ATG is excited to bring to your consciousness Twisted Optiks (aka Ronnie Chea), a talented hip hop musical artist who performed at our recent Fashion for a Passion event.
“I’m just a humbled emcee blessed with a God-given talent to rock the mic. It’s been a long journey to get where I am and I wouldn’t change it for a thing. Twisted Optiks – see things in a different perspective; cross-eyed or as I see it ‘Eyes on the Cross.'”
Ronnie Saroun Chea
Wichita, Kansas/ Fort Worth, Texas
What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”
I believe that going against the grain means to seek alternate paths of life other than the norm. Being Asian and working with hip hop sets me apart from the norm. Where I stand out is that I want my music to make an impact in people’s lives and give them inspiration to also go against the grain and follow their dreams and ambitions, and not just live a life with regrets.
What made you decide to pursue a career in music, specifically this type of genre?
My parents loved music, either in singing it or making it. Of course my music is not necessarily similar to my parents’ music, but the ambition to let our musical talents shine is definitely apparent. I fell in love with the hip hop culture and the use of the English language to create poetry upon music. I went from writing poetry at age 16, to producing music, to surrounding my life around music. I currently instruct audio engineering to probation students in South Dallas, and it is a blessing to be a part of making a positive impact in the lives of my students.
Well to sum up what my style is, I love lyrical, underground hip hop that appreciates the culture, life and the need to make a change in the mess on the radio that people assumes is hip hop. I always loved how a picture can be painted from words and loved creating rhymes that reflect reality, my life and what I face each day.
What have been some of the challenges you faced/lessons you learned as an Asian American in a very competitive industry?
As an Asian American, I realize that this path I chose is quite narrow and people being successful in my field are few and far between. I realize that there are many who strive to make a name for themselves in the talents they have and even when they give their all, are rarely acknowledged for it. I spent a great deal of time finding out who I was in the hip hop scene before I came to the understanding of who I am today.
I chose not to follow the trends, as I realize that it can be a big risk for me. I realize that what I have to offer is not your “usual” and may be less likely to catch much recognition or fame. But my greatest aspiration is to give the world an “alternative” to the lukewarm, uninspiring, and demoralizing sounds we call “radio hip hop.” Not all songs are bad, but what I hear now a days is built solely for commercial use and offers no benefit or motivation for the listeners other than promiscuity and violence. I’ve seen the ups and downs of the industry, but I realize that what I get out of life is what I put in. My aim is to reach that single person that needed the music at that very moment to encourage them to face life’s struggles and to overcome them with victory.
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment, and why?
My greatest accomplishment, in all honestly, is that I am alive. And I don’t just mean breathing and being able to function. I mean that I am actually living my life with a purpose and a mission. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, computer science or business major, but I am one who decided to go the road less traveled. If this path wasn’t for me, it would have fizzled out a long time ago. But I am still going strong and growing each day more. Each day I am honing my skills and perfecting my craft. God’s got me here for a reason and I will do all I can to share my message of love through music.
What’s up next?
I am currently working on finishing a new album and possibly a music video. No set dates as of yet but I will try to get things done as soon as possible!
Visit the Twisted Optiks Facebook Page.