We had the good fortune of connecting with Rodney Iler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rodney, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I am not too much of a risk-taker. I do ministry through the gifts of music and graphic design. As these are very creative gifts and industries to be a part of, they also require very strategic planning and tedious actions. So, I believe that you have to know exactly what you’re doing before you do it and of course, you’ll have bumps in the road that may end up requiring you to take risks. But taking risks for me, in these industries is not something I’ll allow myself to get comfortable with. I also think that your level of comfort with risk-taking is based on your experience with doing so. For me, my start in the music industry was a 6-7 song live recording with around 300 guests, 6 background vocalists, and a full band. Going into this, I knew nothing about the music business, industry, or artists. Thankfully, God placed me at a church home where I was able to connect with people who knew people! But even in that, not knowing how to properly handle business, being young, and pushing contracts to the side because I was being impatient, and so many other things ended up going wrong, which put me and my brand new career, at risk. Eventually, once the recording was over and we went into the backside of the production, once again being young and not having business in order, I had a disagreement with one of my production members. This situation ended up, spreading around a lot of the people I was building connections with and slowly began to tear down my name. In a moment like this, I had to take a risk because I had 2 options. The first one was to try and defend my name and the second was to let the truth reveal itself. So, I shared that story to say that, sometimes taking risks is unavoidable, but as often as you are able, taking risks shouldn’t even be your last resort because everything is better when there’s a plan.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As I previously mentioned, I am a graphic designer and national recording gospel artist. From the story I shared a little earlier, you can see that being an artist can come with very many ups and downs. This is the same for being a graphic designer. But in all of this, I am aware that, these are not jobs nor random talents. But these are gifts that God has graced me with so it’s my responsibility to use them and fight for them, no matter what hardships I’m faced with. Nothing in life is meant to be easy all the time. Sometimes you have to be tested to build your strength, to gain knowledge, and to learn from any mistakes you may make. That is what I’ve been doing and continue to do today. Within the past year, I’ve had the esteemed honor to host my second live recording, release 3 singles, release my debut project entitled “Secrets”, record a virtual concert, release 2 music videos, and so many other amazing opportunities in graphic designs. I’ve been able to do these things because despite negative comments from the media, despite people not understanding my vision, despite losing some friends over business agreements, despite everything that tried to make me give up, I continued to push for the vision. That’s all that matters in the end. If there’s a gift on the inside of you, allow NOTHING to separate you from fulfilling that dream and vision.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
At heart, I am a picky foodie. I LOVE to eat! With that being said, I’d definitely have us eating out every day for dinner, at least. Some of my favorite restaurants in Atlanta are Old Lady Gang, Longhorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden, the Italian Oven, and Nana’s Chicken and Waffles, I am also really big on shopping. So, we’d have to stop by a few popular malls like Lenox Mall, GA Mall, Cumberland Mall, and Tanger Outlets. With the remaining parts of our week, I’d take them out to the movies, bowling, skating, and an arcade or two!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are DEFINITELY a few people I have to give honor to, the first being God! I thank God for choosing me to walk this life with such purpose, power, and prayer. Truly without God, I am nothing. I would also like to thank God for my mom. I am extremely grateful for the way she allows me to be who I am, even when she doesn’t quite understand what I may be doing, she gives me the room and the space to let God work through me. There’s no way I could give honor and not acknowledge my church family, Excel Church Worldwide where we are led by Pastor K Francis Smith and First Lady Karen Smith. I am so OVERLY THANKFUL for my pastors, leaders, and church family who continuously support me, stretch me, challenge me, and help me to grow. I don’t know exactly where God would’ve taken me if I had missed his voice to be a part of this amazing church. Last but certainly not least, I’d like to thank all of my family, friends, and social media followers who support me. This is a God move but he uses you guys to keep this vision progressing and I could not say thank you enough times!
Other: YouTube VEVO Artist Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZqcBDyGfCmeHVl67rSRFHg Download my album: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/rodneyiler/secrets
Calvin Finklea Photography Zachary Toth Photographer Malik Merritt Photography