Breaking / Carousel / Entertainment / Music / July 26, 2016

Round 2 of The SOUNDCHECK SERIES, Philadelphia’s premier rising artist series and industry mixer presented byfd479796-a96d-40f8-b92d-08469c360351 Pier Entertainment, is officially coming to a close! It has been an honor to host this dynamic series and bring you “behind the music” interviews with some of the artists here on!

Each exciting installment of the series has featured phenomenal talent such as Jeremy Isaac, Jacqueline Constance and Tracey Preston! As you may recall, THE SOUNDCHECKSERIES highlights eight dynamic artists over eight weeks, showcasing a multi-genre collection of young, buzzworthy acts in an unforgettable concert experience and one-of-a-kind industry event at Pub Webb Live.

After a debut run full of highlights and sold out shows, we returned this summer and kicked it up a notch (which is why this heat wave has been crazy, haha)!

Tonight we close out this year’s installment with a headlining performance by recording artist and songwriter from FOX‘s hit show Empire, Darius Coleman.

Check out the Behind the Music interview with him and his mentor,  KristKristal “Tytewriter” Oliver, a Grammy nominated Platinum selling songwriter signed to Sony ATV and Co-CEO of Twenty20 Entertainment.

We chatted briefly about mentorship in the industry, the area that his mentor has helped him grow the most in, and advice he’d give aspiring artists.

Catch Darius headlining at Pub Webb Live tonight and experience him live for yourself! Get your tickets here and get ready for an awesome show, including an opener with Alita Moses and Derek Walton!


232e496e-d6b5-43c8-8f9c-c2771afb0b3aSincerely Syreeta: What makes a great artist mentor?

Darius Coleman: In my opinion, a great mentor is made through experience. A great mentor is the collective of all the people they’ve encountered, all the places they’ve been, all the triumphs they’ve celebrated, all the failures they’ve cried over. A great mentor is wise and patient. A great mentor listens and waits for opportunities to teach. A great mentor is a cultivator possessing a keen sense of knowing that the potential that lies within, if tapped into, can reveal something greater than anyone could have ever imagined. A great mentor is there when needed and not there when needed. A great mentor recognizes the subtle balance of how much to hold your hand and when to let you stand on your own. A great mentor is a friend and a confidant, a teacher and a student. A great mentor makes all the difference.

SS: What is the best advice your mentor(s) has given you?

DC: The best advice I’ve received has been to trust that I am enough. No matter how talented everyone else is, no one else is me and that’s my superpower!!

SS: What is the greatest success your mentor(s) has helped you achieve?

DC: The greatest success that my mentor has helped me to achieve is the ability to find my voice as a writer and to trust my instincts in terms of thinking outside the box.

SS: In what area(s) has your mentor helped you grow the most?

DC: I think I’ve grown most in the areas of melody and concept. Really just never settling for the first idea that comes out but digging deep to make sure that every record I write is my absolute best work and not just the first idea that was good enough.

SS: What advice would you give to an artist seeking career guidance?

DC: My advice to any artist trying to find their way in this crazy thing called the music industry is to identify what makes you unique and then capitalize on that thing. Everyone today has a talent of some kind and unfortunately we’re in a time where talent is at the bottom of the list when A&R and label execs are searching for “undiscovered talent” so connecting with that thing that makes you, you is paramount. Cream always rises to the top and eventually true greatness cannot be denied. Those who are remembered all had to fight hard to earn their spot but when it’s all said and done you must remember that the burden of greatness is heavy but so very worth it.

Mentor: Kristal “Tytewriter” Oliver

Sincerely Syreeta: How did you first meet Darius and what was your first impression?9b506b0c-1245-454d-9501-d21756c4a207

Kristal “Tytewriter” Oliver: I met Darius at a Grammy Chapter event. He asked if I would listen to his music because he wanted to be a songwriter. He was very passionate and I knew he came from a talented family so I was open to listening. Upon reviewing his music I knew he had a bright future ahead of him.

SS: What makes Darius different in today’s music market?

KTO: Darius is not afraid to be himself. He’s a risk taker and very original and that is definitely lacking nowadays in cookie-cutter music industry.

SS: What is your most memorable Darius Coleman moment?

KTO: I remember watching him perform with my artist Julian King. It was a last-minute thing because another performer could not make it. So he took the stage and it was effortless for him. He got up there and shined like a star with no hesitation. Most artists couldn’t just perform like that on the spot.

SS: In a perfect world, where should Darius be in 5 years?

KTO: In a perfect world, Darius would be living out his dreams as a widely known entertainer whose music and performances are sought out worldwide. I believe he can accomplish this with his gifts.

– Sincerely Syreeta

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