2020 SAMMIES QUESTIONS
Can you describe a moment in your musical career, where you felt like you truly reached somebody or made a difference?
There is no doubt I started out my career in a powerful way. In only my 2nd appearance performing, I was afforded the wonderful opportunity to open in front of 997 people for Iyanla Vanzant who is a famous inspirational speaker, lawyer, author, life coach, and television personality. She is known primarily for her books, her eponymous talk show, and her appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show. My band and I received a standing ovation after our two poem performance. But more importantly, a couple joined together from the vibe we produced and soon after married and invited me to perform at their wedding. They credited their immediate bonding to that moment when I serenaded them on their very first date. Several people told us they were uplifted and inspired by our performance as well. We gained well over 100 followers on that day who still follow and support over ten years later.
What do you sing in the shower? (Be honest.)
I sing my own made up love songs every single shower combined with love poems that are original. The songs need to remain private for the protection of other people’s ears, but the poems often become public live stage hits!
What would you like to see happen in the future of SAMMIES?
The SAMMIES is a great idea, event and movement. I would just like to see it continue for many years.
All-time favorite song?
Well, I’m a poet, but I love music. My all-time favorite song is “Win” by Brian McKnight.
As a child growing up, music surrounds us. What type of music did you hear the most back then?
I heard all forms and styles of music. I was blessed to be exposed to a well-rounded pool of music. I heard R&B love songs a little more than everything else though because they inspired my love poem writing.
How does it differ from what you listen to now?
I listen to the same music with various styles but listen to a tad bit more R&B love songs still today.
Do you have regular gigs around town?
I have opportunities to perform each week throughout the year and usually partake 75% of the time. I’m never in a place of lacking performance time.
Black and blue, but my two daughters force pink in all my surroundings. LOL!
Favorite SAMMIES story?
My friend Diamond Dez sent me a message stating that she ran across my name on the voting ballot. At first, I thought it was a joke because I knew there had not been (to my knowledge) a Spoken Word category. Then a few minutes later I panicked thinking I was nominated for a different genre by accident and had to get my name removed immediately. I went to the SN&R website and discovered there in fact was a new “Spoken Word (with music) category and could not stop laughing to myself. Then I got all emotional because it was such a high honor.
How do you describe your interviews to people?
I describe my interviews as heartfelt, honest and real!
How do you describe your poetry to people?
As real to life, healing, intellectual and uplifting.
How do you feel about musical award competitions?
I feel they are awesome because they acknowledge the hard work of entertainers and encourage further growth because the reward is the honor of being recognized.
If you could be any character from history, who would it be?
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because he was an advocate for peace and unification of all people, and I have the same heart and vibe.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what animal would you be?
If your band was a movie, what movie would it be?
Name a pet peeve.
People licking their fingers while they eat or after.
Name a recent personal food trend.
Tell us about how the band formed.
By playing in the same event at the old Florin Mall. We (LSB and I) decided to mesh spoken word and music and have been very successful with it for over a dozen years. LSB stands for Love Somebody.
Tell us about how you first started gigging.
I was asked to perform for the first time at an open mic venue and then open for Iyanla Vanzant at Sacramento City College and then asked to open for Maya Angelou at U.C. Davis University. There was no choice after that, the ball was rolling, and my name was out there for exposure to performance requests that I gladly accepted.
Tell us about this creative project. What is it?
My current creative project is to insert poetry and music into a play that will hopefully be seen worldwide.
Tell us about your best gig in Sac.
Opening for Maya Angelou in front of 4,000 plus people at U.C. Davis University.
Tell us about your worst gig.
Showtime at the Apollo. Such an honor, but definitely outside of my aspirations.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a proud father of two beautiful, loving, talented and fun daughters that I spend quality time with five days a week, but they are my every day, my last and my next breath. I share parenting time with their mother in the form of co-parenting. I work for the Center for Fathers and Families assisting single parents and children with their family and life needs. I am a shy guy off stage, but on stage I dedicate myself to and share myself boldly with audiences around the world in person, social media and on television. Basically, I’m an introvert that just loves people with all my heart and soul from a distance. Poet. Father. Friend. Brother. Son. Promoter. Me!
What are your poetry/musical goals?
To share positive and inspirational messages of love and hope to as many people as I possibly can until my time on earth expires. Even after, the poetry and music will be here on earth for those who can benefit from it forever. My goal is to be forever!!!!
What artist or band are you a little embarrassed to love, and why?
Oh my…I want to, but I’m not brave enough to put them out there like that! LOL
What did you want to be when you were 7?
What drives you to keep interviewing even though the industry can be so harsh?
It’s a privilege that I will never take for granted. Anytime my words can matter, I’ll share!
What drives you to keep performing even though the industry can be so harsh?
It’s for the people who purchase tickets, drive the distance to be at the shows, clap until their hands hurt, calendar the performance dates, cry from the words, are inspired by the words, need the words, learn from the words, feel the words, for my mother who is so proud of me, my father who passed away bragging about me, for the people who taught me and are expecting me to pass it on, for my daughters to remember me by and last bit not least, God who gave me the talent and expects for me not to be selfish.
What message do you hope to give with your poetry?
That love is LOVE not just a word being tossed around in the wind.
What question would you like to ask your fellow bandmates?
What has made you support, love and stay with me for all these years.
What’s next for the band?
I believe LSB will become something special in the music industry. Something very special because the band is so humble which does not match their talent. It’s amazing who they are and why!!!!
What’s next for you?
Whatever God’s voice whispers to me! I’m open for the assignment. I’m just a vessel.
What’s something most of your friends don’t know about you?
That I’m a United States Navy veteran.
What’s the best part of this experience?
Getting to meet people, knowing my words are blessing people and feeling appreciated.
What’s the story behind your stage name?
I earned the name T-Mo when I was in the United States Navy at the fragile age of 20. It has stuck with me until now and will most likely never be removed from my journey.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Spending quality time with my daughters, married, chillin’ and telling everyone who will listen what a great basketball player and performance poet I used to be.
Who are your biggest influences?
Saul Williams, Brian McKnight and Maya Angelou.
Who is your secret star crush?
Well, if I tell you it won’t be a secret.
Words to live by?
“Take a chance to get a chance”
You’re given a magic wand. What do you do with it?
Fix all the mistakes I have made in my past life.
Describe your show visually and musically.
High energy, funny, stimulating, full of surprises, audience bonding and forcefully injecting an innocent and pure type of love into everyone present.