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Super Talented Saxophonist & Actor, Tony Exum Jr. Is Setting a New Standard of “Music Excellence!"

Super Talented Saxophonist & Actor, Tony Exum Jr. Is Setting a New Standard of “Music Excellence” With Humility and Grace!

The Talented and humble Saxophonist, Actor, Composer, Producer, and Radio Host Tony Exum Jr. Has performed with a pleather of notable artists like Marcus Anderson, Eric Marienthal, Jackiem Joyner, Eric Darius, Euge Groove, Najee, Nick Colionne, Julian Vaughn, Adam Hawley, Elan Trotman, Blake Aaron, Brian Lenair, Deon Yates, Phillip 'Doc' Martin and Paula Atherton. He also opened for Soul/R&B artists Rose Royce, Dennis Edwards, Denise Williams, The Temptations Review, and Jeffrey Osborne.

His extensive performances include those with Norman Connors, KeKe Wyatt, Sunshine Anderson, Kelly Price, actor, and singer "Leon," The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Chi-Lites, The Manhattans, Miki Howard, Dave Hollister, Silk, Donell Jones, Aysha Webb, Gail Jhonson. Aside from being an incredible musician, he is also a fantastic actor and rising star. He shared this with me about his life and career as a saxophonist.

Hi Tony. Hi Gina, how are you?

Awesome! Thank you! I enjoyed reading about your musical journey and look forward to learning more about you. Thank you.

You're welcome. Seeing people accomplish wonderful, positive, uplifting things is inspiring! The soothing nature of your music makes you feel at peace. Thank you so much. I really appreciate that really.

You're welcome. Tony, where are you initially from, and where are you currently located? I'm originally from Colorado Springs, Co., where I currently reside. I've moved around a lot as a kid. I was a military brat.

Which one of your parents was in the military? My stepfather was in the Air Force. When I was young, I lived in New Orleans, where my mother is from. New Orleans is like a second home to me. I also lived in Phoenix and the Kaiserslautern area of Germany for a few years. I returned to Colorado as a teenager and have been here ever since.

Tony, please tell me how moving around so frequently and adjusting to your new environment affected you personally. How did you feel about it? Did it affect you positively or negatively? Overall, it had a positive impact on my life. In some ways, it sparked wanderlust in me to want to travel and explore the world. Because I delight in exploring new places, I enjoy touring.

I also enjoy meeting new and great people. So, it was not a negative thing for me. My upbringing also exposed me to different languages, histories, and foods. I love the cultural aspect of Europe. It's a fascinating place. In fact, I was there during the Cold War time, but it's a bit different now.

Wow, OK. The Cold War. Yes, I was there in the early 80s during the European Cold War. I was a young child then. At the time, Germany was almost like a little America where I lived because it was so many soldiers and so many American Citizens that wanted live there. What was so enriching is that I learned the differences between the German, Austrian and Belgian culture. And Spain was right up the street.

I remember my parents taking a trip to Sweden to buy a car. You knew someone was in the military if they returned home with a Volvo, Saab, or BMW. We had the Saab 900 S, which made everyone think we were rich when we arrived in Mississippi. (laughs)

My mother even took a weekend girl's trip to London because she wanted to see London and the changing of the guard. When she was there, she just so happened to walk into a museum, and Gil Scott Heron was performing. So, she came back with an autographed T-shirt.

That's cool! Wow! Yes, from around five to eight, those were crucial years in my development. As a result, much of my worldview and outlook on life were shaped there.

Yeah, absolutely. As a child, I attended 14 schools and moved nine other times. I was always the new girl. Although the students never mistreated me, I was never regarded as part of the “click” either, which made me feel invisible. As a result, I became introverted, but my creativity saved me. After that somewhat negative experience, my artistic ability became my most significant asset, leading me to my God-given purpose. As a side note, although my dad served in the military at one point, I was not a military child. Our frequent moves had nothing to do with being in the military. Tony, do you think moving around helped you dive deeper into your creativity as a creative? We didn't move as much as some military families, but we moved a lot. So, I had to learn how to adjust quickly. Coming back to Colorado Springs was a relief because I was already home. But yeah, I have an introverted side. As a result of what I do, I am an introvert with extroverted traits.

