We had the good fortune of connecting with Divinity Roxx and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Divinity, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
From the moment I discovered the power of words, books, music, and my own imagination my only desire has been to create. I fell in love with hip-hop as a kid and started writing my own raps when I was about 11. I founded a hip-hop group in high school and we were pretty serious about “making it”. But, I left home and went to college across the country in order to pursue a “real” career as a journalist. However, I picked up the bass in college and fell in love. I fell in love with the power the bass gave me to write music and songs and tell the stories in my heart-so I pursued that. Still, I never correlated making art as a “career” until I was in my early twenties and a friend of mine paid me to play bass with his band at a nightclub. Something clicked. I could get paid cold hard cash to play bass? Oh wow. That set me on a trajectory to pursue a career as a bass player. My love for words and books and stories fueled that choice because I was able to combine all of those things together and now I have a bonafide career as a creative. When I look back though I am reminded of the Parable of the Talents. I had a talent for expressing myself through words. I also had a talent to play music (I played the clarinet as a kid and sang in various choruses). But using those talents led me to become a producer, an audio engineer, a musical director, an author, and a creator of just about whatever I desire to create. Essentially though, it was the desire to create that compelled me to pursue a creative career.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The music I’ve made over the years has been an eclectic blend of hip-hop, funk, rock, soul, and jazz. My first album was a mash-up of rock and hip-hop and I was largely influenced by the live music scene in my hometown of Atlanta in the mid to late nineties. Underground bands like Johnny Prophet, Hundred Monkeys, Whild Peach, ThreeFiveHuman, Follow For Now, and more mainstream groups like The Dungeon Family, Outkast, Goodie Mob, and Joi were hugely influential for me when I started playing bass guitar and I really wanted to be as original as they were. What makes me unique is that I am primarily a bass player who raps while playing intricate bass lines and I’m also the lead singer in my band. Though it has become more common for bass players to be the lead singer of bands over the years, it wasn’t as common when I started out. I am most proud of my ability to continue to evolve as an Artist. I am a lifelong learner and I believe that my desire to learn has been a major factor in my ability to keep going. Was it easy? No. Nothing worth doing is ever easy and I have had my fair share of setbacks, disappointments, challenges, hardships, and downright failures. What has kept me going is faith. I’m here for a purpose greater than myself and as long as I continue to honor the talent I’ve been given that purpose will be fulfilled. I’ve always wanted to be an inspiration to others and I’ve wanted my music to be the source of that inspiration. I’ve actually started working on a Children’s album and will be releasing the first single from that project on May 13th. The single is called Ready, Set Go! I’ve had the wonderful opportunity over the past year to work with a major children’s publisher and license some of my original songs with them. That opportunity inspired me to create Divi Roxx Kids, my new production company dedicated to making children’s music, (now more appropriately referred to as ‘Family Music’). This new company aligns with my goal and mission of inspiring others and supports my vision for how my art fits into the world. I wrote, recorded, and produced a children’s song over 10 years ago called ‘I Can Be Anything’, with a company out of NY, “Mee Wee”, but I don’t think they were able to secure funding so they abandoned the project. It’s funny how all these years later I am revisiting that space. I’m really enjoying operating in this niche of the industry that happens to be filled with people who want to do something good in the world. I want to do something good in the world.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It’s kind of hard to go out anywhere right now but if my best friend was coming to town for a week this summer, we’d have a Ball. Honestly, we’d probably spend a lot of time in my and my wife’s apartment overlooking the Hudson River. My wife is usually the planner and I’m more of the ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants’ kinda girl, so there would be quite a bit of improvising during her stay. We’d probably hang out by the pool, cook out on the grill, sip some wine, and experiment with new recipes in the kitchen. We’d definitely hit up one of our favorite local restaurants, River Palm, in Edgewater, and stop by one of the local Cuban restaurants and bars, Son Cubano in Weehawken. If the DJ at Son Cubano is jammin’ we might stick around and dance because who doesn’t need to dance right now?! We’d hit up Cheryl’s in BK where I’d probably sit in on a couple of songs with the band if they’re having a jam, and I’d check to see if Bam or Joe’s Pub had any dope outdoor programming we could catch. Though we’d only have a week, we’d probably spend a couple of days at our house in the Poconos and go hiking, chill under the stars on the deck, listen to great music, and proselytize about this crazy world we’d live in.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people responsible for my successes that I can’t just choose one. Of course, my Mom and Dad are responsible for shaping me into the person I am. Flaws and all, they were always there praying for me, cheering me on. I commend them because when they brought me into the world they had nothing but love and they filled me to the brim with it. My brother and sister were my first friends and have never forsaken me, even when they could have. My wife, Yani, probably knows me better than anybody in the world and she continues to love me fiercely so she definitely deserves a huge shoutout. There are so many people whose names I can call but instead I wanna send a shout out to everyone who ever loved me, broke my heart, fed me, clothed me, held me, hired me, fired me, kicked me out, took me in, gave me a gift, stole from me, lifted me up, put me down, gave me a chance, gave me a shot, opened their hearts, opened my mind, allowed me to teach them something, taught me something, shared themselves with me, cursed me, prayed for me, prayed with me, and most of all inspired me.

Website: www.divinityroxx.com

Instagram: @diviroxx

Twitter: @diviroxx

Facebook: Facebook.com/Divinity Roxx

Youtube: youtube.com/DivinityRoxx

Image Credits
Photos By AMB Photography Jay Denes (yellow background) Album Art by Mario Butterfield

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