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The new voice in pop music: Von Tae’

Von Tae wearing jeans

Urban pop and R&B artist Von Tae’ has been working on music since the age of 7 and ever since has been making a name for himself within his community and online with networking through social media sites such as Twitter, YouTube, and live performances. Raz B, former member of the multiplatinum-selling boy group B2k, recently reached out in hopes of working with Von Tae’ on his debut promotional project, Broken Boundaries of Existence, which is a collection of upbeat, and inspiring songs geared to appeal to all ages.

Von Tae’ is developing his legacy by building his brand and mastering his craft so that he can empower and motivate the world through his eclectically raw music. Some of his musical influences are Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, Usher, Chris Brown, Luke James, and other R&B and pop superstars who he listened to during his childhood years. Von Tae’ is an artist to look out for. His approach to the music industry is not to fit the latest trend but to create his own lane and leave his mark as the new voice in the world of pop culture.

Learn more about Von Tae’.

Do you most often actively seek inspiration or does it find you? Or is it a combination of the two?
In my life, most of the time inspiration finds me but there are times when I seek inspiration. If I’m seeking inspiration, usually it’s because I have an idea that sparks something but I can’t fully grasp the entire concept of what I want.

What led you to art in general and to your art form in particular?
I believe I have a natural born talent that I didn’t really have to find. In all honesty growing up as a young child, even during my grade school years, I knew art was going to be something that would stick with me my throughout my entire life.

Music, drawing, painting, acting and modeling are all forms of art in which I’m passionate about and they ironically go hand in hand.

Have you and your artistry ever been involved in traditional business? If so, how?
In order to have a traditional business, you must have a business license and that’s something that I have yet to obtain but on the side I have started somewhat of business just to help bring in some income to support my career. Just a few months ago I started to notice that a lot of people have been asking me to design flyers, lyric videos, Facebook banners, Twitter backgrounds and everything else so I decided to put my business cap on and turn it into a money making business. My music on the other hand, as of right now is free to download.

In addition to mastering their art, what other skill sets do you recommend that artists develop if they want to be successful?
Know the art and what all comes with it. A lot of times people forget about the business side of things and they jump straight into it without knowing the ends and outs of what their getting into. Take that extra 20 minutes and do the research, it’ll help you in the long run.

How do you stay at the leading edge of your craft?
I stay on the leading edge of my craft by knowing whats going on around me (what’s trending, what’s hot, what’s selling, etc). One of the most important things in this day and age is what the consumer whats and needs when it comes to being the creator of what you do. Yes it’s best to put yourself into what your doing but it’s also important to consider your core viewers or in my case listeners.

Do you think that there are any widely held misconceptions about art, artists or both? If so, what are they and how do you work to dispel them?
I think a huge misconceptions about artists is that we are egomaniacs. Yes we love what we do and we sometimes get overly passionate and start behaving like the Victor Frankenstein but it’s all because we really love what we do. Some people feel as though, artists have to “have it their way” and we can’t “listen to what others are saying” but with me, I take everything someone says about me into consideration. I’m far from an egomaniac.

How do you map out your goals? How do you measure your success?
I map out my goals everyday in a journal actually. I put my short term goals in a book and I generally just keep my long term goals in my mind because as I work on my short term goals I know that they’re leading to the long term goals. I measure my success by my happiness. I use to measure my success by how I’d satisfy the people around me but as I’ve matured I’ve learned that at the end of the day I want to live for myself. My success isn’t measured by money, applause or anything of the sort. My success is measured by my own happiness.

Who do you consider to be your peers in your field? Who do you see/use as examples for you to emulate?
I would consider everyone my peers to be honest. Everyone is working towards a goal and we all network with each other to get to our own individual goals. Musicians need singers, artists need gallery owners, models need managers, etc. We all work together to help one another make that coin and reach our goals. In the music world I don’t emulate but I am inspired by hardworking individuals like Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Lady Gaga. Those type of music artists know how to put on a show. I also look up to Jay Z, P. Diddy, and other moguls who are leading the way for myself as a young entrepreneur.

Name two of your top role models: one in the art world and one from outside of it.
From the art world of music I would have to say Michael Jackson and outside of the art world I would have to say Oprah. Michael Jackson because his artistry is impeccable and unparalleled to any other artist of his or this generation. Oprah because she’s just all around phenomenal and inspiring with everything she does.

Name three books, works, performances or exhibits that changed how you view life and/or yourself.
I went to go see Beyonce in Atlantic City and that live performance changed my life along with the movie “Freedom Writers,” the Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have A Dream” speech, The Bible and a few other works have changed my life but I can’t think of them right now.

Why do you consider continued learning important?
Continued learning is important because once you learn the basics as to what field your going into you need to know the masters of it. Also, doing extra learning outside of high school such as college or some sort of performing arts school keeps you refreshed on the things you’ve learned and it teaches you new things as well. You can never have enough knowledge.

What affirmations do you repeat to yourself that contribute to your success?
I always like to tell myself that I am deserving, I have what it takes and I embrace myself for the best and the worst of my career. I know that might sound a bit crazy to embrace myself for the worst but that’s the way that I like to prevent myself from being shocked or overwhelmed by things. I always like to just keep a clear mind and to always think positive.

What role does art have in the community? What role would you like to see art play in the community?
Well, in my community art is everywhere. There are a lot of talented artist (musicians and artists) all over who are working hard to gain exposure. Within the community of the world art is very important. A lot of times art keeps our youth together doing something positive instead of being in the streets and doing things that aren’t positive or doing anything good for their lives. Art plays a very keep part in everyone’s life to be honest. It keeps us connected.

What role does technology play in your day-to-day life? How do you utilize it?
I use technology like crazy but at the same time I do know the struggle and the importance of not utilizing technology like my parents and ancestors. I am probably on my Mac Book Pro 10+ hours out of the damn because I am always working through emails, social media, recording, etc. I use my cell phone, computer apps and everything else as career tools to help further myself.

What software, app or other technological innovation has made the biggest difference in your life or career?
Twitter has probably made the biggest impact. I am able to communicate and network with other artists and people all over the world to talk about my music, talk about their work and to get together to make something happen between the two. I’ve met a lot of amazing people that have helped my career.

Please define your personal brand.
My personal brand is just inspiring people to be all that they can be. I am a free spirited person and I embrace that.
I like to think of myself as the boy next door with a bad boy’s edge.

What is your favorite vacation destination and why?
I would love to just go to a beach in Jamaica, Hawaii or something of the sort. I love beaches and places where I can just hear natures voice.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
I would change the amount of love throughout the world. I don’t think there’s enough of love out there. If there were more love there wouldn’t be as much violence going on all across the world.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
If I could change anything it would probably be my sleeping habits. I rarely get eight hours of sleep, seven days of the week.

What does it take to be iconic? In your estimation, who has achieved that status?
Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Whitney Houston, all of my favorites. They have achieved the iconic status because they’ve been in the music industry longer than 10 years and have changed not just the music industry but they’ve changed the world with what they’ve done.