Friends call me Phonzz, like happy days.
As a kid, I was completely obsessed with mid 00s blog rap and making my own music in return for being so inspired to the culture. Later, I discovered windows movie maker as a recording program at the time, found an old logitech headset microphone laying around my house, and a Lupe Fiasco instrumental on Youtube, a true goat.
At the time, I was also very immersed in the world of YouTube rap as well, which I was able to leverage as a means of referencing to look the part. I grabbed a physical copy of adobe creative suite from my step pops' bookshelf, used the second to last digital serial key (he was pissed lol.)
This was the turning point, shit, the inception of who I am as an artist since that very day. And I haven't looked back.
I was reaching a glass ceiling of working with local musicians - I had worked with everyone within my initial network, it was a side hustle but I knew it could be more than that. This same year I went from working with local artists to working with local restaurants, doing full brand ecosystems, websites, social media management, content, you name it - I did it. I had no focus, just applied the same brute force tactic I applied to music to the professional world.
From waiting tables and networking in the local Saint Louis food scene, I ended up branding the Tower Grove restaurant Indo with Owner and Chef Nick Bognar. If you're into food at all, it's been praised by Food and Wine, GQ, Sauce Mag, and a ton of others, but this is all to say that it's big deal — a project I wear as a badge of honor.
With half a dozen small business design projects under my belt I'm only now beginning to find balance and moving far away from what was once a fix-it-all design business for any and everyone to a laser focused solopreneur branding agency happening right before you.
As the result of falling on my face multiple times, I've been able to fine tune and land in a new world, the world of Soloprenuership and a hint of everything I love about hip hop and rap.
The philosophy I've managed to stumble upon is really the foundation to FTW which separates me and any other studio apart.