Tag Archives: Ambition

Von Middleton: a Man who has found his place in the Puzzle

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Von Middleton

Author’s-Note:
I had the unique opportunity to be present at a single-release party, for an artist, by the name of Von Middleton. I was initially introduced to Von via his manager, Ted Gustus, commonly known as “Coach-Ted”, a very popular High-School & Collegiate Basketball-Coach, with nearly 4-decades worth of coaching experience to boot. I was originally informed about Von being a vocal talent, as Ted told me that he took Von under his wing, as a personal mentor, then, as a manager, taking Von with him, to perform at various venues all across the United States, particularly singing the “American National-Anthem”, at sporting events, etc.

As Von’s voice became more popular, he naturally began to be noticed by others, for having a good voice, a good skill for singing. Eventually, both Von & Ted were called upon to appear at many more events, so that Von could display his vocal skills. This spiraled, actually, into Von attempting to break the “Guinness Book of World Records” record of the most sung American National-Anthems, by one single individual. By the time I had first crossed paths with Von, he was already well upon his way to achieving his very ambitious goal, which would obviously help to propel him to vocal stardom.

Honestly, prior to actually hearing him sing at this event that I was invited to, I had never heard him sing before. However, after hearing him sing for the very 1st time, both his first single “Puzzle” & the National-Anthem, I must say that I was fairly impressed by his skill as a singer. The song “Puzzle” is about people, just like you & I out there, who just can’t seem to find where we all fit, in this world, in our respective families, communities, societies, etc. I was even more impressed by his general positivity, goodwill, focus, drive. After getting to know him prior to hearing him sing, it actually makes sense why I was so impressed with hearing him sing for the first time around. Hearing him sing for that first time not only gave me confidence that he could pull his record-breaking attempt, but, it also gave me confidence that he could really take his singing career fairly far.

I have with me, at this time, both Von Middleton & Ted Gustus. We will be interviewing them both, to truly get a more authentic glimpse, from looking into their lenses, from their vantage-points, of what they hope to both professionally, as well as personally accomplish together, as  a team.

Ted Gustus

G.B.: Coach-Ted, how did you & Von Middleton meet and how long have you two known one another?

T.G.: I first saw Von and his group Sidetrack Boys, singing at the annual Brownsville Oldtimers Day, 2 years ago. I later met him at the Atlantic Terminal Street Festival, where we actually talked with each other. The group said they could sing the National Anthem, I invited them to sing it Madison Square Garden. Once that happen the relationship blossomed.
G.B.: Von, what was your 1st-impression of Coach-Ted, and has that perception increased in a more positive way?

V.M.: My first impression of Coach Gustus was very different. He was always open to give his assistance and counsel to me with his intentions of improving my abilities. Since that first impression, I have been enlightened that he has been like this for all people, most importantly the young men in our communities. He has a passion for the youth being successful.
G.B.: Coach-Ted, when did you begin to notice that Von’s voice as something worthwhile to invest in & take seriously?

T.G.: When I heard him sing at the Brownsville Oldtimers. I had an voice and entertainment expert friend check him out one on one, and he gave me. The thumbs up!

 

G.B.: Von, how did it make you initially feel, when Coach-Ted extended his hand, to assist you in getting your singing-career off the ground?

V.M.: I honestly couldn’t believe it because I was always guarded by people that appeared to want to assist in developing my career. After learning that he is a respected legendary Coach and basketball player I knew that my career would change forever.

 

G.B.: Coach-Ted, at what point did you guys incept the idea to attempt to break the National-Anthem singing-record, and which one of you came up with this idea first?

T.G.: Actually that idea was introduced to me by another artist out in Atlanta Georgia. I thought is was a great idea and so did Von. I thought it would be great way to get Von in front of many people to hear him sing this far it has been working very well.

 

G.B.: Von, what do you want most from this entire venture, that you’ve invested so much of yourself into?

