“Nobody is gonna see your dreams. You have to see them for yourself.”

Check out the interview with AyeRod exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.­­­­

Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
It started when I was born. I grew up in Beaufort, SC and was raised in the church. I gravitated to music probably at about 2 years old. My mom bought me a toy snare drum for Christmas and I used to take it to church with me and beat on it every Sunday. I didn’t pick up the pen until I was 11 years old. I didn’t think I was all that talented, but I started letting friends in school and people in my neighborhood hear my verses and I got great feedback.

What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
The first thing I would say is be confident in yourself. Nobody is gonna see your dreams. You have to see them for yourself. So always trust yourself over anybody’s opinion. Take the constructive criticism but with a grain of salt. If the person is coming from a good place, then it’s probably sound advice.

What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
The hardest challenge I have to face is getting people to listen. That’s probably the hardest thing because people will say they support you but talk about your music behind your back. Social media drives the world today, so all it takes is a share or a like or a tweet by the right person. Not everyone supports your passion like they say they do. I have my loyal fans, but I don’t have enough to get more noticed as a legit artist in this industry.

We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
The best way is to start locally first. You have to be consistent and build that trust between artist and fan. And be a little bit desperate. Go to the barbershops and pass out free demos. Pass out free merch. Then once you get people to actually rock with what you’re doing, that’s when they’ll appreciate your craft more and start paying for it.

Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
Beaufort has changed over the years. The artists in my city are very talented. We have a lot to offer to the industry. There’s so many of my contemporaries I could name now that I can definitely see making it big. The fans are brutally honest which I love. They don’t put people on pedestals at all. You have to prove you actually have a gift in music and people will rock with you.

Where do you see yourself a year from today?
I’m working on moving to either the Charlotte or Durham area in the near future, so I see myself there. I’ll be expanding my brand and my music and building my fan base.

Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
My biggest inspiration is my grandmother by far. She was the one who introduced me to God and the church, and that’s how I fell in love with music. She passed away back in 2012 my freshman year in college. In today’s world, there aren’t too many leaders. It seems like everybody is looking for the next person to lead. I can’t say I look up to anybody today.

How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
I’m an old school person, even though I’m only 23. I don’t listen to too much of anything new on a daily basis. I’m a huge fan of the lyricists in rap right now. Kendrick, Cole, Big KRIT just to name a few. I do feel like people misunderstand the music coming out now from the new wave of artists. Some of it I don’t like, don’t get me wrong but rap and music in general is always evolving.

Where can we contact you and find you online?
Twitter: @Mr_Fotogenic
Instagram: @ayerod_21.