Yes. I'm 6'5 and 300 pounds on stage, but I drop back down to my 5'10 self-off stage. (laughs)

Yeah, absolutely. When the show is over, I return to being the quiet, introspective Tony who's comfortable in his own skin. It's part of who I am.

Thank you for sharing that part of your life, Tony. What inspired you to play the horn, and what initially drew you to that instrument? My mom's brother, Larry Francis Jr., was a saxophone player. At Fort Carson, the military base in Colorado Springs, he played in the army band.

As a young father, he decided to join the army to be a responsible parent after high school. As he grew up, I watched him. When I was a little boy living at grandma's house, he used to play downstairs. Because I used to listen to him play Grover Washington, Ronnie Laws, and David Sanborn records throughout my youth, I never forgot the sound.

During the summer of 1986, I saw him perform at Fort Carson. It was a 4th of July celebration, and my uncle was up there killing it! I thought, "Yes, that's going to be me." When I was backstage, I said, "I want to play saxophone. Can I do that?" He asked, "Do you want to play?" I replied, "Yes." He said, "OK." So, one day, he was over at my grandmother's house practicing in the garage, and the whole neighborhood was like, "Larry's playing!"

So, he said, "Here, nephew, check this out," and gave me the very first saxophone he had in high school. He told me if I wanted to play it that, it needed to be fixed, but that one was mine. I had been sitting in the garage. He cleaned it up a bit and got it semi-ready, but I had to do some repairs. I'll always remember that. But I wanted to play because of watching him.

It was cultivated and ingrained in me as a child. When I was a baby, my mother would put me to sleep; when I was restless, she would throw on Grover Washington Jr. "Inner City Blues." She had a little portable turntable in her room, and I frequently heard her playing Earth, wind, and Fire, "Keep Your Head To The Sky," or Ronnie Laws, Grover Washington, and others. Consequently, I had this sound already in my head. Even when I was young, I could recognize different saxes and artists. Lots of music was ingrained in me back then.

Did you play in a school band when you were a child? Yes, I joined the 6th grade band at Michelle Middle School in Biloxi, Mississippi, in 6th grade.

Tony, what's behind your drive and desire to succeed as a horn player? My motivation is rooted in my belief that playing the saxophone is my destiny. When I was a child, there was a reason why music was always around me, and my Uncle Larry was such an integral part of my life. Even though he stopped playing professionally, he was my initial inspiration. I was surrounded by music. Reflecting on those early years, I know my God-given purpose was to do music. I was chosen and gifted to render myself to humanity through music. Knowing that I was put here to do this drives me.

There are times when things can get challenging in this industry, as we all know. Reality is not always as pretty as we imagine. Often, entering the entertainment industry can feel like swimming in a vast sea. Social media has caused a severe traffic jam in the industry where many independent artists are on the same trajectory as yourself and seeking the same outcome. With this understanding, how do you maintain your tunnel vision and faith in the uniqueness of who you are and what you do? Also, how do you find the inspiration to persevere? You know, it's funny you asked that cause I was having a conversation. One of my fellow contemporary jazz artists not too long ago was having a discouraging day, and we were talking about a post on Facebook regarding a saxophone player who is one of the biggest producers in the genre.

In the post, they asked about the ups and downs and what we depend on regarding radio and our platform. While our music is universally liked and appreciated, there are some limitations. In some ways, this can make you feel like a fish in a bowl.

As for me, I picked a common instrument. Traditionally, sax players were considered a dime a dozen, but I never believed myself to be a dime in that dozen. I always thought of myself as being different. Mike Phillips, a great saxophone player and mentor to me, offered me some advice.

