Recognized and respected as one of the coldest poets in the game, VON has already toured nationally and abroad, selling self-published books and independent poetry LPs. After spending six years in Chicago honing her craft and perfecting her own vocal style, VON returned to her hometown in Dallas and claimed her right as a distinguished representative of pure soul music. After leading TheSweatLodge All Star Band through five years of trendsetting funk, VON now features locally in Atlanta, rocking the stage with some of soul music's greatest.
“Quitters never win,” so they say, but after quitting law school in the middle of her first year, Von soon realized that no mysterious "they" would determine her fate.
"I would sit in class, filled with anxiety and restlessness, completely ignoring the lecture...writing poetry. My classmates would read the poems I'd written in class and ask me what the hell I was doing in law school. I had to step back and ask myself the same question. I had centered my entire existence around going to law school. I was very unhappy and unfulfilled, but I felt I couldn't just simply quit."
Yet quit, she did. Despite the pressure from her family and her school dean to "at least finish,” she withdrew anyway and never looked back.
"When your fire is burning inside you, you don't need water. You need air...to help spread your flames," Von offers without apology. Born and raised on the sunny south side of Dallas, Texas, Von is emerging as one of the clearest and strongest of America's young voices.
As a vocalist, she is applauded for the courage and originality in her unique delivery, calling to mind a time when music shook the soul like thunder and lightning. As a poet, she spits fire (the fire that needs no water)--commanding the stage with such authority that audiences are left frozen and spellbound, yet delightfully fulfilled. As an author, she is respected for tackling the most critically sensitive of our world's issues, and is recognized by many for unleashing a self-publishing frenzy in major cities across America when she released her first book in 1997--a time when spoken word had yet to reach club and cafe popular society.
She is the author of two self-published books, Lemonade--Sweet & Sour Black Thought Power (Wizdumrime 1997) and The Slave Tree (Balance Books 2000), which features a companion LP, The Slave Tree Hymnal--which she wrote, arranged and produced. Her works appears in numerous literary anthologies and on several musical compilations, including the Dallas releases, Sankofa Live and Nommo, a compilation album which spotlights fellow Dallas natives Erykah Badu and N'Dambi Blue. Through The Afterset Sessions, released in Chicago in 1999, she recorded with jazz legends Fred Anderson, Harold Atterberry (of The Temptations) and Sonny Seal. Her latest independent LP, Live at Cocoabean's, debuted Spring 2003. ANTE UP, her next musical production is set to heat things up on the independent music scene when the CD is released early Spring 2006.
Von has shared the stage with the best in art and culture from Malcolm Jamal Warner and Floetry to Amiri Baraka and The Last Poets. She has overwhelmed unsuspecting audiences with musical performances that make magic, having opened for new neo-soul artists Calvin Richardson, Javier, Leela James, Raul Midon and Ledisi. Her musical influences range from the old school--Anita Baker, Natalie Cole, Marvin Gaye—to the new and eclectic--Lenny Kravitz, Ben Harper, and Rachelle Ferrell. She is vocally indebted to Ella and Sarah and Dinah and is a diehard fan of hip-hop moguls Outkast and The Roots.
She is recognized in the hottest clubs and cafes across America as one of the coldest poets in the game and has been featured abroad across Europe, in Mexico and Brasil. As performer and guest lecturer, she frequents schools and universities nationwide. VON is a MUST SEE LIVE electric stage performer! If you missed the opportunity to catch her performing live with her band, TheSweatLodge, in Dallas at local artist venues such as Club Envy, The Velvet Hookah, The Cosmopolitan Bistro, Brooklyn Jazz Café, FireWater and The Blind Lemon...do not fret. She has been spotted rockin' stages all over Atlanta and is a frequent performer at the famed SugarHill Nightclub and Apache Cafe.