Maryland's Rising Star: Hondees
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Maryland's Rising Star: Hondees

"If you have a dream... take it to the moon."
Maryland's Rising Star: Hondees
Photo courtesy of Victor Soria

Born and brought up in Wheaton, Maryland, 23-year-old Hondees is set for stardom. He's a star in the making.

I met Hondees and his manager, Victor Soria, at Pupuseria La Familiar, a small Salvadoran restaurant located in Wheaton, Maryland. He and his manager ordered two pupusas each with a Horchata. We conversed on topics from crazy space theories to places we've traveled. Even in the way he sliced into his pupusa or the way he used his hands to express his thoughts, Hondees carried himself in a way that oozed confidence.

He noticed me staring at his shirt. A simple yet reworked white shirt. There was a medium-sized square patch of plaid fabric on the right side of it. "Victor made me this shirt," he said, pointing to his manager sitting right beside him, "He's so talented. He makes most of my clothing from scraps of fabric collected here and there."

After he finished eating his pupusas, Hondees clasped his hands and set them on the table, ready to tell me his story.

Hondees attended high school in Maryland. Rebellious by nature as a teen, his high school years were a whirlwind of Skating and trouble with authority. Surfing the web one day, he came upon a music video of one of his peers. He thought to himself, "Hey I can do this too, maybe even better." It was the jumpstart to his musical career. He dropped out of high school to focus solely on music. Yet, when I asked him what he thinks he would be doing if he hadn't decided to pursue music he responded-

"It's not what I think I'd be doing, I know I would've gone to school. I would've stayed in school. But I just couldn't just sit in the classroom... I'd always find myself drifting into writing lyrics," he told me.

To him, he had two options. His first option would have been to go to school in the hopes of becoming a meteorologist. "I am so into the weather channel, anything with the weather and space... it's just so beautiful. I love it," he said. His second option would have been to become a doctor. His father would have wanted him to.

Hondees faced difficulty from his family on his decision of pursuing music. "No one was happy. My grandma was the only one in my family to give me advice. And the advice was: If this is your dream, you're going to have to work hard for it."

Though despite all the ups and downs with family. Hondees holds much love for his loved ones, "My mom taught me that while everyone's crying, you are the one that's not crying. She taught me to be a leader, not a follower."

Hondees photographed in Wheaton, Maryland - Photo courtesy of Victor Soria

His artistic name, Hondees, is a tribute to the past.

The first three letters, HON, relate to the brand Honda. The American Honda Motor Company is globally well-known for its manufacturing of automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, and power equipment. When asked why Honda influenced him, Hondees responded, "I want that versatility in my music... the innovation and hunger to push forward."

The last four letters, DEES, are a tribute to one of the greatest eras of Hip-Hop: the '90s. The nineties were the golden age of hip-hop. An era that harbored artists from the likes of A Tribe Called Quest to De La Soul to Wu-Tang Clan. "The nineties... it's a reminder of where I started," he said.

Music is a form of self-expression and a tether to life itself.

"The freedom to express myself... I think it's so cool," he said, "I'm going to tell you right now if I wasn't able to express myself to the world, I'd go insane. I'd become some maniacal weirdo."

For Hondees, music has saved his life. "I have a beautiful team, beautiful friends, a beautiful girlfriend, everything is beautiful. It's weird because it's like now that I think about it, I'm like 'Wow, that's crazy' cause I usually don't think about it."

As historically shown by many artists, pursuing music brings highs and lows. Though, Hondees embraces the obstacles. "I would never hate this," he said, "My biggest obstacle is occurring right now. I don't have a place to stay… but I do. It's… where I'm staying, my studio isn't there. It's just me, my bed, and my clothes."

What he means by this is that his current living situation is a place that doesn't bring him inspiration, doesn't bring him hope. "The only time I feel that is when I'm amongst people like you, like him, like my friends," he says, "We're all on the same climb. All doing something with our lives." He dreams of having a home in LA. A place where he can come home, be surrounded by things that are uniquely him. A place to share with his girlfriend, his friends. A place where he can make music… a place to call his own. His own sanctuary. "That's what I'm fighting for," he states.

"Yes, I don't have a place to stay at the moment but despite that… I have the most beautiful thing going on in my life right now. Like… having him," Hondees says, clasping his manager on the back, "Having his girl, his family, my family, my girlfriend and her best friend. I just believe things happen for a reason. I lost one thing yet gained so much. Do you get what I'm saying? You get something and so much out of it. So, when I'm with my friends, my motivation is at its highest."

Hondees pictures himself traveling to Paris and Tokyo one day. He looks to his manager as he says, "I see us drinking wine at the Grammy's one day and just going 'look at us'," he smiles, "The closest I've been to the Grammy's is through my friend, he's at Universal. He was texting me from the Latin Grammy's telling me how J Balvin just got snubbed. Our friend is GoldLink's stylist, he's our buddy. It's crazy."

