‘Trust your path. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid of rejection. Don’t be afraid of losing. It’s all in the effort. Anything can really be achieved’.
These are the words of Solomon Salew, otherwise known as TueSoule (Soul Objective Utilise Life Everything). Solomon is an actor, writer, musician and WEYA alumni who’s kicked a lot of goals creatively in the last few years.
As an actor, Solomon has worked in film, television and on stages across the state. Solomon played a lead role in Falling for Sahara, the first African feature film made in Australia, which was showcased at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2011. He appeared in television series Better Man in 2013 and short film Home in 2015.
Solomon is also an MC. ‘I love music that’s fun and healing’ he says, ‘I like creating love music and love making music, exploring different styles’. His soon to be released EP Tru is a mix of influences: Hip Hop, Trap, Pop, RnB, Dancehall, Afrobeat. Tru will follow his mix tape Pay Day, released in 2015.
As a writer he has just finished a collaborative project driven by another alumni of WEYA, Mazna (Geskeva) Komba. AMAK: Narratives from the African Diaspora explores narratives in and around an African-Australian cultural space that is gaining increased acknowledgement. AMAK, presented by cohealth Arts Generator and Arts Centre Melbourne, is showing at the the Arts Centre this Friday 22 and Saturday 23 September, and features Geskeva Komba, Yaw Faso, Ez Eldin Deng, who have all participated in WEYA’s emerging artist programs in the past.
Speaking about where he’s at now, Solomon says:
‘I think my positioning as an artist internally is that I’m at a point where I’m fearless in my approach to my work. As a writer, and as a musician as well, it’s a truthful place I write from.
‘My focus falls at a community level, cos that’s the level where I feel I can contribute to people. I will throw myself at anything with an African narrative. It’s only right for me to be of service to community, because of all the skills and support that I’ve received.
‘As a writer for my community, it’s almost a duty of mine for me to write and tell the stories of people who I feel have real stories that are untold. Many times the platform is just not there. On a community level it is. It may be miniscule, but it’s an opportunity.
Like so many talented young artists working hard to build a creative culture in Melbourne that serves communities, and tells diverse stories, it all started for Solomon with Western Edge Youth Arts. Solomon participated in a WEYA program at his high school, joined the after school program and went on to be a member of one of WEYA’s most successful emerging artist ensemble’s to date. The Flemington Theatre Group produced original works that packed out community and main stage theatre venues, and toured schools around the state.
He remembers the high school WEYA production where the idea of effort and commitment to a creative process clicked for him. The show was called Devil’s Mind. ‘I was such an energetic youth it was very hard for me to focus’, he laughs. And he recalls how one of the WEYA teaching artists was reading off the script and feeding him lines. ‘After that show’, he says, ‘I made the promise to myself that I was never going to be unprepared ever again’.
He has a favourite quote from Denzel Washington: ‘Dreams without goals remain dreams’.
Solomon’s dreams are living and breathing, and WEYA gives him a big high five!
You can get along to AMAK this Friday, 22 Sept (7pm), then head over to Chaser’s Night Club, The Monarq to see TruSoule, the MC, in action (10pm).
You can also catch TruSoule at an event called the Get Down on 21 October.