To all my fellow artists, I want to share a secret with you I’ve learned to assist you in your success. One BIG thing that I’ve seen so many artists fail to do is have a plan to market their music. A powerful way to market is by having a proven system. Without a system, it’s easy to get caught up in a rat race, waste your hard earned money and valuable time. Here’s what I’ve observed many artists do. They make the effort to write songs, record an album, get CDs pressed up, perform a few shows and that’s it! No marketing plan. Putting music on iTunes and other online retail outlets is not marketing. All that equates to is adding music to a virtual store shelf that will collect cyber dust if no one knows your music exists. The “If you build it they will come” theory doesn’t really work for music. Not even for Justin Bieber, he has a marketing team. If you’re reading this today it’s not too late to learn how to market your music. Ever heard of Music Marketing Manifesto? I have two words for ya. It works. This stuff isn’t taught in school. I went to college and no music business courses I took come close to this. Google it and do your research but most of all, if you believe in yourself as an artist, you owe it to yourself to educate yourself and grow your music career.
As I reflect on 2013, I’m grateful for another year on earth. Not everything is perfect, or the way I would like for it to be, but I still gotta count my blessings. I’m thankful that I have blessing to count. We all do. There’s at least one, or many that are overlooked. Most of all, I’m thankful for family. I even reunited with some fam I haven’t seen in years. I love em all!
As for music, this year I celebrated 10 years as a solo artist since my first album. I debuted my Voice Guitar / Beatboxing videos on YouTube. Also at the church I attend I became the Music Director, Worship Leader, or whatever ya wanna call it. I’m not big on titles. I play the piano and sing for the most part. Sometimes I’ll be a one man band and produce entire songs. When I produce tracks that frees me up to stand and direct the choir. This takes a lot of time, from learning new songs, to learning to play the songs in different keys, to rehearsing with two choirs, to teaching the choir parts, to preparing a list of songs for each Sunday, etc….. Yeah, ya see what I’m talking about? It’s a challenge to always stay a few steps ahead of events and keep good communication flowing. I’m just one part of a team effort though. A great team leads to great success. Even if you feel alone, hang in there. The right people will come around. MESSAGE!
There’s more I’m thankful for as I reflect. My brotha from anotha motha Smiley-D released a mix-tape and an album that I had the pleasure of mixing some tracks and mastering. We collaborated on a few tracks. A couple of them were international. “International Communication” was a with Troyanski Virus from Russia. “Tell Me Tomorrow” was with Hyun & Cloud J from South Korea. As for in the states, I traveled to Nashville, Tenessee and shared the stage with the Hip-Hop legend Kurtis Blow. I spent some time ministering through music on the streets of Broadway with other like-minded artists who tour the world.
As for acting, I took some acting classes to sharpen my skills and met some cool people. I later got signed to my first agent. I acted on some cool films and televsion shows like Killer Women, Dallas, Deliverance Creek on Lifetime, Revolution on NBC, Manglehorn with Al Pacino. and Parkland produced by Tom Hanks.
Concerning physical health and fitness, I completed a workout program called T-25. This program is a non-stop 25 minute workout for 60 days. I didn’t count the stretch days so my vlog about it was 50 days. I toned up and lost 14 pounds. This is the best shape I’ve been in my entire life. The half of it is because of choosing better foods to eat. Less processed foods, and more raw foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, and grains. I’ve also been eating more fish, lean meats and Shakeology.
Wow! I didn’t think it would take this long. I guess it was a whole a year and there’s a lot I didn’t write about. If you’re still reading this, I want to say Happy New Year to you! I appreciate you for caring enough to take time from your life today and every other time to read my blogs and statuses, listen to my tunes, watch my videos, and support me. That’s love. And love is all want to spread through the world through the work I do. Thank YOU for being a part of it! 2013 is about to be history. Reflect on it and count your blessings. What are you thankful for? I look foward to entering 2014 with you and enjoying a great year, a better year. Let’s make history together!
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Hey, It’s TDG! I just made a new Voice Guitar cover of Mary Mary’s “Go Get It”. See the player below or click the link to listen.
Click here to listen if you do not see the music player above.
