Connect
To Top

Inspiring Stories from DTLA

The heart of our mission at VoyageLA is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the LA’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool.  Check out LA’s rising stars below.

Monté Priice

Communication issues followed me growing up and it resulted in my inability to express myself the way I’d like. I get swamped with intense emotions like anger, frustration, or sorrow; too embarrassed or unaware to realize. A lapse of good judgment, I’m sure everyone can relate to. Music had a big influence within my family, and being in that type of environment, it became instinctual that my creativity and related emotions started to intertwine with this form of art. I then began writing my own lyrics to instrumentals while in High School. This began my passion that evolved through my pursuit at Metalworks, studying Digital Music Production. After a few years of diversifying my craft, I emerged as a Recording Artist, which started a ripple effect in musical ventures and inspiration followed. I created my own avenues while breeding consistency and an eagerness to learn, it led me through the completion of various industry programs, such as; Remix Project, BizStart & Business In The Streets (B.I.T.S). Read more>>

Yel

I grew up heavy around music growing up. My father was a saxophone/piano player and my mother sang and directed in the church. That’s really where it all started. Grew up listening to a lot of Hip hop, R&B and jazz. Artists that inspired me along the way were artists like Missy Elliott, Lauren Hill, The Fugees, Outkast, and Jcole. Throughout my years in high school, I continued to write and flow all the time with my brothers and friends. But once I got to college, my seriousness on really doing music as my career really played strong in my mind. Once my mother past while in my sophomore year, I knew that was my sign that life is too short. So I made that major jump a lot of artists go through and went for it. Went home (to Pasco, Washington State) packed my bags and moved to LA. Read more>>

Myles Michelin

I started with an internship working with the headquarters for all the schools in Baltimore City. That’s where I found my love for cameras. Afterwards, I started going outside and just recording. That led to a lot of my films that I have out now. Once I put them out on YouTube and social media, I got a bunch of messages and comments that were super positive and I also did a couple of podcast interviews as well. All of this boosted my confidence and confirmed that this is what I want to do as a career. Tell the stories of others in my communities with the help of a camera. Read more>>

Genice McNeil

My name is Genice Ondrej McNeil, but I go by “G Doll” on all my social media platforms. I am 32 years old and I’m a Libra. I have always been called “extra” because of my loud, animated, and over the top personality. I launched my YouTube channel, “Just Keepin It G” August 2020 and it has been growing at a slow but steady pace. I’m also a co-host with my cousin LaToya on the online radio show “The Toya V Show with G Doll” My 1st degree is in Broadcasting and I have interned at a few radio stations back in my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina prior to moving to Atlanta, Ga. Read more>>

Shavonda Robinson

I started writing at the age of seven years old when I first was introduced to one of Maya Angelou’s poetry book titled And Still I Rise. When my mother brought the book for me as a gift, she used to read it to me every night. I developed an obsession to her poems and other books. She is one of my biggest inspiration to becoming an author and making an impact in this world. I always knew I was destined to give out knowledge to others through writing and communication. I have written and published over 100 books. I have won over six awards for my books. I also have recorded and published my first Spoken Word Poetry Album Titled The Rebirth Of An Visionary Woman. I am a Published Songwriter as well. I have a love for designing clothes and other products as well. So I created an online fashion business named Colorful Vibe Designs 3. But my collection is titled Color Me Beautiful Forever She’s So Vibrant, She’s So Vivacious. Read more>>

Scott Langer

My artistic journey is rooted in loneliness and boredom. Growing up my mom always had huge Halloween parties, so we had endless amounts of costumes and props. I’d fashion an outfit together (regularly utilizing the wolf and chicken costumes all six members of my family have worn for Halloween at some point), stand in front of the mirror, and practice different voices, impressions, animal noises, and weirdo conversations with the various characters I created. I didn’t care that no one was watching, that no one knew. I wasn’t just passing time. It felt good. It made me smile. It made me realize that creating something out of nothing will always get me where I need to go. I attended U. Colorado-Boulder, received my B.A in film, then attended Lee Strasberg Institute in NYC to study method acting. Side note: method acting is not going deep undercover for a role but more about releasing tension from the body through exercises to act “relaxed.” Which during this time was hard for me to do. Read more>>

