How important do you feel the arts are to our community?
Great question, I feel the arts play a significant role in helping our youth become more expressive by developing their gift of creativity. Art forms such as music, dance, literature, and visual arts provide a platform for self-expression, social commentary, and cultural preservation. I feel all art forms are therapeutic and allow us to bring our concepts to creation. It also creates a discipline to develop a God-given skill to present to the world.
What is your relationship to music?
I was raised in a family of music lovers. I swear there was a soundtrack to every moment of my young life. Growing up there was music playing for almost every task from first thing in the morning to cooking dinner. I organically gravitated to music at a young age experimenting with instruments such as the saxophone (both alto and tenor), and percussion then eventually became a local high school DJ. I used to watch my Uncle John mix on the turntables until one day I challenge him. Of course, he destroyed me quickly and place me back in a “spectators” seat; however, that defining moment created DJ Ruckus. Arranging music as a DJ lead me to professional audio production and engineering in my 20’s where I had the opportunity to create music and bring out the best in others’ art by audio engineering. Music has always been a form of creativity and therapy for me.
What does success look like for you?
Success for me consists of taking an idea and architecting a plan to achieve the goal. Success comes when you have created a healthy routine and worked daily towards your goal. Success is also relative to certain individual goals so; I try not to get caught up comparing my own wins to others.
As an African American man, how do you manage your health?
My health comes first, and I am selfish in that regard. I cannot be strong, supportive, loving, or emotionally present for anyone if I am not that for myself first. As a Husband, Father of 3, and type 2 diabetic, it is imperative to remain in optimal health for my family. My health routine consists of 5 AM prayer/meditation followed by 5:30 AM strength training mixed with HIIT exercises at least 5 days a week. I follow a low-carb lifestyle that not only supports healthy glucose levels but also provides sufficient energy throughout the day. Quarterly check-ups with my doctor to check labs, A1C, etc. are essential for knowing what’s going on in my body and making necessary adjustments if needed.
Describe how the African American culture influenced the arts.
I believe African Americans have made a profound influence on all art forms from music, dance, literature, and visual arts. Our creations bring a diverse, innovative, and beautiful contribution to the table; leaving a lasting impression in the industry that continues to inspire us all.
How can we follow you?