Born: 11:11 on 7/11 in New Jersey
Educational Background: Learned via life, Virginia State University, and Full Sail University. Still unlearning.
High Point: Realizing that I’m doing and being what I dreamed of as a kid.
Low Point: Boundaries that keep me from creating freely.
What do you do for a living?
Create. Music, photography, web shows, podcasts, T-shirts. You name it.
What do you love most about your work?
I love most that my work is authentically me.
Other than money, what have you gained from your work?
For what are you most grateful?
Peace, contentment, and music.
What’s the first song or album you can remember hearing?
The first album that I genuinely remember hearing was Mary J. Blige’s What’s the 411. I used to call the post office where my mom worked and sing “Real Love” for all of her coworkers.
What’s your favorite song you’ve created? What inspired it?
This is always hard, but I’m going to have to go with “Georgia Smile” because it was really prophetic and life-changing.
The first time that I really visited Georgia back in 2015, I went with a friend for a session. We were actually supposed to be recording some background vocals for a rapper. Everyone in the room was on an instrument, and I had a mic in my hand. God took control of everything else, and the song was born. It was really a divine jam session.
And now three years later, I live in Georgia, and everything that I said in the song has and is continuing to ring true.
With whom do you most want to collaborate?
Om’Mas Keith. His ear is so special.
What is a song, album or playlist that everyone should hear?
“Comfortable” by Cousin.
What about it makes it must-hear for you?
“Comfortable” is a must-hear because it’s both sonically innovative and lyrically relatable, and I’m not just saying that because I’m involved! It’s really something special.
What inspires you?
The possibilities of what’s to come continue to inspire me daily.
Who is the most influential person in your life?
Black women are the most influential in my life.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
My first time flying on a plane was in 2017.
Where did you go?
What has been the most terrifying moment of your life?
Falling out of a chair in front of Mary J. Blige.
What scares you most?
The idea of leaving this life filled with regrets because I let fear stop me from doing what I want and being who I want to be.
How do you define success?
My view of success has changed drastically over the last year. I used to believe that it was this big dramatic Disney type fairytale of reaching a point in life where everything is the way you dreamed of it as a kid. But now, I see success as just being brave enough to go after your goals and purpose. If you’re constantly doing, being, learning and growing, you’re successful.
When you make sacrifices for your work, do you tell people or keep it to yourself?
It depends. I tell the people in my inner circle once I’m frustrated or stressed or having a dramatic moment. But for the most part, I just keep it moving.
How big is your circle?
My circle is relatively small. I’m really big on energy and quality over quantity. I’ve also always felt like an outsider in every social group, but at this point, I can honestly say that God always drops the perfect people in my life at the perfect time that understand and relate to me so easily. It’s a blessing.
What are your favorite apps/tools that help you do what you do?
I do a lot of things. But for music, I’ve gotten into production lately, so Logic and Splice are my best friends. For social media sauce, I turn to apps like VSCO and InShot.
How do you keep track of what you’ve done?
Most of the time, I don’t. I spend more time focusing on what I can do or have to do next, so I’m working on that.
What do you do to recharge yourself?
Music, meditation, and marijuana.
What piece of literature has influenced you the most?
Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life still.
What are you currently reading or is the last book you read?
JoAnneh Nagler’s How To Be An Artist Without Losing Your Mind, Your Shirt, or Your Creative Compass.
What’s been your biggest takeaway from the book?
I’m still in the process of reading it. But, so far, I’m loving how JoAnneh Nagler uses the book to teach and help artists to be more practical. It’s necessary. Nobody wants to be booked and broke.
What is the most exciting thing you’ve read online recently?
Billboard’s series on music from 1998.
Who is your favorite person to follow on social media?
Jay Versace is my absolute favorite person to follow. He’s the little brother in my head that I’ve always wanted.
Where is your favorite place?
In conversation do you tend to talk or listen more?
It really depends. For the most part, I’m a listener. But once I form an opinion or response to what you’re saying, I become a talker. Like I have to get it out before you move on to something else.
What are you looking for when you have a conversation with someone? What topics do you want to discuss?
It depends. I’m the most awkward. Most of my conversations are about music and random pop culture references. I just look to find something that whomever I’m conversing with have in common and focus on that.
If you were guaranteed honest answers to two questions, what would you ask and to whom?
I would ask Beyoncé what happened to the “Put It in a Love Song” music video and when is my first day working at Parkwood.
When is the last time you cried and why?
I’m a Cancer. So it honestly doesn’t take much. But I’d say the last time was a few weeks ago out of frustration and stress.
Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a while? If so, what is it, and why haven’t you?
I’m a dreamer. I’ve dreamed of doing a lot of things. But specifically, I’ve been dreaming of working as a music supervisor and, fortunately, I’ve been offered the opportunity to do that now on a web series.
Congratulations! Can you tell us more about the series?
It’s called Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis, and it’s a fantasy series that picks up shortly after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Twenty-five-year-old Hermione Granger, played by Ashley Romans, takes stock of her life and sets off for Los Angeles. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m grateful to be able to work on it with the show’s creator, Eliyannah Yisrael.
If you could take a one-month trip anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go and what would you do?
I would go to Africa. I would eat all the food, learn all the dances and see all the beautiful sights of the Motherland. I would also love to perform there.
Do you have a favorite restaurant? If so, what is it?
This is so basic, but my favorite restaurant in Atlanta right now is J.R. Crickets. Their lemon pepper wings are perfect.
What is your favorite comfort food?
What is your favorite food to prepare?
Any type of pasta.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned?
The greatest lesson that I have learned is that nobody knows what they’re doing. Nobody has the definite answers. Everybody (and I mean EVERYBODY) is just figuring it out as they go along.
What do you feel your impact is on those around you? What would you like it to be?
I genuinely believe that one of my purposes in life is to uplift, encourage and support those who I come in contact with. I think I’m doing a good job at it now and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to relax and live in the moment.
Do you have a mantra or quote that guides your life?
My mantra this year has been “shoot all shots,” plain and simple. That idea you have, that thing you want to do, that person you want to become…go for it. Don’t be afraid to fail, and when you do fail, because at some point you will, don’t be too embarrassed to get back up and keep going.
What is your most significant accomplishment? Is there anything you hope to do even greater?
My most significant accomplishment is still being here, and I hope to be here as long as I am supposed to be to enjoy being here more than I have ever before.
It feels like there’s an underlying story here. Would you care to elaborate?
Life has just not been the easiest for me. I have had to fight what feels like 100 times harder than everyone else to get where I am. I’m still fighting, honestly. So still being here, still being brave, still being resilient is revolutionary to me.
What has been your biggest disappointment in life, and how did you handle it?
Living life as a black creative comes with more disappointment than you could ever imagine, honestly. But the most important part is that I always handle it by getting back up and keeping it moving.
What advice do you have for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
Never give up. Never let anyone encourage you to give up. Know that you’re dope, even if no one else believes it. ESPECIALLY when no one else believes it.
And most importantly, don’t be afraid to fail. Beyoncé had to make “Black Culture” almost 10 years ago before she could get to “Formation” and “Black Effect” now. Be patient with yourself, but always be open to learning and growing.
What is happiness to you?
Music is happiness to me: creating, listening, talking about it, etc. Music has and will always be what makes me happiest.
What motivates you?
How would you like to be remembered?
I would love to be remembered as someone who didn’t let fear stop him from doing anything.
Who would you like to answer these questions?
Connect with Rob Milton
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