The Hype Magazine interviews Ponce De'Leioun: Hard work and dedication... | @PonceDeLeioun
Make no mistake about it, nothing shines stronger than honesty in presentation. People relate better to things that they can believe in. A fact not lost on Ponce De'Leioun. Key tastemakers within the industry share Ponce's own fervent belief in his own talent, most notably among them Big Dawg - Tim Westwood, hip hop Legend Tony Touch and current mixtape King DJ Green Lantern. There is doing for yourself and then there is doing for yourself. Ponce has succeeded by being the driving force behind each of his endeavors, never backing down from an artistic challenge.
Who is Ponce De'Leioun, and where are you from?
Ponce De'Leioun is rising 23 year old HipHop artist from the state of West Virginia. West Virginia is a very unrecognized state in the US and even has 2 of the rated most miserable cities in the U.S. However on the good side, we also have West Virginia University the #1 party school in the nation which makes for a great networking pool.
How did you discover your musical talent?
When I was young I wrote poetry. That poetry became music. All throughout high school, I played basketball and had great hopes of playing in college and going to the NBA. As my final basketball season began, I was averaging around 20 rebounds and 15 points on my team. However, I got myself into trouble and was expelled from school before I had a chance to finish my high school season. After that I transferred to a new school in the state of Ohio so that I could play ball. At the time, my scholarship offers were gone because they were claming that I said i would kill my teacher. That summer I got in a huge car accident in which I ended up underneath an 18 wheeler on the highway "ripping my car in half" yet myself "driver" and 2 friends walked away spotless and the 3rd person walked away with a minor concussion. This is the day my life changed. It was obvious to me that I was given another chance at life and that I needed to make changes asap. This is when I created Ponce - the Alter ego of De'Leioun also the name of Juan Ponce De Leon the Spanish conquistador I was named after. At 19 I began making music at my new college in their world class studio. After the release of my first mix tape, I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Taking over a college campus was the first major move I had.
Who has been your greatest inspiration musically and why?
2pac Shakur is by far my greatest influence. If I could be like anybody it would be him. I have never seen or heard an artist that is as hungry and intelligent as he. From the streets to the books, the man was a genius who kept it real. I want to rise as a prodigy of Pac's, and one day continue to tell the story that he left unfinished.
What do you feel you offer the music industry that we don't already have in other performers?
I feel as if I can offer authenticity. Real hunger, real energy, real lyrics. I tell a story in every song no matter how I come at the instrumental. The lyrics tend to be very explosive in most of my songs however, I make music that everybody can relate too. I went from being a basketball star to a high school kick out, enrolled in college with financial aid so I can learn business and marketing which I applied to music, than dropped out. I've seen the good and the bad of everything and that's part of the huge push that is behind my mindset and goals.
Have you encountered any problems in getting to this point in your career?
My main issue is being from West Virginia. The state isn't really recognized by the rest of the world and instead we are constantly called Western Virginia, on national TV. However we are our own state. There is not a huge hip hop or music scene here and so it makes it hard to find sponsors and investors and such. So, one has to make a name for himself by putting his own hours and sweat and tears into his career. Its 3 times harder when you're coming from a place nobody knows of.
What do you want people get from your music?
I want people to hear music that makes them think. I want to educate the uneducated whether the topic is about my life or the world we live in and the actions that take place on a daily basis. If I can make a listener say "Damn, that sh*t was real," then I know I've succeeded. I come at every song with a sense of anger and hunger because I've been through so much and have so much built up anger, that's the best way to release it is through music. Channeling my anger to music, seems to make a different sound of music, a sound that I've only ever heard from artists like 2Pac, J.Cole, and Kendrick.
When can we expect some new music from you?
Early 2014 I'm releasing a mix tape with DJ Swu of Jetlife Society along with a mix tape with my Homie Bengi All Day aka Devin Ebanks formerly a Los Angeles Lakers/Dallas Mavericks athlete. I work on a daily basis and only make more and more music. I'm sitting on 80+ songs and 7+ music videos all unreleased. My idea is to wait until the time is right and release it all in order. Each CD targets a new audience, college audience, lyrical audience, story telling audience, street audience, etc. I keep myself very educated on life and that makes me very versatile.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
This past summer, I was invited out to London UK to do an Interview and Freestyle with the legendary Tim Westwood and BBC Radio 1. This is an opportunity that I thought only famous artists like, Drake, Jay-Z, Wayne etc., were offered. However, I was given the same opportunity and I planned it perfectly. I was given 7 minutes to rap and do my thing out in London. I approached the start of the freestyle with a story telling rap about my life and who I am and where I'm from (This song had an old school style of Pac's to it but on a different level, mixed with my own style). The 2nd song I came at it with a very lyrical sense on Jay-Z's classic "Dead Presidents" instrumental. I've studied both Jay-Z and J.Cole's lyrics to the "Dead Presidents" SoundTrack and created my own image which I think they would both respect greatly. The opportunity to meet and freestyle with Tim Westwood is an opportunity that most artist would die for. However this is an opportunity I earned by working my a** off and building my own movement and presentation. All of this done from the small state of West Virginia. No mangers, no publicist, no investors, no nothing. Simply hard work, dedication, and long days of networking and marketing myself. After the Westwood freestyle, I released a hip hop mix tape titled "X-Files" this tape now as over 35,000 views/ 17,000 Streams and 10k downloads. Success is coming.
Read the whole interview here _The Hype Magazine