Grambling, La (KNOE) - Rapper and Grambling State University Graduate Aha Gazelle not only bleeds black and gold but is now going for the gold.
Before fans called him Aha, he was William Fields Jr.
The 24-year-old made his way to Northeast Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina forced his family out of New Orleans.
The unexpected move made fields realize he was different from most kids his age.
"I'm an introvert. If I wasn't doing this I would be a video game nerd," Fields said.
You would never guess by his high energy performances that the 6'6 man is shy. Fields learned how to play the drums, piano, and trumpet by the age of 15.
After high school, he attended Gambling State University. He said his Alma Mater has everything to do with his stage presence.
"It taught me how to perform in front of a crowd. Every time I go to perform someone says it's a tough crowd and I'm like it's not as tough as Grambling," Fields said.
Fields graduated in less than four years with a business degree.
"I wanted to learn something I absolutely did not know anything at all and that's what business was and I'm so glad I did," Fields said.
He quickly found out that the corporate setting was not for him.
"I applied for an enterprise job in Monroe, and I didn't get a job because I performed at a party and she was like 'weren't you that guy performing at the party? And I'm like yea. So, I had the dreads, and you can't have long hair, you know it's a corporate thing. I didn't get the job, but I guess God said no," Fields said.
That rejection made it possible for fields to write and produce two mixtapes, have hundreds of thousands of views on his music videos and be signed to and tour with two-time Grammy winner Lacree.
"It's crazy he just came in the studio and was like 'Yo, it would be dope if you went on tour with me," Fields said.
His family says that love for music has always been there.
"He would beat around with pots and different things. And even when he got a little older in junior high, he would get in trouble for beating on the desk and using pencils and things," Penya Fields, his mother, said.
He turned a skill that got him into trouble into a positive career. The artist has no problem rapping about his love for god or his number one fan, his momma.
"OMG, that's my son on the radio," said Penya. "That song really showed me how much he values me in his life and how much he wants me to be proud of him."
His extended GramFam shows love too. They get a chance to see his face even when he's not there when they pass by his billboard in Ruston.
"You tell everybody your dreams, and they tell you no it can't happen, and you say look," Fields said. "So, hopefully, this encourages others to pursue their dreams relentlessly and not care what anybody else has to say."
Fields said he's working to create a scholarship program for students at GSU to help their dreams come true as well.