1.) So what inspired you to want to help music artist careers?
Growing up I was always involved in music whether it was writing music and singing in church or chorus and theater. When I moved to Virginia I started traveling around and supporting local artist performances. As I became closer friends with them I was made aware of systematic gatekeeping practices used by local venues and organizations preventing artists from making a living off of their art and also preventing them from furthering their careers without paying thousands of dollars per month to get past the “gatekeepers”. This inspired me to create a competition focused on the art behind the artist, while opening up opportunities and creating more exposure locally and nationally for the artists involved.
2.) What is your goal in the entertainment world?
My goal is simple, yet extremely complex. I want to change the culture of the music industry by applying business networking practices, while simultaneously promoting ethical, social, and cultural values to give a new platform and unlimited opportunities to music artists who really are…. The Full Package. By that I am meaning that they write and perform, and even some that produce as well. They share their stories and experiences and become vulnerable lyrically to take us on a journey through their heart, soul, and mind. It deserves recognition, respect, and monetary compensation from my perspective.
3.) Where are you from and Who’s your inspiration?
I am originally from DuBois, Pennsylvania. I grew up in a very small town with virtually no diversity. I then moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina and eventually to Newport News, Virginia. I have had different people who inspire me throughout my life, from my parents who are missionaries to my grandfather and grandmother who was the kindest people to everyone they met. But I have been most inspired by individuals I randomly meet every day who share their stories of overcoming trauma and systemic racial and gender barriers to push forward to their goals and dreams. Any individual who keeps pushing forward despite everything around them seemingly crashing down…inspires me.
4.) What are the main things you look for in an artist ?
I am looking for lyrics that tell a story. About love, loss, growth, regret, hope, passion, peace, and accountability. What draws me into a song and artist is their confidence and bravery to tell their stories. I also pay attention to the performance to see that they engage with the audience and you can feel their passion in their presence. And lastly, I love a beat that has layers of instrumentals and sounds with timing that draws your attention to the lyrics and performance.
5.) What are you doing today towards helping artist careers and What are the names of a few of your artist you’re working with now?
I am creating a song writing and performance competition here in Virginia for local artists to have an opportunity to not only compete, but go to work shops and have access to producers to further develop them as an artist. We currently have Hannon Lane as a part of our team of judges for this competition, and he will bring a very well rounded expertise to the artists competing. We also have G-Unit Capo, Roberta Lea, and Dizzy the Entertainer working with us also on our team of judges. They all are vert talented music artists and writers that travel all over the world to perform. They bring a very diverse perspective to this project that the contestants will have access to, which is truly amazing. There are a few more artists in the industry involved in this project that will open up opportunities to be connected to Sony and Warner music, but I have to save some surprises for the show announcements!
6.) Living in Virginia what’s your main goal for yourself as an entrepreneur for changing the community?
I see there are so many artists in this area that are talented, but cannot break through local politics and gatekeepers in the industry. The arts is our escape. When we go through anything in life, good or bad, music has always and will always be a part of the experience. We removed so many performing arts classes from the schools, but that doesn’t mean that the talent isn’t here. My contribution is where my heart has always been. In music. I want to give the community back the love and passion for music along with opportunities to make a living off of their craft.
7.) Knowing that you love people what’s your purpose with all creatives around you that are inspired by what you’re doing?
I went to school for Sociology with a concentration in diversity and equality. This changed my entire life. I always had a love for people and especially anyone trying to break through the glass ceiling to create their own families generational wealth and accomplish their dreams.
But I must admit, being surrounded by so many talented music artists on our team like Nina Nicholle, ZEKE, Dezzae, Lost in The Smoke, and Goblin…. Along with the experienced and passionate judges who bring years of wisdom… I am humbled and overwhelmed by the support. So I want to give back to others who need that support through this project. I am truly humbled that I can inspire others, but most of them probably have no idea how much they inspire me daily to keep going. Despite the challenges and disappointments. We are a family that is ever growing with open arms to the arts and entertainment industry of this community.
8.) So tell me about The Full Package ?
We are a song writing and performance competition that will be filmed this fall into the spring of next year. The registration opens on October 1st, 2023 to all song writers and performers. This is not limited to Virginians, but the show will be entirely held at Buko Resto Bar in Virginia Beach, Virginia. My team and I have created different monthly challenges for artists to write and perform an original song, based on a theme. This is going to be like a song writing boot camp, which is going to be really difficult but it will be so amazing for the development of the artist. It is a one time registration fee of $25.00, with access to work shops and skilled producers to work with through the process. The winners will be compensated with $1,500.00 to the first place winner, $1,000.00 to the second place, and $500.00 to third place. We will be live streaming and doing post production editing to create a tv show for this project.
This will further increase opportunities for the artists involved to get exposure right here in Virginia.
9.) Where do you see your business and yourself in the next 2 to 5 years from now?
I see The Full Package continuing to run the competition show in Virginia, along with discovering other smaller cities throughout the United States that struggle with opportunities within the music arts to bring the show to them. I am a visionary, so I foresee some really beautiful things coming over the next decade that will include partnerships and programs to also help bring the arts back to all of the schools here in Virginia and outside of Virginia, no matter what area of the city or budget they have. This passion and love for music starts when we are young. And it should be nurtured and brought to fruition from early on in life.
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