If you have ever enjoyed a live concert or a male revue show, you undoubtedly love a good time with live entertainment, but what if you were to combine the two? With catchy beats and hooks coupled with the looks and charisma of a charming male entertainer, Leon Budrow has done just that. Below is our interview with him.
BigTimeDaily Team – As a musician, how do you balance branding yourself as a male entertainer?
BUDROW – For me it is easy because it is just who I am, I am a male entertainer. I work for a great male revue company called Hunk-O-Mania where I manage, host and perform at our Philadelphia location every weekend. My music career has been heavily influenced by my experiences at the Hunk-O-Mania male revue. My songs often reference the show and my experience as a host/MC has really influenced my stage presence as musician in a great way.
BTD – You have built quite a fan base for yourself, having toured the country with various Pop Stars such as O-Town and Aaron Carter. How do you stay connected with all of your fans?
BUDROW – I have been very blessed to have met so many amazing people throughout the country. I believe that fan interaction is incredibly important, especially to show thanks and love back to those that show love and support to you. I take pictures with as many fans as I can and I try very hard to respond to everybody’s comments and tags on my social media posts. I also do random free merch contest giveaways, and a segment on my Instagram Story every Thursday that I call “Q&A Thursday” where I can personally interact with them answering their questions.
BTD – Given your experience touring the country, are there any particular cities that you’d love to tour again? Any new cities you’d like to visit that you have not yet experienced?
BUDROW – It’s hard to pick a particular city considering I’d love to tour them all again. I had great experiences touring the Mid West and North East, performing in great cities such as Easton, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Louisville, Cleveland, Boston and many more. I’d really love to visit them all again soon on my next tour. As for new areas, I’d love to tour the West Coast and head down south a little more, maybe hit Tennessee, Maryland, Florida and Texas.
BTD – As a male dancer for Hunk-O-Mania, you mentioned you work at the Philadelphia location. Are there any other Hunk-O-Mania locations you’d like to experience?
BUDROW – I have worked at a couple other Hunk-O-Mania shows filling in as a performer at our Atlantic City and Hamptons shows. I believe we are currently in 19 different cities. I’d like to work at any one of shows honestly, but I’d really like to experience our show in Nashville. I love Nashville and it would be great to get to work at that show sometime.
BTD – You promote yourself as a Pop | Hip-Hop Artist, why is that?
BUDROW – I enjoy all types of music, from pop, rap, rock, country, etc. If I listen to it all, why can’t I create it all? My sound is unique in that I am versatile and like to record different genres based on how I am feeling. Sometimes I sing, sometimes I rap, sometimes my instrumentals are very edm or pop sounding and others are heavier beats. One day I’d even like to write and record a country song. I enjoy variety and the creative process in general.
BTD – You’ve appeared in various film and tv projects such as the Television show “Younger” and an upcoming role in the Zach Snyder Netflix Film “Army of The Dead” , is acting something you’d to pursue more?
BUDROW – Yes, absolutely. I love acting, I would really like to become deeper involved with it and build a name for myself in Hollywood one day.
BTD – You live a very fast paced life with work, music and dancing. As a professional male dancer for Hunk-O-Mania, what do you do to stay in shape?
BUDROW – Fitness has been a big part of my life. As a former wrestler, fitness competitor and current recreational hockey player, I have always been athlete and use sports as a great way to stay fit. I play on three hockey teams which provides me great cardio. In the gym I focus on intense weight training, incorporating techniques such as drop sets, super sets, and rest pause sets into my workouts with minimal rest. I chase the burn, the hotter it burns the harder it dries!
BTD – More than just an entertainer, you also work a full time job during the day. How do you stay focused on all of your projects?
BUDROW – I have a great job as a Regional Manager for the best GNC Franchise Operator in the company. I love what I do and I am very fortunate to be surrounded by great people at all times. To stay focused, I really just try to be active at all times and make the best of every moment. One thing to the next, I don’t like to waste time. Wasted time or unproductive time is worst than wasted money.
BTD – As a jack of all trades, what would you be doing if not for GNC, Hunk-O-Mania and your music career?
BUDROW – I don’t think I would be doing anything else. I would continue chasing all of my goals until I achieve them. Like I said above, this is just who I am. To me everything connects.
BTD – You seem very positive and confident, how do you handle criticism and rejection?
BUDROW – I have faced an immense amount of criticism and rejection, just like everybody has. The key is to take what you can from it in a productive, positive manner and not let it stop you. I was told by many people I couldn’t be a dancer or a singer, but I stayed true to myself and worked to become what I wanted to be. Don’t let others bring you down, just keep going.
BTD – Describe your personal style
BUDROW – If you’ve ever seen me before a show or in my down time, you’ll see me rocking nothing but grey sweatpants and some sort of long sleeve shirt. Right before all shows I switch out of this to something flashier, like black skinny jeans and a black t shirt. My style is definitely black on black everything, typically accessorized with some chains, a watch and hat.
BTD – What two accessories can’t you leave the house without?
BUDROW – My cell phone and my watch, or my crystals. I always have to have a crystal of some sort with me in hand or in my pocket.