What is Voice Guitar? VG is when I make the sound of an electric guitar with my voice. For this song I did the same for the bass guitar sound too. On the VG I did it similar to the way Mary Mary sings it so if you know the lyrics to the song you can sing along to it. This is more like an instrumental track because I only sing on the hook and vocalize a little bit on the bridge. I re-produced the beat by creating the percussion on my computer, playing the keys and organ on my keyboard and recording the rest with my voice. You can hear the scratching I did more at the end of the song but there’s some happening through most of the track. Do you notice it? Anyway, I was having fun with this and decided to share it. I hope you enjoy it and share it with somebody. Thanks for listening be blessed!
Oh, I forgot to mention, you can download it for free. Just look for the download button near the track. Peace out!
This is the first film I acted in as the drummer boy back in 98′. You can see me near the end right before the battle, starting at 1:19:33 and a few more shots till right after the battle. It was a fun experience. I got to meet Kris Kristofferson, Tom Skerritt, and Scott Bairstow too. Cool dudes! Here’s the link if you can’t see it above, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE4g3SaNAoc. It may have been deleted or removed by youtube or by the person who posted it.
Interestingly, I started playing drums in the band in middle school and stopped in high school to focus on art. I still had a love for music so in the back of my mind I thought playing the drums in high school would have been good to do. Band took all of my extra time in middle school and I missed out on drawing and decided to not miss out on it anymore. The band instructor called me three times during the summer to join the high school band. I said no each time. And guess what… on my first day as a freshman, band was a subject on my schedule and it took about a few days to finally get out of it. I got in the art class which I don’t regret. I had an amazing art teacher (love ya Mrs. Welch!) and won Gold and Silver keys in the Scholastic Art Awards and gained national recognition for my artwork. So this movie was my only experience playing drums during high school for that sacrifice I made and I must say, it was pretty awesome! Plus I got paid to be out of school for a few days. I guess that was my reward for never skipping class. Being a schoolboy has it’s perks lol.
Here’s something that I’ll never forget that happened on one morning on the way to set. As my mom and I were crossing the highway, a car that was speeding T-boned our car on my side. I was a little shaken up, okay, a I was shaken up a lot, but I insisted that I stay on set. However, the director told me to go home and rest and I came back on the next shoot. The devil tried to take me out. But I’m still here and back on the scene again. Thank God!
What uuuuup! I just started doing Focus T25, a new workout program led by Shaun T (the same guy that brought “Insanity” and “Insanity Asylum”). The cool thing about this workout is it’s only 25 minutes a day for five days a week. That’s it! I’ve been doing more acting and looking fit is always a plus. I’ve been a skinny guy for while now so I thought it’s about time to tone up. Staying fit is also good for being on stage for those high energy songs I perform. I’ve seen a lot of artists get so tired on stage during their set they end up cutting it short to get some air. I don’t wanna do that, lol. Good health is important to me because in my early teens I expereinced the pain from the deaths of family and friends that could have lived longer if they took care of themselves. Not just exercise, but how we eat and what we allow in our bodies is a big factor in our overall health. This is the only body you have so preserve it, don’t destroy. I wanna see ya around a bit longer.
Believe it or not, my journey to fitness began when I was 13. I was in the eigth grade and obese. Got pictures to prove it, but just take my word for it. If I was to say I was in shape at that time, I was – round, lol. I can laugh about it now, but back then, I was dying, literally. My health was terrrible, I had asthma attacks, was allergic to everything, even grass, so I couldn’t play sports like tackle football. It didn’t help that all I would mostly eat was junk food like snickers bars, sodas, and greasy fried foods. I hated who I saw in the mirror. I hated myself so much I wanted to committ suicide. I’ve expressed the spiritual side of how I was affected by this through my music, but this is the physical side. Mentally, I realized I had to change my thoughts to change my body. I didn’t want to have asthma anymore. I didn’t want to look in the mirror and think I was fat any more. I wanted to be healthy. I wanted to be able to love myself so I could show love to others. How was I, as a young Christian teenager, supposed to show the love of Christ to my peers when I hated myself?
