Been playing catch up of sorts. The past theme in my life in the past 6 or 7 months is one devastating event after another, but the beat must go on and the show must go on. Ladies and gentlemen I present to you DFW producer and fellow Navy shipmate Tim"Big Hub" Web music producer with a soulful sound and very interesting story as well. The one thing I appreciate about "Big Hub" besides his musical talent is his humility and the his loyalty to the people he works with. The music industry can be full of snakes, fickle and fake people, so when I come across a person of "Big Hubs" humility I definitely appreciate and take note of this. Listen to the interview and 4 songs "Big Hub" blessed us with during this interview and feel free to comment and like.
There are few people that have their own lane and create their own movement not following the norm but letting their passions create a path, ladies and gentlemen Tekforce exemplifies the embodiment that and he does it well. When I first saw his cd cover for his album Server Crash Part 1 I knew I was in for something different and I had to listen to see what the album was about. I am a fan of an artist that is able to give you their experience meaning drawing from their life experiences and bringing it forth through music. One track that immediately tapped a nerve with me was "Workspace Woes" part two and I am pretty sure that a large amount of people can relate to and appreciate this track. More than a hip hop artist Tekforce is also a fan of comics and video games which he brings forth nostalgia of classic games such as Contra, Mario, Metroid incorporating his love into his music. I was blown away that he made a chorus of the code to get unlimited lives in Contra, let me say that again he made a chorus out of the code to get unlimted lives in Contra!!!!! Pure Brilliance.
Tekforce is something very differenct current landscape of mainstream hip hop. To me he is blend of Blackalicious, Outkast, and Lupe Fiasco, a three dimensional with depth. His music gives you an accurate picture of who he is as a person and a musician, that is something I appreciate in an artist. He will also motivate you to break out your Nintendo Power, 8 bit, 16 bit, and 32 bit consoles as well. Another great interview on Deeper Than Music Radio. Tekforce thanks for coming to the studio and sharing your music and why what you do is Deeper Than Music
Louis Gray has been repping DFW hip hop since he moved down from Kansas in 1994 and since then he has managed to build a movement as well as encourage up and coming artists to follow their passion and make their mark the scene as well. His journey hasn't always been an easy path however he has to stayed true to his creative and hip hop roots.
One thing that stood out to me about Louis Gray is he is never one to shy away from giving advice and encouraging others, to me in hip hop this is rare and much appreciated. Hip Hop for the most part is about bravado and boasts a "get yours I am going to get mine" mentality, this mentality I never really got and hope one day it will adopt the philosophy of networking, building and supporting its community. Louis Gray speaks from his experience and his extensive history in the game. With struggles, ups and downs comes experience which then in turn for artists comes material to speak on which Louis Gray has a lot to speak about (hence his extensive catalog). The man has passion and speaks on his passion, currently his focus is on the "Black Lives Matter Movement", the election, and the troubles he's sees in the world. He is not one to just go with the flow and let things be. If you are a conservative who doesn't see any issue with whats going on in the world or pro Donald Trump then I warn you now that Louis Gray is not your cup of tea. No one cannot say that Louis Gray does not have passion or that he doesn't have anything to say, with only an hour in my segment I feel we didn't even cover much ground about him as an artist so there will be a part two of this interview.
I would also warn the readers that my "Deeper Than Music" Radio show is a platform where artists can express themselves, this interview is filled with strong language with a powerful message.
today's digital age artists have access to the tools they need to record and distribute their works be it singles, albums, music videos etc. This easy access is a double edged sword; the positive being it eliminates the middle man thus allowing artists to bypass gatekeepers, the bad however is that it causes a flood in the market thus over saturating it. I myself decided a long ago to learn other aspects of the creative arts such as songwriting, music production as well as still pictures and video editing. At this stage in my music career and in life its all about creating platforms and using these platforms to open other doors (this advice was given to me of the owner of TMI Media Network, and its been priceless advice). I've seen millennials master the ability of using social media to build brands out of their ideas and creativity and I must say it is very impressive. It takes skill, discipline and dedication something I am slowly learning.....which is a good transition to discuss "Ghostwryter".
