For The Record...just because you are an indie artist doesn’t mean you can’t make major moves. I’ve performed at two TEDx Talks, five Super Bowls, and The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. After being named the 2017 Austinite of the Year, I began 2018 with my song “Rise Remix” topping the charts and becoming one of the #1 songs on Sirius XM. Today, I live in Austin, Texas, the Live Music Capitol of the World, where the Mayor officially proclaimed June 12th, SaulPaul Day. I’m just saying...life is what you make it.
When you contrast my current successes to my bleak beginning, you can understand why it’s significant to me when I say I transitioned from tragedy to triumph. For the record though....the time between my “before and after” feels like forever.
There was a good period of time when it felt like I was moving in slow motion. Honestly, life felt like it was at a stand still sometimes. I was staring at dark clouds, yet envisioning the sunny days that I knew awaited me. I knew I would be successful. I knew I would make it making music. I knew I would travel the world living my best life while empowering others to live theirs. I just didn't know how…or when.
If you're familiar with my music, you know that I have shared different aspects of my life through my songs over the years. The opening lines to my song, “I Remember”, start like this:
“No mama, no daddy, no bro, no sis. I grew up an only child, just me and this chick. Some called her Big Mama, Some called her Miss, I call her the only reason I could have all this.”
-“I Remember”, SaulPaul
In this song, I am referring to my Grandmother. At the age of three, when my Mom died and my Dad abandoned me, my Grandmother swooped in like a superhero and raised me. She was my Wonder Woman. From her, I learned resilience and grind. She was 65 years old when she started raising me in one of the worst ghettos in Houston, Texas, yet instilled in me the optimistic outlook I have on life.
Like I said in my song “Mama”...
“P-E-A-R-L-I-E. Or call her Ms. Collins, may she rest in peace. See she be why I be me, Mama raised a monster, left the world with a Beast.”
- Mama, SaulPaul
“She was my Wonder Woman.”
My grandmother showed me unconditional love and modeled servant leadership. She helped me develop my mental fortitude and develop a strong work ethic. She paved the way for my success. And though she isn’t alive to see my shining these days, I live my life as a way to honor her. When she passed away, it was like the training wheels were removed. At 17, I had to learn to navigate this planet on my own. I took what she gave me and ran with it. It was me against the world, but being alone to face it allowed me the opportunity to develop a strong sense of self and a clear vision. This has assisted me greatly as I now navigate the music industry.
I’m an independent artist. Independently I oversee my career. I built my team the same way I built my family...by choice. Now I have career highlights that include performing on America’s Got Talent as well as West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. I’ve officially showcased at SXSW and headlined a stage at Austin City Limits. In addition to gracing the stages of others, I created my own. I annually produce my own festival and tour the nation with my guitar and my loop pedal. Maybe most importantly, I make a living making music. I perform in jails and prisons and have a client list that includes Johnson & Johnson and Honey Bunches of Oats. I’ve created a career that allows me to do what I want to do when I want to do it. I’m living my best life.
I have come along way from where I started and because of that I truly take the time to celebrate the accomplishments along the way. One of the early major milestones in my career was when I was featured on the front page of the newspaper. To celebrate the moment, I did what a songwriter would do....I wrote a song about it…which of course is titled....”Front Page”.
“I grew up in a wood house sitting on bricks. Now I stay in the A, Ballin’ in the mix. My mama died, my daddy left, I never had help, now I make a living helping everybody else,”
- “Front Page”, SaulPaul
I write as much about my past as I do my present. Through my music I’m documenting my journey. It was a pretty big deal when I was invited to perform at Google so I wrote about it in it my song “It’s Time for an Upgrade”.
“Tower to tower, you should Google that. Speaking of which, I did a show at Google, man. Found the address using Google Maps. I used to be in prison eating ramen noodle packs”
- “It’s Time for an Upgrade”, SaulPaul
I’ve discovered that there is power in story telling. And even more so, I discovered that there is power in a person telling their personal story. Due to my desire to be a hope dealer and agent for change, me telling my story is the best way for me to make the most meaningful impact. My art is a reflection of my life. It's how I contribute to this universe. And through each song I craft, I get to tell a bit more of my story and paint the picture a little more vividly. The more my friends, family and fans listen, the more I connect the dots and fill in the blanks. Through each song, I share the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. My life is a journey and I am not done yet.
“It's been a long time coming. Forgive me for breathing hard, but ya’ll I spent a long time running, But as long as I done it, can't complain I remained the same. A lot of folk fronted, thus they're growth stunted, shout out to every couch potato sitting at their house blunted.
My belief is... If you don't have it, then you must don't want it, or it wasn’t meant to be. You gotta be bent not to see this was meant for me.”
- “Wassup World”, SaulPaul
I’m motivated to do good because I’ve already had it bad. I was raised around poverty, police, pistols, pimps and prostitution. Gang-bangers, dope dealers and hope killers thrived in my neighborhood. I lived in the land of low expectation.
I do not take my success for granted.
Getting paid to do what I love, traveling across the country and visiting various continents remains to be amazing, but I can’t ignore the glaring fact that my success is bigger than me. I’ve always recognized that I have an inherent responsibility to give back, I learned that from my grandmother. I grew up on government assistance, yet we assisted everybody in neighborhood. When you appreciate what you have, you start to realize no matter what you have, you have enough to help someone else.
The appreciation is key.
I make music because music lives inside of me and it needs to come out. I was born to do it. It's my job. Every day I have the opportunity to bring to life what I hear in my head and heart. And I love my job. Through my music I make my presence known to the world. Through my music I entertain, inspire, and empower. I have more than accepted that without my past, there is no present. Though my past is full of unfair life circumstances and bad choices, my life has flip-flopped. It's definitely not the stuff that most people highlight or even talk about. But I survived and I've found that me sharing my story can help others live a better story. Me doing me allows others to “Rise”.
Rise to the moment. Rise to the occasion. Open your eyes, recognize there is greatness within your reach, you should seize it, you should take it, can you see it, can you taste...Destiny! Hard work and a plan, now that’s a recipe for success that’ll launch you where them blessings be. The road to riches, that’s where them blessings be. But I’m focused, they are not stressing me. Rise, Rise, and open your eyes. Now is the time for you to shine
- Rise, SaulPaul
For over a decade SaulPaul has earned an international reputation as a “Musician with a Message” known for entertaining and inspiring audiences across the world. Part rapper/part singer songwriter, SaulPaul is an entertaining artist who blends his voice, his guitar and his loop pedal to create a live show that is nothing less than an experience.