Anyone who's ever even thought about becoming a professional musician has had to face the fact that it's just not that easy. It takes hard work, natural talent, and a whole lot of determination. Add raising kids as a single parent to the mix, and suddenly a dream of becoming a professional musician seems pretty daunting. But Baltimore-based artist Wordsmith isn't like most other hip-hop artists. He's got a career moving full steam ahead, on top of raising two boys--and making music they can be proud of.
"You don't have to be a fan of hip-hop to like my music," he said. "You just need to have an open mind and allow me to open your eyes to a different brand of urban culture."
Wordsmith prides himself on making hip-hop that's free of profanity, filled instead with positive messages and influences from a wide variety of music genres. And from the wild success of his Indiegogo campaign, his style is a welcome change in the industry. (At the time of this writing, his Indiegogo has raised almost 900% of its original goal!)
So who is Wordsmith, besides a dedicated dad, hip-hop artist and crazy-good fundraiser?
"I consider myself a free spirited, purpose driven musician seeking to inspire others through the messages in my music," Wordsmith said. "I have to thank my upbringing for helping me have a wide respect for numerous cultures. My dad served in the army for almost 30 years. Born in Germany, I have dual citizenship and lived in over seven different states during my childhood; this gave me a universal mind frame when creating music."
Now, Wordsmith is serving the U.S. Army in return. He just left for a tour of the Middle East, to perform for troops in places like Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, with his team The Big Band Theory.
"This will be my first tour with the military and I see it as an opportunity to give back to a life I knew for so many years growing up," he said. "I've never been to the Middle East, so I'm looking forward to being enlightened, becoming a better human being, better father and bigger advocate for those in need of positivity in their life. I've seen a lot of the world growing up, but when you visit different countries doing something you love it makes the experience much more rewarding. Knowing how loyal our troops are, it will be an honor to gain them as fans of my purpose driven movement!"
So how did Wordsmith get into doing music as a full-time gig? After making it into the final rounds of auditions for the master acting program at Penn State--and then not getting invited after all--he switched gears, and devoted himself to becoming a professional musician instead. He spent a year honing his skills before releasing his first official mixtape at age 27.
After that, his business kept growing.
"By 2009 I released my first retail project, "Bridging the Gap", with old school hip-hop legend Chubb Rock, while opening up my company NU Revolution Entertainment," he said. "Since then I've performed in over 100 shows, won four ASCAPLUS Awards for songwriting, licensed over 30 songs to films/TV/games, gained clothing sponsorship's, secured digital/physical distribution for my solo albums, signed several business partnerships and actively work in my community! I can truly am self made as I never had a mentor or a steady person in my corner to tell me the pitfalls of this business."
Okay, so now you've GOT to hear his stuff, right? We've got you. Check out his Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We've got a guy going all around the world to make Baltimore proud, so why not show your support? And if you need one more reason to listen...
"My music is a platform for expanding positivity,
All photos are courtesy of Wordsmith's Facebook page.
This post was written by Route One Apparel blogger, Eva Niessner.