We had the good fortune of connecting with Tommi Cole and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tommi, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
How do I know whether to keep going or to give up? Giving up is never an option. Period. Giving up would be the equivalent to quitting or failing and since I was a little girl, failure was not in my vocabulary. One of the biggest factors in going hard and not giving up are my children. I have two children and I am a single mother. To quit would be to sentence them to death. Not literally, but figuratively. What kind of hope could I give them if they watch me accept failure? Determined to lead by example and push through no matter how hard it is, I want to instill positive character in my children as well as to teach them to be just as ambitious and resilient in chasing their dreams or achieving their goals.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My Art is Entertainment. My God given talent is my voice. What sets me apart from others is my story. My story, good and bad, is what I am most proud of. My journey and what I have learned along the journey, is what I am most excited about. My story starts in childhood where I learned resilience and not giving up. Watching my mother and my grandmother taught me how to push no matter what obstacles stood in my way. Having a high intrinsic motivation for learning I used to read to gain knowledge. Some of the books I read were to take me to another world, but many times I was reading to learn. My love of reading and learning is what led me to music which is what caught my attention the most and helped me escape. I started singing in the choir at the age of 2 (I was very talkative too at that age) and throughout all of my school age years, music was one of my favorite classes. My music teacher in middle school is who really encouraged me the most when it came to my musical talents. I learned to play at least 5 instruments and led me to being the lead in a school play called “The Turtle that wished he could fly”. I applied for the performing arts school and got accepted but also tested into a technical high school that was high academically so my mother told me I had to go to the school with the high academic rating. That was the beginning of crushed dreams and I started to lose confidence in myself as a musician. I stopped really trying to pursue it and didn’t tell people what I was capable of. Fast forward to now, I am learning to build the confidence back in myself. I had to push and release a single in order to hold myself accountable and prove to ME that I could achieve my goals despite any obstacles I’ve faced in the past. I had to Love myself enough and believe in myself enough to fight for myself. And I am still learning that to this day. If you have ever felt like you have accomplished something hard in your life, ask yourself how to make a person with no/low self esteem believe in his/herself. What I want the world to know about my story and my brand is that I am a walking testimony that many can relate to. I want to connect with the world on a level that gives them the same hope that i found in music growing up. Music is and has always been my therapy and I want to contribute back into the atmosphere what I got from it, but tenfold.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
So for me I love to eat. Anyone that is close to me knows this about me. Quickest way to my heart is through my stomach. So husbae HAS to know how to cook. He will win me over every time Lol. As for my best friend in town for a week, She already knows to come dressed ready to get out. If she gets in town early enough, we stopping at the house to drop off her things and then we gotta make a stop on Peters Street. One of my favorite areas. I love 255 as well as Spin. We can bounce back and forth there for happy hour or we can just chill out with a few drinks, smoke some hookah and vibe. Other locations that I am taking my friend is Boogalou, Mary Macs Tea room, Annie Laura’s soul food, Big Dave’s Cheesesteak. Strip clubs, Pappadeux’s, Spondivits, A few open mics, Some clubs, The Trap Music Museum, I mean the list goes on. There’s far too much to name, not to mention we would have to plan another trip to get the rest of it done anyways. Lol My friends always come down and never want to leave. That’s how much of a good time I show them.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My success and where I am in life I must say comes from watching both my Grandmother and my Mother when i was a little girl. I watched them endure so much pain with so much strength and resilience, and as a little girl I had no idea, but as an adult woman I am honored to have been able to witness their resilience. They taught me how to fight, but with grace. They taught me how to love, but unconditionally. Their lives instilled a strength and fight in me like no other. Even to the point where I would rebel against what I was told from, even them. If I felt strong enough about it I would fight for it no matter who felt otherwise. That fight is what got me where I am today. Although that fight was a little too much at times, my growing relationship with God is what humbled me into putting others’ emotions before mine and being mindful of how I come across. That got me even further than the fight could have ever gotten me.
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