Ghostwryter is my first cousin as a matter fact he is one of three that I know besides myself who are entertainers, the others are Jason Nious (actor and dancer), Quinn/Quincy Dukes (rapper and songwriter) and myself. I can remember visiting visiting Ghostwryter in Thiboduax, Louisiana and his family visiting us years ago. From what I remember of Thiboduax that is was a small town and there wasn't much to the town, mind you this was back in 1995-1996 so I can imagine a lot has changed since then. Thibodaux is a small town not to far from New Orleans unless you are from Louisiana you probably never heard of Thibodaux. Ghostwryter managed to make a movement in his town as well as create a clothing line based off his phrase "Never Basic". This along with is thought provoking and personal music he's built a remarkable and growing following. His Spotify numbers as well as Youtube views are a strong indication that his movement is reaching well beyond Thibodaux and people are paying attention. In a market where the playing field is somewhat even, it still takes work and skill in order to effectively reach your market, a sentiment Ghostwryter echoe's in this interview. This industry can bring a lot of time wasters, jealousy, and empty promises things that can deter most however Ghostwryter keeps moving forward.
I hope you find inspiration in this interview. My day started off on a bad note and I was questioning a lot of my ventures prior to this interview afterwards "Ghostwryter" motivated me as well as validated a lot of what I was going through.
Today I am sitting on a bunch of opportunities that it is scary. My passions for aviation, music now the visual arts all have created opportunities and opened doors. I am a firm believer in going after your dreams. I was thinking back when I decided I wanted to do my own music and for the most part people laughed and discouraged my dream. I've always been a talented writer but for me to learn music theory and do it on my own was outlandish. After being signed to a label that caught the attention of Jive Records and for it to later fall apart was something at the time my 19 year old ego had to deal with and it motivated me to start my own movement. I eventually met some like minded spirits and we started a label called "Secrets Of Society Records", like me my counterparts dreamed big and were in the Navy stationed on a boat. When all was said and done we created a movement, we landed a distribution deal in the UK (which I managed to secure while being out to sea lol), and performed shows in places all over southern California, Cabo San Lucas, New Mexico. We managed all while serving onboard the USS Bonhomme-Richard (LHD-6). Had I given up on my dream I wouldn't have experienced going on tours, living in New England signing with Silver Tongue-Entertainment under my big sis Jeannette Elgner and meeting life long friends and fans. I would have never connected my brother from another mother Gary Devon Dotson CEO of NVE Records who has opened doors of having my music licensed to networks such as TLC, A&E, MTV, and Fuse Network and providing songwriting opportunities with established artists. Had I let people discourage me I wouldn't be where I am now.
Over a month ago my cousin noticed I was learning photography and asked me to do some shoots for his portfolio. Little did I know my cousin was motivated like me, something I am very appreciative of. Upon gearing up for our photography shoot I learned he wanted to be a fitness model and was working on getting his "Stand Out Fitness" company off the ground that let me know that he was serious about his business and I ensured him I would do my best to make sure he looked outstanding in his shots. I was glad he trusted my limited photography skills and I didn't know what was going to come out of our first session. The results were amazing and I discovered this guy is three times as motivated as I am. The day after our shoot my instagram starts blowing up left and right and I am getting all types of likes on my pictures and I get contacted by a photographer who wanted to mentor me and saw potential in my pictures.
My cousin and I ended up doing a second session this time with better camera's and with more research under our belt. A few days after our shoot I get a call from my cousin who is upset because he receives negative feedback and criticism for going after his dream. I had to let him know that taking the road less traveled is going to be met by resistance and not everyone is going to understand his vision and to keep moving forward. I am happy to say he now has an agency interested in representing him and photography business is starting to thrive as well.
An important take away from my story is to nurture your dream and resistance will be met. We get comfortable in our situations and when you dare to dream an impossible dream there will be doubt and doubters. Stay true to your passion (with work of course) and move forward. Had I not followed my passions I would not be where I am now. Had my cousin decided to let the criticism discourage him and give up, his vision of being a fitness model would not be thriving.
We are Band Nerds" represent the essence of music and the universal language - diversity. They transcend race, music genres and they know no boundaries. Today In a world that is so black and white, right and left, and so fractured to see a band like "We are Band Nerds" is very much needed and refreshing. The band is a much needed reboot to the Hip Hop/Rock genre and challenge the genre as a whole musically and lyrically. You would be sadly mistaken if you quickly put them in a box with Limp Biscuit, Rage Against The Machine, or Lincoln Park. In their music you can hear multiple influences from Kendrick Lamar, Andre 3000 lyrically, as well as Rage Against The Machine, Hard Rock, Grunge, elements of world music, jazz, blues all fusioned in their music (which is a perfect representation of the members of the band). Below is the audio of the interview with these guys.....if you weren't fans before this interview I guarantee you will afterwards.
