To paraphrase Jay-Z, “music should lift you like a light breeze and slide right into your spirit”.
It’s rare to find an artist that can apply their talents to do such a thing. However, Verse Simmonds aka The V.I. Bachelor seems to have found the winning formula. Perhaps it’s his island roots, his strong work ethic, or simply his ability to express exact thoughts and feelings through song. Either way, together they make Verse Simmonds the perfect tropical storm.
Born in Puerto Rico but raised in the Virgin Islands while maturing in Ft. Lauderdale, Verse Simmonds was blessed to be surrounded by a swirl of musical styles that shaped his formative years. Verse explains, “being from the islands, we listened to all types of music from Hip Hop to R&B, Soca to Reggae and Reggaeton and even Top 40. For me, the variety of genres helped to create an understanding of what great music is.” It wasn’t long before Verse, a name he would earn through his consistent songwriting, began his own musical journey. As he puts it, “My passion for music is what I’ve wanted to do my whole life. Some people want to be firefighters. I’ve always wanted to be a singer.”
Verse Simmonds soon gathered his strength like a hurricane and pursued his goal relentlessly. He linked with longtime friend Sham to form the production team, The Jugganauts. After moving to LA in pursuit of his dream of being a top artist and songwriter, Verse was known to “show up” at artist sessions to lend his writing talent when needed. He was great at coming up with classic melodies. Together, he and Sham, were able to get work in LA because in the city of angels artists were in need of both writers and production.
Verse’s work as a singer/songwriter paid off by garnering the attention of Rodney Jerkins (mega producer for Beyoncé, Black Eyed Peas, Michael & Janet Jackson) who helped him ink a deal with Interscope Records. Most artists dream of getting a deal but for Verse, “I didn’t feel like I made it, I felt like it was just the beginning and I had more work to do.” So, he did just that; went to work.
On the strength of his hit song, “Buy You A Round (Up & Down),” Verse remembers, “Me and my team hit the road for almost two years. If we had a place to perform we would drive four hours, eight hours or whatever, it didn’t matter, we would just go. Sometimes, the money part didn’t even balance out.” But, as with every storm, there are dark clouds. Though Verse built a steady fan base and the song spread slowly but surely, at Interscope, Verse felt, “I was going against big people like Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent and Diddy so I wasn’t a priority. I know the record could have been bigger but there are only a certain amount of slots to go around.” As a result, Verse was happily released from the label.
There is always a bright day after the rain. Verse continues to work at his craft and has scored songwriting and production credits on records for Jay-Z/Kanye West’s upcoming Watch The Throne CD, radio stalwart Rihanna’s hit single, “Man Down,” R. Kelly’s “Crazy Night” for his Untitled CD, and an overseas gold album for Capital Records recording artist Accent. In addition to that, with work on Jerry Wonda and Brian Michael Cox releases under his belt, Verse Simmonds is headed in the right direction.
Recently Verse became a proud member of Akon’s KonLive/Bu Vision family. “Akon has built a route for what I where I want to go in this industry and Bu (Senior VP of A&R, Island Def Jam and discovered T-Pain) is taking a big interest in my project to make sure we do it right this time.”
Now, Verse Simmonds’ is set to focus on his new mixtape, Sextape Chronicles 2, hosted by DJ Trauma and DJ Sense. It’s a collection of songs that can best be described by Verse as “music that one can put on with their significant other to set the mood right whether you’re chilling or really getting it in sexually.” But as Verse warns, “I want people to be aware and responsible with sex.” With the lead single, “Boo Thang” featuring Kelly Rowland (Destiny’s Child and Billboard’s #1 song “Motivation”), Verse Simmonds plans to make sure his music isn’t the only thing turned on.
Verse Simmonds concludes, “I just want to be an international success and touch the world with my music.” With such a great spirit, determination, and inspirational music it’s hard not to be blown away by Verse Simmonds.