What happens physically first has to happen spiritually. I prayed. I searched the Bible for answers and found this in Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Though I was a Christian I was still conformed to the world’s ways. Yeah, I went to church and sang in choir, attended Bible study and learned a lot from listening to the pastor’s sermons. But apart from church, I was doing what I wanted. Living a sedentary lifestyle. Eating how I wanted rather than how God would have wanted me to. He gave me a temple, one body, to serve Him with, and I was constanly filling it with junk and sitting around playing video games. I was a couch potatoe. I loved potatoes, especially french fries with a lot of salt. That’s the way of the world. That scripture, Romans 12:2 lingered in my mind until one day I said enough is enough. I can change my reality. I can lose weight. I can look better. I can feel better. I can overcome asthma. I can! And with God’s help of enouragement through His Word (the Bible) telling me “I am more than a conqueror,” and “I can do all things through Christ who strenghtens me,” I started working out. All I knew how to do was go run on the track at school, walk as much as I could instead of take the bus (Jesus walked a lot for exercise), and lift weights. I also new a little martial arts and incorporated a few moves and streches from it. So that’s what I did. By the time summer came around I had formed a habit of exercising at least two hours a day. After summer break was over, I entered high school and my classmates from middle school barely recognized me. I didn’t realize how much I changed! I felt better, could breathe better, and aaaaah – no more fear of astma attacks. I was a slow poke and I could finally run like Forest Gump. I could run fast and not feel like I was gonna die before reaching a mile distance. I remember being chased by dogs with my neighborhood friends and I would get left behind. After this change, I was in front of everyone and they were so surprised. I was too, lol! A changed finally happened! I could look in the mirror and not hate my appearance. I figured it could be better, but I was fine with not being what I used to be. I wasn’t fit, but I was skinny. Heh, cool with me.
As I’ve grown over the years I’ve maintained my weight, thanks to a high metabolism. I would still workout every now and then until about a few years ago. I got married, but while we were engaged, since every bride-to-be wants to fit into the smallest dress size possible, I bought gym memberships for us. The drag of driving to the gym and back, opening and closing times, and people that just like to sit around and stare, wore on us after a while. I stopped working out at gyms and cancelled our memberships. I figured excerising at home would be a better option, since that worked for me before. So a couple of years ago, my wife and I began doing P90-X, ChaLEAN Extreme, and Les Mills Combat. We had the opportunity to see and meet some of the trainers from these programs at a BeachBody conference we went to earlier this year.
By the way, BeachBody is the name of the company that produces these programs and other’s like Insanity, Asylum, Turbo Jam, Slim-In-6, HipHop Abs, and Brazil Butt Lift. I also began to make heathier eating choices. No sodas, candy, or junk food. I don’t add salt or butter to meals. Room temperature water for my vocals. I try to abstain from a lot of dairy and sweets, but I have a sweet tooth, and it’s cost me. One thing that’s helped a lot is drinking an ultra-premium superfood health shake called Shakeology.
It helps my muscles repair after hard workouts, plus, it’s the healthiest meal of the day. No GMO’s or artificial stuff, it’s the healthiest meal replacement I’ve seen compared to everything out there. I pondered on how foods must have been when the Adam and Eve were on earth before they sinned and began the fall of mankind. Since nothing went bad or died, they were vegetarians. Just think, every bite from the organic fruits and vegetables they ate must have been soooooo nutritious. With all the toxic and processed foods being fed to the world now, Shakeology is as close as it gets to real nutrition. If you’ve ever studied the effects of juicing and liquifying healthy foods so it gets in your system better, you know what I’m talking about. I drink it everyday and it curbs my cravings for sweets. Woohoo!
I didn’t expect to write this much when I started, but I had to let you know why this is dear to me. I want to be around for my family in the future, be healthy and energetic, and not in a hospital. Time is super valuable to me and waisting it is not an option. Time is the only thing we “kind-of” have that we can’t get back. I’ve been posting videos after each workout from Focus T25 to share my results. Join me on this journey as I exercise my faith as I exercise my body one day at a time. I encourage you to not just watch, but take charge of your health WITH me. I guarantee it will be worth your time. God bless!
