Founder, Anthony “Dulaa” Holmes forged his compelling story into a remarkable career. As an urban youth in Memphis, Tennessee, his early life experiences presented dangerous challenges. Although not a stranger to gang activity and violence, Dulaa has defied the odds and broken the statistical mold to emerge as a leader.
Upon realizing his musical gifts and talents, in his early years as an artist, writer, and producer, Dulaa gained the respect of many in the music industry. A savvy business owner of the Memphis based recording studio, Reality Records, Dulaa had the opportunity to open for a lot of major artist.
However, this success and industry exposure left him contemplating the messages he was sending. Dulaa realized that he was using his God given gift of music to proliferate images that furthered negative urban stereotypes, upheld violent ideals, and damaged the mindset of audiences. Dulaa fought with that for years, straddling the fence with his gift, and started to infuse positive themes.
Through this period, he created and released a double CD called Komplex Feelings which featured songs of turmoil and uplift. His other album, TIME, was the album he later used to testify and start the healing process.
“One thing I can say about me is I always wrote from the heart and when I made negative songs I meant it and I lived whatever I talked about in the songs. I said Dulaa stands for REAL and how am I being real by promoting something that I would not want any of my folks to go through”, says Dulaa. Dulaa has gone on to state that “Then it was like an amazing change of heart. I started thinking about my son and the kids who listen to me. That was God’s way of calling and getting me ready to accept a higher standard of responsibility, and be used on a whole new higher level, without me even knowing it”.
It was an in-studio reckoning that God chose to start to using Dulaa, at a time when people were beginning to take advantage of his emerging new lease on life. Through all adversities, he gives tirelessly to the purpose of reaching young people by example.
As a born-again believer, who understands that his integrity, character, and standards must be higher as a role model and influential musical talent, he offers a model for young people to emulate. Dulaa, through Reality Records, produces real and positive music that relates to and inspires today’s youth through their own musical and cultural dialect.
His commitment to enlarging the vision, encouraging and supporting others, while still maintaining the look and feel of many living within inner city communities, creates a relatable inspiration that proves that if he can do it, so can they.
Through the U Can Be Movement, children and youth are now being given unique opportunities, they otherwise, would not have. Through U Can Be they are able to cooperatively work with peers in creating and maintaining various programs, together within their schools, featuring their various talents and strengths, fostering their growth and development. Utilizing unique and effective curricula, and various cooperative modalities, they are even able to explore their musical talents in creating songs about their schools and communities that they can, in turn, take pride in, and even participate in being recorded or a part of the, seemingly distant and unattainable, “successful” music scene and video arena, which for many is nothing short of a dream come true.
Through U Can Be, because of Dulaa’s unique style and the commitment, ability, and wisdom of others on his team such as Hank Johnson, who handles much of the engineering, the U Can Be Movement is able to usher communications and camaraderie with business owners, professionals, and other mentors, that appeal to and engage youth in a pervasive way.