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My Life as an Artist

Updated: Aug 4, 2019

I grew up in NWPA in a small town of about 150 people. My journey into the arts didn't start until I was about 17. While my childhood was filled with pop culture, movies, and rap music, it was sports that dominated my free time. (My favorite being basketball!)

But I didn't like who was becoming. I saw my life headed down a direction that many people in small towns don't escape from. I would get a local job in town, settle down, and spend the rest of my days wondering what if. Truth is, I was a jerk.

But what if I accepted myself and pursed my dream. That's a crazy thought. So I took a chance and decided I would spend my college years at The American Musical Dramatic Academy in NYC. I shifted who I was and what I wanted from the universe. It wasn't a complete shift of personality all at once. I was still a jerk on more occasions than I'm proud to admit. They say people can't change, but I'm living proof of a person trying. I am definitely not 100% corrected, but I can safely say that I'm in a much better place than where I was 3 years ago.

After graduation, I started auditioning for everything under the sun. I recall countless nights falling asleep at the keyboard searching for acting work. The only problem was I wasn’t fulfilled. I found myself doing work and being unhappy with the constant need for approval. It wasn’t until I started rapping and writing music that I lost that urge to be constantly liked. I could be myself on stage and speak from the heart in a way that I've never expressed before. I had tried rap before, but I always let my peer group talk me out of it. This time I wouldn’t allow it. I would be heard. I would pursue a rap career.

I've loved rap music from the first time Eminem's Encore touched my ears. Yes I know Encore is not his most popular album. Yes I know how it sounds to have a white rapper say Eminem is his favorite rapper. But that's how I was introduced in the middle of nowhere! My constant inspirations are Jon Bellion, J Dilla, Wu-Tang Clan, Watsky, Logic, and Macklemore. Since discovering what Hip-hop really is, I've spent my time learning where Hip-hop comes from and dedicating myself to give back to a culture that has given so much to me. Hip-hop and rap helped me find my voice. It's my responsibility as an artist to use that voice to help others in need.

Today is the balance between financial stability and artistic freedom. That means balancing two day jobs with my passion and dreams. I won't lie, it's hard. Hard to find time for myself and well being. That's why I give myself off days/art days where I unplug from modern technology and just work on the things that bring me joy. I continue to write music everyday and know that I'm happy doing what I love.

You can find my music on all major platforms. I’m still pursuing an acting career, but it’s nice to have a healthy balance of both worlds. If you made it this far, thank you for hearing out my story so far and I can’t wait for the rest of it to play out. I just released my first music video, A-OKAY on Youtube. If you share it on Social Media and tag me, I will send you a free A-OKAY wristband! I only have a limited amount left so you better hurry before they’re all gone!

In health, Austin

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