This week's creator spotlight is someone who's been a huge influence on me. He's the reason why I started sharing my poetry and writings publicly. I wanted to do something different with this highlight, so we did an interview. I loved this because you guys get his words instead of mine, and I got to know him a little better.
Creator Spotlight: Vernon King
For those who don't know or aren't completely familiar with you, how would you describe yourself?
Honestly, if you asked me this question on ten different days, you’d get ten different answers. I’m weird and very unconventional, but at the same time I’m a “what you see is what get type of individual. Even then, I guess that’s surface level. I know I have many layers internally that shape my personality. I’m just a man at the end of the day.
Where are you from? Do you feel like that influences your creativity?
I'm from Charlotte, NC; born and raised. I know that has everything to do with my creativity. Charlotte is a goldmine full of artists and creatives. We didn’t get a spotlight put on the city until DaBaby, but it has been full of really dope artists for a long time! I remember I used to see people performing and making all kinds of crazy projects when I was in high school and even though I didn’t do anything then, it stuck with me. Now that I’ve grown into an artist myself, I’m definitely influenced and inspired by other artists around me. Shout-out to Killswitch and Kvjo.
What is your favorite project or a project of yours that you're most proud of?
Red Moon, [a collection of poems released in 2019] saved my life. If I didn’t write Red Moon, I probably wouldn’t be here. It's a perfect example of who I was at the time and almost served as a symbol to show me that I’m moving in the right direction with my craft. It’s tatted on me, so it’s definitely a big part of who I am. Red Moon is me.
Red Moon came out last year, and you partnered with some other creatives to write a collection of poetry, lyrics, etc., what inspired you to write it?
Before I started making music, I approached writing poetry, in the same way I would if it was a song. When the book was being written, I approached the process as if it was an album. It’s not uncommon for an album to have features, and I don’t see it too much in poetry, so I felt like it was a good move. I also enjoy the idea of merging different art forms together. Everybody that I included wasn’t a poet; some of them were rappers. Shout-out to everybody that was in the book, and a big shout-out to Nia too, she’s about to shake it up.
You have a couple of projects on SoundCloud, compositions of beats and sounds, what made you start that? Have you always been into music/producing?
I’ve thought about being a producer since middle school honestly, I was just really bad at it. I started to take action on it in the summer of 2019, so we’re coming up on a year now. Honestly, I just love music. It’s another way to express myself. If I can’t write about it, I make a beat. My beats are how my thoughts sound. Sometimes it’s clear and pretty, sometimes it sounds weird and in disarray. Sometimes I’m happy, and sometimes I’m sad, it all coincides. I was scared to share my music at first though, because I wasn’t confident in my abilities. Sometimes I still get like that. But at the end of the day, it’s me, so why would I hide it?
Quarantine has been hard for all of us, including creators. We're lacking motivation and trying to find ways to create content while staying safe during this pandemic. Has being in quarantine, helped or hurt your motivation? How do you keep positive in times like this?
This quarantine broke me down. I damn near quit everything, but I made it through, as far as my mental and spiritual health and all that [goes]. The virus and everything external really just triggered me, and it put me in a position to sink or swim. I learned a lot about myself, spent a lot of time alone with myself, and now I feel like my old self died and I’m entering a new evolution. Staying positive in times like this is all about holding on to what got you here in the first place. For me, that’s God. God wouldn’t do me foully.
Conducting this interview was great and I enjoyed getting to talk to him (via email and Instagram, of course). If you aren't familiar with Vernon or his work, you definitely should check out his projects on SoundCloud or his poetry on Instagram. His book, Red Moon is a must have and actually my coffee table book. Vernon is definitely worth this spotlight!