Barrio Bandits LLC CEO Known As Musical Artist FWZ Sparks Personal Journey
Today we’d like to introduce you to Fwz.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
From a young age, music has always been a passion of mine. The question was then, “How do I nurture my craft and share my talent with the world?” It was then that the musical artist FWZ (fuse) was birthed. Fast forward to 2016, I had spent years perfecting my craft; from writing my own songs to networking with industry professionals. Listening and learning from these and other influential people allowed me to increase my knowledge about the music industry and its inner workings. Realizing that music was a catalyst for other opportunities, I began modeling which taught me that perhaps entrepreneurship was a journey that I had actually been preparing myself for all these years. My determination to want to not only help myself but help others in my community, and eventually internationally, became my focus; and as such in 2020 I started Barrio Bandits LLC. Barrio Bandits LLC was formed with the purposes of bridging the gap between artists and the music industry (artist management), mentoring young juveniles to help them get back on their feet, and assisting people with living a healthier lifestyle through their food choices. At the end of the day, I am where I am because of my ability to be intentional with my business choices, share my creative talents with the world, express my compassion for helping others on their journey, whilst remaining humble and thankful for every opportunity that comes my way.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
As an entrepreneur, I had to fully embrace ambiguity and allow myself to be comfortable with being challenged regularly. I must say, that it can be a lonely journey as you often find that you are your biggest advocate. After all, no one knows your business and will appreciate all it took to get it to the stage it’s at like you would. Some of the obstacles I’ve found myself being faced with over the years are as follows: being mindful of the company I kept- remembering that not everyone has my best interest at heart even though they say they do, finding funding to support the work I was doing- as an independent artist/ entrepreneur this can cause a lot of strain as you are the only one financing your ventures most of the time, ensuring that you are not influenced by negative outlets that can distract you from your vision and life’s work- staying out of trouble was often a hard one for me, and being able to get my music into the right hands- it only takes one and your whole life can change! For me, the key to life and all that it has to offer, the good and the bad, is to always remain humble and to never be afraid to put yourself out there!
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
Barrio Bandits LLC is a non-profit organization that offers entertainment industry guidance and services, strategies that are focused on healthy living, as well as being dedicated to helping young people battle adversities by empowering at-risk youth, specifically juvenile offenders, to integrate back into the community, while teaching them comprehensive life skills. As far as competition goes, I don’t believe in it. I am the only Andre Graham Jr. there is and the only one who can offer my unique gifts to those who follow and support me. For the people who resonate with my story and energy, I’m the natural choice.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
Success is a concept that is different for every person. Whether it means having a great career, a home or a family, success is something everyone strives to achieve. It makes you feel proud, it gives you excitement and it lets you know you have made an impact in a competitive world. My best advice for those who are trying to find success in their lives are as follows: Be committed- through commitment, you can gain motivation to pursue success. Learn from the journey- rather than focusing strictly on the results of your accomplishments, take notice of the small steps needed to achieve success. Have fun along the way- if the journey to achieve something becomes too tedious, it will be more challenging to succeed. Think positively- developing a positive mindset is all about trusting yourself and your ability to succeed. Change your perspective- Sometimes along the journey, you have to change your perspective to turn a challenging situation into a better one. Be honest with yourself- if you find your goal is at a standstill, you might need to be honest with yourself about why that is. Take away distractions- make a list of things in your life that take up your time or distract you. Count on yourself- It is important to hold yourself accountable to achieve your goals and make yourself happy.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
Success is not something you attain without putting in effort. It is a mindset you must adopt to accomplish your goals and grow as a person, and it takes hard work. Ultimately, success to me is doing what you love and being authentic whilst you do it. We all require meaning in our life and I believe you are successful when you have found that purpose and commit your life to it. In terms of my entrepreneurial journey success to me means a number of things such as; being supportive, taking the time out to give back to those who can benefit from your story and talents, knowing that is okay to make mistakes as they help build character, and being able to find other avenues to take when you find yourself being faced with a detour. Remember it’s not about how long it takes to get to your final destination it’s the fact that you make it there that should be your focus!
What’s next for you?
As an innovative entrepreneur, whose creative abilities span across a number of influential business ventures that are aimed at making an impact locally and internationally, I have been busy working on my artistry (i.e. writing songs, spending time in the studio etc.), as well as preparing for some international speaking engagements. As I work to continuously build the Barrio Bandits LLC brand, in the immediate future, I will be travelling to speak/ mentor young people whilst I eventually return back home and do the same in my community. From an artist perspective, I am continuously working with producers and other artists to find that ‘right sound’- as the music industry is ever changing so it’s important to think outside of the box in terms on the beats an artist uses. Lastly, in the coming weeks I will be releasing my new single, “My Issues” on all of my platforms. “My Issues” gives listeners an intimate look into the life of FWZ in terms of feuding with those in and outside of your circle. As you listen to “My Issues” the hope is it that you make connections to your own life through the many references and allusions FWZ makes from his personal experiences. “No one’s perfect I know. So don’t act like we don’t all have em. #MyIssues ” – FWZ Also be on the lookout for new merchandise that my company will be dropping soon!
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?