“Success is limitless. It’s not defined by your money, plaques or acclaim”
In the latest installment of our “7 Questions” series, we caught up with the talented, gifted and not to mention, professional Maryland emcee, Von Tae’. Although he’s only 24, Von Tae’ is filled with wisdom, as you’ll see on his thoughtful commentary about following your passion, success and not following trends. I can definitely see Von Tae’ blowing up. Not only because he has a gift, but because he clearly sees and believes in his vision, as well as picks up on society’s unspoken truths. Catch the full interview below and give him a follow @ItsVonTae
How did growing up in Maryland affect your style?
Growing up in Maryland humbled me and made me appreciate the little things. I didn’t have Jordans like everyone else, I couldn’t afford to go to prom, I didn’t smoke, I didn’t have fun at the wild parties with my friends. I didn’t get to do a lot of things typical teenagers had the opportunity to do. Not having access to a lot of things, so I lived a fantasy through the music I wrote.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Most of my inspiration comes from the artists I admired growing up and few new ones. Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Usher, T.I., JAY-Z, J. Cole, Prince, Bobby Brown, Luther Vandross and the list goes on. Also my mother was a huge inspiration for me. I seen how she made something out of nothing and struggled without complaining. Those early memories, still to this day pushes me when I feel like giving up.
When did you know you wanted to do music for the rest of your life?
I’ve never had a plan B. Music was my first passion and forever will be. I remember growing up watching Sister Act and Whoopi telling Lauryn Hill “If you wake up in the morning and can’t think about anything but singing, then you’re suppose to be a singer.” Since that moment, I knew I was born to do music. There’s nothing else that makes me feel the way that music does.
What 3 music videos changed your life?
The only video that really changed my life was Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It scared the hell out of me but when I grew older I understood the vision. I seen the behind the scenes videos and saw the creative process and it made me want to be just like him. “Smooth Criminal” and “Bad” as well.
What type of sound were you going for on ‘Young Man Ambition’ ?
I honestly just wanted music that would sound great in the car. I usually write music late at night or early in the morning and then I would burn it on a CD to play in the car on my way to work. Most of the songs are very aggressive but you do have a few that are fun and not as vulgar. I wanted a variety.
Which upcoming releases are you looking forward to? Mainstream and underground.
Mainstream wise I would have to say J. Cole, Kanye, Chris Breezy, Drake, Luda, T Pain, Missy and a couple other R&B artists. To be honest, I don’t listen to a lot of rap music. I listen to a selected few because everybody sounds the same nowadays. If it’s not on the radio or stuck in my head, I probably won’t go out of my way to listen to it. Underground music, I’m not really following anyone right now aside from Russ who signed with a label recently. He’s definitely dope and a big inspiration to me.
How do you define success?
Success is limitless. It’s not defined by your money, plaques or acclaim. It’s defined by individual happiness.