AJ Lehrman reveals his biggest passion outside of music

AJ Lehrman reveals his biggest passion outside of music
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AJ Lehrman hasn't just been making a name for himself in the music industry, he's also has been focusing his efforts on charity organizations, namely DoSomething.org and Big Brothers Big Sisters. The 17-year-old has spent the past three years bolstering his pop music career, opening for fan-favorite acts like Pentatonix and S Club 7 and releasing his newest single "Tongue." And while juggling his heavy work load (which include his school work too), Lehrman has also devoted his time to bettering the community around him. His biggest project, a school tour to raise awareness for No Bull, gave teenagers the ability and knowledge to intervene with bullying in specific situations. At the ripe age of 17, Lehrman has already made a significant impact on the world around him, both with his music and with his philanthropy -- and he's just getting started.

We recently caught up with the rising singer/songwriter to talk about how he found his passion for charity work, how he balances life as a teenager with life as a touring musician, and more!

YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, click here. And head over to AOL.com at 6 p.m. ET for more exclusives on AJ Lehrman!

Not only are you a musician, but you're also an activist. Why did you decide to team up with different charities across the nation?
I'd say first and foremost -- and this goes back to why I'm doing music and not tennis -- music provides me with the ability to inspire people across the world. Music is that one universal language that everyone can try to relate to. I want to use that platform to inspire people across the globe. Charities like DoSomething.org or Big Brothers Big Sisters give me the chance to spend time with people and help others from all walks of life. It's awesome for me to see that there are companies and charities that really care about bettering the world. The other day my parents asked me if I were to go to college one day, what would I study. My thought before this was always do business. But for me now, I would study sociology or psychology. I want to know how different people interact and why we do certain things. I feel like in order to make a world a better place, we have to understand what the problems are. That's why I love working with those charities because they've done so much research and they care about finding the answers to making the world a better place.

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How do you find a middle ground between being a normal teenager and a touring musician?
My friends still don't believe what I'm doing. That's mostly because I'll go away for four months on tour and then I'll come back because I have to do my tests. I'll come back to school and they'll say, "I'm happy you're here, but shouldn't you be on the road or doing something else?" I love what I'm doing so much now, but I also love studying and I think that education is so important. So the transition has been drastic, but it's been a cool experience.

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What's the one piece of advice you wish you had received before jumping into the music industry?
A songwriter said to me recently that you can be the sweetest, juiciest peach in the entire world, but there are still going to be people who don't like peaches. So if I knew that three or four years ago, I wouldn't have worried about what people think. There will be people who will dislike you from the day you were born and there's nothing you can really do about that. I wish I had known that a couple of years ago.

YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, click here. And head over to AOL.com at 6 p.m. ET for more exclusives on AJ Lehrman!

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