During a conversation with Mike, he told me to stop thinking of myself as just another Sax player and start thinking of myself as a brand. It is similar to the fact that there are many brands of soda, potato chips, and fast-food restaurants, but you don't always go to the same place. He told me there's room for me, carve my lane, and I'll be fine.

13 years later after that conversation, he expressed how proud he was of me that I figured it out. So that's what it is. You keep your eyes on that prize, that goal and that inner drive that says OK, I have a purpose. Nd, if I have a purpose, I got to make this work. This is what I've dedicated my life to doing. Don’t allow yourself to see any other option no matter what other skill sets you might have.

When you're serious about music, it's all or nothing. It's important to revisit that virtue during those downtimes because sometimes it hits you at the weirdest moments. You could be having a great Monday and a terrible Tuesday because this business is like that; it's unpredictable. For example, on Monday, you could have a great opportunity, and your gig gets canceled on Tuesday. On Friday, you're back on your feet, but the ups and downs keep you humble and moving toward that goal. That's what it is for me, in a nutshell.

That was beautifully stated. Thank you for that. Many people needed to hear what you just said. Encouraging! Tony, what are the boundaries you have set for yourself in this industry? Is there anything you have said I will not do at any cost to ensure your career's success? Great question. This might sound “cliche”, but I've always told myself that I would never sell my soul for fame. You know, it’s a very real thing in this industry.

Regarding the creation side of it, it is a beautiful thing. Performing is beautiful, but the music business is trash. It's always those crossroads that you meet throughout your career. And I feel like you get tested and put in situations where your moral compass or your values and virtues can be presented to where you may have to compromise to get to that next step. That's something I said I would never do.

At the end of the day, I have to answer for my own actions and there's always a consequence around that, that dark corner that they don't tell you about. It's like, why can't I stay on this line here? See, it's never good when you start to wander over to the other side or take little pivots. And we've seen evidence of people who have said, "You know, I'm going to sell my soul and go ahead and get this $1,000,000, or I'm going to get this fame, and then you see how disturbed they end up. They go through periods of their career where people wonder what is wrong with you. You’re even wondering that yourself. Then, that time comes to pay up. You've been on this peak, and now it's time to hit that valley, and you hit it really hard.

The crazy thing is that It's never a step-by-step process coming down. It's a drop. That's natural in the music business anyway, so why force it into terrible decisions? I always live by the phrase, "Never make permanent decisions with temporary emotions."

So, when you think about that and use that as a guide not only for your personal life but your professional life, you won't make those types of decisions. I'm unapologetically Christian. And I realize that because God gave me this gift, He can take it back. I always want to be in God's grace. If you're out there trippin', you're testing His grace, and that's not a good thing to do. I never wanted to be the guy who compromised on that; it's never been in my spirit to do that. And trust me, I've faced a few decisions that could have temporarily taken me down that path of success, but I chose to stay grounded.

That's awesome! I love what you said! I'm unapologetically a born-again Christian, too. Once you understand that this life is temporary and that you will one day stand before the Lord and answer to your life and what you did with what God gave you, then you will walk through this life with an entirely different perspective. You will weigh every opportunity in the balance and count the cost. That's so important. When you don't want what Satan has dangled in front of you, and when you don't need or desire it, he can't tempt you or trip you with his empty promises and foolish shenanigans. Yes.

When you're desperate for what he's offering you, that's when people jump on your slippery slope. But, if you know that your all sufficiency is through Christ Jesus alone, and He becomes your everything, knowing that you are complete in Him, then you won't be tempted by his advertisements because you don't need anything he has to offer.

When God opens the door, He's opening it with His purpose in mind for you to do His work through that opened door by His grace. It is never for the exaltation of our flesh. Anything that's trying to get us to exalt our flesh is idol worship. Our primary focus should be to lift His name, the matchless name of Jesus, no matter what we do. I always look at things like this: when God opens a door of opportunity, I want to know what He wants me to do with that open door because it is never about me; it's always about Him. When God doesn't open a door, it's not meant to be, so why worry or force it? Just be at peace and know that what is for you will be. For me, I don't want anything not in His will for my life. Yes.

