ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., Jan. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
To all aspiring musicians and designers:
If I had to share one piece of advice, it's simply: "Take the leap."
In 1998, I was a typical college student but knew I had a talent that I was passionate to share with the world. I studied hard, but I also worked on my music tirelessly because I believe luck happens when opportunity meets preparation. I knew if I were ever to get my moment, I had to be ready to step up to that big stage.
My first leap moment came when I met Lauryn Hill, who invited me to play piano for her upcoming solo project. Then in 2001, I was introduced to Kanye West, who was working on "College Dropout." I was given the opportunity to sing the hook on some of his tracks and also be featured on others he made for artists like Jay-Z and Dilated Peoples.
Even still, I had another leap to take. After college, I worked as a business consultant for several years. I knew my heart was in music and that's what I wanted to do, so I left my corporate job and pursued my dream.
I know what it's like to start out and how intimidating the journey can be. I was turned down by every major record label, including the one I'm with now. I also started playing the piano and singing in the church choir when I was only four, so the road was long for me. I learned that hard work, a few key mentors and – most importantly – the confidence to take action when opportunities arise can propel your life in ways you always dreamed.
Now I'm excited to pay it forward, so I've teamed up with AXE® to develop an entirely new mentorship program – the AXE® White Label Collective – which spans music and style, and is dedicated to giving up-and-coming artists and creators the tools needed to take their talents to the next level. Together, AXE® and I want to cultivate talent and turn aspiration into action by providing access to industry resources, building confidence and delivering opportunities to shine.
Beginning today, I invite aspiring musicians to submit a YouTube video of an original performance on www.axewhitelabel.com for the chance to work with me and White Label Collective partner, SPIN. Top five participants will be selected for an opportunity to work one-on-one with me as a mentorship and be part of an AXE® White Label Collective day party at this year's SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. That's right, you'll take the stage.
For aspiring style creators and designers – I'm looking at you next. Keep your eyes open for an AXE® White Label Collective announcement this spring. I promise you won't be disappointed. In the meantime, join the conversation and share your leap moments with us by using #taketheleap.
Are you ready to take the leap?
No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. AXE® White Label Collective is sponsored by Conopco Inc., d/b/a Unilever. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 years of age & older. Begins 12:01 p.m. ET on 1/20/15 and ends 11:59 a.m. ET on 2/11/15. For Terms and Conditions, visit https://secure.axewhitelabel.com/collective.
Video - http://youtu.be/9r68nFn9a7U
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150121/170447
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150121/170450
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150121/170451
Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150121/170449LOGO