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INTERVIEW: U.S. Born Actor and Model, Melvin Lee Walker Talks Music, SXSW, Life in the Air Force, Misconceptions and More…

PHOTO CREDITS: Melvin Lee Walker x TagTheShooter x Phelan Marc

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INTERVIEW: U.S. Born Actor and Model, Melvin Lee Walker Talks Music, SXSW, Life in the Air Force, Misconceptions and More…

Fresh from signing to Bucceri Elite Modeling Agency, Melvin Lee Walker, also known as King Dominance, is one of the hardest working, motivational pounding, trend setting persons in the Modeling & Entertainment industry in the Washington D.C./Maryland area of the United States.

King has forced his way into the main stream platforms with his honorable appearance and performance as a runway model at D.C. Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, D.C. Swim Week and more. Giving credit to his mother and aunt, Melvin was raised in a strong structured home, sharing responsibilities with his five siblings. Deciding to join the United States Air Force as the first step to pursuing his dreams, Melvin began his journey of personal development. While serving and fighting for his country.

Knowing that he has a life full of experience, Melvin adopted the stage name King Dominance and began to project his life lessons through a microphone while performing at venues such as SXSW Music Festival in Austin Texas and local spots in the DMV well know in the industry like Tacoma Station Tavern and several others.

As Dominance continues on his journey, he hopes to share his love, inspiration, modeling and conscious music with everyone he comes in contact with. Enhancing the world one city at a time is the future agenda for the Maryland native. Living by his words; Change your mind you change your life, Change your heart you change your soul! “Let King lead the way

Check out my exclusive interview with him below:

Hey Melvin! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Melvin Lee Walker, I started my career here in the Washington, DC/DMV area in pursuit of Modeling and Entertainment. I simply changed my mind and it changed my life. I am a single man in full pursuit of his goals. I am so thankful to any and every one that has had a positive effect on my life and my craft.

Talk me through an average day in the life of you?
The average day for me would have to start with a humbled prayer to God thanking him for everything that has transpired so far in my life physically mentally and spiritually. Then I’m sure to ask him to prepare me for the day allowing me to cope with the good and the bad this life has to offer. I start the day with a healthy breakfast and spend time checking out emails and catching up on recent news before heading out into the world. Its very important to take a look at my scheduler early on so I can gather my plans for the day. I work in Modeling and Entertainment full-time, so my days can end at 5pm or last until 5am. While out during the day I’m sure to be the best me possible, I have realized this attracts like-minded people and makes my day fulfilling as well as others. I usually spend my time during the week attending model calls, photoshoots, movie casting and spending time in my home studio. After concluding my business after hours, I head in to begin on my school work as I’m currently enrolled in college studying Network Engineering and Security. When my home work is complete I start to handle affairs with my growing modeling agency Regal Model Management. My days can be very power packed and tiring but also rewarding which gives me a sense of success daily. When my day ends, I reserve a time when I write reflections of how my day went and anything that intrigued me. While later these short passages become lyrics when composing songs during my studio time. This is the typical day in the life for me and I am doing what I love so most days it never feels like work.

What institution(s) did you attend and what did you study?
I studied two years at Benedict College in South Carolina and I’m currently finishing my degree of Network Engineering & Security at National American University.

How were you discovered and what inspired you to go into modelling and music?
As a child, I always knew I would perform in front of large crowds but just not for any old reason. I had no clue to what I would be doing to entertain them for years. What I felt like I was called for had meaning and would have a positive effect on the world through my actions and speech. My model discovery was hand delivered by a local agent here in the DMV area by the name of Ronald Byrd. I met Mr. Byrd and he expressed the opportunities that came with becoming a model and let me know it would not happen overnight but it would be well worth my while if I really stuck to becoming great in the industry. Years later with hard work and dedication I have soared above and beyond seeking my place as a model and it has been nothing but rewarding. I’m very thankful for him recognizing the star inside of me. As for the music, I was stationed in London with several of my fellow soldiers in the United States Air Force and almost to all of them performed rap shows all over the United Kingdom. This was very exciting for me as I had never been so close to artist that really helped me to understand what all it takes to be successful in the music industry. While serving in London I never interacted with my music talents even though I was encouraged to by friends and had passion for the craft itself. While ending my service, and departing from the Air Force I consistently met individuals that dealt in the industry, that’s when I made up my mind to peruse something I enjoy and makes me happy. This was the beginning of my music career and I’ve been attached to the mic ever since. The acting part of my entertainment career was spawned from my modeling portion of my talents. I started off as an extra in a few web series and TV shows, now I’m connected to several independent movies and a few featured films under my belt. This life seems to be connected in many ways and I have been lead to my destiny by just listening to what the universe has to offer and that’s been a big piece of my success so far.

