With soul stirring lyrics and a smooth voice to match, Ian Von has -- in a short time, captured the attention and hearts of the masses. Smart, witty, God-fearing, and talented are only a few words to describe the triple threat as he now stands to establish himself as a force to be reckoned with.
Born and raised in Baton Rouge, La., Ian grew up in a very musically inclined family with its roots planted firmly in the church. It would be here where he would first hone his skills as a musician. With brothers, a mother, sister, and many cousins gifted musically, music is not just in his soul but is a birth right. One cousin, Micah Stampley, has made quite a name for himself in the music industry by signing with Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Dexterity Sounds/ EMI label. These “in- house” influences helped Ian develop his craft.
With a vocal range spanning several octaves, Ian quickly became a standout within the Baton Rouge church community. Performances with various choirs and groups took him to cities around the world including Detroit, New York, London, and Paris. The trips abroad would serve to expand Ian’s musical appetite, exposing him to a Gospel community with voices unmatched in the secular world. Ian remembers fondly the sounds of the Clark Sisters, the Winans family, Kim Burrell, Fred Hammond, as well as many other Gospel musicians being played around his family home.
“It became the soundtrack of our lives,” he says.
A product of the hip-hop generation, the culture was inescapable. Much of the popular music of the day spoke on conditions and a lifestyle not foreign to him. As Ian grew older he became increasingly aware of his surroundings and began to explore the sights and sounds of his neighborhood. Brian McKnight, the harmonies of Boyz II Men, and the street poetry of Nas all influenced the teenager, and as he puts it, would later help him become a more balanced and well rounded artist.
“I’ve had many experiences, both good and bad, but all of which I’ve learned from. My music is a reflection of that.”
When Ian’s high school choir director suggested that he and 3 classmates form a group, Ian agreed to test the waters, but feared that their families would not allow them to sing secular music. The group decided to do a one time show at their annual choir retreat talent show. Plans would soon change once they had a taste of the spotlight and realized once was not enough. That one performance lead to many more as the young men experienced many highs and lows en route to chasing their dream and what started as four would end up as three. Through it all the remaining members became convinced that they had the formula for success. A new name reflecting their new direction was found in Us3. However, after a cease and desist order, one letter had to be added to the name, becoming jus 3.
jus 3 spent the next few years honing their craft and perfecting their sound on the underground circuit of Louisiana. It was during this time that Ian would grow as an artist, musician, and writer. After endless empty promises, jus 3 looked inward and focused their energy into producing their debut album, released in March of 2004 via the independent label Starving Artist Entertainment.
It was a time of personal as well as professional growth for Ian when during this time Ian welcomed his daughter Amari Mian into the world and married his longtime girlfriend Catrina Parker.
While jus 3 went on to become regional phenoms, Ian was simultaneously fighting an internal battle; one that has plagued many artists throughout the years.
“Growing up I remember being told that I had an anointing on my voice, and that I should be singing for the Lord”, says Ian. “But it took me becoming a man, going through all the trials of life, and even struggling with my group to realize that I would never get to where I wanted to be without being what HE wanted me to be. It’s not my will, but thy will be done. And in that moment I put it all in His hands.”
And with that, as hurtful as it was, Ian walked away from the R&B group he had spent over eight years helping to build.
Despite having to start from scratch, Ian threw himself into the word, deciding to be lead in the right direction. And where he was lead, he also followed. The right people at the right time were put into his life; the result of that collaboration being a musical work of art mirroring his life and experiences thus far. A fusion of hip-hop, soul, and alternative sounds were mixed with Christian ideals to create that equilibrium that Ian had searched years to find. Now he stands on the brink of fulfilling his destiny. Working under his new production company “Table Spoon Music” Ian released his debut self titled album “Good News” followed by “Ian Von”. He has worked with Producers Chips Dixon (Dark Child Gospel), Grammy award winners Paul “PDA” Allen (Producer, PAJAM), Antonio Neal (Artistic Soul Entertainment) which also was under his Table Spoon Music banner.
Presently Ian has been working on an R&B Soul project entitled: Love Songs, Beats and Guitars. He is working with Super Producer Derek “DOA” Aleen among others.
“The heart of this record is to make true to form Romantic R&B music that fuses a reminiscent feel and yet the crosses over POP music’s ideals sonically…”
He prays that he can build a diverse audience, but knows that the music will provide a platform from which he can affect many people’s lives.
“I am firm believer in the saying to whom much is given, much is required,” Ian concludes. “So as long as I’m called, I’ll answer.”
In Print: Ian Von has been featured in publications such as 225 Magazine and Clutch Magazine.
Resume’: Ian Von has played stages; House of Blues (New Orleans), The Varsity Theater (Baton Rouge), The Baton Rouge River Center, B.B. Kings (Nashville, TN), The Saenger Theatre (New Orleans), Charles H. Wright Museum for African American History (Detroit, MI) and many more…