Shain Romanowski, better known by the stage name A Certain Energy, is a hip hop artist from Fort Wayne, Indiana and a U.S. Marine veteran.
As an entrepreneur, music artist and brand ambassador what differentiates you from everyone else in your field?
Shain: I guess the simplest way of saying this is my stage name A Certain Energy. My own stage name is a brand itself. For example, we can say “oh that guy has a certain type of energy to him. The more simplistic way of saying it is “oh that guy has a certain energy to him.” which is my stage name, to say the least. I find that crazy, because it can become such a common saying, and if someone that says it commonly and listens to my art? Man, talk about free promotion every day. Everyone will say they work hard, they put in the time and work, they’re humble. Honestly, what makes me different is the fact I write my music for me. Not to sound selfish, but I truly do write this music for myself. MBS Clothing Co. Founder Chris Cruzcheco told me once that “the only person that matters when it comes to making music is yourself. You shouldn’t cater to the fans when you make it. This is your art. You should be able to appreciate your art more, and not rely on what the fans think. If your fans were true fans, then they would stick with it regardless of the situation at hand. If you don’t love your music, then what kind of art are you creating?” Now that hit me deeply when he told me that, but at the same time that is my philosophy and has been for quite some time.
What is your inspiration for what you do?
Shain: Daily life is my inspiration for everything. I just recently moved downtown in my hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and I love the fact I have a city view from all angles. Every day when I wake up to me sitting down eating dinner at night I get to see the city move. Everyone is out doing something. Everyone is out doing something with their lives no matter how big or small the task is. That right there is an inspiration to me. The daily lives of people that go about their day inspire me to keep it moving and write about it.
What would you say to someone who came to you for advice about taking ‘the leap of faith’ into the rap industry?
Shain: The first thing I would say is “don’t be afraid of failure” honestly. I would highlight that in all sorts of stand-out colors to make sure my point gets across. Everyone fails. We are human. We are supposed to fail because failure is a road trip to wisdom. Sure you can read through books, take advice, watch others conquer or fail. But the best way to do this is by trial and error from yourself directly. Failure is how I got here. The weirdest, but most accurate way to say it.
We often hear stories that make it seem like someone was an overnight success when really there were setbacks and stumbles along the way. Why do you think it’s valuable to be candid about both failure and success?
Shain: As I said earlier, failure makes you who you are. This establishes your views not only as an artist but as a person as well. Both are important, but I will stick with what I said earlier. Failure is the most important thing in any field it comes to, so you can gain wisdom for later.
What is your personal definition of success?
Shain: My personal definition of success? Success can be many things. I personally find that success can be as simple as making your bed before starting your day. Another way for success is creating a song. This term “success” can be used for just about anything, and it should be because any victory is a victory. Even if that victory is small.