How did you come about your music name “King Dominance”?
My name comes from portions of my upbringing in which I could not understand at a young age. As a youngster, I had questions such as where exactly my ancestry derived from in which no one in my immediate family could answer. This left me feeling lost and not connected to anything I could call my own! This then spawned many more unanswered questions. I started to think of exactly who I was but without a father figure in my life coming up I did not recognize anyone that was like me or anyone I can relate to on that level. With this challenge at hand I realized as I got a bit older that this life will go on no matter if you know who you are or not. So then I assessed exactly what my identity should be. I choose King because I always felt I should be in position to help any and every one in need no matter the circumstances. I have always been fair to my peers even when it was not to my benefit. I realized that this is an honor to be labeled King and no one will respect it unless I fully embody the ethics and morals of such a regal position. I then realized that early on in life I had been a bit passive in decision making and I never really did exactly what I wanted, I felt more of a follower than leading my own way. When I choose the second half of my name as Dominance I made a promise to myself to live this life to the fullest make mistakes and learn from them. I googled different words that I wanted to represent and this was one of my first few I stumbled across. The definition of Dominance let me know this was what I wanted to feel inside when I thought about myself. Dominance means to me to be powerful in life and in position to make daring decision for the greater of self and others.! Adopting this name really changed my life and helped me to remove the shell I hid behind in my younger years. I feel alive when I think of how my life has changed after gaining an identity for myself. I was sure to have this name tattooed to my chest so there would be no turning back from the new Melvin Walker as King Dominance!

You performed at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. What was the experience like?
This was one of the best experiences a new artist could ask for. This being one of my first performances on a main stage it was simply impressive because for most new artist you perform in your city for years before an opportunity comes available like SXSW. The best part about this experience was that I got to travel with someone that is close to me Marquis Wright one of my brothers apart of the original circle created while serving in London. It was amazing how he believed in me and coached me on during the two shows and artist appearances not to mention the preparation that took place to generate the music before the show. During this festival 10,000 people came to Austin to see and enjoy life entertainment and once I was on stage for my solo set and I looked across the crowd it was the greatest feeling I have yet experienced. I felt free like everyone accepted my music as an official artist so this set my confidence high to keep the ball rolling in my music career. It has been good vibes ever since, I’m very thankful for those who went before me to pave to road for my success. That’s a major key.

You recently featured on African Boyce’s “Blood Diamond” album. Tell us more about the collaboration and what the song was all about?
I met African Boyce though one of the models I work with through my agency and one day the model mentioned that I should listen to his cousins first album after a conversation about what I want to get into next with my music. I listened to the album and it was a whole different flavor than I expected it was a mix of rap, R&B and reggae. Not long after I got to meet with African Boyce and when we met it was good vibes from the beginning we spoke about the industry and he let me know he had heard some of my tracks and think that I would be a good fit for his new album headed to iTunes once it was complete. I’m all about opportunity and networking so I was all in for the collaboration. Boyce invited me to his show first so I could see exactly how his music was delivered and how his stage performance should go. Might I add his work ethic was amazing I could hear it in the lyrics. When Boyce sent me the song called Blood Diamond I realized I had made it to another level of composing music. I wrote my verse and it all blended well but the trouble was it was recorded about three hours away in a studio in VA Beach and for the track to be perfect I would have to take a trip to lay one verse there. So days later we packed up and headed there, It was all worth it when we heard the final cut of Blood Diamond. The song is about the trials and tribulation of Boyce growing up in Sierra Leone with a catchy hook made up to be a dance song people could vibe to and hear about Boyce and his history. The angle I took on the track was to speak about some of the struggles similar to his but on American soil with a fun and free demeanor. The finish product has done very well on several platforms and we plan to shoot a video before the end of the summer to finalize the project. It was awesome to be invited into good music so I’m sure you will hear more of myself with African Boyce very soon. I’m working with many artist in the city stay tuned for new collaborations with Emmanuel Minko as well great artist out of Cameroon soon to wow the world.