V.M.: I want to inspire all people that anything s possible with the right work ethic, the right support groups and the right heart. I want to reach many people through my art and what I create. I also feel that I’m getting what I want,  which is to not only go through this process but to “grow through” this process. I wanted to enjoy the adventure of things while getting a chance to grow. In the past I’ve always anticipated the the outcome of things so much that the process would be a big blur to me. With Coach Gustus’ coaching and mentoring, I am developing many skills to assist me my evolution.

 

G.B.: Coach, where do you see Von Middleton, 5 to 10 years from now, as an artist?

T.G.: Von possesses diverse and versatile talents. I see him fully developing his talents and eventually being known world wide as an entertainer, business man and humanitarian. His zeal and desire to use his gifts to improve the quality of life for others will ultimately be his legacy.

 

G.B.: Von, where does Von Middleton see Von Middleton, 5 to 10 years from now, even beyond, as an artist?

V.M.: I see myself having joy and peace in my heart. I see myself with Grammys, touring the world and reaching many people that I look to inspire and change. I see myself being an innovative,  revolutionary artist that gives back to the human race especially to my community. I see myself being able to connect to all people mature and younger than me in helping to change their lives.

 

For more info. about Von Middleton:

 

http://www.facebook.com/vonsvibe

 

http://www.twitter.com/VonMiddleton

 

https://www.instagram.com/vonsvibe

 

“My Poetic-Proposal to my Lord”

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Oh, Allah:

Let me remember you when I am both happy and sad…
…regardless to whether I am calm or stark raving mad.

Allow me to be ever thankful for any test which you’ve set forth in my path…
…for me never to take Your mercy for granted, that I never earn Your wrath.

Have me in Your noble-service, by constantly being in the service of the Other…
…to view every Human, regardless of their creed, as my sister and my brother.

Give me a clean heart, full of Faith, which will never doubt, reject Your existence…
…shower me with Your ultimate graces, so that I always thank you via repentance.

Make me a Warrior, for Your pleasure: struggling on & off the battlefield…
…let me be skillful & worthy enough to spread mercy & the power to heal.

Let me be of those whom the People feel safe around…
…that I have the ability to turn all frowns upside down.

Let it be I who bring smiles to the faces of the miserable…
…let it be I who give strength to the weak, meek & feeble.

Let not my days be done, lest I can guide People to Islam…
…that Your name be praised, by every man & in every land.

Gareth Bryant/2014

I am the Pursuant-Panther!!!

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Jaguar pic

As I swiftly sprint, through my Jungle-Domain, all pause, as though they’re on my Hit-List.
They are in awe of my strength, my Colorful-Coat, my Sharp-Claws, my Paws, Mighty-Fists.

I’m the only one of my Kind, I am the King of the Amazon.
All I have to do is roar and everyone in the Jungle is gone.

But, it’s so lonely, at the Top; it’s like I have no one to share my Beautiful-World with.
It’s like I’m without Family or Friends…it feels like I am always alone: no Kin, & no Kith.

I love to be around Others, to play, not just to hunt and kill.
I just wanna know how it feels to be Part of something Real.

When I am present, Others are deathly afraid.
I’m just anxious to get along, to have it made.

I wish simply to live, and enjoy the Good-Life, with every Jungle-Neighbor.
I want them to know that me being a Jaguar doesn’t define my Behavior.

What I pursue is more than just a Fresh-Kill: I pursue Community.
I desire to be one with my entire Environment: I only seek Unity.

I search for Love & Understanding.
Honestly, is this too demanding?

Gareth Bryant/2013

The Necessity to reflect upon the Past, live in the Present & plan for the Future:

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The Past is not to be regretted, but merely remembered.

To remind us of actions gone awry & ambitions deferred.

It is merely something to gives us something to think about.

There’s no need or complain about it, or to stress and pout.

What’s done has been done & you can’t go back to have it reversed.

No need to complain about a performance that was not rehearsed.

We live in the Present: the “Here and Now”.