So let me ask you a question, Tony. Some audiences express their appreciation for your talent differently, especially in countries that are foreign to your experience. Many skillful musicians and artists might travel to a particular country to perform and give a performance of a lifetime. Everyone will sit there staring and showing no emotion, but the crowd stands up and claps when the entire show has finished. Tony, in cases where you experience non-responsive audiences, how do you know you're connecting with them, and what is your process of understanding and engaging them during your show? Yeah, sometimes it's like that. If you watch the audience and their response at the end of that first song, you can tell what kind of audience you're dealing with.

Sometimes, you get an audience that is ready for you. For example, I once played with a fellow artist and a friend of mine, Dominique Hammond. He's a Violinist, and we were in Chandler, AZ. We were doing a concert at one of the "Centers of the Arts," and we stepped out on that stage. The audience was almost on their feet at the sight of us.

When I hit the first couple of lines of my first song, many people stood up and started clapping and dancing. Other folks were just into it. They were just ready. That experience energized me and recharged my battery. (laughs)

I was like, yes, OK, they're ready for it. So, I said, OK, we got to give them our all. So, we put on one of our best shows. Other times, I had to warm them up, but eventually, they'd come along. So, you get a sense of what kind of audience you're dealing with from that first song by their reaction to what you're doing.

Some audiences don't know you. For example, if you're opening up a festival or it's your first time in a particular market, and you're a special guest, sometimes they're like, OK, what's this guy all about? That's when you go out there and give them that individualistic flow to introduce yourself to them.

It's like, "I know you just heard two other saxophone players last week, but I'm Tony Exum Jr., And this is how I will present my talent. Even if we're playing covers, I will do it my way. So, you walk in that path for a little while, and often, that works just fine. But overall, you learn to adjust.

Experience will teach you how to handle different audiences and musical situations. Whether you're in a cover band, the opening act, a special guest, or a featured headliner, there are many ways that you function as a musician. You have to figure out how to capture the audience.

Sometimes, you have to go at them and get them with your first song, and other times, like a pot of gumbo, you have just to simmer it up. After a while, you get it to that right point where you can turn off the stove because it's hot, it's ready to go and to be served. So, I look at it like that. I aim to be myself and give them the best part of who I am. Every performance must be evaluated. No "one size fits all" solution exists since every situation is different.

Yeah, absolutely. It's important to have tough skin as a performer, or else you'll feel like driving off a cliff after a show because some of the faces in the crowd look stern. (laughs) Absolutely.

Another thing to consider is that people express appreciation differently. Some people express deep gratitude inwardly, while others express it outwardly. It just depends on the personality of that person. Ultimately, you must believe that if you are on that ticket to perform, you deserve to be up there on that stage. You must be assertive and courageous when showcasing your talent to the masses. Yeah, and it's funny because sometimes the people that you thought were not into it are the ones that come up to you after the show saying, "You made my day. Where can I get your card, or where do I buy your CD? You should never underestimate your audience since not everyone is as expressive as others.

Yes. Some people are your die-hard fans cheering you on, and others are coming to observe, but if they don't get up and leave, all is well.

Absolutely. Tony, can you help me figure this out? Why do you think many people say black crowds are more difficult to please? Do you find that statement to be true in some circumstances? Yeah, it can be true in some circumstances. Because many black people are naturally artistic, creative, emotional, and spiritual, we need something to grasp. We need to be moved; music has always been part of our community. In many cases, that was our outlet for our pastime.

