- Tabi Bonney: Artist. Director. Designer. Motivational Speaker.
Fashion designer, music video director, and Dope MC Tabi Bonney gave a talk at the Art Institute of Washington last week, as part of Grammy U, a Recording Academy program that preps college students for careers in the music industry.
Bonney, a governor of the D.C. chapter of the Recording Academy, dropped many jewels at the event, touching on everything from fame to cupcakes. And since we at TBD can't stop listening to his mixtape A Place Called Stardom, or watching the new video for his track Nuthin But A Hero, we think his advice on succeeding in the music industry is worth noting. So, we've compiled a list of some of Bonney's best pointers.
Fame and stuff is cool, but that’s not what’s gonna feed your kids and make you have a house in Italy.
I’ve been offered label situations, but at the time they just weren’t right. I’m not a person to just jump on anything. I’m happy with my steady climb — I’d rather be in it for the long haul.
On D.I.Y. cinematography:
“I just picked up a camera. I had a friend at BET who trained me, showed me. My first video was Syce It. It took me three months to shoot. The first time I did it, the camera was in the wrong mode. I was utterly blown.”
On amassing great wealth:
“Stake your claims now. If you want to be millionaires in five to ten years, you have to have that foresight, like Jermaine Dupri.”
Be original. That’s why I’m here right now — I wasn’t following what everyone else was doing.
On not confusing originality with sucking:
Some people may say, 'I’m different, but it’s just not clicking.' Maybe you’re different, but you’re not tight.
On the importance of not being a jerk:
What has really worked for me is my attitude. You’ll never catch me like, 'Oh, I’m Tabi Bonney.' No one can say that about me. A trick my sister taught me is, when [one of my] videos is played [on TV], to send a thank you card, send cupcakes. It takes you far. Then they're like, 'Wow, no artist has ever done that before.'