Don’t rely on anyone, this was an issue for me because i expected people i know to show out for me in the beginning and share as well as so support over all but only a few was there for me from the jump, you know how it is when starting out compared to how things are now everyone wants to be around you.
As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Donnelly Antoine aka BillzTaDon.
Billztadon, born Donnelly Antoine is a Brooklyn born rapper. Over the years he has performed at venues all over America including radio stations Power 1051 and Hot 97. His most recent album release Free Me has had worldwide success including one of the tracks being remixed by DJ Flex.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I grew up in Brooklyn NY, as an only child- however I was around my Mother, Father, Grandmother, Aunts Uncle and Cousins. I’ve always been a giving child due to the fact that my mother spoiled me with everything I ever wanted as a child so, the child hood was pretty great to be honest.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Ive always had a thing for music, as a child I used to listen to all types of music like everyone else but when the songs ended and they have an extension of the instrumental I will start rapping to it so as i got older it just became natural to make music. Its literally a difficult task not to do it, cause once you hear that beat that grabs your attention, you then wonder what you can do to it and how others will accept it.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Honestly there’s a lot, but what really opened the door that was unrealistic was the help of Marlon and Amanda who had a Hookah lounge here in Brooklyn and their Dj Versastyle. They heard my single “Bad Ting” and literally almost every event my song played in that lounge. The lounge will be a regular lounge by day but on weekend nights its was literally a club. then they introduced me to other club owners around in NY , they got along with me, had DJs from multiple radio stations, Celebrities Coming in and out. I started to get numbers of all these verified people and my song is playing all over, got remix by Dj Flex, who make those afro beat mixes that people dance to on TikTok, then we had the #BADTINGCHALLENGE . I Mean the list goes on. What i love about that is these people Marlon & Amanda opened some spots and strip clubs in Miami so you will be seeing me out there to show out next.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Actually, this mistake is one that i believe most people make, basically I had to perform at a showcase and prior to the showcase I went to the studio to record a new record at the time. It was so dope that I wanted to do it at the showcase and when it came down to it, I FORGOT MY OWN LYRICS, luckily i had just came up with other words. Only problem I had with that was the fact that people didn’t get to hear the real official lyrics of the song but that’s about it.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
As of now my next album, no name as of yet, is going to be a problem due to me progressing with my sound, vocals change in languages and more. my first new unreleased single that people has heard and begging for called “You Got It” will be on it and as for the reviews it getting i believe this next album will be it. My first album “Free Me” did well to the point clubs was playing it like crazy, cars driving pass are playing it, Dj Flex and i made a challenge off one of the songs, i had social influencers engaged in it and that was just the first. and this new album is so different cause these records are more advanced so im happy for the new album. As for my clothing line 13evst i have an expansion coming for that which will be released soon and will debut the single on the new album. And then there’s Tadahh which will be a label for artist and for companies. Opening doors for all types of people.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
Diversity is my thing and i find it important due to the fact that it will show a different side of you to everyone. They can look at you and say, He/she do EVERYTHING, it also helps develop yourself into being a better person, artist, actor /actress and business partner. It makes it better for people to work with you, your worth will multiply and that’s why i find it extremely important.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
the Five things i wished someone told me will be,
1. Don’t rely on anyone, this was an issue for me because i expected people i know to show out for me in the beginning and share as well as so support over all but only a few was there for me from the jump, you know how it is when starting out compared to how things are now everyone wants to be around you.
2. Own your rights before writing and distributing, this now is all about when i first wanted a beat for a song i already wrote for and when i hit up the producer, he didn’t want to sell me the beat for exclusive rights however i got unlimited rights for it and i did tell him once i get the record I was going to make something of this. This happened to me twice and since I made something of both producers and records they now work with me with no problems.
3. Don’t wait on anyone, on my first mixtape i did a remix freestyle to “Young Money Finale” and it was called “Brooklyn’s Finale” i had to get 9 other artists on that record. Now respectfully all wasn’t talented but i was giving everyone the chance to be heard. The list I originally had changed last minute from artists who said they wanted to be a part of it, started to push their date further and further and eventually I had to change about 6 different artists i got last minute.
4. Performing at big shows at times isn’t everything. I’ve performed countless amount of shows and to be quite honest some of them was literally worth nothing. The networking paid off but what you expect from some of them they really didn’t offer anything and I believe they were mainly interested in filling their own pockets after seeing your performing with artists who also were inexperienced.
5. Performing last doesn’t mean saving best for last. For artists starting out we will run with the mind set of “Ill perform whenever” Not a good idea. The reason being there can be a showcase of 10 to 20 artists and by the time it gets to you best believe half a majority of the venue has left therefore it results in you not really showing your talent to multiple people but to the few that’s there and the people you had come out for you.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Everything takes time, start and keep going, apply that pressure and if they doubt you, prove them wrong, keep the mindset in ya mind that when they see you make it make it a reality to see their expressions, words and behavior towards you, and hit everyone with your story, it will pay off.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
That’s what im going to build with Tadahh, we do know quite some people in the industry already and i want Tadahh to be the voice for eveyone thats working on anything, musicians, artists (painters, graphic) , web developers, truckers, tech, management, realty, law. I want to make Tadahh the company that helps and push people starting business so your support to us can make this better for you as well.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am absolutely grateful to my friends that’s been with me, all supporters but my top Four who helped made thing way more possible will me Marlon, Amanda and Dj Versastyle. they opened the doors to me throwing my own concert in their club, had my songs played in multiple clubs around NY they boost my recognition, and finally Dj Flex who remixed my single “Bad Ting” and helped started our first challenge that literally went quite around and have social influencers and people from different countries tired it out, followed, subscribed and reached out to me.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“In life we go through things that makes us want to give up its only temporary, once it’s over i know I’m coming back with a major come up.” Now this is me saying this now and i say this because Ive been through situations that literally was best for me giving up, Musically and in general but i realized each time I got through it I levelled up. And people even said it to me. They witnessed my worse and my come back was always on point that it feels impossible for me to go with that negative mindset again, but make sure you have a plan and you see that through.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)
Lil Wayne , Drake and Nicki Minaj since they are the reason I started this but when it comes down to being underestimated and coming with a comeback that shuts everyone up and gaining the reputation that they have today. ima have to go with Big Homette Cardi B , as for anyone else with the strive and positive mindset it will be DJ Khaled and when it comes down to being independent and working things out for yourself it will be Chance The Rapper.
How can our readers follow you online?
the best way to stay up to date with me is from my official website http://www.billztadon.com or from my actual google posts, which you can find if you search my name on google / BillzTaDon — Google Search .
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!
Thank you all for having me #Tadahh !