IVORY SOLOMON

IVORY SOLOMON

It almost seems that Ivory Solomon has already had a career, he's shared the stage with Crystal Aiken, Mario Vasquez, Kirk Franklin, and a slew of others. He's even performed the National Anthem with a choir at a Sonic's game, standing up and singing in front of his hometown crowd. That's a lot of eyes watching someone so young, but he has plenty of experience with stretching his voice in public.

His mother was a singer and his father an African drummer, and the music he was surrounded with at home was blended with the music of the church at a very young age. It's difficult for him to remember when exactly he started singing; probably around three years old. None of this was exceptional for his family, all of which are highly musical. It was part of a complete musical life for him, no more unusual than breathing.

Once he entered high school, people commented that he was always singing. "My mother Linaye inspired me to sing, she always sang, and since I grew up in church I was pretty much always around singing." High school was a time of music, fun, and athletics. He ran track and field but eventually he thought about what he really wanted to focus his time and energy on.

After realizing that not everybody in this world would - or could - sing, he began studying and learning to build his confidence. Other than listening and watching church singers, he branched out and began examining popular music to find his voice. Alliyah, Dru Hill, Musiq Soulchild, Beyonce, John Legend - all made the rotation on the stereo, and all contributed in one way or another to his self-made musical education.

He recorded his first song in 2006, and has set the bar for himself higher than anyone else could. Working towards a business management degree is going to help him to establish his dream idea: "I want to create an institution where youth aged 18 and under can get the training and development in music that I never had, so they can remain confident and realize the sky is not the limit.

He has a phrase that he thinks of often, "A dream can be a gift to life and it can be deferred, choose the right path and your dream shall come to pass." The amount of work involved in the dream doesn't intimidate him even a little.