We had the good fortune of connecting with Dontae Winslow and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dontae, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind the success of my brand is authenticity. I believe that knowing yourself is key in being able to actualize a plan for happiness and integrating that plan into manifestation. If you are not aware of who you are, what you want, and would you would like to say to the world then you will feel lost. A ship without an anchor is restless, wavering, and lost at sea. Being grounded in fundamental principles like faith, religion, a moral compass, family, children, whatever keeps you focused on source and a firm center will allow you to be propelled into your dreams fearlessly and effortlessly.When we are authentic and sincere the product, any product sells itself, humans can feel, hear, and perceive realness and it is intoxicating. Sincerity encourages the soul, and fuels empathy and compassion between concientious beings. I have been uber sincere my whole life, honest without the brutality. Honesty in love, and a depth of warm compassion for me this is the most important concept I present in the Winslowdynasty Brand. I teach my children the same thing, and thankfully they came here with beautiful souls. I balance my life with love to my wife of 20 years, and time managing her with attention to each of my kids, and my composing, and trumpet practice so that there are no loose or neglected areas. I am sincere at home, so it is easy to be sincere in public. I am the same man with celebrity clients as I am in speaking to the homeless, I am the same at church, as I am in a gentleman’s club. I sell authenticity through Music composition, teaching, and motivational speaking.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m most proud of and excited about my recent installation entitled “Trumpet and A Mic” by Dontae Winslow on YouTube.com. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50xIhhsCaAk It’s An orchestral composition that I produced and directed a video for of my own musical work autobiographically describing my life growing up in Baltimore aka “the Wire”. This is a story of a mature man who has become a KING by modern standards reflecting on his life, trials, and revelations while sharing them to his younger self as if speaking from the future. My five year old son Messiah plays me as a child looking up and learning of what to head in the life ahead. The setting is in a magical church where the story begins with me being encouraged to play the trumpet by my mom, as both a cathartic healing tool for my life’s emotions, and a blessing that will one day heal the world, the story is so true and real it’s a self fulfilling prophecy unto itself. I am welcomed into the church as the mature Dontae by two beautiful souls and the conversation from Inner self to self, father to son, future to past begins. The song is presented with a chamber orchestra with brass accompaninment that I arranged, and then I begin to rap and play jazz trumpet on this anthemic call. Produced by me and Pianist|Musical Director Omar Edwards (Rihanna, JayZ) the tapestry is an eclectic blend of Hiphop, European classical, and Jazz (Black American Music) nuances. The unifying factor in the musical collage is authenticity of expression, truth, and compassion. It’s hard AF! What sets me apart from other artists and musicians is that I am classically trained with a BM, and MM degree from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. I have travelled the world with, recorded, and/or written for most of the greatest artists who have ever lived. I am a family man, married with kids, and those that who know me would say “I practice what I preach.” I also RAP and PLAY a trumpet while producing music, scoring films, and conducting chamber orchestras. I am a well trained musician, with a heart and a soul that is open and not jaded by life’s tough circumstances. I have performed in two Superbowls, played music on every Continent, and made 8 Indy albums on my own label while attending college full-time with a 3.5 GPA. I have played with Queen Latifah, Justin Timberlake, Kamasi Washington, Lady A, D’ Angelo, Lauryn Hill. Written songs with Jayz, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Big Sean, Mary Mary, Snoop Dog, and Dr. Dre. I composed the score for the HBO documentary “Baltimore Rising” which received 100% on Rotten tomatoes detailing the death of Freddie Gray, who was killed from Police Brutality and the ensuing riots which nearly destroyed the city. I also composed music for “The New Edition Story” on BET which was it’s highest rated program. I am currently working on a book of my life story. I’d say that makes me different. These are things that make Dontae special! I also maintain a child-like quality that allows me to be a great educator when it comes to affectively transforming the lives of children. I got to where I am today by being very resilient, that’s my middle name. My Modus Operandi is “Never ever give up”, no matter what. My ideology was forged from a tough life where I had to teach myself how to overcome the pain of abuse and molestation in my childhood. Learning how to cope with bullies, racism, and poverty taught me a lot about tenacity and relentlessness. My passion runs deep in my chest and it’s been there for as long as I can remember. I was born special, and I was sent here to show other people that they are special too, especially the downtrodden and despondent, the overlooked and abused. I am a vessel and I am aware of my power. I am blessed and eternally grateful for this gift. It is deeper than magic. It comes from God. I overcame many of life’s challenges by getting up and trying again while maintaining a constant sense of hope in my gut. My underlying vibration is always saying YOU CAN DO THIS! I always believe in what CAN happen. I’m a loyal optimist who is very aware of pessimism. All of my life I have heard “you ain’t shit” or “you can’t make it” and I ignore it. I listen, tolerate the voice and then dismiss it. As a older man I do not allow negativity in my space or my inner circle any longer. Humans who are not on my vibration and are bringing me lower force me to remove myself from the vicinity as quickly as possible. That’s one of the most important lessons I have learned, is to guard your mental space as “sacred”. How your mind transmits and received signals and it’s purity is to be protected at all costs, that is our decoder and our CPU. The “right” things have to go in and out for success to be consistent. Be mindful of the content going in and out of you. Do not be PERFECT, for that can never be achieved… be “mindful”. I want the world to know that even though ratchet-ness seems to be popular now, in a few moments health, love, life, sobriety, wholistic loving, wrapped in fearless virtuosity, love and healing will be THE NEXT, and I AM COMING TO DELIVER IT TO THEM through ART. I am bringing a new level of compassion, vulnerability, truth, and love. I will use a TRUMPET and a MIC. God will use Winslowdynasty as the conduit to deliver these messages.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would drive my close friend through Bel Air and Beverly Hills to see both the architecture, and to see what is possible by hard work, faith, and commitment. I would take them up the PCH because it is the most gorgeous drive I have seen to date. I would take them to the Holland over pass to see all of LA, and the The Griffith Observatory to take in the LA Sky line. I would eat at all the best Vegan spots, and get some seafood too maybe Harold and Belle’s in Inglewood. I would hit a jam session to hear some live music. I love the Grove, The sunny beaches renting bikes, then maybe Water Grill my new favorite for late dining. I’d drive them up and down Sunset and Hollywood Blvd just for the history. I love the remote airplanes that fly at the Rose Bowl on Sundays. LA is sooo huge I have only tipped the iceberg and I have been here 17 years. I’m mostly a home body so the nightlife which is incredible is not my bag for hangs, and when I’m touring I see that in every city, therefore at home I like to just “chill”, read books, watch a flick, or listen to Shostakovich.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout is to my amazing wife @QUEENSHIC, MaShica Winslow, of 20 + years! Without her encouragement, belief, and unconditional hard love I would be half the man I am today. Through her unwavering faith, and non-judgmental love I am able to transcend into higher heights of my brilliance and truly penetrate the world in a powerful and relentless way. I am still learning her insides and therefore still learning the mesmerizing ways of feminine polarity and emotion so the journey is challenging yet very rewarding. After decades I am able to still like her, love her, and have lust for her which to me is a daily miracle I do not take for granted. There is something magical in her eyes that lets me know I can make it, I can win, that I am great, and that I AM A KING! My heart is full of HER everywhere I am when traveling the world and this sentiment stays with me like a delectable fragrance. The way she teaches our children, the way she is ready to fight and defend me, and the way she comforts my wounds welcoming my male vulnerability enables me to relax into greatness. Our love is an ancient love we like to say. Dontae with his Queen is life changing and is unstoppable. I am eternally grateful that our souls met on this axis in the time space continuum.
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Dontae Winslow, MaShica Winslow, Hodges Usry