Today we’d like to introduce you to Lemond “IMAG” Brown.
Lemond, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I love making music, with more than 15 years of musical experience writing, producing and performing. Born in Washington, D.C., I use my passion for arts to inspire young people globally. With my passion for music and obtaining my B.A. in Architectural Engineering from Drexel University, I coined a new sub-genre called “STEAM Hip-Hop”, that includes an innovative curricula known as #STEAMtheBlock to get young people interested in STEAM career fields. In 2012, I launched the Swaliga Foundation in effort to improve the lives of youth around the world through STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts & Math) education. Swaliga’s vision is to be the premier source for innovative youth education combining creativity and culture. Shortly after, I released my debut album The Melanin King Project (2015), a musical project and film that tells the story of two tribes at war for generations on a quest to find their purpose and reclaim their history. Recently featured on TEDxMidatlantic, as a pioneer in the field of STEAM education, many people know me as “The STEAM Emcee,” I’ve performed globally and love to freestyle. My aim is to continue to blend Hip-Hop with Afro-inspired Jazz and Go-Go influences to connect generations and cultures around the world to my positive message. I always remind my students to “Spread Love, Get Love, and Use Your IMAGination…”
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
While things are doing much better now for me and the Swaliga Foundation, things were not always so great. After losing a major record deal my senior year in high school, I went to college and was forced to redefine himself both personally and musically. While slugging through Engineering school in Philadelphia and battling mild depression, I got into some trouble with the law which led me to cross paths with an individual that would inspire me to become a leader and start the Swaliga Foundation in 2012. After graduating, I returned home to the DMV. I began bouncing from one engineering job to another while working for my Dad’s detail shop Pro Wash and volunteering at local Boys & Girls Clubs in DC teaching STEAM. Eventually, I received funding for my work and was able to return to making music more consistently. In 2017, I went full-time as a music artist and CEO of the Swaliga Foundation. It was difficult at first, I fell behind on my bills and struggled to make ends meet. While 2020 was one of the roughest years to date for many reasons, it was also the year I released my first official STEAM album, STEAMTheBlock: Book of Revolution with a goal to boost intelligence and increase brain health amongst families across the world. We also received our largest grant in Swaliga’s history and it was the first time I was able to pay myself an actual salary! God is good.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
What sets me apart is my passion, my message and my heart to serve others. By the way, “I got bars!” My specialty is emceeing, writing authentic lyrics, and producing original music. I’m most excited about the power sound in learning, and how “STEAM Hip-Hop” teaches all of the elements of STEAM through Hip-Hop music. Knowledge is the most powerful weapon we have and my mission is to empower the next generation through these sounds. While I’ve been writing and producing STEAM Hip-Hop for nearly a decade now, I’m excited about my most recent solo release entitled #STEAMtheBlock: Book of Revolution. This project allowed me to merge my first few years in engineering school, including equations and physics concepts, into a groundbreaking Hip-Hop album. In an industry that is flooded with negativity and apathy, I’m happy to say that my music brings positivity and balance.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
My name is spelled IMAG but pronounced like “Image,” mainly because “I’m a G” and I’m “made in God’s own image”. I make all types of music, not just STEAM Hip-Hop and I’ve worked for years to develop my own unique sound. I love using live instruments in production and collaborating internationally. Currently, I run an independent music company called Olé Entertainment with my partner ENTATY. We specialize in producing captivating original content the entire family can enjoy. All of my music is clean, meaning no profanity or degrading lyrics. A lot of people thank me because they love my music, even more because they can feel comfortable playing it around their kids. I play my new songs for my students at Swaliga Foundation all the time. They always keep me honest and tell me whether or not they think it’s good, they’re like my A&R team! As a bonus, when you support me, a portion of all proceeds go towards Swaliga to continue to provide STEAM, arts and culture programs for youth in DC and around the world. The most important thing I can say to anyone looking to be successful is “Know your purpose, if you don’t know it already, then surround yourself with those who do.”
- #STEAMtheBlock: Book of Revolution (New Album) – $10
- Original Production (Beats) – Starting at $150
- Virtual STEAM (60min Workshop) – Starting at $250
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.imagmusic.com
- Instagram: @imagmusic
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/thisisimag
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/imagmusic
- Youtube: www.youtube.com/thisisimag
- Other: www.oleent.com
Photo 1: Tony Lear (Black Luxury, black suit) All other Photos: Olot photography