Today we’d like to introduce you to Keyonte Cobb.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’ve been in love with the performing arts since I was a child. I was introduced to my first love, the art of dance, early on. My mother was also a dancer who performed one of her last shows while she was pregnant with me. I was born two months early, and my mother always says I danced my way into the world early because I loved it so much. Outside of food, it’s all she fed me. I remember growing up performing for my family and friends at any event or function that allowed me to do so. I from a small town in Illinois called Champaign, where the opportunity for artists was slim to none, especially for my demographic. Being a minority we already faced resource disparities, so the odds were definitely not stacked in my favor, but I never let that stop me. In high school, my passion continued to fuel and grow stronger. I became the captain of the dance team, while also joining the theater club and debate team. Anything that allowed me to perform, I wanted to learn it and grow to love it as I did with dance. After spending my high school tenure scratching the surface and getting my feet wet with multiple arts, I was ready to pursue it as a career as I transitioned into post-secondary education. I graduated high school a semester early and enrolled in a community college until I was ready to transfer to Clark Atlanta University, which is where my Atlanta adventures began. I chose to go to CAU in 2012 because I knew the city was a great place for aspiring artists like myself and I knew the opportunity was endless, which is something I wasn’t used to having access to growing up. I became a member of the CAU Dance Theater team while taking my first professional and technical classes at Dance 411 Studios. Studying under choreographers like Sean Bankhead, Xavier Witcher, and many more, I began to really develop an understanding of what I fell in love with and what I could truly be doing within my talent of being a performing artist and growing creative. I began working occupationally as a dance instructor for a non-profit organization while waiting tables as a second job in order to continue to pay for training and the normal financial obligations that come with now being an adult. Many years later, I am now a professional dancer, choreographer, creative director, and overall entrepreneur. In 2018 I created and launched my own apparel line called Branded.SMCS at Clark Atlanta University’s Homecoming Fashion Show. I have an online store that is steadily generating income and growing daily. I’m super proud of it. I also just founded a community based competitive dance organization for high school-aged youth that uses performing arts to inspire, educate, and encourage. We are looking to do great things within and outside of the community. Lastly, I am diving head in into creative, directing a lot more. I’ve creative directed and choreographed for different recording artists and is currently gearing up to work with other amazing artists.
Please tell us about your art.
I am a creative director, choreographer, dancer, designer, and overall entrepreneurial, creative /businessman. It is my goal to use art to inspire, educate, and encourage individuality and uniqueness. I aim for my work to be thought-provoking and push the envelope on the status quo. I create with the intention that people feel liberated and a sense of self-assurance in whatever way, through my art. It’s always about healing. Understanding healing processes will better help you understand some of my art. The bad the pretty and the ugly all are staged of healing, so I like to depict every emotion where it relates, and create.
Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
As artists, we experience this far too often, unfortunately. It’s something many of us fall victim to being that it’s such a competitive field, aside from whatever personal restraints that may affect you as well. But the best thing you can do is be aware and properly prepare. One of the best things you can do it be notified of a problem head-on and allow yourself time to be prepared for it and to overcome it. Proper preparation prevents poor performance. How do you prepare? You begin saving and feeding your craft. The world of artistry is always growing and moving so being abreast with what it takes to not only stay afloat but succeed in this industry if that’s your goal. Those two combinations will set you up for financial stability as you continue to pursue the arts.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can follow me and stay up to date with everything I have going on in multiple ways.
Facebook: Keyonte “Keyz” Cobb
- Website: www.smcsbrand.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Branded_keyz
- Facebook: Keyonte Keyz Cobb
James D Love