A Summer with Alma Desnuda/Naked Souls
by Shanif Sims
This past summer I had a marketing and business development internship with the international touring band, Alma Desnuda, Spanish for “Naked Soul.” Alma Desnuda’s mission is to create an experience that allows its listeners to recognize the deeper level of our existence. They want their music to awaken humanity and build community in a way that creates abundance for themselves and all those they come in contact with.
Additionally, philanthropy is a key strategy to the their business practice. They have raised thousands of dollars for various non-profits and foundations, and on each tour they schedule time to visit organizations and institutions such as the Boys and Girls Club, under-resourced schools, orphanages, and senior living facilities.
During my internship, I travelled cross-country with the band and their crew. There were twelve of us total and we each had a different role– a tour manager, health and wellness coordinator, a photographer/videographer, a social media specialist and a booking agent. Some of the crew worked with the band full time while others, like myself, were brought on for the summer to promote their recently released sophomore album, Riders. Being in this type of environment gave me the opportunity to have a deeper respect for sacrifice and community. Twelve individuals, each with their own unique personalities, each with their own specific wants and needs, egos small and large, diverse backgrounds, and varying moral compasses living together on a limited budget in an old-school tour bus concocts an intense cocktail of challenging emotions that often had me questioning my purpose for taking such a non-traditional internship and living in such extreme and taxing conditions.
The answer, however, was always the same and it trumped doubt and fear every time. I wanted an internship that would give me experience in the private sector and I wanted an experience where I could gain direct hands-on marketing experience. While Alma Desnuda gave me that opportunity, my decision to work with them went deeper than that. I am committed to being an agent of change and I chose this experience with Alma Desnuda in particular because my core values and that of the band’s are directly aligned. I believe that struggle and suffering is the only path to the spiritual shift in consciousness I hope to sustain for myself. Alma Desnuda has a goal to help bring that same shift in consciousness to those who come in contact with them through their music. I wanted to work with this band because I saw the potential of how beautiful our world could be were we all to live with “naked souls.” This journey gave me a vehicle to take part in realizing that potential. The daily triumph that came with the daily sacrifice on this tour allowed the entire crew to persevere on the rugged path to aliveness.
“I believe that struggle and suffering is the only path to a spiritual shift in consciousness.”
Alma Desnuda is a group of people with a fierce desire to spread love through their music, and I felt it every time they performed. With every show, I was moved to recommit myself to their mission and have more motivation and drive to succeed at my internship. Seeing such a dedicated and driven group of people using their passion to mobilize others towards a greater good made it important to me to hit the ground running and add as much value to this band as I could in the little time that I had. The Alma Desnuda community inspires me and I am humbled by the sacrifices that everyone living on the tour bus made because they believe in the mission of this band. While on tour, I witnessed the power of community and the power of change that comes with intention and dedication.
From this internship I gained experience in media proliferation, business operations, social media, branding, merchandising, inventory and sales. However, most importantly, the intangible experience I gained from this internship was priceless. It involved being passionate about the work that I do from my hearts center. It became clear to me that post-graduation I want to work for a company that I will bleed for. There needs to be a strong conviction behind the work that I do in order for me to be content. I want to be a part of a mission and purpose that is greater than myself. This greatness will be the foundation for my drive, excellence, and success. Alma Desnuda gave me that feeling this summer and I was very fortunate for the opportunity to be apart of their closely connected community and grow both professionally and personally.