This year at the 8th Annual Taste of Soul Family Festival, Bakewell Media will provide the public an opportunity to enjoy a creative combination of raw and seasoned talent as they perform live on the StarQuest Singing Competition Stage.
During the 2012 StarQuest Competition we had hundreds of entries but very few finalists. Amongst our list of previous contestants we caught up with two standout StarQuest performing artists Tanek Montgomery and LaMarr “Deuce” Lubin. Both independent artists highlight personal moments of progression that have taken place in their careers after the competition and their special appearances at the Taste of Soul during The BET Experience 2013.
Los Angeles Sentinel: When did you get started in the music industry?
Tanek Montgomery: I have been performing my whole life but did not start taking myself seriously until three years ago. That’s when I moved from Pittsburg, PA to Los Angeles with the mindset that nothing is going to be handed to you and when opportunity doesn’t knock sometimes you have to go and knock down its door. Life definitely keeps you on your toes and keeps you in the grind mode to not take ‘no’ for an answer and not to be denied. I’m here doing what I love.
LAS: When did you audition for StarQuest and how would you describe the audition process?
TM: I participated in StarQuest in 2012 and actually got a second call back to perform at the BET Experience 2013. It almost took on the same atmosphere, appeal and vibe of American Idol or America’s Got Talent. It was a nice experience talking to the judges and meeting different artists and acts. I sang one of my own, an original song, “Hey Girl”.
LAS: Do you write the majority of your own music?
TM: Yes, I write music and collaborate a lot with a cousin of mine, Alicia Henderson Lawrence who also does all my vocal productions. We come together and create magic.
LAS: How did you feel when you found out that you made it to the final round of StarQuest?
TM: I felt pretty good. There was not really a doubt in my mind that I was not going to make it. (Chuckles) I strongly believe that before you approach anything there has to be a certain level of confidence that any one human being should possess. If you already approach a situation in defeat then most likely at the end of the day you will end in defeat. So, I pretty much approach everything I do with a positive mindset. Although I don’t do a lot of dancing, it was a great vocal performance and great choreography. I had a really good feeling that I would be selected.
LAS: As an artist, do you abide by any golden rules when you perform?
TM: I don’t really have any set rules I just have an attitude, personality and mind-set when taking the stage. I believe that as entertainers we have a responsibility to our fans. They employ us. I want to not hold back and give them what they pay for. Music today has been so watered down. We are in a fight to resurrect and bring the natural sound of Rhythm and Blues back. All the emotion, excitement, sweat and tears, intensity, late nights in the studio— I leave it all on the stage.
LAS: What pivotal points of progress have you made since your appearance on StarQuest and at Taste of Soul during The BET Experience 2013?
TM: I completed a five song EP entitled, Showtime and introduced my first single, “Hey Girl” along with shooting my music videos. My music is now featured on broadband social media networks like ReverbNation, Tumbler, YouTube and Twitter. Performing on Taste of Soul stage at the BET Experience was truly an experience. Knowing that I was in an arena performing next to Grammy Award winning artist and song writers spoke volumes and reinforces a confidence factor with where I belong, in an environment amongst the best. You can expect more music from me that penetrates the heart and the soul.
Twitter: @TanekMontgomery | YouTube: Tanek Montgomery | Instgram: @TanekMontgomery