Sullivan is a Knoxville, TN native born to Jacob and Gale Brown, an accountant and school teacher. His family has always been his biggest supporters, influencing him to study music and art. Growing up he was influenced by an extremely wide range of music from Broadway, pop, R&B, country, to punk rock. After having the opportunity to attend college in Costa Rica his musical influences expanded more with his new found love for Spanish and reggae music. He graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a B.A. in Spanish and a B.S. in Business, where he also became a brother of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. He attributes his fraternity for teaching him to sing with style, soul, grace, and expression. Sullivan has had the privilege of opening up for several named artists including Verse Simmonds, August Alsina, and J.Holiday. He has also sung the national anthem at several sporting events including the Harlem Globetrotters. His last music video #winning helped expand his online presence tremendously after it was featured on WorldStarHipHop.com receiving over 40,000 views in less than two days!!! Sullivan is an actor, singer, dancer, and song writer but if he had to choose one he’d choose song-writing because that is his true passion. He writes 100% of his music, so if he sang it, he wrote it. His most recent mixtape, Talkin’ Dirty, gives you a glimpse into his life and journey for the past two years. This mixtape is his testimony of his ups and downs. The message that he wants people to know is that no matter what people may say about you or how terrible life can make you feel there is always a positive in everything. From the lyrics of his song #Winning “Cant nothing hold me back, I’m always watching my back, in case of enemy of attack, yea it’s like that cause I’m still winning.”
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
SULLIVAN: I was born and raised in Knoxville, TN. So you already know I represent the 865 all day every day! All though I’m from Tennessee, I’ve lived in South Carolina, Georgia, and Costa Rica. I’ve traveled all over the United States and many countries throughout Latin America, which is why I feel my music is so diverse. The places I’ve been, the people I meet, and my life experiences are all what inspires my music!
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
SULLIVAN: It was my brother who first discovered I had musical talent when he noticed I knew the choreography to my favorite music videos. Growing up I sang in my church and various other choirs at school. I also learned how to play the piano, clarinet, and saxophone. At 15 my mother enrolled me in voice lessons under former American Idol contestant Angel Lea Higgs, who currently is a song writer for hit TV show Empire, Timberland, Ledisi, and Anthony Hamilton. After only a few months of training I went on to win my high school talent show, which gave me the confidence to better craft my talents by taking dance and acting classes as well. I was also in a rap/r&b group where I wrote and sang the hooks, but we split up. The break up was a blessing in disguise because as a solo artist I discovered my true passion, song-writing.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Why do you want to record and release your own music?
SULLIVAN: Writing songs is my outlet and the way I express myself. I’ve had some major emotional lows in my life and writing songs about my experiences has literally saved me! Many people have thanked me for making music because it has uplifted and inspired them as well. If nothing else I just want my fans to know that no matter your situation you too can succeed. Where you’ve been doesn’t define who you are, just let it motivate you to get where you’re going. I would love to share my message with audiences all over the world to help inspire others NEVER to give up. That is why recording and releasing my music is so important.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
SULLIVAN: My songs have a wide variety of meanings behind them. I never go into writing with a story in mind. I always write what I’m feeling, whether it’s about being freaky on the dance floor, not letting the haters get you down, or just getting out of a bad relationship. As a song-writer all I can do is be true to myself and tell my story through my music. In the past 2 years I had to recover from over 7 surgeries due to illnesses. I remember feeling as if I was useless or as if I was being punished because of the mistakes I had made in my past. I was at a very dark place in my life. So one day I got tired of feeling sorry for myself and I got up out of bed and wrote one of my favorite songs on my new mixtape called “Pain.” This song was written to inspire people going through illness not to give up and to be triumphant!
On the flipside, I’m a very energetic and fun person and my music reflects that. As a dancer I love up-tempo tracks so I tend to make a lot of songs for the club scene. I’m also a very sexual person! I tend to write about sex the most. Let’s just be honest, we all love sex and we all are either having it or thinking about having it. If you watch my new music video “Boom in da Bedroom/Talkin Dirty” you’ll get a little preview of the baby makin’ music on my album!
