Achieving true success in the music industry is not easy. Few musicians are able to truly "make it" - most just end up lost in the sea of the hundreds of thousands of other artists that are attempting the same thing and eventually give up and phase out.
The notion of doubt, or giving up, is not something that Soullone (Soul lone) understands though and conceivably never will, because he only sees himself making it big. It has been his dream for longer than 10 years and slowly but surely, he is making that come true for himself.
"You have to get over the skepticism and be a risk-taker," he emphasized. Soullone is the alter ego of Vincent Young, a man who wishes not to disclose his age, but assures you he's been around long enough to have been handing out cassette mix tapes before CDs were popular. The name is in dedication to a dog he once had, that he says became a part of his soul. Their souls became one.
Soullone has recently signed a contract with SMG Global Network, which is distributed by Universal Digital Music Group.
Another distinguishing feature of Soullone is his sunglasses. He wears them wherever he goes, day or night, inside or outside.
"Best thing about this business (music) is that I get to be me. I wear shades wherever I go. It's a big moment when I'm not wearing glasses," he said with a laugh.
But the rapper still assures that he is young and still has a lot to do before he's settled. Although so far he has done a lot: as a hip-hop artist and producer, he has been on many radio stations throughout the country, regularly earns royalties for his performances, has had his music on a movie soundtrack ("Noobz"), has worked with many celebrities and more recently and most importantly, he signed a contract with SMG Global Network, which is distributed by Universal Digital Music Group, the largest American music corporation in the world, at the end of March.
He calls his music "Tupac without swearing," and says all of his songs are 100 percent true and radiate positive vibes rather than unrealistic negative ones.
"I make positive music, music that is uplifting and that anyone can listen to," he said.
Additionally, he's been interviewed by many news organizations throughout the country and recently has been covered in the Central Pa. area, having had stories in the Lock Haven Express, the Eagle Eye student newspaper, and in the Sun-Gazette last year, all noting his success in the industry. Since the last article in the Sun-Gazette, he has come a long way. He now has his own music business called Ready For Radio, Inc.
He has been a DJ for various stations including WXPI. He has sold 60,000 CDs.
He was born in Belize, Central America, and grew up in Long Beach, Calif. After having a troubled youth, he left home at around 14 years old, having to consistently lie about his age in order to live on his own.
After realizing the importance of an education, he ended up at Harrison College, Columbus, Ind. He pursued business management, but while he was there, a racial incident occurred at a local restaurant and caused a big stir in the community. After becoming overwhelmed, he decided to transfer elsewhere so he could focus on his career.
He found Lock Haven University after visiting the area in 2009; he said there was no hip-hop scene at that point, and brought it to the area.
He is now a student in LHU's music management program with intentions to graduate within the next two years.
Though he performs at the regular local venues like the Riverside Saloon, Lock Haven, and Kimballs, Williamsport, this summer he has much bigger plans and is touring outside of the continental U.S., in Hawaii.
He will be touring with a number of other artists including Lil Eazy-E (son of N.W.A.'s Eazy E), The Alcoholics, King T, RBX (Dogg Pound), Kam, 2ndIINone, and OG Daddy V, which will take place June through September in Honolulu. He then has plans to tour in Japan, the U.K., Poland, Holland and Germany.
He also just recently filmed a video for the song in which he was signed for called "Trying to be the Man," which also was the song on the "Noobz" movie soundtrack. He has a 1 to 2 year contract, depending on how the single does.
With many projects going on, he still has time to emphasize how important it is to give back to the community; he has started a project with a credit card company to help "put money back into the community."
"I don't want to stop to be a regular guy," Soullone said.
"I don't want to be a 'thousandaire' quitting isn't an option."
Be on the lookout for Soullone at many local venues until his tour this summer. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/soullonelbc or search Dj-Soullone for his music page. He also is on Twitter, @soullonelbc, and YouTube.