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

Hi Dante, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?

There are two habits that help play important roles in my life. One is consistency. When something works, repeat it, duplicate it, and outdo yourself. No one likes process, but a cake just doesn’t bake itself. It takes repetitiveness and consistency to remain a great baker. As a creative musician, and motivational speaker, I’m always figuring out ways to maintain the quality of my work, and figuring out how to be relevant and steady as Im doing it.

The second thing is being intentional. Growing up I saw people want to do things because it was popular, or it made them look important. It was not their purpose, volition, or something they calculated as something meaningful. I believe when you are involved in something you love, it breeds intent. Why? You want to know it, and you understand it willfully.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

I’m a recent grammy voting member, Sacred Steel Hall Of Fame Inductee, a multi-instrumental virtuosity which has led to high profile performances across native Georgia as well as critical praise from The New York Times, USA Today, and many more. My God given ability has been entertaining and inspiring audiences for decades, and I show no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Since mastering the piano, drums, and pedal and lap steel guitar as a young man, I’ve has gone on to collaborate with notable artists such as the late Colonel Bruce Hampton, and Papajsez himself, Joey Sommerville. Recently, he has become CEO of Dagapé Music, a group which specializes in mentoring and motivating young people through music. Committed to always moving forward, Dante is as passionate about his art form as ever and is excited to see what opportunities the future holds.

What sets me apart from others is an affirmation project I created called Affirm It, which was birthed through speaking at local middle and high schools. On a certain speaking engagement I changed a young lady to a place that she no longer wanted to cut herself. Through a letter written the day after the talk, I received her hand written note through the Principal of the school, and it brought me to tears. This was the motivating force which led to me producing the project.
Professionally speaking, as a young lad, I watch my grandparents who were business owners, investors, and totally different from their peers. It was not easy, because when I started in business, I didn’t have them to go to because they were deceased. I had to remember the lessons taught, and surround myself with business owners who are ten times better than me.

I learned to develop a team, and that you can’t do this alone. You are enough, but you need help.
I want the world to know that Dagape music teaches STEAM through music education. Dagape Music introduces students to the basics of sound recording, mixing, and editing in Digital Audio Workstations platform. We are inspired to use this platform to mentoring, motivate, and inspire through music.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take my friends to: Dining-
Flying Biscuit
Two Urban Licks
Cafe Intermezzo
JJ’s Wings
Slutty Vegan
The King Center
Civil Rights Museum
Six Flags
GA Aquarium
Tyler Perry Studios
Fox Theatre
Cafe 290
Piedmont Park

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Yes, I would first love to shoutout my mother, Gwendolyn Shaw, who is the owner and operator of Red School House in Fort Lauderdale, FL. My mother was influential in raising me in church, and providing for me such a strong rooted foundation spirituality. She was strict, and didn’t play games, which kept me out of trouble, and on the path to success.

I want to also shout out my grandparent the late Harvey & Julia Shaw. They were such a strong influence with me in the arts. My grandmother who was also a major influence in raising me, being my first Pastor, teaching me how to drive, and so many other great things. My grandfather taught me how to groom myself, and gave me what most men don’t receive from their elders, old school tough love and responsibility.

Anthony Harmon, my late great uncle and former Musical Director for Yolanda Adams, was my musical inspiration. He taught me the ropes as it relates to being even more creative musically as a drummer, steel guitarist, and pianist. Anthony was beyond his time, and one of the most creative and smoothest bass players on the planet. His discography speaks for itself.

Dr. Myles Munroe, at a point in my life where I needed a hand up, his teachings guided me through those hard times. His books and teachings helped me to become the motivating speaker I am today. His wealth of wisdom, and profound knowledge surrounding relationships, the Kingdom of God, wealth, and leadership leaves me speechless. His profound insight on the Word is impeccable.

Lastly, my living grandparents, Eddie and Ola Mae Harmon Sr., who have been married for over 50 years are living examples of faith, foundation, and family.

Image Credits:
Sheria Bess photography, Jolie Loren Rizzi photography, Unknown Vincent photography, Dagape Music Photography
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