Dealing with performance anxiety.

"I deal with stage anxiety by sticking my chest out and asking myself 'How much I want it' like… 'Is this really what you want to do?' … then fuck anxiety. If that anxiety cripples you until you get off that stage, then you should reconsider this as a career, as a job, as your life. That's how I deal with it. By asking myself 'Is this really what you want to do?' And every time the answer is, 'Yes'."

Hondees photographed in Wheaton, Maryland - Photo courtesy of Victor Soria

Writing is second nature.

"Pink Walls is the only song I've written in my journal. That was the only time I've ever sat down and written in my journal," he stated as he took a sip from his Horchata, "I'm very into writing about dialogue… you know how in movies they can take you into another world. I just wanted to write about a guy and a girl. A girl moves to New York and her guy is like 'Why did you leave me?'"

According to Hondees, the title of the track, Pink Walls, is inspired by the emotion of missing a girl. When writing the song, he imagined himself in the guy's shoes just asking, "Why did you leave me? Why did you move to New York?"

Hondees tapped his fingers against the table, struggling to remember the lyrics of the song, "I have to listen to it… I gotta listen to it now." As he sat at the booth and listened to Pink Walls, his eyes slowly came alight with recognition.

"WOO… yeah, I remember! Dun dun dun dun…" he mumbled along with the opening lyrics, his excitement contagious, "Okay, I remember. It was about some guy that was so mad at this girl and he's like 'Who the fuck do you think you are?' He's just so angry. He's just like 'you left me, left me here deserted.'"

He sat up straighter, his hands moving as he described the song. "Have you ever been in a breakup and go 'Why did they leave me? What did I do wrong?' Then they'll hit you up and it's like 'Fuck… Fuck that bro!' So that's really just the essence of it. A guy and a girl. A girl moves to go chase her dream, and the guy is like why did you leave me. That it could have worked out but now he's just in this room with pink walls."

Hondees isn't particularly fond of the song. His reasoning was, "I think I could've done better vocally. The lyrics are beautiful. When I wrote the song, I remember that the lyrics came to me within ten minutes. It's one of the best songs I've ever written."

He took another sip from his Horchata, "The reason I had to go back and listen to the song is that I forget my lyrics a lot," he explains. Hondees manager, Victor Soria, chimes in, "There are times when I say one of his lyrics-"

Hondees cuts in- "And I'm like 'Yo, who said that dude?'"

Victor rolls his eyes, "I'd tell him 'That was all you bro.' And he'd go 'Really? What song bro?'…"

Hondees laughs, "Yeah, it's cause sometimes it just sounds so good, I just go 'Wow, who said that?'"

The future is promising and exciting.

When asked which is his favorite song he's released so far. He took a while to answer.

I watched as he pondered for an answer, "Give me a second as I run through my soundtrack," he said, staring down at the table. A few moments passed as he finally looked up and said, "I can tell you about the best song I've ever written. This song hasn't come out yet. It's my Mona Lisa."

Though a few moments later, he stated that his favorite song he has released to date is Ven Aquí. A song that holds Spanish components to it. Giving fans a sneak peek into what the future may hold. Though when speaking about the best song he's ever written, excitement engulfed his face.

"We can refer to the song as WTCS. It's my most vulnerable song I've ever made. I'm going to play it for you," he says as he fiddled with his phone, trying to look for the track, "It's another part of my mind that I've never tapped into before. It's a version of me that I've never tapped into. That's why it's my most favorite song I've ever written."

"It's just… a person that I've never tapped into… artistically. Never, ever," As he played the song from his phone, I watched as he closed his eyes and let his head bop to the melody, "I go deep into my mind, my situation. For the first time, I'm writing about what I go through."

The song was released this summer.

Hondees has many goals as a musician. He wishes to use his platform to inspire others. "I want to use my platform to inspire others… Fuck yeah. That's the goal. I think that's the beauty of it. Like you have this platform so why not use it to inspire others?" Hondees grew silent for a moment, collecting his thoughts, "I'm going to leave it at that. With my music, all I want to do is inspire others to just do them. To be themselves. If you have a dream... take it to the moon. Don't be afraid. I want to show others that yeah I did drop out of high school, and no I didn't get my GED and yes I still made it happen and you can too."

All the struggles and obstacles along the way haven't discouraged Hondees. Instead, it has fueled him with determination to persevere in an industry so highly competitive. Never failing to lose his individuality along the way. Components that shape an artist to be utterly unique.

"I want the world to know that… it's okay to be themselves. It's okay to take risks, it's okay to get reckless. Make your dreams come true and don't let anyone intervene with what your heart wants. Follow your heart. I have a lot to say," he laughs, "I also want to thank everybody who supports me. I want to thank Wheaton, Maryland for raising me. Wheaton is my city, it made me who I am. And shoutout to all my struggles, to the ones I have gone through and the ones I will go through."

You can stream Hondees music at the following link:

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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