Interview with Creative Brand Strategist Tamra Simmons

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Most interviews don’t start like this, but how are you feeling today Tamra Simmons?

Well today I am extremely tired because I just came back from the SXSW 2015 in Austin, TX and we just got off the tour bus. I took an artist I manage on tour and other artists opened up for him at SXSW so it was 15 of us.

Ok, so the people want to know about you? So, if someone on the street came up to you and asked “What do you do”? What would you say?

I usually would tell them what I don’t do because it’s easier than saying all that I do. (haha). But in seriousness I bridge opportunities for entrepreneurs, artists, celebrities and companies. What I like to do is use my corporate background and bridge the gap between the corporate world and entertainment.

What inspired you to pursue a career in branding and the entertainment industry?

I didn’t really pursue a career in branding. I started studying social media marketing on my own for ten years just because I read about 9 books a week (call me a nerd) but I have a thirst for knowledge. I was an arbitrator for fortune 500 companies and I just quit my 9-5 career for 9 years to start my own company because I seen a need for it within the entertainment industry. So I started doing social media marketing for companies and then one artist. After my company completed the campaign for the artist the music industry came after me. It started chasing me and I just stood there like, “you need me” and from there it’s history.

Explain to us, how important is branding is to a person and or a company?

Branding is the most important component for a person and/or a company. People do not understand the different between marketing and branding. Branding defines who you are. This is what people will know you for. It defines who you are. Marketing is what you do.

Can you take me into your mind when you are doing an event or working on a brand? Do you feel any anxiety? Or do you feel total confidence?

I’m an OCD kind of person so everything needs to be structured and organized. Once I create a system and we run within the parameters of that system all the events run smooth. It really just depends on the nature of the event. Some events I’m anxious for them to come and go because my stress level is a 20 on a scale of 1-10. Other events I’m like this is a breeze I just hope the people show up. So either way I’m somewhat confident and stressed. with the event and the events that are being held. Can we say I’m confidently stressed? (laughs).

Ok, I am going to get personal, how does one blur the line between a “brand” or “branding” and “reality”? Is there a difference? Where does a brand become “real”?

A brand is reality. There is no difference. Picture this, you slice an apple down the middle, right? There’s always going to be a right side, a left side and the seeds in the middle. Without the seed(s) the apple would never have grew into an apple, right? Ok just stay with me…So if the seed was never planted, the water was never poured onto the seed, you wouldn’t be able to hold an apple (in reality) in your hand to even slice down the middle. That’s the same with branding, without planting the seed of branding no one knows who you are and what you stand for.

Many people don’t realize how truly driven one has to be to pursue being an entrepreneur? Where does your passion come from?

Yes you have to be very passionate and focused. My true passion comes from the universe and my clients. The more I see their dreams coming true the more passion I bleed. It’s like their dreams are in my hands so I have to continue to transfuse passion, faith and dedication to them to keep their dreams alive.

We have a way of life called “Do What You Desire”, what does that mean to you?

Simple. Do what makes you happy. At the end of the day all that matters is you and your happiness. Everything else can and will fall in line.

Do you have any shouts outs?

(Old School Huh…LOL) Of course..S/O to my Oakland Patriots (high school) and Tennessee State University Tigers (alma mater). Go Pats! Go Tigers!

Where can we check out some of your work or get in contact about your services Tamra?

You can follow me on all social media outlets Twitter, IG, Facebook @thetamrasimmons. You can check out my marketing and branding companies www.revitalizedmarketing.com, www.thetsbagency.com. Any questions or comments you can email info@thetsbagency.com. We only accept positive vibes only! (haha) all other vibes will go to spam! #DWYD!!! Be blessed!

 

Interview with High You Clothing

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I always start off by asking, how is everything in the world of High You Clothing?

Everything is great, thanks for asking.

Ok, I always like to ask, what would you say to someone if they came up to you asked “What do you do Paul ?”

If someone asked me what I do I would tell them I make clothes.

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Tell me more about your career? How long have you been designing clothing? What have been your biggest accomplishments? Biggest setbacks? How did you overcome them?

I started designing in 2010 on my computer when I would get bored in class, and launched High You Clothing in the fall of 2011. I have always been into clothing since I was very young. My mom was one of those moms who worked hard to make sure the kids were fresh and that stuck with me. The brands biggest accomplishments have been staying true to ourselves and never conforming. I also think the progression we have shown over the past 2 years has been a major accomplishment.
As far as setbacks go there has been too many, I can count 6 setbacks this month alone and its only the 9th haha, but like the old saying goes its not about how many times you fall its about how many times you get up. There is always going to be setbacks but with every set back theres a major comeback, sounds cliche I know, but setbacks allow you the chance to learn and grow from your experience. Keeping the mind state that you can’t lose, you can only learn is how we are able to overcome setback after setback. (good question)

I am very impressed by your designs, they look to have a very high quality street wear feel to them. How important is quality in the often over crowded fashion industry?