Jessica Bethel

I encountered photography my freshman year of High School. I eventually was convinced by my teacher and colleague to take it seriously during my sophomore year of High School. I really began to fall in love with photography. I tossed around majoring in photography for the first two years of college, I was actually committed to being a Marine Biologist for the longest. Eventually, the call to photography really sat on my heart and to go full throttle into my art. Fast forward to receiving my Bachelors in Art and Art History with a concentration in photography in 2018. Shortly after graduating, I took the leap to move to LA during the pandemic because I felt leaving my hometown would change my trajectory and it did just that. Read more>>

Abdulrahman Hamdi

From a young age, I began expressing myself through art. My mother once said, “You were an extraordinary child at two years old… when other children were drawing houses and flowers, you were drawing monsters and a brilliant sun.” But, not until college did I begin to develop the style I work in today. Life took many turns — law school, working as a legal consultant in Saudi Arabia, moving to the United States for an additional graduate degree — but I never strayed far from my canvases and paint. No matter the juncture I found myself, no matter what was happening my world, I found, and continue to find, peace in my art. I never know the outcome of my work. Quite simply, I allow the paint to take control. Yet, I do control the story only to the point that I select the color palettes, textures and proportions. Moving to Los Angeles two years ago, though, has been wonderfully transformative. The creative energy of the city, the people … I’m inspired each day, with each new corner of the city I discover. I’m so fortunate to have made a wonderfully diverse mix of friends, as well as a network of contacts to support my art. Read more>>

Fly Hitta Steez

It all started as an idea for me while I was in prison. Been doing music for as long as I can remember and now that I have my freedom, I decided to take it very serious. Read more>>

Zijie Zhou

I just came to LA the first time this summer and came to study filmmaking in USC. I used to shoot commercials and movies in China and came here to learn because I wanted to calm down for real and study the medium of film and the latest interactive media in the future. While trying to feel the city of LA, I am also working hard to create my own. Read more>>

Marcus Quick

I’m a music producer. I have been producing music for almost two years now. I originally came across the idea of producing music because of my older brother. He had an old laptop that had FL Studio downloaded on it when I was like 13 years old. One day he just randomly decided to have me make a beat for a song that he wanted to try and make. That was the first time I ever even had the idea of producing. I created a beat for him and he rapped over it. The feeling I got from that moment even though I didn’t think the beat was very good looking back at the moment now, now I realize that is what sparked my love for producing. I stepped away from music production after that though unfortunately and just recently decided to pick it back up a couple of years ago. The reason I ended up getting back into it is because there are so many great Las Vegas artists and although I don’t rap, I wanted to contribute in my own way. I linked up with my boy “Kenyadda” and we started making music. I started a couple of years ago and I haven’t looked back. Read more>>

Jeff Addo

The church is the first music opportunity for many artists in the world today, including the most successful ones. While many were interested in singing for the church, others simply did it out of obligation. J. Addo, born Jeff Addo, falls into the latter category, and it has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for him. J. Addo has featured on media companies like MTV, BET, Music Choice, ABC 7, Fox 5, CBS, The Shade Room, Worldstar, WUSA9 and many others. His music style is based on feel-good sounds that can make people dance and feel happy. He sets himself apart with his work ethic and consistency. J. Addo believes preparing for the future begins now, and he ensures nothing gets in the way of releasing good music regularly. His strategy is to remain fresh in his audience’s minds by regularly putting out music and crisp, high-quality music videos to go alongside. Read more>>

Lee’Andrajnae Cross

It all started with a Bratz Doll head. I was around the age of seven or eight. The idea of doing hair was already implemented into my mind. I loved being in everyone’s hair, that is of course the one who allowed me to do so. Many people do not trust just anyone in their head, let alone a child! However, I am blessed to have had many supportive folks in my life that allowed me to learn, play, make mistakes, and create in their hair. A few years later either for my birthday or Christmas, my mother gifted me a salon professional mannequin head, and it became my best friend. Anything I wanted to practice or try for the first time was done on my mannequin or my little sister! Having a live head and or person always worked for me when learning if someone was present. From that experience, I learned that practice definitely makes perfect. Read more>>