If you think about it, growing up in the '70s and '80s, before cable TV became a regular staple, you were considered rich if you had cable in the 70s and 80s. So, many black families didn't have that disposable income, but guess what? Dad, Grandpa, uncle, and so on had a record collection. They had albums or reel-to-reels with 4 hours of music on them, and that's what we had to unify us, celebrate, and get through tough times. So, when we see live music, we're looking for something we can grasp onto. And that's where it comes from.

It's not that black people are being too complicated. It's just that music is so important to us, and it is such a big part of our DNA.

Even in a restaurant, we have those expectations regarding our food. This is a soul food restaurant. We would like to see how well they prepare their greens. Or we might say, "Did you wash your hands?"

Out of everything you said, that's the most important because I'm such a germaphobe! I don't care how good their soul food is. I'm out of there if they didn't wash their hands or if their bathroom is dirty! That's when you run for your life and never look back. (laughs) Yes. (laughs) we also want to know how they smoke their pork chops because the average black family has a family member who can cook as well as anybody in that restaurant. They're like, "I haven't had nobody else potato salad, but I'm going to try yours, you know?" (laughs)

Yes. So that's how it is. So, from a creative standpoint, we must be fed. I find a lot of times when it comes to Caucasian crowds, if it sounds good to them, they're in. It doesn't matter what you're playing, smooth jazz, a song that they know or don't know, if it makes them feel good, they start dancing and clapping their hands. It doesn't matter whether they can dance or not.

And that's a beautiful thing, too, because they're there simply to enjoy it. Because it's making them feel good. They have to dance and move. And after the show, they'll come into that saxophone player and tell him, "Dude, you're incredible!" And they may never see you again, know your name, or be familiar with the genre of music that you're playing.

I've been in situations where I'm the only contemporary jazz artist on the bill, and I'm thinking, "Are they going to dig this or not," but much to my surprise, they were all over it!

So, I also like playing for audiences that are organic because I enjoy their immediate response. So, it's a good balance between the two.

Being asthmatic and being a saxophone player, what are the challenges that you experience? My challenge is trying to manage the symptoms and maintain a career. I have those moments where things trigger my symptoms. It may be different climates, air travel, or altitudes. Because I live in a high-altitude area, it gives me some strength.

I'm 6,000, some plus feet in the air. So, at that altitude, when you drop to sea level daily, it's much easier to breathe. Many things can trigger my asthma, such as weather changes and humidity. My asthma is more of an allergic asthma than bronchial. Therefore, allergies trigger my asthmatic symptoms.

So, I've had to deal with it and figure out how to manage my symptoms, deal with travel, and maintain the consistency of being an artist. That's the biggest challenge for me.

As far as being able to play, I never let asthma get in my way unless I was sick or having an asthma attack. I play and function as if I don't have it. I can only guess what I would sound like if I didn't have it. I don't know because I never treated it as a hindrance.

Good for you, Tony. Many people stop living with health hindrances, but you are an inspiration, I'm sure, to so many because of your will to press forward and do what you love regardless of temporary barriers. May I ask, what opportunities have opened for you as a horn player? Sure, I've done many things I thought I'd never do and met so many people I thought I'd never know I or have a rapport with.

Meeting all six members of New Edition for the first time was an excellent experience for me. In fact, Ralph Tresvant and Bob are buddies. I am also friends with Troop. I know all of them. So, just having relationships with people you never thought you would meet is amazing.

Similarly, my saxophone heroes and I share mutual respect. Najee is another buddy of mine, who I am also a fan of. That includes Walter Beasley, Kim Waters and Gerald Albright. And I love his wife, whom I call Ms. G. Both are amazing!

Oh yes! I love her! Yes, She’s a gem. But I've met so many people I thought I'd never meet. I've even met Everette Harp, Andy Schnitzer and Jeff Lorber. These are all great musicians! Tim Bowman played on my second album. I've had a chance to play with Soul/R&B artists too like, “Ginuwine.” I played with The Temptations, and The Four Tops one night in the horn section.

