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Alabama State University Alumnus Nominated for an MTV Video Music Award (643 hits)

Those who are plugged into social media feeds just might have recognized the work of a talented local artist who graduated from Alabama State University and who just got a nomination nod for an MTV Video Music Award (VMA's).

On July 16, MTV released its list of 2018 nominees for its coveted VMA's and amongst that list of nominees was a member of the Hornet Nation, Vanda Jones III, known to Hollywood as "Vanda Lee," who is a 2010 graduate of ASU. He was nominated for Best Latin Video, which is titled "Maluma "Felices los 4," which translates in English as “Happy the 4 of Us.”

Lee said that he and Jessy Terrero directed and produced the video. Among the crew helping Lee were two more ASU alumni -- production assistant Nicholas Reynolds (ASU '10) and production assistant Travon Evans (ASU '17).

In discussing his personal philosophy for the success that helped him obtain the coveted MTV VMA nomination, Lee said “In order to produce a good harvest you must plant a good seed and water it; not all will grow and some may die, but keep at it.”

The 31-year-old Mobile native, who now lives in Los Angeles (L.A.), said some music videos can be impressive works of art and using the right team is important.

“I’ve worked with both director Jessy Terrero and Maluma before, so it was only right that they would bring me on board to complete the team,” Lee said. “As a producer, I’m responsible for hiring the best players to make a strong team. Both young men Reynolds and Evans are hard workers, so I made it possible to bring them on board.”

Lee graduated from Alabama State University with a Bachelor of Science in psychology/minor in biology degrees only to end up committing to the life of a music producer.

“In 2008, a film crew from L.A. came to ASU to shoot a short film titled ‘Montgomery’ and that’s where I landed my first production assistant job,” Lee said.

His journey to success started from ASU's campus and now Lee has gained national attention for his behind-the-screen works as a television/film producer in Hollywood, which is now magnified due to his MTV nomination.

LEE'S MUSIC BACKGROUND
Lee says that he was introduced to music and entertainment at an early age.

“Around the age of 6, I would always be the one to entertain family and friends when we had gatherings,” Lee said. “At that moment, I knew that I wanted to pursue entertainment, but being from the South, entertainment was not a career option for my family.”

Since his early days with family, he has excelled in entertaining millions world-wide, as Lee has produced movies and videos for Latin and American artists among such as Maluma, Prince Royce, Toni Braxton, Tamar Braxton, T.I., Nicki Minaj, Migos, Cardi B, Lil Yachty, 2 Chainz, and has more in the making.

“I have several projects currently in post-production,” Lee said.

When he is not working, Lee enjoys traveling the world and spending time with family and friends.

He remains connected and devoted to his alma mater. From his first breaks in television and film, he has stayed in touch with his ASU professors and classmates. He has even found time to serve as the president of the Los Angeles Alumni Association of Alabama State University.

When asked about the University, he sent a message back to the campus.

“To Dr. Tonea Stewart, Brian Martin and Ramona Ward, thanks for pushing and molding me into the arts,” Lee said.

HELP LEE WIN HIS MTV AWARD
The MTV VMA's will broadcast the awards show on Aug 20. To support Lee, Alabama State University's family and friends can vote online for him at http://www.mtv.com/vma/vote/
Posted By: Reginald Culpepper
Thursday, July 26th 2018 at 4:28PM
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