Celene & Tara Carrara

We were raised in Bali, Indonesia, and after moving back to the States, spent many summers living with our Dad outside of Ubud. Balinese food is central to our tastes and preferences, and we’ve spent years trying to figure out how to make dishes that tasted true to our memory while in LA. After the onset of Covid-19, we found ourselves out of work, adrift without a clear direction forward. Then we found fresh banana leaves at Vallarta market in Pasadena and realized we could make a real Balinese “nasi bungkus” – or “rice wrapped to go” – which is something we’ve never quite nailed. Our partners encouraged us to make nasi bungkus for our friends, to host a casual pop-up in our driveway, as so many other folks were doing at the time. So we spent a few weeks recipe testing, going to seemingly every Asian grocery store in LA, discovering ingredients otherwise lost to us: galangal, long beans, bird’s eye chilis, rhizome root. Read more>>

Agnes Hsu

My first business was a bakery that I great to five locations in five years in the SF Bay Area. After I had kids, I wanted to spend more time with time so started a kids creative blog in 2013. It took off and I started two more blogs after that, a kids food site and board games website. I also manage my son’s baking Instagram and am the author of a children’s book My Color Is Rainbow, about kindness, and newly published book: Recyle and Play: 50 learn and play activities for preschoolers using recycled materials. Read more>>

Ana Oncina

I studied Fine Arts and in the last year of my career, I made a comic ‘Croquette and Empanada’ that fortunately was published by a publishing house. Now it is also published in the USA. When I finished my degree in Valencia, I moved to Barcelona where I lived until last year. There I developed my skills and I could dedicate myself 100% to comics and illustration. Read more>>

McDaniel Marc

I always been around music but I started rapping in high school. I can say around 2018, just trying to practice and get better. After sports, music is what I was known for doing. In 2019 through a friend named Adrian ($olo) I met a producer who goes by Saidon or sai makes beats and from there, I started to get better all-around and also since then I been growing. Read more>>

Levoy Bennett

I started writing lyrics when I was just nine years old, just something to do out of boredom. As I grew older, I started to become more versatile with my writing, as I began to write short stories, songs, and poetry to express heartbreaks and the feeling of betrayal in a non-violent way. Though my life started to become harder and harder as my age progressed, so by the time I was 16, I dealt with severe depression and suicidal thoughts. So to cope with my overwhelming negative emotions and thoughts, I wrote a least a song/poem per day, as it was my only way to really express myself and get my emotions out in a healthy manner. By the time I was 18, I had overcome majority of my personal battles from my adolescence, and my writing was at its peak at the time, so I decided to finally start making music professionally versus just writing to cope with my wild emotions, as it was pretty much the only thing I’ve ever done that I was extremely passionate about, with the exception to gaming. Still at age 18. I started watching interviews of big named and local artists, freestyles to improve my own skills, and the overall successes and failures of other musicians in order to figure out what to do and what not to do for when I finally decide to release music. Read more>>

Nic Tom

I began acting by enrolling at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. After graduating with an Associates in Film and Television Performance, I began acting professionally right away. Interestingly enough, the first gig I ever booked was an online commercial for Victoria’s Secret Pink. Why would they have men in their commercials, you might ask? I had no idea and apparently neither did the production crew. I didn’t end up in the final cut, but I was excited to be making a living doing what I loved for the very first time. I am most proud of playing a supporting character named Kevin in the independent film, In a New York Minute. It was a wonderful experience to be able to portray a vindictive character for a change, as I was often cast as the innocent type. This film also featured a predominantly Asian cast and it empowered women to find their voices amidst the pressures of society. Read more>>

Kal Marshell

I’m a singer-songwriter, producer, brand ambassador and founder of the Underground Singers and Songwriters group on Facebook that’s from the Windy City of Chicago, IL. I am a transplant that relocated to Los Angeles three years ago; I moved to Los Angeles to further pursue my career in music, fulfill my dreams, and live amongst the city of angels. I’ve discovered in three years a lot can change. Heck even in one year a lot can happen. So here’s what’s happened for me since moving to Los Angeles, I went from renting a room; to having my own home DTLA, from singing at open mics around the city; to touring my original music during the pandemic performing in partnership with various civil rights organizations and governmental agencies thought out the country. Read more>>

