We are well into the second quarter of the year and we are excited to keep these features coming your way. We also hope that you are staying safe and continuing to build in your communities.
Welcome back to another spotlight feature by the Rooted Minds Blog, where we connect with Artists and Entrepreneurs to learn about their journey and shed some light on the moves that they are making in their communities. It is a really interesting time of the year, like where is 2021 going? But, we are glad to bring this interview to you and hope you are able to take away some gems.
This feature has hit the I Am Root stage once before, at the Rebel Lounge for Rooted Sessions 4. Her stage presence matches her music and it was a pleasure to have had the opportunity to book her for the show. It’s been dope keeping up with her journey and now having the opportunity to ask a few questions for the Rooted Minds Blog.
BIO - Don Eyo (23)
Don Eyo is a 23-year-old Nigerian-American music artist, currently working in Phoenix, Arizona. Eyo has an A.A, A.S, and Small Business Certificates & Entrepreneurship and a B.A in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Eyo is also the CEO of Eyo’s Empire. Her hobbies include making music, doing hair, and getting money.
RM: Tell us a little about yourself?
DE: I am 23yrs young, my background, well I’m Nigerian American, both parents from Nigeria (yes I’ve been to Nigeria about 5x now, my entire family is there). When things get situated I’m hoping to go back again, by the end of this year or next. I was born and raised in Arizona, I’m from Avondale, and my hobbies would include making music, doing hair which I started doing at the age of 9 & getting money (trading, stocks investing running my business) lol.
I am the daughter of two between my mom & dad. I’m the youngest BUT the daughter of like 7, that I know of from my dad making me the second youngest there.
I’m an entrepreneur, I went to like four different schools out of high school. I got my pharmacy tech certification at 18 never used it though (because I wasn’t messing with the pay, too much) today I hold 2 associates degrees 1 in arts and one in science (I was originally a pharmacy major trying to live my life for my parent's smh, later was convinced to do nursing, but eventually just stuck to business. Maybe one day I’ll go back and apply for nursing school just depends, so all the prereqs don't go to waste. Either way, it was an experience and I learned a lot, I love science and math.)
I have a small business and entrepreneurship certificate and a bachelor's degree in business administration. One thing I’ll say is school isn’t everything, but it’s not bad either just find something you're passionate about and pursue it whether it involves an entire degree, a few classes, crash courses or just your skillset never limit yourself I never did lol. As you can see, I’m an owner and CEO of Eyo's empire LLC which is a hair salon hoping to turn it into a one-stop-shop beauty salon.
I’m SINGLE as in no ring on my finger YET waiting on God to put my equal down on one knee for me at the right time and through the right person. (I never settle when it comes to love either) Lol
& I LOVE God. His timing his plans for me the knowledge wisdom understanding and patience he gives me the peace endurance and Growth he’s provided for me. He is my everything!
RM: Rooted Minds
DE: Don Eyo
RM: For some of our readers that don’t know, what role did music play in your household while you were growing up? Also, what has been your journey to your music? When did you realize that you wanted to do music? (3-part question)
DE: Music played an important part in my life growing up, from gospel to Christian, to hip hop, r&b, and my favorite soul. Music has also been my peace or my hype man. Music made doing chores feel like a hobby, but it also inspired me to make my own. My music journey started when I was younger, as early as elementary school. I always participated in choir in school, in the church, in talent competitions, and more, I got inspired to create my own when we would have poetry nights in elementary school. I was in middle school when I wrote my first rap. very funny story but I've always been creative in all forms of art. I realized that I wanted to take music more seriously when I was about 18/19 I was making raps with my big homies in the garage. It’s always thrilling when older people see a spark in you or tell you "that's hard" or tell you "you need to hop in the studio" if at least one person likes the music that alone gives puts you in a lane.
RM: Who has been some of the most influential people in your music journey so far?
DE: My biggest musical influences would have to be at this current moment Lauryn hill and Ty Dolla Sign. I was obsessed with the ambition and hustle of Cardi B when she randomly started to pursue music, but as a kid, I first fell in love with Ashanti, Mariah Carey, and Omarion. I really love and appreciate the impact that Burna Boy has brought to the music scene as well. He remained different and slowly but surely is now an international Grammy winner! The music, art, and versatility of some of these artists inspire me, but also the ambition drive, and impact of others.