Thank you, quality is very important to us and our supporters. Without your product being at the best quality that you are able to provide you won’t last long in this industry. The reasoning for this is because as you mentioned the fashion industry being over crowded. A consumer is not going to give your brand many chances if the quality is not up to their standards. Quality can be a gift and a curse, considering the wave towards online shopping. It is hard to get the point across of how good the quality can be. This can in return hinder your approach because you’re spending time & money on making sure the garment is the best possible quality without the consumer being able to touch the goods. Leaving them to rely heavily on wording which can also effect buyer behavior. Nonetheless quality and customer service are at the top of my “To Do List” day in and day out.

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You have a message with your clothing. You want to convey “emotion”. How do you do achieve that? Is any of the emotion inspired by the city of Detroit?

I achieve it by just reflecting on either past emotions or current emotions. If I feel a certain way about the police brutality currently happening I express it through a needle and carve it into garments. You get pieces like the PSA 2.0 Longsleeve Tee. And sometimes I’ll feel like reliving my childhood so I might go back to when my brother and I would play sega all day and use something like NBA JAM as my inspiration and you get pieces like the 16-BIT Duo Tee. Many times these emotions resonate with others and they are able to express their individuality through our pieces.
Detroit does inspire some emotion, when it does it’s usually sports themed coming from a dark place (meet the flockers tee).

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Who are some of the more well known people to rock High You Clothing? How did that happen?

Some of the more well known people to rock High You Clothing have been Nas, Prodigy from Mobb Deep, Chuck Inglish, Charlamagne, Boldy James, Antwuan Dixon, the list is pretty long I could keep going and I appreciate everyone who has ever shown support well known or not. Most of it happened by either them reaching out, or me reaching out on social media, or word of mouth.

Can you tell us about any new projects or pieces that you are working on?

Yes, new headwear, socks, and Icon Pocket Series just came out as well as our new Boldy James collaboration. More spring pieces will be released throughout the season.

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We have a saying here “DO WHAT YOU DESIRE” or #DWYD. How does that apply to what you are doing with your music?

#DWYD applies to my everyday living. I don’t spend one day NOT doing what I desire. I desire to help people express their individualism through our garments.

How can we find out more about you and High You Clothing online? Facebook? Twitter? Website?

Check us out at www.highyouclothing.com
@HighYouClothingCo on instagram
@HighYouClothing on twitter
HighYouClothing on facebook

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Request “#Fleek” by $killz

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DWYD at Ebony Fashion Fair

Greetings All! Josh Scarver here!

 

As many of you know, I get to cover some awesome events! This time, I got to take in all of the style and grace of the art museum’s Ebony Fashion Fair Exhibit! As many of you know, Eunice Johnson, of the Johnson Publishing Empire put together a tour of fashion from all over the world, the thing that makes this unique, was that she was a African-American woman who desired and accomplished showing us in a positive, stylish, beautiful and empowering light. This was something that was totally new, there were no rules and regulations, just roadblocks, but that did not stop her from creating and succeeding, taking fashion and African American style and business to heights that no one could have predicted. Ebony Fashion Fair is truly an embodiment of what #DoWhatYouDesire #DWYD stands for!

 

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Interview with Brandan Toledo – Miami Beat Wave

B. Toledo 1Good Day Brandan Toledo! How is everything in the music world? 

What’s up #DWYD glad to be here with you guys. Crazy as usual! Working…Not sleeping…Working…Not Sleeping…Working.

Ok, I always like to ask, what would you say to someone if they came up to you asked “What do you do?” 

Most of the time I don’t tell people because “Everyone and there grandmother” is a artist or rapper and usually when I’m out I’m trying to enjoy myself. You’d probably catch me messing around telling people I was a astronaut or something. (Laughs) In a formal business introduction I would say I’m a music producer & CEO of Miami Beat Wave Productions.

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What inspired you to become a producer?

In my personal life, my grandmother was definitely my inspiration to get into music in general. She played the organ at church for over 20 years. I’ve been inspired to create music since I was in my middle school band. That’s where I learned to read music, play with other musicians etc. I didn’t know it was going to be my passion and career until around my high school days. When I was younger my mother would tell me “If you could study school books the way you remember music lyrics and melodies you could go to Harvard.” While all my friends were out doing what a typical 16 year old does, I was putting together a home studio in my bedroom.

