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Entrepreneur and investor Maurice King perfectly quoted, “To become a master at any skill, it takes the total effort of your heart, mind, and soul working together in tandem” and one person who embodies this quote is Malik Rashad. A Brooklyn native, Rashad is a jack of all trades—rapper, actor, voice over artist, songwriter, and entrepreneur. According to his official website, Rashad “makes real music for real people and will tirelessly continue in his pursuit of becoming a musical great. Previous works have landed him great reviews on sites like OkayPlayer, Digiwaxx and video airplay on networks such as BET, MTV, MTV2 and others.” As far as voice over work is concerned, Rashad’s resume includes “Budweiser, Vevo, Nissan, and Lipton Brisk Iced Tea among other major brands.” And he’s also dabbling into the fashion realm with his apparel brand.

Besides appearing in projects like Pearl and The Robyn Chronicles, Rashad is best known for his role as Jason in the Emmy nominated web series Tough Love. He joined as a recurring cast member in season two but was then upgraded to the main cast in the following season. In addition, Rashad recorded all of the songs on the Tough Love soundtrack, which can be found by clicking HERE.

Recently, Black Talent TV had an interview with Rashad where he discussed Tough Love, his music, what’s next for him, and more. Check out the interview below and be sure to view his music videos for “No Love” from the Tough Love soundtrack, as well as “Crossroads” from his It’s Complicated EP.

 

1-When did you first decide that you wanted to be an entertainer?

I can’t pick a definitive moment. I would say it found me. I was in college and I left to pursue a career in music. I enrolled in the Institute of Audio Research. The plan was to become a producer but I ended up becoming a rapper. Acting kind of fell into my lap as well. A friend of mine was part of a play and the writer asked me to read for a role. I enjoyed that experience and started getting more roles so I began to take it seriously along with my music.

2-Who are some of your favorite artists/musical inspirations?

That’s a tough question. Growing up, I was exposed to all types of music and have been inspired by so many artists of all genres. I can’t really name favorites because there are too many but if I could work with any artists from past, it would probably be Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Sade, and Marvin Gaye. Presently, I would work with Anderson Paak, Andre 3000, The Roots, H.E.R., and 6lack…the list could go on(lol).

3-You’re a man with many professional hats: Rapper, actor, song writer, voice over artist, and entrepeneur. Which professional hat is your favorite?

Music is the foundation for everything. It exposed me to all these other aspects of entertainment so it will always be what I do in one way or another. Since it’s my first love, I guess you can say it’s my “favorite” but I enjoy them all. I love acting and voice over work and the freedom to explore and become someone else. Being an entrepreneur is a grind and it’s tough but its also very fulfilling. There’s nothing like being your own boss/owner. I feel blessed to be able to have success in all and God willing this is just the beginning.

 

4-How did you first become part of Tough Love?

My sister(shout out to Kari) asked me if I ever watched a web series named Tough Love. I had never seen it before but she raved about it so much I decided to check it out. I was hooked after a couple of episodes. When they posted that they were holding auditions for season two, she was adamant that I audition. I already thought it was a dope show so I submitted for the audition and the rest is history.

5-Besides acting in Tough Love, you also did the soundtrack for the web series. How were you able to come up with songs that matched some storylines in the show?

When I began to work on the soundtrack, I met with Caleb Davis, one of the co-creators, to really figure out the essence and vibe we wanted to create musically. He threw out some possible song titles and we decided theme wise we wanted it to be similar to an audiobook version of the series. That gave me a guide in writing the songs and selecting the beats/producers and singers who could bring the lyrics and songs to life. Being part of the show also helped but more than anything, Tough Love is just so relatable. Either you know someone who has been through some of the situations or you’ve gone through it firsthand.

 

6-Which of your songs is your favorite to perform?

I’ve been so busy creating I haven’t had the chance to perform much lately but the plan is to start performing again soon. I’m really looking forward to performing new material of the It’s Complicated EP and other new material I haven’t released yet. I think my favorite song to perform depends on the venue and the energy of the crowd, but I always have at least one a cappella rhyme during my set. My cousin always used to say let them hear your voice ring out and capture the crowd! That’s my goal for every performance.

 

7-What is your dream role?

There are a lot of series that I’d love to be a part of and writers/directors I’d love to work with but I’ve always wanted to play a role as a boxer. I don’t know whether it would be a movie or a series but it would be something epic with Denzel Washington as my trainer. Gotta speak it into existence!

8-On top of acting and music, you also have an apparel line. How did this project come about?

It started with an idea to sell T-shirts as merchandise at my shows. In this age, you’re not selling CD’s anymore because everyone streams or downloads online but fans still want to support. So the whole line spawned from one idea or design. It was a phrase or motto I used to say, “Stay Fly Remain Grounded” and a picture I had my nephew pose for. I got it digitally recreated into a cartoon image. People responded well to it. I made it the logo, and the line was birthed!

 

9-What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career as an entertainer?

I would tell someone who wants to pursue a career in entertainment a few things: 1) Make sure you know what you’re in it for and have principles that you can live by, that keep you grounded, and that you can always fall back on. 2) Keep the faith! You have to stay the course even when it seems that all is lost. Everyone’s journey and timing is different so stay the course. 3) Keep a tight honest circle around you. You have to be able to differentiate between constructive criticisms and so called “hate”. With that being said, everything negative isn’t necessarily hate. You also don’t want to surround yourself with yes men. You should always seek the truth from those in your inner circle and respect and value their input.

 

10-What is NEXT for Malik Rashad?

Everything! I’m really just scratching the surface of my career and endeavors. I’ve already booked a lot of voice over work this year and the goal is to land a voice on a major network or movie before 2019. I’ve also teamed up with a friend and we’re working on our own animated series and plan to have the first episode released early fall. I’ll be shooting an audio film for the It’s Complicated EP and I’m releasing a mixtape soon. I’ve been doing songwriting for other artist and plan to release some artist through my entertainment company God’s Image Ent. Currently I’m filming a new series with the creators of Tough Love. I can’t release too many details yet but I’m really excited. There are a lot of great things on the horizon, it’s just about grinding harder than ever!

VISIT Malik Rashad’s official website, FOLLOW him on INSTAGRAM, and FOLLOW him on TWITTER.

Photo Credit: www.artbymalikrashad.com

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