Meet Media Personality, TV Host and TV star Yonathan Elias. Whose story goes through all aspects of entertainment. As a First generation US citizen, Yonathan has used his talents to create the man we know and see today. Hailing from the rough neighborhoods of Inglewood, Yonathan has made it his mission to become a household sensation.
TMP: Take us back when did your background in entertainment begin?
YE: I remember the day I told my mother at the age of 15 that I wanted to be in entertainment and she said “Hell no. You want to be a doctor!” I used that as motivation to get my own car at 16 and drive myself to auditions to prove to her and the rest of the family that I was made for the entertainment industry! That’s when I booked my first gig as one of the main Soul Train dancers! And that’s where it all began!
TMP: Your career is coming full forced before our eyes, how are you handling the exposure and success?
YE: I take it a day at a time. This has been my dream since I first knew I wanted to be in this industry. Almost 20 years later, I’m finally getting the exposure and acknowledgment I knew I was destined for. It’s an amazing feeling and I stay grounded and humbled. I take it as a blessing because I’ve worked so hard for it. But I’m no where close to being done. Get used to seeing my name!
TMP: You call yourself the Black Ryan Searcrest, how did you come up with that title?
YE: I came up with calling myself the Black Ryan Seacrest because that’s what I aspire to be. Law of attraction! Put it out there! I will be the next Multi Media Mogul and I look up to the career Ryan Seacrest has built. From hosting and producing to taking over the Fashion industry, I look up to all of that. That will be me!
TMP: What do you think have been your keys to success?
YE: Always pushing further, Consistent work and stronger work ethics
TMP: You're Nigerian & Ethiopian, how do you think your culture has contributed to your ambition?
YE: My culture is my brand. Being 1st generation in the United States and being able to represent for SO many AFRICANS who want to follow their dreams and aspirations is a dream come true. Knowing the obstacles and all the “no’s” I’ve received just to get here, is motivation to be the inspiration for people to never give up on their dreams no matter what anyone says!
TMP: What is your motto you live by?
YE: My motto I live by is to never give up and be confident in what you do. If you don’t believe in yourself then no one will. If I gave up because of the hardships I’ve endured such as sleeping in my car and having to work extra hard to prove to your family that they didn’t risk their lives to come to the US and sacrifice everything for nothing, then I wouldn’t be where I am today. Today, my family not only supports me, but I have made them proud, which is more than money and fame.
TMP: You were seen every week on BET on TI's "Grand Hustle", how did this opportunity come about?
YE: Being on BETs Grand Hustle was probably the best decision I have ever made. I completed the application online (which took 3 hours) and got an email right away requesting a Skype interview. The producer loved my personality and story, but said that I would be first priority for second season unless someone didn’t pass the background check for the first season. I got a call the day before asking if I could come to ATL ASAP because someone didn’t pass. I took the opportunity and I immediately got placed on the cast for this season. It was all God’s work!
TMP: What did the experience teach you and what is it like?
YE: The experience of being on BET’s Grand Hustle taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to. I’m not going to lie; every time TI came down to give us our new challenge, I would think to myself “I cant do this ish!” Only because he asked us to do stuff that required knowledge and experience that I had NONE of. But I always came on top and earned the respect from a hip hop legend! I mean, TI called me a SUPERSTAR. WHAT MORE DO I NEED?!
TMP: What tips would you give to an up and coming entrepreneur on the rise?
YE: The tips I give any Entrepreneur on the rise is my motto, never give up and be confident in what you do. There is no substitute for hard work. Nothing good comes easy, so put in the work and don’t rely on a helping hand because only you can keep yourself from greatness. Also, research! Just because you think you know it, doesn’t mean that you do. Never be too cocky in your craft. Everybody can always learn more!
TMP: What is next for you?
YE: I just finished my off Broadway musical debut. That was the best feeling ever because I opened up and expanded my work as an actor. I wrote a TV series called Bruk’s Brothers that will be filmed in 2019. Nothing but greatness is in my future and I’m so excited to share it with the world.
TMP: What would you have done with $100,000?
YE: If I won the $100,000, I would’ve definitely invested it. I also would have taken my family on a big trip because if it weren’t for their love, I don’t know what or who I would’ve been. They are my motivation, my rock, my everything. After investing, and having some fun, I would have started my fashion line as well. But that just means that God has another journey for me and I am ready to take it!
TMP: Do you have a facebook, instagram, and website?
YE: My IG and Twitter is @YonathanEliasTVAnd my Facebook is Facebook.com/YonathanElias1911