(“Tomorrow’s Voices Today“ is a new series curated by poet and educator Mike Sonksen.)
8 years ago, I spoke to a group of students at Hollywood High School and after the workshop, I was approached by one student. He read one of his poems for me and it was so thoughtful that we stayed in touch. That student was Trevon Kelley and I was not only impressed by his poetry, I was struck by his maturity and mindful demeanor. His attitude exuded a spirit beyond his years. Trevon began performing with the poets and I all over the city, even while he was still in high school.
Shortly after Trevon graduated his mother passed and he has been on his own from this time. I have been very impressed by his ability to pay his bills, survive on his own and still put a lot of time and energy into his music and poetry. His work ethic and independence contrasts with the entitlement and ungrateful attitude that many more privileged young people have. Everything Trevon has, he has earned with his diligence and nonstop hustle. He is one of the finest young men I have ever known. He continues to work full time and still stay on his hip hop grind.
As his song here says, ‘follow yourself, don’t follow no one else.’ Trevon has never followed anyone else and I have been impressed for many years with his focus and ability to carve out his own path.
“To Follow,” by NativeAlter AKA Trevon Kelley
(Produced by Gramatik; Mastered by Nemesyzz Rigby)