Markivus "Furyus" Nious
I heard this song while I was in Florida and it never left my head so I figured I would put my twist on it…..something to hold you over in the interim of me completing my album. I will revisit this with an original beat and with a singer…..Vince you up for the challenge :-). This song is about a guy who looses his woman to his extra affairs and not tending to her needs emotionally and physically. For those who never appreciated their well until the water ran dry.
This is a blog I struggled to write but I knew that it would be therapeutic for me to write as a little over a month with my dads passing it has been an emotional roller coaster for me as I've struggled to accept and come to terms that he is no longer with me on this earth. Its been a little over a month and I am at a point where I am back to doing my normal routine but there are moments I am reminded of him, or moments I forget he is no longer here and I think to call to talk to him and then I am reminded that he has passed. In the early stages of my life my dad was a mystery and I would see him every blue moon but none the less he was my father, the man partly responsible for giving me life, the man attribute to giving me my musical and creative talents.
I cannot fully explain the void I had early on in my life because of his absence.....I vividly remember listening to 2pacs "Keep Your Head Up" in my teens and hearing the verse "Cause ain't nuttin worse than when your son wants to kno why his daddy don't love him no more". That verse struck a chord with me because I felt he didn't love me and that is why he was absent and I let that eat at me....this lead to me sabotaging a lot of relationships in my life out of fear of a loved one walking out of my life...(note that this was not the fact of him being absent, I found out later in life the reasoning why and being in a similar situation non custodial parenthood help me understand my dad even more). I also remember hearing songs like Will Smith's "Just The Two of Us" and LL Cool J's "Father Figure" and these songs leaving me emotional because I could relate to the void or it was something I never had in my life at the time a relationship with my father.
Tragedy in both of our lives is what brought myself and my father together for me it was my daughter not being around me everyday because of the breakdown the relationship I had with her mother.....overcoming that is eerily similar to the process of getting over my fathers death. My dad's cancer diagnosis I want to say 8 years ago also brought us close together. My situation put me in the mindset of a man who has to deal with the process of a broken down relationship and having his kid being no longer with him.....the anger, the hurt, and having to re establish his bond with his child and to go through the court system. People who are non custodial parents will never fully comprehend how that process is a long and painful process. Till this day I cannot respect a man or woman who is selfish and disregards the other parents feelings when it comes to their kids. That kid is a part of both of you, and it took two to make him or her and both should be involved in raising the child regardless of what happened to the relationship. Oddly enough my dad was my advocate and reminded me of who was important when times got rough my daughter. It also set up a dialogue of him to explain why he was not around.......later on through my experiences as a non custodial parent I understood even though I didn't agree with some of his actions.....regardless this was the man I wanted to know all my life and I was grateful out of a bad situation the lines of communication opened up with me and my father.
The tragedy on his in was he was diagnosed with cancer and at the time I was devastated because we had just re established our bond and with cancer you don't know....you just don't know. In the beginning my dad was trying to reconcile a lot of wrongs in his life and in my mind I could sense the guilt and the regrets he didn't know that by then all was forgiven on my end through circumstance I understood and I worked out my issues. God allowed me longer time than what he doctors expected and that lead to countless phone calls, him spending time with my daughter and him telling me, "I love you son", and "I called to hear your voice". By getting to know him I got to know more about myself and where I got my mannerisms from and I got to understand and know who he was. I would never trade the life I had or what I had to go through for anything. Getting to know my dad that much more was worth it. Time brought understanding. In his last years I saw the man that I love slowly fade away, his health deteoriate, but he kept fighting and he kept letting my daughter and I know he loved us.
The last time I saw him alive was to visit him in the emergency room, when I walked in he was sleeping and he looked so frail and like it was a struggle for him to breathe that I broke down crying so much so that it woke him up and I had to cover my tears and act like I was fine. I stayed wth him for a few days and my dad made it a point to stay up and conversate with me, however his questions were deeper than normal and the fact that he was tired and fatigued but made it a point to talk to me stood out in my mind. It wasn't until I was leaving the hospital to head back home that it hit me that our time together was shortening and this may be one of the last times I would see my dad. The next conversations we would have would be short because his shortness of breathe, and in my mind I had to come to terms our time was going to be shorter and I knew that he would no longer suffer and be in a much better place. No matter how much I thought I was prepared I wasn't and when he passed my world stopped.
