Written/Interviewd by Glo(w)
In this multi-dimensional world, we are limitless. Even though sometimes the veil is thin, and we can sense the constraints our physical temples put on our spirit selves, we remain infinitely limitless. It’s common for societal expectations to place limits on the layered complexities present in humanity. Our minds attempt to place people in categories in order to understand them. And yet, we exist and we create beyond the constraints societal norms invent. Too often, the imagery pushed forth in many media outlets is shot in tunnel vision. Our peripherals are turned off. Like the wise owl who sits in the forest, we are required to turn our heads left and right to see the fullness of the world. Asking, “Who, who’s there?” we seek images that reflect the parts of ourselves that may have long since been forgotten. And once we find them, once we see ourselves in the other lives around us, we remember: we are limitless.
Eric Donte lives a life that is a reminder of all that humans can be. By refusing to subscribe to an identity defined by anyone but himself, Eric Donte has become an example of freedom of expression. His comfortability is awe-inspiring. Peeling through the layers and folds of his artistic work is like uncovering the layers and folds within his being. Each dynamic offers something fresh. His music, work, and personal identity reminds us of the full spectrum of being. He reminds us of what it means to be black, and live beyond racial stereotypes; to be a masculine man who openly displays the compassion and expressiveness associated with femininity; to be a rapper and singer who toys with rock and pop. Eric Donte fills the void and is living proof of all that is possible when one lives outside of limits.
Watch the Trailer for “God Don’t Like Ugly: The Movie” below and get to know the mind behind the greatness.
For the record, what mediums of art do you partake in?
I partake in modeling, acting, dancing, singing, rapping, writing, creative directing and just being creative as a whole. I’m actually a really good event planner, too.
How long have you been creating?
I started singing when I was 5 years old when my mom bought me a karaoke machine and keyboard for Christmas. My mom booked my first studio session when I was 10 years old. Modeling came along later when I needed photos to promote myself and music.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself through your creative process? What inspires you?
I learned that I live in my head, so most of my work is basically about what I’ve been thinking transformed into a way everyone can relate. I’m inspired by the thought of being able to change the mind of a large mass of people to be themselves ‘cause that's where it’s at. I’ve learned that a lot of people believe in me, and that I have an amazing support system.
A lot of artists pull inspiration from past creations (like older music artists, movies, etc.). Do you do this at all? If so, what are some of your favorite eras to pull from?
Yes, I pull inspirations from movies, like horror films, all the time. I pull inspiration from everything because I see the art in everything, even my close friends.
What’s on your playlist? Who are you listening to?
Right now, you would find mostly all of Ugly Massacre’s music on my playlist for sure. Bloom, which is another local artist, like myself. Dmx, Tyler the Creator, Grimes, Purity Ring, Marilyn Manson, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, of course. She’s a beast. Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliot, Eminem and Kanye West.
What do you think about music’s classification of genres?
I mean, it makes it easy to divide the different sounds but I feel like when it comes to making music, never reach for a certain genre. When creating, just go off of how you feel. At least that’s what I do.
What do you think about the way masculinity is presented in the media and hip-hop specifically?
I def feel like being masculine in hip hop is overrated because I know some female MCs that can spit way harder than a lot of these niggas.
What larger themes exist in your music? What is the most important idea you want people to get from your art?
That you don’t have to settle in one thing. You can do whatever you want. And you can do it however you want. Don't be afraid to follow you own path and dreams and be yourself fully, or as much as you know, thru the whole journey.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
To never give up!
How do you think the creating process would be different if money wasn’t a factor?
If I had the money to bring most of my ideas to life, I would probably be 10 years ahead of my time right now. Too many ideas, not enough money to execute
Do you think it’s important for other artists to congregate and work together?
Working with other artist only evolves you. It’s shows you so many other different ways of doing things.
Tell me about your dream project.
I really wanna write and direct a horror movie and i wanna make the soundtrack to it also.
When can we expect another project to be released?
Maybe march, maybe April who knows. I’m random as hell.
I’m dropping “God Don’t Like Ugly The Movie” which is basically a non-fiction visual epI came up with to match my first ep “God Don’t Like Ugly”.
Is there anything else that you want people to know that they may not have gathered?
I want people to know no matter, what god loves you. Thats what U.G.L.Y stands for: understand god love you. :)