RM: What’s one thing that you want fans to take away from your music?
DE: I want fans to overall to relate to my music or just hear me out, but mainly relate. I have lots to talk about, I have lots to say and I always want people to know and never feel alone. I feel like I've loved music for years, but music has saved me overall, kept me sane. There is not one song out in the world I can't find for a mood, feeling, vibe, or just a turn-up. Music keeps me alive.
RM: Your last project was Sacrifice and it featured 4-Tracks, the cover art is you in a cap and gown, tell us a little bit about your process and inspiration for creating it?
DE: My last project "Sacrifice" was created over an entire year. I recorded many songs and discarded a lot. I needed a condensed lane, I needed a project that represented me today, I sacrificed a lot over the past 2 years especially with my efforts and time into music. I loved creating music, and it was hard to duck off for a little bit, but I had to. I had to get back to me and my passion for music, I felt like I didn't even sound like me anymore. I didn't even feel like me anymore. As female pursuing music it's extremely hard, everyone has an opinion, everyone wants to try you in many different ways. My once upon escape started to turn into a nightmare, so I pulled back. It didn't have to be like that or feel like that, but I was going through a lot personally. I just decided to put it all into this last project. Yeah, I was gone for a minute, people felt like I was falling off, but regardless music is in me naturally and for life. Mental health is number one. Who I am today what I've acquired was because of the sacrifices I made, the people I lost, the hard work and efforts that I put into myself as a whole sacrifice. I chose my graduation cap and gown to show that I've reached another level. My last EP (before that) was in a cap and gown, so I felt it was only right to show the sequel. Real-life, real results, real graduation. I graduated academically, spiritually, and musically, again it felt right.
RM: You had such good energy and stage presence during our Rooted Sessions 4 event at the Rebel Lounge, how did you grow to have great stage presence and confidence?
DE: I think naturally I have a lot of energy maybe it's the Leo, maybe it's how God molded me, I've always been complimented for my performances. It's so fun, it's a vibe an experience an escape. I just get up there and be me. I have really bad eyesight anyways so I guess that helps, I don't get nervous, I feel the vibe of the crowd and go with it.
RM: What has been the best piece of advice that you have received during your career and what has been the best piece of advice that you have given, during your career?
DE: The best piece of advice I received during my career musically would have to have been, "do you" I felt like at a point I was making music for everyone else, but me. I heard a lot of “you have to it like this” “you have to do that” “this is what's in right now, you need to be like this or that, you need more of this more of that.” The day someone told me “but is that you?” I asked myself who am I, I had to dig DEEP beyond the music, I'm growing every day in relationships with family, friends, trying to figure out my love life, trying to get it right with God, I had to stop and remember I'm not here to please a man and that this is my life, I'm finna talk my shit how I want lol. Whether soulfully, r&b, or in rap whoever is going to rock with me on this journey will, and whoever doesn't, it's all love.
RM: Who are some of your favorite artists to listen to and why?
DE: I love listening to genres not really specific people, I guess it always changes. I like discovering new music, but I always have songs or people that hit it for me in whatever mood or vibe I'm in. I'm very versatile when it comes to music, so I’ll just leave it at that.
RM: Are there any artists out there that you are looking to collaborate with? Who old be your dream collab of any era? DE: I'm looking to collaborate with Burna Boy one day, by God’s grace, if God ever chanced me with doing something with Lauryn Hill I would, oh PartyNextDoor is a vibeeeeeee.
