From an early age, actor and dancer Jacob Latimore knew he wanted to be involved with music. Latimore tells Complex, “it was almost scary, how young I was and I knew exactly what I wanted to do.” Raised in Milwaukee, Wis., Latimore first got the bug after watching the movie The Temptations, developing a deep love for the sounds and styles of early Motown groups that was only furthered by the support of his father and uncles.

From that moment on, music would become Latimore’s lifeblood, as he would spend hours rehearsing everyday, dancing, singing into a TV controller that stood in place of a microphone. He claims this obsession is how he got to where he is, explaining that, “it’s not just about talent, the hard work has to come in too.”

Producing his first song at the eager age of 9-years-old, “Best Friend” became a sleeper hit after it was picked up by Radio Disney’s incubator program and would launch the preteen into stardom. A move from Milwaukee to Atlanta also influenced the young renaissance man, who would fall into acting in the years to come.

To date, Latimore has put out three mixtapes, one full-length album, and starred in numerous TV and movie roles. His latest offering, Sleight, sees Latimore taking on a lead role as a young street magician who has to harness his abilities to save his little sister after falling in with the wrong crowd. But for Latimore, all of his efforts are connected, there’s a thread that brings all of his talents together and it comes from the hustle. “Stay consistent, stay hardworking, put your mind to it,” Latimore offers to others trying to follow in his path, adding that it’s “easier said than done, but it works.”