Indirectly: Dr. Dre, Quincy Jones, The Beatles, J Dilla, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones etc… Basically, I have learned from great artist that inspire me to push the creative limits.

Can you tell me about your first production experience with a artist? How did it make you feel?

One of my earliest production experiences with a larger artist and one I respected was with Ras Kass. We recorded a couple records one being “I Know I’ll Be Free” featuring one of ¡Mayday! mc’s Wrekonize. I remember this one vividly because we met in a club called Ink on South Beach and partied together before we even got in the studio. I used to go to the corner store with my headphones on bumping Ras when I was 15 so when I started producing professionally, working in the studio with him was surreal!

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Tell me more about Miami Beat Wave? What does that mean? What is the sound of Miami Beat Wave?

To me it was just a catchy name to go with for a company/production alias. Some people say it means a wave of beats coming toward you or flooding the industry with the Miami sound. I guess I will just leave that up to interpretation! The MBW sound is very versatile. Most people know the hard boiled hip hop sample mixed with live instruments sound. Then there is the pop/dance side that has the cookie cutter radio vibe. At the end of the day it’s whatever the artist & song calls for.

Who are some of the artists and other producers that you have worked with?

Most recently, Dj Efn’s album “Another Time” which released on March 3rd. Miami Beat Wave production credits included artist such as David Banner, Sizzla, N.O.R.E., Joel Ortiz, Crooked I, Fashwan, Kurupt, & Jon Connor. In 2014 MBW produced “Church Road” Ft. Pos of De La Soul on Wrekonize album “The War Within” and  “My Own Parade” on the recently released ¡MURSDAY! album, both achieved placement in the Top 200 on The American Billboard Charts. Scotty Boi Ft. Rick Ross -“So Fresh” for Scotty’s Mixtape “Tax Free” is one of the early tracks for MBW. Some of these artist work directly in the studio, some have been over the internet or through associates.

On the Pop/Dance side of things MBW created alongside of the Crushboys, “In Your Rhythm feat. Miami Beat Wave” and “In The Vip Ft. 2nyce” which made it to the DDC Top 40 Charts in Germany. MBW has even ventured into the video game and television market, contributing to Hudson Entertainment/Gaijinworks’, Nintendo DS, Title Miami Law, and a Solefly/Jordan shoe commercial.

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You are well respected and admired and have awards and accolades most would dream of. How important is having your business together for a producer or just music professional in general?

Probably the most important if you want to do music as a career. I believe so much in talent & skill which is great for art/music in general but they say in the music industry it’s 90% business 10% talent. If you don’t have the 10% talent you can pay ghostwriters and professionals who are talented to write your songs, teach you how to sing “Well enough”, dance etc…. (Laughs) Hate to think it or even say it but maybe at the end of the day it’s just all 100% business.

We have a saying here “DO WHAT YOU DESIRE” or #DWYD. How does that apply to what you are doing with your production career and Miami Beat Wave?

Desire is the starting point of a goal. Wether it be to write a song, put it out, get signed to a label, make money etc…Whatever your dream or goal is, there has to be that desire in you. Also, most people would say I do what I desire in my personal life as well, so it applies to me in all aspects. I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to live any other way.

How can we find out more about you and your stylings online? Facebook? Twitter? Website?

To keep updated with all the new music, merch, and videos visit www.MiamiBeatWave.com & @MiamiBeatWave on Twitter/Instagram.

Are there any last words of wisdom or advice? 

First off, I want to thank #DWYD for the interview. Living out your dreams is not the easiest thing to do. There are going to be a lot of bumps in the road but you need to take that as learning experiences and grow to become who you want to be. Turn that negative energy into strength and become more focused. Just live life man, create, love, learn, and let’s keep pushing the limits of music & art!

Amerikas Addiction Invades ATL!

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Interview with Milwaukee Alt founder Ryan Laessig

Taylor Loy Photographer

If a stranger walked up to you on the street and asked “What do you do?” what would be your response?

My response would be I am an artist / photographer and co-founder of Bubbler Studios.

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Can you tell us what Milwaukee Alt is? How and why it was created?

Milwaukee Alt is my art and photography company. I have been doing art and photography for 8 years. Milwaukee Alt sponsors bands, models, websites, and more. I also have done many art galleries and events with my solo and collaborative works. Milwaukee Alt was created as my passion to show the alternative side of Milwaukee with a creative eye and working with bands, artists, tattooists, alternative models, fashion designers, burlesque dancers, side show acts, magazines, websites, and non-profits.

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How would you describe your vision? Your photography style? What are you conveying in your art?

