The power of youth is the common wealth for the entire world. The faces of young people are the faces of our past, our present and our future. No segment in the society can match with the power, idealism, enthusiasm and courage of the young people.
- Kailash Satyarthi -
Rudolph has, at age 22, already made quite a name and presence for himself in the creative sphere. A prolific film photographer, his portfolio is rife with evidence of his talents. His original music is available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play as well as other streaming outlets. He released an album, Pulp, in 2018, and has already released two singles in 2019 - Blossom and About a Crush. He also maintains a strong online and social media presence on Instagram and Twitter and is officially signed and represented by Adolescent Content - a Gen Z Advertising and Marketing Agency.
Tenny is part of the next generation of creatives that are eager, willing, and prepared to change the culture on their own terms, one creative project and production at a time - and they're not waiting around for or asking your permission to do so.
It's my absolute pleasure to have you with us! Please introduce yourself to our readers...
Hi!! My name is Tenny Rudolph and I am a film photographer and singer born, raised, and based out of Jacksonville, Florida! I focus mostly on highlighting the youth in my community and city and have a strong passion for breaking societal standards.
Tell us about the motivation for your focus and what made you choose film photography as your main medium.
A lot of people don’t understand that Jacksonville is full of so many young creatives that are overshadowed. Highlighting them, being able to showcase talented artists/youth in Jax through my photography, and capturing their individuality is my motivation. I chose film photography over digital because I was intrigued by the process of capturing and developing film. Occasionally I’ll shoot on digital but film is my main niche.
You're also an R&B singer - what draws you to that particular genre of music and who are some of your musical muses?
I’ve always put myself in the R&B category. Even while growing up and wanting to make music, I knew R&B was my lane. Although I do eventually want to do even more and branch out to different genres - I think being versatile is great. As for my muses, I admire Frank Ocean so much! He’s one of my inspirations as well as Al Green and Luther Vandross! So many other artists as well - too many to name!
Tell us about some of your current, upcoming, or most prominent projects and/or collaborations.
Im currently working on a new EP that I’ll be releasing during the Spring/Summer of 2019. I don't yet have a specific date but that’s definitely in the works. You can expect an art show from me and six of my friends this Spring as well... I’m also working on producing a solo show for my work and music - more details to come on that!
Where and at what point in your life did you begin to express yourself as an artist?
I honestly wasn’t as creative as I am now when I was growing up. It wasn't until around the 10th or 11th grade in high school when I started expressing myself with fashion and exploring my individuality and artistic expression a lot more. I went to school in Orlando for like a year and felt myself drifting away from [my] creativity but when I got back to Jax in 2016 I started exploring even more. Around the end of 2017 or the beginning of 2018, I stopped caring about toxic masculinity and the societal standards imposed upon myself and my peers. I wanted to express myself however I chose. Whether it was by choosing to wear eyeshadow or black nail polish or the type of clothes I liked. As a creative that was important to me - here I was expressing myself through my work but not with myself! I finally started feeling free to express myself in whatever way felt real and authentic to who I was and I've decided I’m never gonna slow down again! (laughs)
What are your goals and dreams for your artistry?
My goal is to help. It’s to provide reassurance that Jacksonville can be creative. I want to be part of developing and making sure that we have many creative spaces available here for young artists. I also want to be a household name one day! (laughs) As far as my music goes, I want everybody to feel what I feel in the process of making beautiful tunes.
Do you feel that Jacksonville provides adequate or ample space and resources to help you foster and develop your artistry? If there was one thing you would like to see more of in the way of artistic support in Jacksonville, what would it be?
I honestly have to say yes - adequate, not ample - but yes. I’ve been blessed with so many opportunities in this city and I’m thankful for that. I will say that we need more. A lot of these upcoming events are being created by the artists themselves because of the lack of assistance or resources. Artists don’t have time to wait around anymore - we want it bad and we can’t wait for somebody to just give it to us. I think the biggest thing we lack here are creative spaces. AFFORDABLE creative spaces. We want to create and grow our city but we have nowhere to do it. Or, if there is a space to create, your average 16 - 24 year old artist can’t afford it. Our options are limited at best. We’re the future and it’s time that we get treated as such.
How do you feel about the art scene in Jacksonville, specifically as it pertains to the realm of Black/Brown and LGBTQ Culture?
I feel like it’s grown a lot from when I was in high school going to Art Walk. We’re in the South so this shit is FULL of bigots and ignorant folks who are so opposed to people expressing themselves. So seeing people like me and my friends expressing themselves means the world to me. It all feels like we’re a family out here just wanting to be creative and make changes. The scene is growing so much and I have a good feeling about where we’re gonna end up.
What do you feel are the significant differences and similarities between artistic development and expression in your generation compared to the generations before yours?
I feel like in this generation we’re more open to acceptance and taking risks. It’s more diverse in a lot of ways. That also could be due to us now having social media and being able to express ourselves freely. Honestly growing up in the South, there's a huge difference from other generations. I'm honestly often surprised at how accepting people are now.
What have you learned about yourself through your artistry and career?
I've learned so much about Expression and Identity. I’ve never felt more comfortable with myself and the way I move and the way I express myself. It means so much to me because I struggled with my identity a lot so being in this current state makes me extremely happy. I’ve also learned to not accept every opportunity from everybody. Everything isn't good for you, ya know? You don’t have to do EVERYTHING. Take breaks and breathe!
We'd like to thank Tenny for his participation in this interview. We'd also like to thank you for reading.
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