Locally I'd like to work with this girl named Samara Cyn I think that's her name my phone is acting slow rn, but she's done a couple of songs with Gold Silk, Scoop, and PK. She's just beautiful as hell, she's a whole vibe, her voice omg it soothes me maybe I have a crush on her human, but I would LOVE to do a song with her. I really wanna collaborate with more women, there's another girl her name is Honey or something I forgot, but sadly I barely see her on social media anymore, she beautiful as hell too, she's a singer and I need a feature. There's a girl out here that raps, she's dope af, I always hear about her and I like her confidence and demeanor, she's a rapper and I think her name is Alexis Brannan. I don't think she's from AZ, she's hard though, we'd definitely body something out here like an anthem. I have a very soft side, but a very lit side as well, so I'd def be trying to switch it up with her. I wanna do another song with this guy Tay Young, another song with Rache on free the kid, and honestly, I'm open to more collabs, whoever, where ever there is so much talent just hiding staying still. I love collabs honestly, they challenge me. I need one with Scoop, PK, Gold Silk so on and so forth oh and definitely one with 88kusha we grew up together, our moms are best friend but that boy is haaaaaaaaaard out there in Atlanta I need that lol.
RM: What things do you have planned for 2021 that you can actually share with us?
DE: for 2021 I have a lot of music videos on the way and just a couple of lit singles. I got the sentimental out my system but mainly be on the lookout for them videos.
RM: What would be some advice that you’d give to artists looking to get into music, but are too afraid of getting negative feedback or hate?
DE: My advice to anyone looking to Do music is DO IT, who cares we all are trash at something, in the beginning, you gotta crawl first before you walk before you run, were always growing don't limit yourself don't stop growing, and don't let fear cause you to live a boring life. Let's exit this world at least being able to say you did the most off your bucket list. if you haven't seen the Disney movie soul, watch it and get inspired!
Thanks for reading our spotlight feature on the talented and beautiful Don Eyo. Please be sure to stream her music, watch her videos and continue to support the content of the artists that we feature. Share this with a friend or family member! (Links below)
If you or someone you know should be featured, please visit www.iamrootco.com/submissions and drop a link so that we can check it out. This has been a dope experience prepping this article, we'd like to thanks to K-U-T for chopping it with us, we wish you much more success on your journey. We aspire to be a resource for up-and-coming artists, everywhere, so let’s keep it growing. Please share this with a friend and help us to keep the spotlight shining bright on these creatives.
Don Eyo - Like That [Official Video]
1,290 views • Jan 15, 2021
Stream "Like that" On all streaming platforms https://fanlink.to/etbn Follow on social media IG, Twitter, TikTok: _Doneyo FB: Don Eyo
Don Eyo - The Come Up | Shot by @iGObyTC | Prod RichJKid
1,341 views • Apr 16, 2019
Shot/Edited - Tee Cee @iGObyTC
Don Eyo feat. Molly Brazy - What You Know About It (Official Video)
39,673 views • Premiered Jan 1, 2019
Stream “What You Know About It”: https://open.spotify.com/track/4KLVd9... Follow Molly Brazy: https://www.instagram.com/mollybrazy/https://twitter.com/mollybrazyhttps://www.facebook.com/MollyBrazyMusichttps://www.tiktok.com/@mollybrazyoff...#MollyBrazy #DonEyo #WhatYouKnowAboutIt
More about I Am Root®
I Am Root® LLC is a Lifestyle Brand that specializes in events and productions for Local, Underground, and Emerging creative arts. The I Am Root® Collective is made up of 7 independent artists and a blog team whose mission is to inspire and be inspired.
We [typically] curate monthly and quarterly live music showcases, concerts, open-mics, special release events, and various specialty shows across Arizona. We have curated over 150 events here in Phoenix Metro Area. We work with local, emerging, and underground artists, the Maricopa Community College School District, Arizona State University Organizations, Non-Profit organizations, and others to help push the culture and create a community for artists and art appreciators.
We are here to inspire and be inspired.
Check out more features at www.iamrootco.com/features
Subscribe to the I Am Root® Youtube Channel www.youtube.com/c/iamrootco1
Peep our last feature with B. Hunt
More about Dom Root
I am from Inglewood, California, currently working in Phoenix, Arizona as a Sound Engineer (Live, Recording, and Mixing). I am a Music Producer and Creative Artist looking to build a portfolio and for live performance opportunities. I graduated from Arizona State University studying Creative Writing and Philosophy. I later studied audio production technologies at Mesa Community College, before taking on more freelance work.