We had the good fortune of connecting with Legendary DaPoet and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Legendary, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Life is all about finding/identifying your purpose & living it. Music runs in my blood. My grandfather, at age 11, was a backup singer for Ramsey Lewis; my father is a singer & guitar player. My other Grandfather ran Juke Joints in the South with my Grandma. For me personally I was touring and making dope music in high school but I didn’t know I could go to college for music production and music business so I earned 3 degrees in Agriculture, traveled the world & no matter what I did music was calling my name especially when I’d be in nature which really grounded me. While working on my last degree at Auburn I setup 2 studios, began recording again then DJ’d on the radio for 2 years. I began developing as an artist driving back & forth to Atlanta until working with Grammy Nominated Engineers & producers until I moved here and turned down 6 figure job & PhD at Tulane University in order to pursue my dreams with music & life in Atlanta.
I chose to invest in myself in order to create the life I wanted, which is a powerful decision. The power of choice is monumental in itself. As I began developing as a creative I had to learn the business of music, which naturally made me realize I needed to establish my record label Stay Elevated Productions, studio (Legendary Studios), publishing company and consulting in order to own the means of production of my business which gives me ownership (more profit) & creative control (freedom) of my music & brand. It also allows me to be more productive because I can complete all the functions of my business & have built a reliable team. I can release & record music whenever I want. I am building a legacy and generational wealth; if you don’t own your masters in the music industry and depend on a label they will control your music, money & career. I control my music, money & career.
A lot of creatives do not realize the importance of entrepreneurship, ownership & understanding the business. There are so many steps to releasing music and ownership is everything. Learning the business governs my workflow; it is everything.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Music is therapy for me, I have experienced a lot of joy & pain and use music to tell my story. Healing from trauma is the story of my life so my goal is to help people heal by being vulnerable in my music to motivate people so they know they aren’t alone and to motivate them because if I came from pain & poverty but Elevated to achieving 3 degrees, traveling the world & living my dreams as an artist & entrepreneur anyone can achieve their dreams. My brand, company & label is called Stay Elevated. The mission of my brand is to motivate people who are pursuing their dreams because it is challenging but if you stay motivated/Elevated and keep going you will persevere. I also encourage people to prioritize your self care & balance, i.e. your health (mental, physical, spiritual, financial & Social, etc) & life. Stay Elevated is a lifestyle brand. I still face adversity even as I grow as an artist & entrepreneur so I tell myself everyday to “Stay Elevated.” I stopped creating music to attend college & started a career as ecologist & eventually became a scientist. The more time I spent in nature the more I realized music was my passion so I 1 day I quit my job, started my 3rd degree while transitioning back into music. I didn’t know where to record, any producers nor anything about the industry other than Atlanta being an integral part. I didn’t know how I was going to do it but I just started writing songs again. Eventually a close friend purchased a home studio, we recorded there & another friend would mix our songs. I went through so much but it taught me how to thrive. I consistently wrote & recorded songs & networked with other creatives and professionals, worked at a radio station for 2 years for free & interned for free with the Coalition DJs of Atlanta while sleeping in my car & pawning or selling everything I owned including my studio when I moved to Atlanta in 2018 with a dollar and a dream, turning down a Ph.D. and 6 figure job at Tulane University. It was tough but the smartest risk/bet is your self and I’d do it again. There’s no better feeling than perseverance; my life & story defines what it means to Stay Elevated.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love all the culture in Atlanta especially with music, art, nature & food. Bring able to shop regularly at black owned businesses is one of my Favorite things about Atlanta. Several of my favorite black owned restaurants have closed during the Pandemic but ill include them anyway.
Sunday – Brunch at Roc South, nice walk or bike ride on the belt line and piedmont park. Dinner at my Grandparents house. Sunday nights are for Bonfire Atl.
Monday- Stone Mountain Hiking Trail, LA Petite Marche for brunch, salt cave for revitalization, New Music Monday at Stankonia Studio
Tuesday- Flying biscuit Cafe, Lenox Mall, lunch at
Wednesday- Brunch at Thumbs Up Diner, book a recording session and tour at Patchwerk Studio & Icon studio, visit the AUC to step foot on HBCU campuses and visit them. Go buy some merchandise from their bookstore (Morehouse, Spellman or Clark), Little 5 Points for shopping (Sevenanda, Mood Music, cru lounge), The Progress Report (live filming of the show. It is an urban music media outlet owned by 3 women of color).
Thursday – Brunch at Sweet Auburn, Synergy Studio for haircut, NO FACE NO Case Studio on the south side, Aurum Night Club,
Friday – Brunch at Milk & Honey, sugar loaf Mills, House of Hookah, Andretti’s,
Saturday- Brunch at Twisted SOUL Cafe, Atlantic Station, cigar city, slutty vegan
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?
Music runs deep in my family. My father is a dope musician & vocalist. Growing up watching him play & perform naturally contributed to my passion for music. He is a dope father & I’m blessed to be his son.
DJ Stikuhbush & J-Wise have been instrumental in my development as an artist & entrepreneur. They have spent countless hours teaching me the game & I will always be grateful for their guidance. Great fathers too and black men don’t get enough credit for it. I’ve personally seen DJ Stikuhbush making his schedule around his family & kids no matter how busy he was/we were and I’ll never forget that. I’m the same way. Prioritizing things in your life is key to a happy, success in life.
Steve West Mark Dash-Bey