I went to Nashville, Tenessee and met an army of musicianaries (musician missionaries) from around the world at a workshop. At night we went out to Broadway to pray for people. Broadway reminded me of 6th Street in Austin so it was almost like home. People walking the streets looking for the next club to go to, bypassing the musicians on the sidewalk just looking for someone to drop a buck or two in their guitar cases on the ground. I met a few of em. Talked with some, prayed with some, and listened to some. I observed how an experience like this was a first time for several of the artists that I was with. It made me think about when I first started street ministry in college. I was with a group of believers called the Rescue Squad and we would pray for people on campus and around the community streets, hospitals, where ever God told us to go. We saw some pretty wild things happen spiritually. Some people don’t believe in demons and demon possession, but if you experienced what I did, you would believe too, if you don’t already. But that’s another topic for another time. Back to Nashville. There was one night that groups of us went out to minister on Broadway again and the group I was with chose a corner under a building with a fish sign, like the one that some Christians have as emblems on the back of cars, like that. A couple of the guys with us brought a guitar and a djembe drum and we started sing worship songs. A few of the emcees in the group began to freestyle as I started beat-boxing and others began sharing their testimonies. A crowd began to grow and from across the street a dude with a bucket walks into the middle of the circle and busts out freestyling about his beliefs and concludes his rhymes by asking about to about salvation. About three emcees took turns at responding to him going back at and forth with him with their flows. The dude got his question answered and wanted to accept Christ so we prayed for him. Soon after he left another man came seeking help with a few dollars to get home and someone gave more than he asked for before he could finish asking. He asked for prayer and we prayed for him as well.
There was another day when we went to University Court, basically the projects. I was told that the people there didn’t think they deserved something like this when people handed out fliers to the community to let them know about the concert we would do. Once we got out there and set up the stage and sound it started to rain but that didn’t stop us. Kids coming home from school on the school bus driving by were so excited. Once the rain cleared up they came out with the rest of the residents and witnessed God taking His love to the streets. The Swordsman who’s been in the Guinness Book of World Records came out and swallowed real swords and daggers while sharing his testimony, proving that God can made us amazing and we just need to believe it. The band that rocked the stage afterward, called A Bride Dressed In Black, brought a Hip-Hop veteran to the scene with them, Kurtis Blow. He’s one down to earth brotha. He talked and took pictures with the people who kept walking up to him looking for his attention. We even shared the stage together when a group of emcees all got in for a freestyle during a song. One of the residents was allowed on stage and challenged Kurtis Blow to a rap battle, and he accepted it and quickly made terms that they would not be talking bad about each other but rapping about God. Both of em’ went in and God got the glory. The people were fed physically and spiritually. Lives were changed for the better. The people were grateful and had a joy that they didn’t have before God showed up through us. This is what ministry is about. Ministry means to serve. This is why I do what I do with music for over 10 years now as a musicianary. It’s not about money, Lord knows for real lol because I know I can get paid very well for the talent and skills I have, and I have before and left it for the sake of spreading the Gospel. It’s not about the fame either. Personally, I’d rather lay low and keep to myself, but what good is that if my purpose is to minister to people around the world? So I look at it like this. Though Jesus was famous and still is, because of His fame, many lives have been changed. The goal is for people to see Jesus through me. So if I do gain fame, I’ll use it to bring glory to His name. What are your gifts and what will you use them for?
I’ve got good news. I just saved a ton of money by switching my car insurance to Gieco! Just kidding lol (that was on a commercial in the US). This is it for real…. I just heard that ABC liked Killer Women and will be airing it this fall. WoooHooooo! I’ll let you know when it will air so you can look for me. I played a cop in one part and in this picture I’m on set at a gala that takes place sometime in the show. This was on one of the longest days we had to shoot and it was freezing cold and rainy that night too. I met some cool people on set though and had a good time with my fellow actors so I can’t complain. Since ABC picked up the show they decided to keep filming it in Austin. Can’t wait to see the show! Keep checking back here at WHOL-E.COM for more updates. God bless ya! – TDG
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
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License and registration please…
You can now add me to the list of rappers who play a cop on television lol.
This is from when I was on set for a new show called Killer Women. In the world of television, productions call new shows that have never been aired yet a “pilot”. So what happens is when the filming and editing is done, the producers of the show then give the pilot to the ABC network. If ABC likes it, they will air it on television and then you can see me on it. Hopefully they do! This is one of the most recent ones. I’ve been on shows like The Lying Game on ABC Family where I played a waiter and a valet guy and Friday Night Lights on NBC as a football player and a student, mostly noticed in the season finales. I’ve been in movies such as Two For Texas, Man Of The House, and most recently on Parkland produced by Tom Hanks. I’ll keep you updated on what happens next. God bless! – TDG
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