My vision is to brand out and be proud of your local alternative culture. I have connected out and worked in Austin TX, Arizona, LA, Chicago, and Madison. My photography style is raw and organic. My art and photography ranges from sexy to macabre, sci-fi to athletic, portraiture, tattoos / body modifications, and photographic art fusion collaborations.

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Who are some of the models and artists that you have worked with and why?

I have worked with zivity models, suicide girls, and many local artists in fashion, music, branding, tattooing, and modeling. My art fusion pieces have been with artists such as Rachel Hughes , Amanda Iglinski, and Bill Arthur.
My solo art consists of pop culture nerd art, street art inspired spray paint on canvas, digital prints, clothing and Milwaukee Alt merchandise.

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What has been your biggest disappointment in your passion? How about your greatest triumph? What is your next big goal?!

My biggest disappointment I would say is that my work which conveys the alternative side of Milwaukee and the World is still looked at in a taboo way at times and not as Art. My greatest triumph in life has yet to come. My next big goal is too keep expanding, and working with great artists, models, and websites like I am currently working with STAPAW Supporting Tattoos And Piercings A Work.

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We have a mantra, “Do What You Desire” or simply #DWYD, how does that apply to you and your life?

I would say my #DWYD applies in my life by waking up and loving what I do with my art and photography and being thankful for the gallery shows and art events I am showcased in and meeting so many amazing people doing what I love with my art and photography.

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Are there any last words of advice for someone just picking up the camera? Or even for someone who has lost there passion and put the camera down?

Its a lot of work and I’ve been doing this for 8 years and I feel like I haven’t even hit my peak yet. Never stop loving what you do.

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Are there any shout outs that you’d like to give?! (Old School Style)

Shout outs to Unbibium, An Ocean Above Us, Terraform, Conscious Object, Live Artist Studios, Rogues Gallery, Newaukee, Milwaukee Maker Market, Home Town Established, Jeff Redmon, MMA fighter Jason Sunshine Sundberg, STAPAW, and the rest of the Bubbler Studios Crew Amanda Iglinski and Taylor Loy.

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Where can we find out more about your and your work? Websites? IG? Twitter? FaceBook?

Find me on:
Facebook under Ryan Laessig
Facebook.com/MilwaukeeAlt
IG & Twitter: @MilwaukeeAlt
Also Google Milwaukee Alt / MilRAWkee Alt / or Bubbler Studios.

Collaborations with:

Taylor Loy
William Arthur
Amanda Iglinski
Rachel Hughes

Thank you so much for this interview.

“Be Kind, Be Humble, Be You.”

R.L.

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Interview with celebrity jeweler Clint Da Jeweler

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Ok, I always like to ask, what would you say to someone if they came up to you asked “What do you do?”

I’m a celebrity jeweler.

Can you tell us about your come up? Who are you? What made you who you are today?

I started off bk in 2000 as an entertainment manager, I managed both local artists aswell as major/well known. My girlfriend which later became my wife and I started expanding our family, so I wanted to do something that didn’t require much time away from home. So I decided to become a jeweler. I knew how profitable it could be and I knew that I could still cater to the stars.

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I read that you have a long history with the music industry, can you give us more details on what you did or still do today?

I still help out occasionally with some music stuff, it’s kind of something I can’t escape. I’m not managing anyone, but I do like to help people connect the dots

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Can you take us on a day in the life of Clint Da Jeweler? How is a concept/piece created? Take us through your process.

My day consist of browsing through instagram, lol. I use it to find clients. I seek people that have clothing companies, small businesses, record labels, etc. I then offer my services. I also look for the most popular girl or guy to see if they are interested in helping me grow and I sometimes gift them a small piece.
Making a piece is not easy, so it really bothers me when people try to negotiate prices. It also irritates me when they threaten to go someplace else, I guess they don’t know I have contracts with almost every well known store in the city!
Step 1. Mold
Step 2. Detail
Step 3. Cast
Step 4. Injection of metal
Step 5. Setting of diamonds
Step 5. Bale assembly
These are my overall steps to create, whether it’s a 150.00 piece or 150,000.00. It’s a lot more in the process, but this is general.

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I know its extensive, but who are some of your clients?

Past and present clients include cast of Love and Hip hop series, fox new show Empire, Rick Ross, R. Kelly, John Wall, Diggy Simmons, Jaden Smith, Lil Rel, Mike Epps, Tony Sculfield, Bad Girls Club Cast, Jeremih, and more.

We have a mantra of “DO WHAT YOU DESIRE” or #DWYD. How does that apply to what you are doing with your career and the fine jewelry game?

I apply do what you desire to every aspect of my life. It’s the only way you’ll be happy. I teach it to my children and I tell it those that ask me how to grow.
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How can we find out more about you and your work online? Facebook? Twitter? Website?