Will you say the modelling industry in the United States is doing well?
I would say that the modeling industry in the States does well but in no comparison to international modeling. I feel like us as Americans we can do a better job of opening up for more diversity in the industry. The industry here still has much growing to do in my opinion.

You have walked the D.C. Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, DC Swim Week, and many African Fashion shows runways, etc. What will you say motivated/inspires you to stay dedicated to what you do?
I’m inspired by the people that can see a bit of themselves in me and what I do. I feel an obligation to help where I can because I have been helped in several of the same areas. The motivation comes from inside so it can’t be tampered with by anyone. The goals I have set for myself and completing them gives me a sense of growth. Each show and platform I consistently learn something new my network grows and my success rate increases simply by meeting new people. I have been inspired by many and I plant keep spreading the word that anything is possible to the people.

What’s your 5 Dos and Don’ts when it comes to being a model?
Do’s
1. Be sure you’re ready to dedicate the proper amount of time to your craft.
2. Preparation will take you along way attention to detail is key.
3. Be sure to have a people’s person attitude and network at every event small or big
4. Physical fitness is key to a healthy body inside and out.
5. Perfect your craft continue to grow daily

Don’ts
1. Have a sense of confidence but always stay humbled.
2. Know you target audience and plan your steps
3. Don’t tear down people always build up
4. Don’t think you’re too good at any point in your career opportunity can be found anywhere
5. Don’t burn bridges you may need to cross over later in your career

What do you do to stay in shape, do you go to the gym?
Yes I have a membership at a local gym with a group of models that meet with myself and a personal trainer five days a week for about 3 hours each night. We have a full workout routine dedicated to a models body type and nutrition plan.

How do you balance your professional and personal life?
This was a big struggle at one point in time as I worked in Information Technology as a traveling technician. I would often find myself having to cancel opportunities and renege on my word to show producers depending upon my work schedule changes. This is when I decided to focus on finishing my degree and go full-time as a Model Public Figure Entertainer.

How would you describe the modelling scene in the United States, when it comes to encouraging new faces?
I feel like the modeling scene in the United States is a network of people you must be invited into it. Majority of the show producer I have encountered would like to work with well-known experienced models. There is a lot a model must do before you can be considered for bigger opportunity and can often be overwhelming to someone without proper representation and guidance.

What do you consider the most common stereotype about the modelling industry?
“Models aren’t the smartest people around” This is a misconception as I experience intellectuals every day and have created very successful business ventures with many.

What aspect surprised you the most once you started in the music industry?
The most surprising to me in the music industry would be how long it takes the closest people to you to view you in the light of your craft. I originally thought my friends and family would be my immediate fan base but it seems as if they will be the last to enjoy your music because of the image they have already painted of you in their heads..

Looking back to when you started in fashion and music, is there anything you would like to change about the industry?
I’ve had much success in the modeling industry so I have no complaints or suggestions on that side as I receive a great amount of support. In the music industry if I could change one thing would be to change the mentality of the men. It’s almost a fact men don’t support other men and I hope everyone realize when you support others support comes your way. That has been a staple in my success so far by supporting my brothers I create a platform for others to win while showcasing my talents also. Jayz mentions in his new album 4:44 – Nobody wins when the family feuds!

Which brands, clients, models, photographers, artists, producers, etc, have you worked with?
I am very proud to announce my recent signing to Bucceri Elite Modeling Agency. I have worked with several brands and photographers just to mention a recent few.

Producer: Maggy Francois – Crystal Couture Fashion Events
Director: Randall Lawrence – Film Water With A Slice Of Lemon
Artist: African Boyce – Blood Diamond Album Feature
Artist: Emmanuel Minko – Just Life Feature
Agency: Bucceri Elite Modeling Agency
Designer: Kenny Kas Flanagan
Designer: Stanlion Clothing
Designer: Sera Vero Nik
Designer: Andrew Nowell
Designer: Seth Schafer
Photographer: Tag The Shooter
Photographer: Phelan Marc

What do you consider your biggest professional success so far?
I would say the biggest professional success so far would be to have been invited to all major shows within my city. I made sure to become well known in my state before venturing out, it really helped me learn the business. I feel like if you have not spent the time to fully explore your city and what it has to offer you’re not ready to head to another city and leave your mark like you should.

Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
Fashion:
I have ambitions to work with GQ Magazine, I’ve always pictured myself on the front cover. Calvin Klein, Gucci and Mercedes Benz

Music: Jayz. Kanye, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Dr. Dre, Andre 3000, Rick Ross
Acting: Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Tom Cruise, Dwayne Johnson

What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is remaining focused through all the adversity this life throws at you and remaining focused on my goals. Those uncontrollable situations that’s totally out of your hands tend to be the worst. I found the stronger my faith in God grew the less I worried. I felt confident that at the end of the day everything would workout in my favor and it always does but when I think it doesn’t I’m always set up for bigger and better opportunity not long after. So I keep my eyes on God and he keeps me walking the straight and narrow path to destiny. I’m excited every day to meet my challenges head on.

Tell us two things people don’t know about you?
Two things people don’t know about me
1. I love country music
2. I’ve dreamed of owning a Yacht since I was 6.

You are very active on social media. Do you think its important to be online and if so why?
It is very important to be active via social media because this is where all businesses will soon be advertising and so should you. In due time, many people will not spend time watching cable as Netflix and several other streaming services have taken over the market. Social media is becoming the selling point for many and without it you miss the opportunity to promote yourself or brand on a free platform.

You are currently based in the Washington D.C./Maryland area. How is that working out for you?
I love my city and all is well here in the DMV area I have made a great name for myself in my industries. I eventually would like to target a larger market like New York, Los Angeles or Florida for bigger and better opportunity.

What are your must visit travel destinations?
1. Portugal
2. Hawaii
3. Dubai
4. Fiji
5. China
6. Nigeria
7. Italy

How would you describe your style?
Regal – I like to stand out and have no one in the room look even similar to what all I have on. I like a polished classic look.

What style genre appeals to you the most?
Slim fit suits have been the most attractive to me lately.

Name your five must have accessories/essentials?
1. Black Shades
2. Watch
3. Ring
4. Earring
5. Bracelet

What are your favorite fashion trends?
I don’t like to follow fashion trends because then you find yourself looking like 10 other people and functions. I like the individual look its more intriguing when you enter the room.

What is your favorite dish?
My mother’s lasagna! If you know me you know about this dish!

What songs are currently on your playlist?
1. Emmanuel Minko – That’s a hit right there
2. African Boyce – We
3. Jayz – Story of O.J
4. Chris Stapleton – Tennessee Whiskey
5. Jidenna – The Let out

Apart from modeling, what other projects are you currently working on?
I have a new short film in production about a dirty detective that works with a hit man to frame the police chief of his department. I play the lead road as Detective stay tuned this film should be exciting.

Seeing you’re doing your dreams, what advice can you give others to pursue their dreams?
I wake up each day and thank God for new life and new opportunity. I would advise anyone who really wants to become what they are in their wildest dreams to wake up and make a plan start with the smallest detail of your craft then the next day do the same and overtime you will have taken steps into your journey all one day at a time. My favorite motivational speaker Eric Thomas has a quote that reads. “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breath then you will be successful”!

Any specific plans for the future?
I plan to keep living my life to the fullest with no limitations and doubts. I pray not only I benefit from my success but I leave a positive charge on the world to motivate others for the greater of good.

Any final words?
Blessings to all and I pray for your success. Thank you for reading and stay tuned for most recent updates.

Where can we follow you online and on social media?
https://www.facebook.com/melvin.s.walker
https://www.instagram.com/melvinwalker_official
http://www.regalmodelmanagement.com/models/melvin-walker-2
Email: [email protected]
Reggae Album music feature iTunes: Blood Diamond – with music artist African Boyce

 

Asuquo Eton founded talkmediaafrica.com, now one of the most visited TV, music, tech and features website, in 2011. He is also a social media analyst, media and entertainment consultant.

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