Today we’d like to introduce you to Rosa Veleno™.
Rosa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in Detroit, Michigan and gravitated to music at a very early age. It was an extremely therapeutic outlet for me, especially because I spent a good portion of my childhood in the foster-care system. By the time I was 10, I’d been singing and rewriting songs on the radio. I was definitely the kid my mom, Artice would choose to be the entertainer during social gatherings.
One of my favorite gifts that she got me was a karaoke machine with a cassette player that I used to record all of my early music. I started making tapes and got a great response from family and friends. As I got older, artists like Bow Wow and Da Brat influenced me to become a rapper. I seriously always thought I’d be signed to So So Def records once I got of age. My brother Gabriel created a rap group in high school and finally allowed me to join them in my freshman year. Around this time, I began making original music, battle rapping, and competing in talent shows around the city. I even got the attention of Detroit rapper Tone Tone’s manager, Big Red, by playing my self-recorded music for him during a visit to the set of Tone’s video shoot “I Aint Playing with Ya” in 2004. Red used to come into a restaurant called Fish Delight where he met my mom. Though I didn’t sign, down the line I landed a feature on a mixtape “Fresh Out The Swamp” with his artist Young Gator on a song called “Kitty, Kitty”. The line up on that project included some of the hottest names in the city, like “Chedda Boyz, Al Nuke, Rashad Morgan & K-Deezy.
I’ve always had tremendous support for being able to be creative and get where I’m at today. The late Dr. Apostle Thomas Butler, and First Lady, Pastor Kim Butler of my home church “Word of Truth” would often encourage me to rap my inspirational music during Sunday service. They also kept me off the streets by introducing me to the theater. Our cast performed at different churches around the city, garnering recognition from the newspapers for performing a famous play about Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement called “Selma”. I’d be remiss if I didn’t shout of my high school teacher Mr. Fuqua for allowing students to express themselves musically and encouraged me to take chances. My principal Mr. Whomack gave me an opportunity to write promo commercials for school and rap them over the PA system. He also helped me get into my first video shoot for Vickie Winans’ remix of “Shake Yourself Loose” filmed at Detroit School of Arts.
I lived on the Westside of Detroit directly across from my childhood friend Tony, formally known as “Say It Aint Tone” of the Finally Famous crew. He used to come over and we’d sit on the porch listening to new music that Big Sean was working on when he was still in a rap group. I remember spitting raps with Sean in the driveway after Tony introduced us. Eventually, this led to one of my first major studio experiences with producer Early Mac. He actually made me sign a contract for the beat I leased. At the beginning of my college journey, I earned most of my undergraduate credits studying Journalism at Wayne State University while working with programs like Project 313 (a youth-focused setting for gifted artists). There, I learned to be authentic and responsible for the kind of art I released. I picked up the camera for the first time and fell in love with Final Cut Pro. I met a really driven DJ named King David while interning in promotions at top tier radio station WJLB and began to learn about the entertainment industry.
I started to film celebrity interviews, became a feature in his legendary video mixtape series called “Detroit Streets”, and he took me under his wing. David introduced me to Lola Damone, known for her feature on Drunken Master’s “50 Playaz Deep”. She loved my music so much, we collaborated on a song called “Bossy B****” that landed on her project called “The Summer Recess”. Vivid moments for me include sitting in the car, witnessing commercials I had written for personalities like Big Dogg Blast and my voice-overs for Sweet 16 featuring talent like T.I. play live on air. Subsequently, I was a part of a three-piece rap girl group. Our manager put us together and boy did we make magic! I thought we were going to blow up! However, that fire fizzled out after a while, with unreleased music, we all went our separate ways.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
This road has been an interesting one. After a few years of having three jobs and attending school, I was burned out. I had created my first project called “Pink Venom” but being a female in the industry often created situations where my money wasn’t green enough. I went to get the records mix and mastered by a well-known producer in the city. Unfortunately, he sabotaged the music by tossing me a cd full of audible issues and held onto my stems so I couldn’t go anywhere else. I felt hopeless and jaded with most of my hard-earned money already invested in the project.
Soon, I went on academic probation and decided to join the U.S. Navy. I graduated all of my training programs and shipped out to my first duty station, a staff command in Naples, Italy. There I won my first music competition with the USO. My prize was two free plane tickets back to the states and bragging rights! When they wrote up the article in the Panorama about my win, I coined myself “Pink Venom”. After that, high-ranking officials at my command started calling me “Pink” instead of Petty Officer Todd. I knew I had to come up with a more professional name. Hence, the Italian translation “Rosa Veleno™” was born.
I joined the service but following my heart and love for music would lead to me being a Sailor one enlistment and led to a move to sunny California. When it was time to pick orders to my next duty station, I leaned on faith. Being up for sea duty rotation, people thought I was crazy for putting myself at risk to become the needs of the Navy, but I selected California for all five of my choices, shore included. During my tour, I had been in a head-on car collision that brought about a lot of suppressed suffering and a mild traumatic brain injury. I was ready to truly heal and get my life back on track. I got my wish. In the Summer of 2014, I joined a squadron on the Coronado base and began going hard for my music career again. I had made rank fairly quick and garnered many accolades such as recognition for standing in the color guard for our 44th President Barak Obama during his visit to meet the French President and receiving multiple Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medals for accomplishments including Sailor of the Year. Still, I made up my mind to transition out of the military the following summer with mentorship from Navy veteran Kitty Harris.
