Communication — Even when you think your spouse knows what you want, they don’t. Everything from what to eat for dinner, to what to invest, communication will always clear up confusion.
Effort — Being married is an everyday agenda. It’s like a muscle, if you don’t work it…you know what happens.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Terrance and Dani Jo Williams (RubyGld Smoke).
Entertaining the masses with their retro pop music and making marriage look sexy again is only a slice of what this iconic power couple has to offer. Terrance and Dani Jo Williams (RubyGld Smoke) are the entrepreneurs of Quiet Kingdom Recordings and Quiet Kingdom Media Group (film company). The duo is also the founder of Symphony Of Change Inc. — an arts education organization dedicated to equitable arts enrichment programs throughout the US. When Dandria Dani Jo Williams met her husband T. L. Williams in early 2014, it was clear from the jump they were made to do something big together. Their undeniable chemistry was evident even as T. L. embarked on an initial solo career, garnering over 3 million streams with hits like “Gettin Mo Money Than You” and “Melanin”. Meanwhile, Dani Jo was a behind-the-scenes contributor through the entirety of T. L.’s 6 album solo run, co-writing songs and adding vocals. The couple, feeling like it was finally time, has now come out front together with an eclectic mix of pop-soul energy a la “Rose Royce”. The two are completing their forthcoming debut entitled Revolutionary Love, set for release on their label Quiet Kingdom Recordings in November 2020.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you two to your respective career paths?
We both have a love for art, and the business of it. We share the same interest and vision, which is one of the things that attracted us to each other. So we thought it would be cool to do something unprecedented and put our dreams together. Thus, the Quiet Kingdom brand was born. We wanted to work on something TOGETHER…something that was ours.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you two got married?
Dani Jo walked in a major fashion show. I was sitting front row in the audience. A few days later, we went to a recording studio to work with some other artists. I was telling everyone about the show and to my surprise they were so shocked. They were like “what? YOU watched HER?? What was that like for you? lol. I was like “…um yeah it was great”. I guess it was rare to them that the husband was supporting the wife. We were taught the value of being equal in the relationship so it comes pretty natural to us.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
As RubyGld Smoke, we have crafted a really unique sound. At first we didn’t quite understand that the sound was unique to us. We thought every artist we wrote for would “get it” and understand it the same way we did. However, nowadays those same artists love our sound now. We learned that when you have a unique brand it’s important that you bet on yourself, and believe in it even when it seems no one else will.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Each of our brands have a common goal to represent limitless capability. Whether it’s the music of RubyGld Smoke, or the films of Quiet Kingdom Media Group, we want to show that no matter what background you come from, your potential is endless. Also love will always be a central theme in everything we do. Love is something that everyone goes through, so through each film, song, and initiative, human rights and love for one another will always be theme.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Our debut album Revolutionary Love will hopefully show artists that they don’t have to live within the parameters of what society thinks they are supposed to express. If it’s your truth and you really feel your art, you can express it in that way and it will resonate with people. We’re also working on completing a book of affirmations based on the songs from the album.
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
We want to encourage CEO’s to always have a welcoming workspace where ideas have the opportunity to thrive. You want to create a space comfortable enough for team players. If everyone is on one accord and invested in the brand, then they care about what happens to it. When you have that type of environment, great ideas can come more frequently.
How do you define “Leadership”?
Leadership is the ability to have the tough conversations and bring a team through adversity smoothly. A leader knows how to delegate with pride, compassion, and value. A leader knows how to listen to his or her team and continues to have a hunger to answer questions others may ignore.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Our parents are our mentors, and advisers. They continue to give wise counsel that applies to our lives in a major way. They were our actual marriage counselors during our engagement, and with 50 years of holy matrimony between them, of course right? lol
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Being an African-American couple in love and in business together, what we do is sort of socio-economically unprecedented. We understand the rarity in American society and thus we feel a responsibility of representation. It’s imperative that people from all walks of life can see that a journey like ours is possible.
What are the “5 Things You Need To Thrive As A Couple”? Please share a story or example for each.
- Communication — Even when you think your spouse knows what you want, they don’t. Everything from what to eat for dinner, to what to invest, communication will always clear up confusion.
- Effort — Being married is an everyday agenda. It’s like a muscle, if you don’t work it…you know what happens.
3. Room for growth — The two of you will evolve. What you wanted in the beginning may not be what you want 10 years later. Learning how to evolve together is a major component.
4. Have fun! — Laugh. Enjoy each others company. Continue to get to know each other. You’ll be surprised how many times you can fall in love with the same person.
5. Support — Understanding the “Why” in your significant other’s ambitions can do wonders for their overall drive.
You are people of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
We would love for people to check up on each other outside of social media more. Everyone knows that 80% percent of communication is non-verbal, so you can imagine how much beauty in communication is actually being lost in the realms of a social media post. These days, even with a pandemic, a phone call to a loved one can go quite a long way. Restoring the art of human physical communication would be really cool.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Life is best lived.” We once heard someone say “pick a career you don’t have to take a vacation from” and that resonated with us as well.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Russell Wilson and Ciara. We share a lot of similarities in our backgrounds and they just seem like a lot of fun!
How can our readers follow your work online?
You can follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, @rubygldsmoke
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.
No problem! Thank you!