Student balances school and his dream

Wesley Bates performed at last year’s For Artists By Artists concert put on by The Outlet in May. — Submitted Photo

Wesley Bates performed at last year’s For Artists By Artists concert put on by The Outlet in May. — Submitted Photo

Wesley Bates is getting ready to release his second CD in the past year which he describes as being more intellectual and lyrical.

Bates first became involved in music when he was 4 or 5 by singing at his church. The first performance Bates remembers doing is a talent show put on by his church.

“I actually got on stage and danced. I won and that’s when I kind of thought ‘Wow, I may have a talent, a passion to dance.’ So I started dancing first. That was my first moment of knowing I could be an entertainer or something later on in life,” Bates said.

More recently, Bates has been touring and promoting his first CD. One show that stands out was a performance at Jokers in Cedar Falls, he said. That show was in front of his home crowd which are his core fans, Bates said.

His first CD, “Unique,” has sold over 1,000 copies so far.

“He spit some real stuff on there but also had some good hype tracks,” Sam Langfritz, a student who bought the CD said.

Bates’ mom died when he was young, but he said his  mother and God have been with him through the process. He uses this experience as inspiration for his songs. With this project, Bates wanted to connect with the people listening to his music.

“I was able to pick up on those senses early and understand what was going on. I wasn’t ready to understand but I knew I had to. Now I see it as you were meant to understand so that you can understand and share your message with people going through the same things as you, who need those words of encouragement, who need that help,” Bates said.

Bates described his second CD as painting a picture through his raps. Langfritz is planning on buying this new CD. One song has been released and Langfritz described it as “sick.” There is no rush to set a release date because Bates said he wants to make sure everything on the CD is perfect.

It took some time for Bates to reach where he is. When he first started, people did not take him seriously. He also had to sacrifice things such as football, but his coaches were supportive in pursuing his dreams, he said.

Bates has more help now than he had when he first started. Besides having the support and help of his sister, Bates also has a manager and others who help him promote his music. Having this team has helped Bates be able to balance things a little bit easier, Bates said.

For Bates, all of the success and progress he has had so far helps him realize what life could be like.

It is not just his music that will keep Bates busy this school year. He will be doing a high school/middle school tour this year called “High School Sweet Dreams” to talk about college.

“I want to get them prepared and let them know ‘You have a chance. You do have a chance. Things may go wrong in life but through God all things are possible,’” Bates said.

Those interested in learning more about his music can check out his website, juicehaspoken.com.

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