I will not go into details of his passing and the things that took place afterwards. My mother and my sister were my rock and for awhile the grieving process had me questioning my life and wanted to be a hermit. My father was proud of my accomplishments and he was one of my biggest cheerleaders that lead to a fire inside of me to burn brighter and make it a point to keep living life to the fullest and chasing my dreams. It also re afffirmed that life is just a moment we need to make the most and not stress the small and insigficant stuff, when we leave this world none of our material items are coming with us....people are left with memories and the how you impacted the world.
These are My Thoughts and a part of my therapy....sharing my story......thank you for reading.
Today I had the honor of interviewing a person that is creating his own movement and a person I had the pleasure of serving in the United States Navy with as well. We were both stationed at NAS Lemoore from 1997-2000 back when we were young and really didn't know that much about life. Fast forward to today 18th of June Ugo Arimo who used to be the Hospital Corpsman in the Navy is now his own brand "The Black Spiderman". Ugo Arimo is a man of many facets; Navy Veteran/NSL PRO /BJJ Black Belt World Champion/Published Model "The Black Spiderman", he also a a strong youtube presence so much so that he is a Google partner that being said the man has solid handily created his own movement (shout out to team blackout". I am a fan of creating your own movement and living your dreams in passions. With hard work and dedication Ugo has built his brand and stuck true to his passions it made me think of how my passion of music lead to being an artists, producer, publishing company, and record label owner (Secrets of Society Records with Donjay, Eddy Rome, and Chino Morabito and Stand Alone Music my own venture). Sure when you dare to dream out the box and decide to do the damn near impossible people will not believe in your vision or even try to convince you to stay on a safer course, but if you do not follow your calling you are not living. One takeaway I want my listeners to get out of my series is that you can do the impossible and you can create your own movement just stick to your plan and learn from your missteps. Ugo I salute you and continue your journey things are paying off. #salute!!!!
Take Aways From Liz Mikel Deeper Than Music Radio Interview/the power of nurturing your childrens passions
Today by far was the most powerful, emotional and empowering interview I've had since I started my Deeper Than Music Radio Show with actress, and jazz singer Liz Mikel I didn't know what to expect from the interview because I wasn't feeling well and the day started off with me rushing and running around. Liz Mikel is a very accomplished actress and singer, she has this energy about her that lights up a room, I took note of this when I first saw her at the Scat Jazz lounge almost a year ago, during this time I was working out the details of "Deeper Than Music" show but it was details nothing finalized none the less after the show I asked her if I could interview her on my radio show and she agreed....I knew I was going to have a radio show but the details had not been completely finalized lol. Initially I was very nervous and I didn't know what to expect as I am with all my interviews but once the person I interview and myself break the ice and get into our comfort zone the magic happens and its two people conversing me being the audience asking my questions and the interviewee being the star center stage allowing myself and the listeners a peak into their world. Liz opened up about a lot of things and the one thing that stood out was how humble she was, this woman worked with Phylicia Rashad, Monique, Ben Stiller, James Earl Jones, and many other celebrities and she so kindly agreed to be on my show and was so down to earth.
The one thing that struck a chord with me was when she told her story of wanting to be a dancer and an actress her mother didn't shun her dream but she supported it. She also explained how when she was honing her creative side and finding her true creative calling ie trying the flute unsuccessfully her mother stood by her side. While telling her story I thought back on the many times I would get lost in my head ie talking to myself, dancing in the mirror when I was a kid, and making up my own songs my mother nurtured and supported my talents. Rather than question what I was doing I was enrolled in plays, talent contests etc and she always encouraged myself and my sister to follow our dreams and go after opportunities. I also witnessed parents put limitations on their kids and how those limitations lead to dreams being crushed and mental weights being forever put on them. In retrospect I can account my mothers positive reinforcement shaping my living a life with no limits attitude and going after the things I am passionate about pushing self doubt to the side and the many ways I can achieve my goal to the forefront in my thinking. I can see the creative passion in my daughter rather than imposing limitations I push her to follow her passions and I also instill in her to learn and research as much as she can about what she is passionate about. Thanks again Liz Mikel for allowing myself and my listeners to hear your story and your passions you spoke to so many things I mentally struggle with from time to time and also motivated me to keep doing what I do.
Aviation enthusiast, Musician, On Air Personality and Photographer. These are my thoughts.