Querriel Madarang

I grew up an artist and dedicated almost my life studying art and the works of the masters like Rembrandt and Caravaggio. I am creative and had an ardent desire to follow my dreams. Knowing this, I tailored my education around what I wanted to become. I started my professional career in the creative industry as a concept artist while I’m still in college. After obtaining my Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, I worked in the advertising industry for a few years as a graphics and motion design artist until I migrated in the US with my family. This life-changing event made me pursue what I really wanted, to become a Portrait Photographer. I decided to start a photography business with my wife in San Diego in 2019, and I can say that it’s not that easy. As an Immigrant who is in a very diverse country, I was exposed to different cultures, personalities, customs and traditions that I am not very familiar with. And that is one of my biggest challenges in my business. But that didn’t stop me to keep pushing, trying and going for what I know is best for me, my family and the business. Clients were picking up when COVID hits the country. The Pandemic hit us hard and we had to step back and evaluate what we can do so that our business will survive. Read more>>

Daniel Evans

It all started at about three years old for me. I was sent to New York to visit my great grandmother and she prayed and imparted the gift of hands I believe over me and after that night my life truly was never the same she did something magical that I can’t explain… after that trip my eyes were drawn to women and they’re hair and clothes and it’s been history in the making after that. Read more>>

Camille Solari

My father was Italian, and my mother French Canadian. We grew up in a town called Brookline, Massachusetts in The United States but spent our summers in Quebec, Canada where we have dozens of cousins having spawned from my grandmother who was from a family of 13 brothers and sisters. I have U.S. and Canadian citizenship as well as New Zealand residency. Brookline, Massachusetts is where I grew up. It was an ethnically diverse town, extremely academic, pretty conservative yet highly involved in the political world. John F Kennedy grew up in Brookline. Many politicians were bred out of that culture. As a child, I got on board with world politics but ultimately knew I would go into the arts. Growing up knowing that I wanted to go into the world of arts was tricky, you pretty much had to hide your true aspirations. It was expected that you would become a doctor or a lawyer, like my father, or a teacher like my mother who taught French at a private Catholic School. Read more>>

Yuji Tyler

Started from throwing parties in the hills of Hollywood. Me and Atom were in different industries but aiming towards the same direction. We both liked sharing inspirations, creative friends. I was a creative director in a fashion industry and he was a DJ/producer/ music engineer. We both thought that it was fun to create an environment that can mesh both industries and have our friends get inspired by meeting creatives in other industry in a socializing party setting. Couple of events in, we were getting some good amount of buzz that we had to restructure the template of the events. Since we had a tiny shared music studio in Hollywood, we always wanted to move the studio to another place, and the ultimate idea of “CERES” came to our minds. Read more>>

Diana Escalera

I honestly didn’t know I was going to “start” anything really… I was at my lowest point in life in Brooklyn, NY and I honestly was deep in depression so much so that I’ve attempted suicide multiple times. From self-cutting to pill-popping, I didn’t see much of a future in my life. You see between the death of my parents a month apart in 2004, the lost of my two-month-old son in 2009 & dealing with Domestic Violence throughout the years while raising a daughter… being someone important never crossed my mind. It was all about surviving the projects and making it to live another day. But I was drowning. I had no one to talk to and with the traumas I’ve experienced, trust issues was my number one problem. During my down moments…My mother in law contacted me through Facebook and told me that God told her to get me down to Baltimore Asap. Now at this time, I was naive so I didn’t believe in God really because why would I go through so much pain if God loved me, right? Well, here’s the uniqueness in life when it comes to our personal growth…. Growth hurts but heals at the same time, lol… I took my mother in law advice and came to Baltimore, MD in 2011 because honestly, I was running out of reasons to live so I said, “Baltimore here I come”. Read more>>

