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Life & Work with Wes Watkins

Today we’d like to introduce you to Wes Watkins. 

Hi Wes, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I am a father of two, musician, author and entrepreneur. I’ve been playing drums for 34 years and got my start by watching my father at home, playing at church, and going to gigs with my dad as a kid. Growing up I started playing at Church, GoGo bands, and with different artist. I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world for music and work with Jazz, Hip Hop, Gospel, Blues and GoGo artist such as Grammy Nominated Carolyn Malachi, Marcus Johnson, Paris Price, Chris Scholar, Sirius Company, Lissen, Koryn Hawthorne, Travis Green, Raheem Devaughn, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and many more. In 2019 I wrote my first book “The Life That Created My Own Sound”, this book was based around Mental Health. I went through depression, suicide, negative thoughts and much more. My goal was to create conversation about Mental Health and show people there is no problem with being transparent and dealing with your issues. In 2020 I released my second book “Motivation+Drive=Purpose which is the continuation of my first book. I wanted people to be motivated while going after their goals and focusing on their Vision and understand they have purpose in life. As a father, I want to make sure I’m leading my kids in the direction and these books allowed me to lay a foundation they can follow and use in their personal lives when they get older. These experiences led to me also writing my third book which is a children’s book titled “Fathers Need Their Kids & Kids Need Their Fathers”. My goal is to reach and impact those who feel the things that they think disqualified them from life actually qualified them for everything that is in their future. My life experiences have allowed me to grow and become the man I am today. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
No, it has not been a smooth road at all. One of the biggest struggles I dealt with was suicide and depression. Years ago, I fell into a deep dark hole that took a long time to get out of. Not taking the time needed to deal with life situations and sweeping them under the rug took me to a place of no return. To hide my issues, I would drink on a daily basis even while at work. I was a functioning alcoholic and became suicidal. I created so many different narratives of why I was stuck in life and why I felt life was throwing me some of the worst situations to deal with. The thought never crossed my mind to talk about it but just to drink my problems away. There was a point in my life that I was so far gone I put the gun to my head and pulled the trigger, I use to cut myself and took pills. During this time, I honestly didn’t want to live anymore because I didn’t know how to deal with life. I just felt like a failure and just wanted to be done with it all. I stop becoming inspired to do music but the one thing that held me together was my son Demauri. He became the biggest reason of why I made a change in my life to live and become better as a person and father. Couldn’t allow my son to see his father at his lowest instead of his highest. The struggle was real and hard but with prayer and great support system I made it through. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Most people know me for being a drummer. Back in 2019, Lil Duval made one of my videos go viral and from there any video I put out was reposted by different celebs and artist on IG. I specialize in grooving and creating/changing the feel on any record I play on. I am most proud of my brand that I have created in this industry. I’ve worked hard to have my name and brand known so I could get myself further along than where I am. I still have a long way to go but I am always up for the challenge. The thing that sets me apart from others is the way I add sounds to a groove that’s already established and turn the entire feel around. 

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
I honestly haven’t thought about the industry in the next 5-10 years. The industry is always changing and there are so many great musicians out there that do the same thing. One of the reasons why I never get too far into the industry. Knowing I can stand on my own two feet with everything else I have going on puts me in a position not to worry about what the next trend will be or concern myself with any shifts 

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Image Credits
Mickey Freeman
John Armstrong

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