We had the good fortune of connecting with Juan Valtierra and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Juan, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I am pursuing an artistic career because I believe art is one of the most influential things in todays society. I have been heavily influenced by the music I listen to and the videos that I watch. I remember being a young man wanting to do and be what music was telling me. The artists I would follow would make their lifestyle and their choices sound so cool. I believe I can use art as a tool to deliver a message of hope for the listeners. I really just want to Glorify Jesus with every talent He gave me and Art has allowed me to expand and grow more than I could have ever imagined.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Coming from the hip hop dance world, I believe I have a big advantage when it comes to my performance level. I try to bring those dance elements into my music. It even gave me a better idea about the type of music people enjoy dancing to the most. Something I love to do is include my dance students in the different projects I take on. I enjoy giving them opportunities to be in songs, music videos, and even join me in live performances. I has not been easy being a positive artist. Most of the time people wont give my music a chance because its not explicit or attractive. I try to give people a message they need, not just what they want. Through the instrumentals I create, it has made it a little easier to reach more people. I learned that I need to be real strategic about how I present my music and myself. I’ve learned so much in this journey and one of the biggest things I’ve learned it to have patience with myself. As I continue to work, I will get better and my music will do the same. Not everyone is going to like what I do, and that’s okay. I still love you. I just want people to know, I don’t do this for the accolades, I truly just want to Love people and remind them of their value.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them to the Center first. This is the place where I teach dance and volunteer from time to time. It’s a place that helps so many people in my community and they need to be recognized for what they do. They also have an Indoor skatepark! I would also take them to Coya’s, a new restaurant that opened not too long ago, the food is amazing! The River Music Experience is a really cool place that help to provide educational opportunities for young artists looking to learn more about music. The Figge is a local art museum that has some really cool exhibits all the time. The Rust Belt was just opened this year as well and I actually had the opportunity to perform there. It’s a new concert venue that was built in East Moline, and it has other businesses right next to it where you could spend a great amount of time at.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people who have helped me get to where I am today, if I named them all we would be here for a long time. I will name just a few people who have impacted my life in a tremendous way, they are: My Wife (Monse Valtierra) she has been believing in me since the beginning and has helped me keep going in times when I felt like giving up. My Mother has been a huge reason why I work so hard, she instilled in me the importance of earning things the right way and taught me so much about God and His goodness. My brother in Christ, Curtis Bell, was a big part of my success as a choreographer, he taught me so much about dance and even introduced me to Christian Hip Hop. QC United is a non profit organization that focuses on helping High School students get to college, they also have one of the best Anti-Bullying programs in the nation, they have believed in my artistic and leadership abilities for a long time now and have been a huge reason to why I am successful today. I could keep going on and on but just know that if you’re reading this, you probably have supported/encouraged me in some way and I just want to say Thank You!
Blake Warner, Bibek Adhikari