We had the good fortune of connecting with Tony James and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tony, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I pursued a career in the Arts & Entertainment field, mostly because of my high school mentors. I originally wanted to be a journalist, but my mentors showed me otherwise. They exposed me to various sides of the Arts. Taking me to musicals, stage plays, recording studios, even NYC. They showed me that I could have an actual career in the creative world, by introducing me to others who had walked that path & had found success.

Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
One of the hardest lessons I had to learn as a creative, was how to see myself as a “business”. Most of us creatives are happy with just doing what we love.

That alone can leave one homeless and living on the streets. I’ve been there. I am great at what I do as an Entertainer, but when it came to business I was flailing. Didn’t know anything about contracts or anything. Creative people have to be brave in business. Educate yourself on the business side of your field. Be unafraid to speak up for yourself & ask for what you want. Take that leap, share your work, but don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of. The Creative Arts isn’t just “playing around” or people “having fun”. It’s fundamental in child development. It’s hard work. The Arts is one of the ways we share our human experience with each other. I think the recent pandemic taught us all how important creative expression is.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
All my friends know that I”m a MAJOR foodie. A week in my city would be filled with food and music. The food truck park is one my favorite places. Each day of the week you’ll have different vendors to choose from. The good thing about it is that most of the vendors have brick & mortar locations as well. So the food truck offerings can give you an idea of what their full menu might be like. With summer being around the corner I can’t wait to be out and about eating up all good food. You can’t come to TX without trying some BBQ. When it comes to that, the list of places is endless. So many restaurants have live bands, and on any night of the week you can hear anything from Tejano music, to jazz, hip-hop or classical.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to “Shoutout” My High School choir teacher. Helen Miers. I was introduced to her by my Middle school English teacher. She had heard me sing at a school event and thought that it would be great for us to meet. I had never sang in a Choir before this. I played piano and was in marching band, but my singing experience was limited to Church on Sunday mornings. Mrs. Miers auditioned me for her choir and I was accepted. Over the course of 4 years she introduced me to different genres of music, brought me to the best Vocal coaches in my area, and gave me opportunities to sing in other venues besides my local church. My junior year, our choir was asked to join a State choir that would be performing the Mozart Requiem Mass in NYC at the prestigious Carnegie Hall. A place artists dream of performing in. After that experience I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Helen’s influence in my life definitely help me to see that I could have a career in the creative arts.

Website: tonyjamesthavoice.com

Instagram: thavoice21

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