BTD – You often use the word “Dreamin” in your music branding, what is your message with that?
BUDROW – I really believe in doing what you love. Even if you can’t do it as a career, at least pursue a hobby around whatever your passion is. If you wanted to be a professional hockey player, sign up for a recreational league. If you wanted to be a marine biologist, take up a scuba diving class. I believe we should pursue whatever makes us happy in some form, no matter what people say or how busy we are. Live your dreams and take action, that is the principle behind why I make use of the word Dreamin.
BTD – What is your life motto?
BUDROW – “A life filled with regret is just a life wasted away”
A great lyric from a humble man, inspiring others to always live life to their fullest.
Music Driven by Life Experiences – Di Higrade’s Unique Style and Vibe
Parents, a word synonymous to protectors and guardians, are people who go to the greatest extent to provide their children with a stable ad beautiful life. Imagining a life without the guidance of parents seems impossible. However, not everyone is as lucky and are deprived of this form of love and compassion.
Parents serve as the light during the dark days and guide their children towards the right direction in life. They teach their little ones the ways of differentiating between things that are good for them and things that might lead them to destruction. Di Higrade was one of those kids who had to spend a life without having someone to guide him. When it was time to make big life decisions, he had to take the risk and decide for himself.
Adding to his problems was the pressure of the society, to work and establish a stable future. Being surrounded by all these problems forced him to search for an escape, which he did. He found his comfort and his escape in the form of music.
GETTING PAST A TOUGH CHILDHOOD
Roger Akutcha, better known as Di Higrade, was born on August 26, 1989, in Tema, Ghana. His childhood wasn’t like what one usually dreams of, and life was hard on him from the start. The child lost his parents at a very young age and had to look after himself from the very beginning. Growing up alone in a developing country was not easy on the boy. Di Higrade had to face every single problem, from health to shelter, all on his own, as he had no one to offer him a helping hand. Before the child could even dream about good days, he found himself crushed under the brutal burdens presented by his life.
FINDING COMFORT IN MUSIC
Even when life was harsh and all Di Higrade could see was darkness, the ray of hope for the boy was music. Clinging on to his silver lining, Di Higrade lost all his worries and troubles whenever he stepped into his music world. He spent elaborate hours all by himself just listening to music, singing along, and humming to the beautiful tunes. His fondest memories include listening to Bob Marley, Vybz Kartel, Movado, Shaggy, Sean Paul, and many others. Di Higrade was more than often alone in times of need, and he found that it was only music that helped him move forward.
Soon, he turned to writing and composing his own music. After dedicating a great deal of time coming up with something extraordinary, Di Higrade finally created a masterpiece. At the time, he was just ten years old! The boy performed his song for his friends, who helped him realize that music to him was much more than just comfort; it was his passion. Di Higrade came back home, feeling victorious and accomplished for then he knew music was a part of him and he wanted to keep that piece alive by sharing it with the rest of the world.
STEPPING IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
Now that he had a clear vision as to what he wanted to do, the rest just flowed. Di Higrade decided to craft music pieces by fusing the Afrobeat and Dancehall genre. Drawing inspiration from the artists he listened to and his life experiences, the artist began working on his craft. The artist believes that music might be something personal, but it is also something that the whole world can relate to, which is why he uses his tunes and lyrics to bring his experiences and emotion under music in a big way. His songs are like a tribute to his life but are something everyone can relate to.
His singles gained immense recognition throughout the world and were loved and admired by thousands that helped him earning significant traction. 2015, gave the world Di Higrade’s first single, Hello To My Lover, that was acronym HTML. The song is a narration of emotion and heartache, for everyone who years of seeing their lover.
The Christmas of 2016 brought two party rocker singles, named, ‘Obsession,’ and ‘Party Time.’ Three other tracks, 90’s, Prove Dem Wrong, and Enemies, were released the same year. His unique voice and the moving music helped him earn a stream of admirers.
A TECH JUNKIE
Apart from being so exceptionally well at creating music, Di Higrade realized that he needed a second option as well. From the age of 17, Di Higrade had been repairing computers at a shop. He instantly decided not to let the skill go to waste and instead use it for the better.
Soon after he had released his first single, Di Higrade joined the Business Information Technology Undergraduate Program at NCC Education UK. Upon finishing the program, he got admitted to acquiring top IT Certifications three years later, in 2018. Di Higrade finished several IT Certifications, which included; Cisco Certified Network Associate Routing and Switching (CCNA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), CompTIA A+, and CompTIA security+. He worked hard in polishing his skills and soon earned a reputable name in the IT sector.
AN ARTIST, HUMANITARIAN, AND AN INSPIRATION
Having to face the cruelties of life made Di Higrade a humble human. Knowing the difficulties a person has to face in poverty, his heart grieves for the poor. He says, ‘Can you imagine what it’s like not to have enough food to eat and go to bed hungry at night? Poverty is not a joke.’
After spending so much time in shaping himself, today, Di Higrade is a fitness model, musical artist, a technician and, serving the US Military. But most of all, he is an inspiration for all those who need a little push and courage to move forward with their lives and take their passions to greater heights!
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