Ronald Rowley-Brack, “The Being” from SOTA and MCC, growing through music

Ronald Rowley-Brack, “The Being” from SOTA and MCC, growing through music

You first met Che in Rochester works for actor Che Holloway, an impromptu interview and amble through the Neighborhood of the Arts.

An aspiring and successful actor, Che is deeply immersed in the Rochester cultural scene. So much so, we’ve named him Che of The Town!

Exclusively for Talker, Che has solicited and is conducting interviews from about 60 Rochestarians working in a diversity of creative fields.

For the full series, see Che of The Town: Interviews

Che is a proud graduate of the School of the Art and has featured many SOTA alums, including Britton Bradford, Kayoz Fortune, Ajani Jeffries, Marguerite Frarey, Willie “El Mongoose” Monroe Jr., Willis Ajamu Brooks , James Kegler, Taye Diggs, Evalyn Gleason, Adrian DiMatteo, Biz LaChance and Saadiq Muhammad, Manny Greene and Kaisean Roseboro, Rayla Meshawn, and Cory Wolin

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Photos courtesy of Ronald Rowley-Brack

Che also highlighted four members of the SOTA theater department: Lorie Dewey, Michelle Accorso Sapere, Ed Myers and Luke Fellows, as well as Arts Center Director Adele Fico.

Tell us a little about yourself, where you are from, grew up, what H.S./College you attended etc.

Well my name is Ronald. As far as music I go by The Being. A lot of people are thrown off by that name at first. I chose it because the word “Being” is very important to me. The definition of “Being” is existence. Music is the one thing that I can leave on this earth that will live forever. So The Being really just means The Existence. My existence. I was born and raised here in Rochester. I graduated from School of The Arts and just recently graduated from MCC. School was always pretty tough for me but looking back I’m super appreciative for the experience and time I had at SOTA. It showed me how important is it to find a passion and it helped me grow to be the person I am today.

What inspired you to be an artist/entertainer? Early experiences worth sharing?

I was always the weird kid out of my group of friends, so growing up there was always a lot of people who didn’t really understand me. That misunderstanding caused people to bully/ and alienate me. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally. I was always an introvert and the bullying made it difficult for me to truly embrace myself, which in turn blurred my vision of what I wanted to do in life. I never really thought about what my purpose was, I just kinda always floated along. There were always a couple things that helped me escape though and those are film and music. Film and music helped me cope with some of the things I felt; depression, loneliness, etc. I would always find myself dazing off and singing melodies in my head. I would make up these melodies and they’d be super catchy. One day I remember I was bored so I made a really simple instrumental with beautiful synths and man I felt something inside. It was a surreal moment to be able to create something that generated a genuine feeling. From then on I’ve slowly created more and more music, and I always make sure that with each song/project I make there is a genuine feeling behind that it. That’s what I look for, the feelings music can 2

Talk about a time where you have faced adversity/conflict and have triumphed?

Well I can’t really say I’ve triumphed it, because everyday is a work in progress. But one of the things that has plagued me is my addiction to weed. Now I know what your thinking. ADDICTED TO WEED? HAHAHA! That’s completely understandable as we as a society/culture have put weed on this holy pedestal and don’t really refer to it as a “drug”. For me though from the Age of 14 till now (age 21) I smoked weed everyday and because of this “weed isn’t really a drug” mindset I didn’t really think much of it. Slowly but surely I saw how dependent i became, I was such a wreck without it. Mentally that is. The mood swings, not sleeping, depression etc. My friends are still smoking everyday and it honestly hurts me inside, I can see how dead inside it makes them. It may sound harsh but it’s true. I was dead inside for a long time. I had no real ambition, ignored my loved ones, never really had real conversations with them. I told myself I want to live. So I gave it up. I’ve been sober for a couple months now which may not seem like much but man my head feels much clearer and I have my ambition back.

What do you believe sets you apart from other artists/entertainers and figures in media?

I believe my honesty is what sets me apart. I don’t care about looking cool. I don’t care about others perceptions, because I know at the end of the day only one person can really judge me. That’s the man upstairs. I can feel him in my heart, so I’ll know when I’m doing something wrong. A lot of music now is about “bitches and niggas”, money, cars, clothes, drugs, violence, etc. And I feel as if it’s really messing up our heads. A lot of the music is empty. Growing up in the city my whole life I can feel the city and I don’t like how it feels. Everyone is against each other and it shouldn’t be that way. Everyone is so materialistic and fake, and it’s sad because they don’t really know who they are inside. I will always be honest in anything I do, whether that be music or anything else I chose to create. I want to be authentic and show people that it’s okay to be yourself. These materialistic things do not matter. At the end of the day it’s all bullshit. We have to grow. In my music it’s all about growing and finding 5

Do you have other interests or hobbies?

As mentioned before I love film, movies are a great escaped for me and I like to write little short stories. If I’m not writing them, there always floating around in my head entertaining me. I also love sports, my dad is huge on sports so that’s something I’ve always had a passion for so I’ve started to write about it. I also enjoy going to the gym and find that to be a great form of stress relief.

Any projects you have out or currently working on?

Well I recently released a song entitled “RAGE AGAINST THE MAN” which is pretty much what its sounds like. It’s about going against everything society wants you to be. Don’t fall in their trap and kneel to them. Believe in yourself and never conform. I’ve been producing/recording a lot lately and it’s funny because each sound is different. I love tons of different genres so my music ranges from soft rock, punk, trance, edm, etc. it’s weird but at the same time I love being free with it all. Everyday I feel different things and everyday that helps create a new sound.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?music 1

I would like to see myself not only working on my music on a grander scale but I would also like to be writing scripts and directing my own projects. Me and my buddy James Lannak have already begun writing a show entitled “The Front” which has a cool concept and really relatable characters. Most importantly though five years from now I hope to be continuously growing as a person, something which I think we all lose sight of sometimes. Everyday we should grow. That’s in anyway possible, whether it be mentally, physically, spiritually. I hope to be a better me five years from now and as long as I grow each day I know that is an attainable 3

What advice can you give to aspiring artists/entertainers?

BE YOURSELF. At first it may be scary and discouraging because a lot of times people like to follow trends. But I believe in the long run, you’ll be happier with yourself and your work if you stay true to yourself. Don’t be afraid of judgement, people will judge you no matter what and honestly their judgment doesn’t matter one bit. Don’t stay boxed in, try new things. Don’t give in to what they want you to be, be who you want to be. Be confident and shine.

How can we follow along in your journey? Social media?

Well you can find me on SoundCloud at

Facebook: Ronald Rowley-Brack

I have an instagram : @shineofajedi

And I’m not to savvy on twitter just yet but I’m slowly but surely getting the hang of it!

You can follow me on twitter @shineofajedi



About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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