On one occasion I was called to honor a friend of mine whose younger brother was like a brother to me, Andrew Woolfolk from, Earth, Wind and Fire. He was an original saxophone player from the classic group. So, I became friends with him about 10 years ago. I met him when I was quite young. He was touring with Phil Collins back then, so he wasn't home a lot. But, we became friends about 10 years ago. I even did a show with him. When he passed away last year, his family, his brother Darrell, who's Gladys, Knights drummer and other celebs in the business, said, “hey, man, we can't do this celebration of life without you, are you available?” I told him, yes. So, me and a couple other horn players honored Andrew Woolfolk.

The service was held at my home church where I play weekly and I had to block out of my head that Phillip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson because they're the original three members of Earth Wind and Fire who came to the service to honor Andrew Woolfolk. Generally, professionals tune that out, but in that moment, I went back to being that kid that used to stare at the album covers and read the book, with headphones on. (laughs)

My parents let me listen to those records and I'd be following along with the words and looking at all the cool graphics on the albums and those guys are right in front of me. (laughs)

Verdine said some cool things to me and when I went to shake Ralf’s hand, he pointed at me like, I like you. That kind of stuff! That's Earth, wind and fire! I mean, where else do you go from there? That humbled me. At the same time, that also let me know that “The Lord” is showing me where my gift can take me.

So those are the stories that I tell people. I'm still a fan of all these groups and I don't expect any of that. And honestly, I'm not entitled to anything like that. I could have easily just maintained and stayed Tony Exum Jr. from Colorado Springs just playing around town this whole time.

But because of God's grace and my determination, I've become a national artist. Who would have thought that a young man from this little mid-sized military town that nobody thinks about would be in the place where I am today? And there are good musicians here. But although Denver has a lot of great talent, I was one of the few that made it to a national level. So that is a beautiful thing.

Yes, God does beautiful things in our lives, indeed. It says in the new King James version of the Bible in Proverbs 18:16, A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men. So, there you go! Now you've done acting as well? Yes, interestingly, I was asked to be in a local production, "Steel Magnolias." I've been hired to play a radio announcer part; It's a small part. I'm also in a film called Summer of Violence. It's a film by actor, producer, and director Nicki Micheaux. Many people will recognize her from Lincoln Heights and many other movies. Well, this is her directorial debut.

The movie is about her life as a college student in Denver in the early 90s when the gang problem started to spark in Colorado, so I got called to be an extra in her film. I'm playing a saxophone player, myself. But the story is about her. This will be my first feature film, and it's coming out next year in 2024.

I also have a role in a Christian film that is not musical. The movie is called "Behind Church Doors." My character is “Brother Vonner,” a strong male figure in a church congregation. So, I had a few speaking parts in this film. In the movie, I even do a prayer, so these are just a few of the roles I have played.

Therefore, I am exploring that world and finding out what other opportunities are available. And I want to approach it from a humble standpoint. Just because I do music doesn't mean I can get on the silver screen. These little roles are just little steppingstones to what could be another phase of my career.

That’s awesome, Tony. It is important not to focus exclusively on one aspect of your talent, as most creative people are multi-talented in many different areas. Meanwhile, be 100% committed to mastering whatever area of your talent you are exploring at the moment. As a result of the pandemic, many of us saw how people started other businesses and could do things they did not even know they could do.

God has given us so many gifts. Often, we think, this is the only thing I like, but God may want to use you for many purposes in your life, and they are all you. So don't be afraid to try other things. Just because you do one thing well doesn't mean you won't do another thing well, too. As a result, all your talents and abilities placed in you by God are an integral part of your identity.

Rather than just having an eye, you have several body parts that all function differently but are all essential to your DNA makeup. Just as that works so well together, I say explore the other things God has placed in you, as they will also work beautifully together and give you a greater sense of completeness. Being a creative person gives you that creative wanderlust. It’s like,” Let me see where else I can be good at.” This is how you discover that you have other talents and gifts waiting to be developed.

