Convicted Music

Branching out from his musical beginnings at Ohio University, artist Von Graves is establishing a solid career in his hometown.

Mansfield born and Columbus bred, Graves is known for his honest records and open demeanor. While he does not identify as a religious rapper, spirituality does play a large role in his creative process.

“One thing I am is very spiritual,” Graves said, “You can always hear the conviction in my music.”

On Graves’ latest release, A Fearless EP, he was able to create music that felt right to him. The significance of the title is based on his desire to share his personal story.

“I’m just being fearless,” Graves said, “I was always afraid to show that side of me because I didn’t want to turn people off.”

The music industry is filled with many artists who desire to fit in. Graves credits his producers as a major reason why he has been able to maintain his own sound.

“I’ve been working with the same three guys since I first started,” Graves said, “My producer 5thElament, Ike Jordan and another producer, Taj Torrence help me push boundaries and still keep the sound consistent.”

Mastering The Art of Words and Stepping Beyond Boundaries

Artists such as Kanye West, Talib Kweli and Lupe Fiasco had a strong influence on the beginnings of Graves’ career. His family also inspired his love for music.

“My uncle had a huge influence on me becoming involved with music,” Graves said, “He was always into the next new thing and finding the next new artist.”

This influence, along with his desire to conquer the art of words, lead to Graves creating a brand that truly represents him and his music. After graduating from Ohio University, Graves decided to switch up his sound.

“At OU I was able to gain a really big college crowd, but I never felt completely comfortable,” Graves said, “On my latest project I made music that made me feel good; music that God wanted me to make.”

Graves decided to use a rap moniker derived from his birth name so his peers in Columbus could easily connect him with his music. Because of this, he wanted to establish relationships and root himself in Columbus first.

“People associate what you sound like with the city you’re from,” Graves said, “Columbus is a beautiful, diverse, artsy city and I just want to embody all of that in my music as much as I can.”

#FlyPaperEventRecap Columbus rapper and Ohio University alum @realvongraves returned to Skully’s yesterday evening, performing some new tracks as well as songs from his winter release, A Fearless LP. Graves and his “Experience” killed their set, going from conscious rap to a cover of Jeremih’s “F*** You All the Time” pretty smoothly. He does it all. Also performing were @_kmbproductions_, @_kingmcneal and others, plus a Christian rap praise break by more local Columbus artists.

A video posted by FlyPaper Mag (@flypapermag) on

After recently signing a licensing deal with Wicked in Los Angeles, and headlining a show at Newport Music Hall in January, Graves gave Columbus one last performance for the year at Skully’s, May 22nd before he set his sights on taking his music beyond city borders.

Graves has a message for all of his supporters.

“I just want to say I love ya’ll! It’s all love!”

You can follow Von Graves on Twitter and Instagram @realvongraves
You can listen to his music on his soundcloud, and his website

You can check out his video for the song “America” off of A Fearless EP 


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