Our co-founder, Joe Mebrahtu, recently had the opportunity to chat with MUCH and E! personality, and OVO affiliate, Tyrone “T-Rex” Edwards right before he accepted the Mandela Legacy Award from the Mandela family at the Black History Month gala in Ottawa. We asked him about what has led to his success and his advice for up and coming creators.

Joe Mebrahtu: What has been the key motivator that has helped you succeed? 

Tyrone Edwards: A key motivator has been rejection. People telling me,”No” countless times has driven me to be the best that I can be. I’ve heard people tell me that I was too dark skinned for TV or too young and I’ve used these No’s in my life to motivate myself to work even harder. Rejection in my mind is an excellent motivator. Make rejection your friend and it will serve you well.

JM: What would you tell individuals who are trying to get into the entertainment industry? 

TE: Create your own opportunity, don’t wait for someone to invite you to the table. Make it happen. Work for it. If you’re not willing to work then forget it.  Also, be the best version of yourself. Stop trying to be like everyone else.

JM: As a public figure, what keeps you focused and passionate?

TE: Love. I love what I do. If you lead with love and not money there’s no reason why you can’t be passionate about the work that you do. Too many people are chasing money and that generally leads to a dead-end road. The money will follow if you’re motivated by love.

JM: What would you tell the creative community? 

TE: Keep creating and the work that you do will eventually speak for itself. Don’t worry about the outcome, focus on the work. We need more people creating in order to see change in our communities.

JM: What parting advice do you have for anyone struggling?

TE: Lead with love not money. I’ve never done anything because of money and that’s what helped me get to where I am.

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