We must make good upon what we endow.

Our current durations are investments, to benefit us, at later times & places.

We must work, avoiding the same errors as before, stop falling on our faces.

The fruits of our labor may not all be witnessed by our own eyes.

However, still, we must overcome all obstacles, to attain our prize.

Our Future is completely unknown to us; regardless, we welcome it.

Never afraid of what is to come, courage is the primary precedent.

We are confident that we have done all that we should.

But, we would’ve definitely changed things, if we could.

That’s the way things are to go I guess; this is how it is to be.

I only hope to remain blessed & have Allah pleased with me.

Gareth Bryant/2013

The Title is A.B.C. (Always Be Confident):

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Malik Shabazz pic

Author’s note:

My bro, my dude, my boy, Malik Shabazz, has decided to share, with us, some of his many pearls of wisdom, if you will, on my blogsite. I’m both honored, as well as very humbled, that someone of his noble stature, would’ve been willing to grace my blogsite. Here’s what he’s written for all of us to benefit from.

Always be confident in your abilities to do or be anything you’ve imagined. Never have that mentality going into anything or going towards something thinking, they are better than me or I am not good enough. If you’ve had that mentality, ask yourself why, you’ve never passed up job-opportunities when you knew, there was someone that had more qualifications than you? You didn’t. You wanted that job or to be in a position that would enable you, to show your abilities, that would allow you to fulfill that imagination or dream.

Don’t ever stop believing because of the fear competition. There is NO competition! You are your own biggest competitor because of that fear that builds in your mind. The person in front of you, is NOTHING! When you can over come that person inside of you, the person who holds you back from trying something you’ve never done before, you will start to ease yourself into a comfort zone and you’ll be able to do things which you’ve never thought you were able to do.

Never fear or fear failure. Failure is just a word to discourage you and if you are discouraged by the word fail or failed, then you’ve allowed yourself to bury yourself with that word that has stopped so many people from achieving their dreams. Possibly the greatest basketball player of all time missed 9000 shots, lost almost 300 games, was trusted to take the game winning shot over 26 times and missed but that didn’t stop him, nor you and I, to call him, Michael Jordan, possibly the great basketball player of all time.

Muhammad Ali said, “impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

And Mike Tyson said “fear is your best friend or your worst enemy. It’s like fire. If you can control it, it can cook for you; it can heat your house. If you can’t control it, it will burn everything around you and destroy you. If you can control your fear, it makes you more alert, like a deer coming across the lawn.”

Fear, impossible and failure are just obstacles in your way. Experience is great, can be used to become greater or better or smarter. A thought to try but to never try, will always be a thought and never in a form of an action to reminisce on.

Malik Shabazz/2013

I’m goin’ L.A.M.B.!!!

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Author’s note:
This poem is dedicated to my new personal-phrase, “I’m goin’ LAMB”, which is an acronym for L.ivin’ life to the fullest A.nd M.akin’ moves like a B.oss. I recently came up with this phrase, as a parody of the Jay-Z & Kanye West song, “H.A.M.”. And, since, as a Muslim, pork is Islamically prohibited, I just figured that it’d be nice for us, as Muslims, to use a phrase that wasn’t connected to a food-product that we’re not religiously allowed to eat. Anyway, this poem, that I hope you’ll enjoy, gives some highlights, as to what goin’ LAMB really means to me.

#Enjoy

I’m goin’ L.A.M.B.!!!

I’m forever & always a self-made masterpiece.
My will is like a dynasty, no end to my streak.

God-given talents are the roots of my success.
On my agenda is simplicity, my ear to the ground.
Independent of foolishness, too old to be a clown.
Never subjugating myself, to defeat, or duress.

Lessons from life’s twists & turns keeps me humble.
Ambition to conquer makes the hard work beautiful.
My courage has compelled me to never run or hide.
Because of all these many tests & trials, I’ve arrived.

Gareth Bryant/2012