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Rising Music Star YONAS: ‘Why I’d like to start the “live in my shoes” movement’

I would start the “live in my shoes” movement, where every person on earth would have to live a month in someone else’s conditions. I think the biggest thing that divides people, is the lack of understanding. Hopefully a movement like this would at least begin to give people insight and compassion. Hip Hop/Pop Phenom […]

I would start the “live in my shoes” movement, where every person on earth would have to live a month in someone else’s conditions. I think the biggest thing that divides people, is the lack of understanding. Hopefully a movement like this would at least begin to give people insight and compassion.


Hip Hop/Pop Phenom YONAS is leading a movement to tear down walls as a crossover artist armed with thought-provoking lyrics, prodigious musical talent (he’s a former violin wunderkind), infectious melodies, trendsetting career instincts, rugged beats, and a powerful personal story of dreams, desires and transformation. His singular aesthetic is legitimate in the pop and hip-hop arena without sacrificing integrity or musicality. Today, with his latest single “Karate Kid”, YONAS furthers his positive but potent pop/hip-hop assault on the masses. Listen to “Karate Kid” on Spotify now!

YONAS has undertaken four nationwide tours, and one overseas tour. He’s had the distinction of sharing the studio and stage with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Logic, B.o.B., Macklemore, Schoolboy Q, Cherub, Sammy Adams, Wale, and a myriad of others. He has also earned prime exposure through features and song placements with brands such as XXL Mag.com, MTV U, Pepsi, Fuse TV, and Warrior Sports. YONAS’s song, “Fall Back,” has been prominently placed in the Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper blockbuster, “The Place Beyond the Pines.”


Thank you so much for joining us Yonas! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I feel like this career is more of a calling. I think music has been drawing me in since I was 5 or so and it’s been a constant theme in my life since.

Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your music career?

At one point early in my career, when no labels were interested in me, there was one believer that was interested in bringing me onto his label… the late great Guru from Gangstarr. In hindsight, it’s just an honor to have in some way crossed paths with someone so great.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’m really excited for this new EP I have coming out in March 2020. I think it’s some of the best music I’ve put together and I have ideas for visuals that I think will elevate what people expect from the YONAS brand.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

I can safely say that the late great Guru from Gangstarr wanting to bring me on his label.

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

Tupac, Big L, Immortal Technique, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, Lauren Hill, Eminem, Black Eyed Peas, just to name a few. Artists with a message. Artists that all had a big moment and made an impact on the world.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

It’s in everything that I put out. The entire basis of my brand is to bring motivation and good vibes to anyone that may come across my music. It has also allowed me to perform and make people forget their struggles for an hour at my shows. I also want to start giving back through charities, philanthropic efforts, and partnerships with companies that have found innovative ways to help solve some of our community’s biggest problems (clean water initiatives, changes to the educational system, etc.).

You are a person of great influence. If you could start 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. 🙂

I would start the “live in my shoes” movement, where every person on earth would have to live a month in someone else’s conditions. I think the biggest thing that divides people, is the lack of understanding. Hopefully a movement like this would at least begin to give people insight and compassion.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I would just say pace and balance is important. In this business it’s really easy to burn out and also become jaded. Enjoy your friends and family and the intangibles in life.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1 — Don’t do showcases that make you sell tickets. (one of the first showcases I ever did I had to sell tickets and then turn in the money. the only problem is if the promoter decides to run off with everyone’s money and never throws the show, you’re out of money, and you have 50 angry fans waiting outside the venue).

2 — Always back up your studio hard drive. (Early in I had a hard drive with all of my first studio sessions. Long story short after a year of music, it crashed and I lose everything. When you’re starting out you think that’s the end of your career haha! But I learned a valuable lesson).

3 — Everyone sounds terrible when they first start out. (I swear I almost quit the first time I entered a studio, ha! I can just imagine how many great artists we’re missing out in just because they didn’t work through that initial awkward phase).

4 — Learn to play the piano (This one kills me. Once you get into the thick of the industry, you quickly pick up on how important it is to be able to play the keys or the drums. If you’re well versed in either one of those you can go into any session and contribute. Lucky for me my gift is hook writing and vocal arrangement, but I’m definitely going to learn piano in 2020).

5 — Don’t always chase the future, enjoy the present. (This one just might be the most important. Often we’re so focused on what’s next we forget to acknowledge and appreciate the things we’ve already accomplished, no matter how big or small. Sometimes it’s necessary to stop and take a breath, and enjoy the fact you get to do what you love).

We are 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 whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she just might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

Gary Vee or Tyler Perry. I just appreciate how open they are with the information they’ve obtained through their journeys. There are plenty of smart and successful people, but not all of them have the ability to communicate their knowledge and experience. And they are both total opposites which would be great to pick apart, ha! There’s no one way to make it!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram: @iamyonas

Twitter: @itsyonas

Website: https://yonasmusic.com

For Spotify Search: YONAS

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