I also hired a music manager and quickly learned that everyone doesn’t always have the best intentions for you. My integrity to mend the relationships that had been compromised piloted some huge blessings. Like my friend Demroc, he not only designed my service mark logo “RV” but personally walked me into the office of award-winning producer DJ Arthur “Artistic” Mitchell. I signed up for paid DJ lessons and we forged a great bond. It funneled a bigger network, booked shows all over the city to include House of Blues, San Diego Pride, opening up for touring artists like “Turquoise Jeep” and the next competition I’d win during the Indie Artist showcase at Urban Digital Music Conference in 2016. I also completed a full project working with creatives like Jonnae Thompson, Hookmaster, Ray Champion, Christel Freeman, DJ Rek, Torrion, Jacob “Cubby” Miranda, Amanda Mercedes, DJ Schoeny, J Treel, Jay Watt, Peter Duff and many more.
By this time, I’d made the decision to trademark Rosa Veleno™, and boy was I in for a rude awakening. Shortly after, I received a federal opposition. John Veleno Vs. Sheena Todd went on for a whopping five years. His claim was a likelihood of confusion because he manufactured guitars that celebrities played, and I made music. I’m glad that I chose to fight for my brand because this case influenced intellectual property and changed how litigations similar to mine will be handled in the future. Thanks for taking me on Christopher Cabott and Kristina Wilson!
During the Urban Digital Music Conference, I ran into a lady that commanded a room of people without effort. I had to introduce myself to “Mama” Lynn Jeter, one of the most respected publicists in the industry, plus she was African American. I started my internship driving from San Diego to Los Angeles a few times a week. Lynn eventually convinced me that San Diego was a second-tier market, and if I was serious, I’d make Los Angeles my home. So, I did! Over the next year, we would increase my network, even more, she mentored me to become a publicist and encourage my growth in other areas of my career like being a songwriter. I began to forge opportunities writing for major artists at Atlantic Records. I also flew out to Atlanta to work along-side songwriter Nathaniel Livingston and engineer Firas Quick. I even decided to pick up my camera again and make some money moves. My little Canon got me into big rooms. I shot a web series, behind the scenes and interviews for entertainers like songwriter Vincent Berry II during his Grammy win for Beyoncé’s “Sandcastles”, VH1’s Black Ink Crew Artist Kat Tat for her “Shoe Dazzle” shoot, and renowned Casting Director Twinkie Byrd during her directorial debut of the short film “The Counter 1960” at the Pan African Film Festival. After interning for LAJ & Associates, my next destination was It Girl PR. This was a great experience because I learned to stand on my own two feet. I built my confidence to branch out, founding my company MegaEntivision LLC. I’ve done PR for events like “4 The Love Sessions” hosted by Gibson Guitar and feature film campaigns for movies like Jaqueline Fleming’s “Atone”. All while completing my Bachelor’s in Business Management from DeVry University and acquiring an Associate of Arts in music production at Los Angeles Film School. Currently, I’m attending California State University, Northridge as a Cohort-8 graduate student in the first Master’s program of its kind in the Western U.S. christened Music Industry Administration. Andrae Alexander, Seven Bailey, and Tracy Swearingen thank you for believing in me!
One of the relationships near and dear to me is with American record producer Nate “Immpaac” Jolley. I had the pleasure of co-writing his story for the front page article of Hollywood Weekly’s magazine’s Billboard Edition and “Disney’s The Lion King” star, Shahadi Wright Joseph’s debut single “Skin I’m In”. I’ve been blessed to be a part of the supporting team for the Hollywood African Prestigious Awards. I performed a single called “Steady” alongside Tracy J and was nominated for a second award, for “Best Short Film” in lieu of a piece executive produced and co-written with team “Reel Life” called “Coercion”. This was really cool because we got to tell a mental health story through the guise of a horror film. These days, the marathon continues. I have an opportunity to realize my first publishing deal as a songwriter. I am writing with some phenomenal creatives to include my very own little sister Kayla. In addition, I’m enjoying life as a veteran, co-writing a book with a best-selling author and pursuing new endeavors as an actress. I never tell the left hand what the right hand is doing, so I’ll spill the beans in detail once it is time to publicize.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the MegaEntivision story. Tell us more about the business.
Rosa Veleno™ and MegaEntivision LLC go hand and hand. My team focuses on the business and the creative sides of entertainment. We specialize in working with newbies and rising stars to establish a solid foundation. As a publicist, this includes helping artists develop & sustain their brands, build EPKs, write bios, generate Music Market Analysis, events, campaigns and more. We do photography, videography and editing for live events, red carpets, interviews and behind the scenes footage. Plus, I enjoy consulting clients about topics such as the importance of metadata, how to get writes up/premieres, and the music business in general. As a songwriter, I work with artists and writers to cultivate placeable music. What sets me apart? Hmm, most people tell me my great energy, drive, and positive can-do attitude. I really care about return on investment, growth and bringing clients’ ideal end game into fruition. It isn’t merely about making a quick dollar.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
The trials and tribulations I have experienced in my life have come with lessons, tools, and beautiful outcomes accompanied by doing the work—especially within myself. You are not held accountable for the cards you are dealt but it is your responsibility to play your hand to the best of your propensity to excel in life. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. I have been extremely blessed in attracting amazing, genuine people who love what they do as much as I. Moreover, we all appreciate building authentic lasting relationships that happen to carry over into the entertainment world. Remember, there’s no need to pay attention to the speed of other’s progress throughout life. Everything happens in divine order and time. Be encouraged and do not be afraid to push past yourself or any fears! On the other side, there is joy, victory, and fulfillment.
- We love our service members and college students. There is a 10% discount available to them for choosing MegaEntivision LLC to serve and bring their vision to life. Any other prices can be found on my website or by inquiry.
- Website: https://www.megaentivision.com/
- Phone: 3109101864
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EJ Lewis, Lion Pack Music Group, Onesha Photography, Malika Taylor