Find me on Instagram

@Clintdajeweler

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Are there any last words of wisdom or advice?

Last words- DWYD

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Interview with artist Ole P (ViBE Music)

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Whats good Ole P? Can you tell us exactly what you do? Like, if someone came up to you on the street and asked “What do you do”? What would you say?What’s good! Life is great bro. I’m a hip hop artist from Milwaukee, WI. I write all my own material and have started writing songs for other artists.
I produce as well, but not many people know that yet. I’ve made music videos for myself and other artists. I’ll never limit myself to one craft, but making music is my favorite.You are a young artist, with a deep, wise feel to your music/vibe. What inspires you to create music?Everything.
“Take what you learn and apply it”

I try to learn from every experience and apply what I learned in the future. Ever since I became better in-tune with myself by eating healthy, meditating and enjoying the good and bad in life, I get inspired from everything. A good experience can put me in the mood to write and search for a positive uplifting beat and make a song about enjoying life in every way. A bad experience can do the same thing except I’ll probably look for a soulful/deep vibe and write about whatever I’m going through. I hear a lotta people saying “these bad things only happen to me, nobody understands me, everybody’s a hater” etc. So I hope to connect with people n show them everybody has obstacles.

“We all get distracted, the question is would you bounce back or bounce backwards / would you not know how to act or take action” – Kendrick Lamar on “Growing Apart (To Get Closer)”

As of now Kendrick’s my favorite rapper alive.

Some other artists that have inspired me to create include 2Pac, Thievery Corporation, Tech N9ne, The Beatles, Lil Boosie, everybody from Pro Era, J Cole, Jay Z & The Weeknd.

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What are your thoughts on marijuana legalization?

What’s marijuana?

Lmao. Legalization would be incredible. More realistically I’m hoping for it to be regulated like tobacco or alcohol.
Cannabis is such an amazing plant, with so many uses and benefits it shouldn’t be illegal. A lot of people have distorted views about it and don’t know anything about it except “it’s illegal”.
Personally it helps me with anxiety / stress, creative uses, sleeping, upset stomach or helping to get an appetite etc. Some people say it makes them lazy or paranoid, which I’d suggest not using it then.
It all comes down to being a responsible indivudual and making good choices.

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I also know you are big into Organic living, sustainability, can you tell us more about that aspect of your life? You know, drop some knowledge?

When I was younger, I used to eat whatever whenever, and had a lot of health issues. Once I started eating healthier I saw my life change within weeks.
Now I buy organic whenever available and foods with natural non GMO ingredients. Everything we put into our bodies affect the way we live. The way we feel, how we think, many diseases/problems are preventable and start with what we put into our bodies.
People are surprised that I don’t drink alcohol at all. Never started.
You can’t make it to the top if you’re not taking care of yourself. Again it comes down to being responsible and making good choices.
I recycle & reuse every time i can. We gotta take care of this planet, it’s where we LIVE. Lol
I love learning about healthy living and I enjoy promoting a healthy lifestyle.

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Can you tell us more about the video that you just dropped? How did that happen?

Man. So much herb that night lol. I just dropped a new music video with one of my favorite artists Mad Static, the song is called CRASH THE PARTY, the record was produced by Rustik & Luke Marlowe did the visuals for me. And killed it. Those are the nights I live for! Making memories with friends and family involving music is a wonderful thing.
That record is from my most recent mixtape called “Intro 2 #ViBEMusic”
I’m glad we finally got a visual for it and I love the final product.

We have a motto, a way of life, called “Do What You Desire” or simply #DWYD. Can you tell us how that relates to you and your life and pursuing your passion?

So many people in my life told me what I couldn’t do, and that’s always been one of the biggest motivators.
For a while when I was younger, I felt like I needed other peoples approval to feel happy.
Once I stopped caring what anybody else thought I started to excel.
I encourage everyone everywhere to find what you love, find what you’re passionate about and include that in your life as much as possible!!
The world will never get tired of creative people with original ideas.
“The world is watching”

DO WHAT YOU DESIRE !! I desire college girls. & great food. Sour Diesel. & #ViBEMusic Lol

#DWYD

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Where can we find out more about you and your music?

Find Ole P (ViBE Music) @

www.instagram.com/lilolep
www.twitter.com/lilolep
www.soundcloud.com/lilolep
www.facebook.com/vibemusic414

Thanks for reaching out ! I appreciate the support and look forward to working with ya’ll again in the future.
Peace to everybody n thank you for rockin with us! #ViBEMusic #DWYD

Feb. 9th Show w/Tory Lanez

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