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
SULLIVAN: My musical influences range from “that’s my jam turn that up” to “don’t tell anybody I listen to that.” All jokes aside, it would literally take me all day to tell you all the artists that influence me. I love all types of music; pop, country, R&B, hip-hop, blues etc. I was heavily inspired by the artists who also dance like Usher, TLC, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Michael and Janet Jackson. Tyrese was the vocalist who I inspired to sing like as a child. As a matter of fact, I used to perform his songs in all the talent shows. Other vocalists include Pleasure P, Brian McKnight, and Eric Benet. I’m huge fan of country and reggae music as well because of the stories told in the lyrics. Mariah Carey is my biggest influence, as a song writer, because she writes all of her own music on top of having a powerful voice. I studied in Costa Rica, my 2nd home. I learned to speak Spanish and learned how to do Latin American dances like Bachata, Merengue, Salsa, Cha Cha, etc. In that process I fell in love with all types of Spanish music as well, especially Reggaeton; Don Omar, Wisin y Yandel, Prince Royce, and Romeo Santos to name a few. If you listen to my mixtape you’ll hear a few Spanish influenced songs like “Being Freaky.”
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
SULLIVAN: I would describe my music as entertaining. My music is intended to make people feel good, whether if it’s an escape or just a few words of encouragement. My goal is to get the fluids pouring out your body. Tears or other sensual body fluids, I don’t care I’ll accept either one! Even though you may hear me singing on top of R&B or hip-hop beats, I was heavily influenced by pop music. So everything I write tends to be catchy. I make them anthems that you can’t get out of your head. I love it because whenever I perform my songs halfway through it the crowd knows the words and start singing along, which is an energy rush like no other.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
SULLIVAN: My stage presence is one thing that definitely makes me stand out from the rest! I naturally know how to get the crowd involved and give the fans a good time! I’ve had the privilege of being the opening act for J. Holiday, Verse Simmonds, and August Alsina. If you go on youtube.com/sexysullivanmusic you can actually see my performance of my song #winning where within 20 seconds of the performance the entire crowd was up out of their seat standing right in front of the stage dancing, getting crunk, and singing along with me. I’m extremely hands on with my music and have a remarkable work ethic. I write my own songs, I come up with my own treatments and storylines for my music videos, I make my own choreography. I’m educated with 2 degrees one in Spanish the other in marketing. I’m an actor and dancer, and I do this because I love it, not for the glory or money! But what really makes me stand out from other artists is the fact that I’m honest in my music. I use my music as my way of coping and hope that it can be used to inspire or entertain listeners.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in you music career and how did you overcome?
SULLIVAN: 3 years ago I woke up with a frog in my throat, the same day of a big performance. After that show I became extremely hoarse and had completely lost my singing voice. Come to find out, I had a cyst on my vocal chords causing chronic hoarseness. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I fought! I learned how to sing with my voice being in that condition which resulted in me developing my own style that people have come to love. The condition has since been resolved after surgery and I’m thanking God for allowing me to recover and to still have my ability not only to sing but to speak as well. I encourage all singers out there to continuously get their voices checked medically just an athlete would get physicals, to prevent any permanent damage.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects you’re currently working on?
SULLIVAN: Right now I’m currently promoting my new mixtape “Talkin Dirty.” I just released my new music video “Boom In Da Bedroom/Talkin Dirty.” Be on the lookout for my upcoming music videos for “Bad Girl” “Too Late” and “Pain” which are all on youtube.com/sexysullivanmusic I’m writing new material for my upcoming EP titled “Naked.” I’m the choreographer for a musical stage play in which I’m also the leading actor. I’m directing various pageants and I’m modeling as well. This Spring I will be launching the Sexy Sullivan merchandise line starting with shades.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
SULLIVAN: I just want to take my musical career to next level by going on tour, selling my merchandise, and getting a major recording contract. 10 years from now I will have established myself as a major recording artist and song writer around the world. I will have launched my own artist development company and record label, developed several charities and foundations, graduated from law school, and most importantly I will continue to love and support my daughter Samariah, making her debut this June!
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
Download Sullivan’s mixtapes “Talkin Dirty” and “Invisible” FREE at www.datpiff.com/profile/sexysullivan
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