You are correct. Now, can you tell me what type of horn you play? And do you have any endorsements yet? Yes, there are seven saxophones in the saxophone family, and the three most common are soprano, Alto, and tenor. I play all three. I'm more known for playing soprano saxophone. That's my ace as a whole and is my most common voice. My uniqueness lies in this area.

I do have a few endorsements. I'm endorsed by a saxophone company called "Sax Dakota." They're based in Chicago, and I have been with them for about nine years. They are a great company. I endorse Kim Korea's mouthpieces, and the model that I play is created by a fellow sax player named Marlon Boone. I played Marlon Boone's model of mouthpieces, and I'm working on a couple of other endorsements.

Awesome! All good stuff. Can you tell me about any upcoming project you have out currently or working on in the future? Yes, I've been asked to play on a solo project by one of the members of The O'Jays, Eric Nolan Grant, and it's also featuring R&B legend Glenn Jones.

Wonderful! Yes, so they brought me on to play saxophone on the song called "I Want to be Closer," which was initially done by Switch back in, I think, 1978. But. It's a beautiful song.

Eric Nolan first approached all the guys I mentioned earlier to play on the project, but because they were unavailable, Eric reached out to me. Because he liked my voice, he called me. I never thought I would have ever gotten a phone call like that. So that's coming out very soon. Additionally, I have a new single out called "Hold My Hand." It's doing well on the radio. During the first week of its release, it was the 5th most added in the Billboard/Mediabase.

I'm also teaming up with 90s artist Raja-Nee, who was with "Perspective Records." She's been doing a lot of good music lately, so we're doing a song called, Always There." Ronnie Laws initially did the song. And we're doing a vocal and Sax version combined. We became friends through a neutral buddy from DC, and we've been like brother and sister ever since. So, I'm grateful to finally get together with her and work together musically. The single will be coming out soon.

Awesome! All fantastic and exciting stuff! Thank you for sharing your music journey with The Indie Post readers. In closing. Are there any words of wisdom you would like to share with up-and-coming creatives who are still trying to find their way in this business? My advice would be to walk in humility and grace, not only as an artist but also as a man. Taking this approach will enable you to overcome the most challenging times and win the respect of those around you.

There is an illusion that the cockier you are, the better you are, but humility's better.

My dad, Mr. Tony Exum Senior, is an excellent example of humility. His humility makes him one of the most beloved people on earth. Besides being a politician and former Battalion Chief of the Fire Department, he's the humblest guy you'll ever meet, and we are similar. The way I speak, and my mannerisms are like his as well. People sometimes think it's him when I answer the phone. (laughs)

I learned from him how to walk in humility and grace and to always seek resolution and love as Christ did. I have been able to face some of life's most painful, frustrating, and hurtful moments because of his admirable examples and wise counsel. You can easily navigate life's ups and downs with a big, humble heart.

Oh, that was beautiful. It has been an absolute honor and a privilege to be able to speak with such a man of great talent and great humility. Thank you.

My pleasure. I pray that God will bless you and the works of your hands, be it done according to His will. I pray that the Lord will bless you and protect you wherever you go on your travels and that He will send the right connections your way, trustworthy people with your best interest at heart. Last, may He bless those close to your heart.

I'm looking forward to seeing beautiful things come from your creativity, and I'm super proud of you and all you have accomplished throughout the years. Keep up the great work! Absolutely, and thank you so much. This was a great interview. You are such a lovely lady, and I love your smile.

Thank you so much! Have a great day! Bye. Bye. God bless.

All photos of Tony Exum Jr. are courtesy of Tony Exum Jr.

End of Interview

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Disclaimer: The words of inspiration posted by The Indie Post, written within ( The New American Standard Version Bible Verse) are not the words of the above interviewed.

"John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him."

"Romans 10:9-13 9 [f]that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10for with the heart a person believes, [g]resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, [h]resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE [i]PUT TO SHAME.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13for “EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

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