do for people in a position of pain,” he said.
Bultongez wants to plan a Hurricane Harvey benefit concert with fellow Texas-based musicians later this month, but for now, he’s bringing original songs like “I Believe in Me” directly to the people who he believes need it most.
“My hope for this song,” he said, “is that it helps people believe in themselves and it helps them get through their tough times.”