Jah Zanotti

Born in the U.S.V.I., St. Croix came to America at four years old. During my teenage years, I started getting into problems with the law and ended up doing seven years of my life away from 2011 to 2017 decided to change my life around and moved to New Jersey and started recording out of my house… my first single, “NEVER LET ME DOWN” that’s sits 30k streams on YouTube and 68k streams on Spotify is what open the doors for me… I took my music platform and pursue to what I really love the most which is designing… I have my own clothing line that’s out that’s called (A.P.G.Cartels) which is an acronym for Always, Prosper, Gr8ness… A.P.G.Cartels is more than just a brand it’s a group of us with our own consultant team and playlist curators; it’s a bunch of talented individuals that look forward to help others build their brand… with a lot that we offer from packages such as Spotify placements for musical artists promotions for all brands help run google Ads help create events from our event planner help social media engage basically a lot my brand does. Read more>>

Ja’Corey Bellamy

While being born and raised in Charlotte Area of North Carolina I always knew one day I would discover what hidden talents I had in my life. While attending the illustrious North Carolina Central University I knew I needed some kind of hobby to keep me busy in my free time from studying. I knew there was a camera located in my home that utilized by my grandfather which led me to pick it up for fun to take pictures for students on campus. After sometime I began to take it seriously after all of the support I received from my family and friends. Read more>>

T’ana Phelice

My journey as a writer began when I was about nine years old. I wanted to do something special for my mother on Valentine’s Day and my grandmother encouraged me to write her a poem and I did. It just flowed out of me. From that day on, any time that I wanted to say something special or say how I felt, I wrote a few bars. After that, I started writing songs. Raps, gospel, and R&B. My sisters and I even formed a little singing/rap group. Lol. We’d sing songs for our neighbors and stuff. Nothing big. Just something to do. I write poems for special church events, my friends would ask me to write something for their boyfriends. But at that time, it was still just me having fun. I didn’t take it seriously. It was just something I could do. My mom would tell me that she envisioned me writing for people but I didn’t see it until years later. Read more>>

AJ Young

I first became involved with the film industry when I started working at Harkins Theatres in high school. My first theatre was the now closed Fiesta 5 in Mesa, AZ. While at Fiesta 5, I worked my way up to a projectionist during my senior year. Movies were still projected on film at the time and I learned the now dying art of film exhibition. Harkins transferred me to Tempe Marketplace 16 when Fiesta 5 was closed down and I continued to work as a projectionist while I started college. I began film school at Scottsdale Community College in 2010. At the time, I was still working full-time at Harkins and somehow found a way to manage a full school schedule. There were plenty of times I would be in uniform during class because I would have to quickly drive over to work right after. Read more>>

Angel Armstrong

My journey really started when I was in high school in California. I would see my friends get teased, and I wanted to help them. I had a strong interest in the beauty industry at the time, so I would bring my mom’s makeup to school and give them makeovers. It would make them feel pretty and boosted their confidence. Read More>>

Ludine Pierre

I’m a recent transplant from Chattanooga, TN but did not get to explore much of what California has to offer due to the pandemic. Even though I’m a therapist, the state of politics in this country and helping clients navigate the pandemic and racial tensions started to take its toll on me as well. I was looking for healing and community and surprisingly enough, a couple of days after thinking about how to find a way to connect with a surf community in the area, in June 2020, I ended up connecting with Color The Water, a non-profit organization co-founded by David Malana and Lizelle Jackson that was providing free surf lessons to BIPOC in the Los Angeles area. I was their first student and I learned a lot about myself and the ocean was a vehicle for that. I also got to connect with a childhood dream of learning how to surf. It was a beautiful experience that allowed a long-time curiosity to include the ocean with healing practices and therapy. Read more>>

Khristian Foreman

I was born in Detroit, MI where I grew up around music. Being in Motown, I was introduced to live music as a child. My late grandmother affectionately known as “Queen” used to sing every chance she got and had a voice that amazed many. I was involved in band since middle school and started out on Bassoon. Then in Highschool, I learned the Trombone for my high school’s marching band. Unfortunately, I had to give up Bassoon because of a freak accident that happened after my first year of high school and I committed to Trombone as my primary instrument. I got a full ride to attend Jackson State University where I got to march in the award-winning “Sonic Boom of The South”. A lot of people noticed that I had a gift for playing my instrument and also how much of a musician I was. Outside of college, I started performing with some of the best musicians in Jackson because people referred me to people. Whenever I went back to Detroit for summer breaks, I’d also get referred to people as well.  Read more>>

More in slider