“The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” REVOLT’s interview series hosted by the company’s esteemed CEO, returned for its third season on April 22. To kick off the new season, the executive invited rising actor Da’Vinchi for a great conversation about evolution.

Following a childhood full of ebbs and flows, the Haitian American got his start in acting after deciding to leverage his natural gift in theater to help him accomplish other goals like being a musician. He loved to write poetry and music, which were ultimately the skills that captured the attention of some movers and shakers in the Hollywood industry when he performed at Diamondz N Da Ruff, a restaurant that JAY-Z’s mom, Gloria Carter, owned.

From there he got a management team, got signed to an agency, and began his journey. His first acting gig was on Netflix’s “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” show, which was followed up by his role on “Grown-ish .” Da’Vinchi continued to flourish in acting and eventually landed on 50 Cent’s hit STARZ series “BMF.” During the conversation with Samuels, the Brooklyn native got candid about how his upbringing impacted his trajectory, making purposeful decisions, how he strategically navigates his career, achieving goals, being aware of his surroundings, and how he ultimately stays on a high vibrational level. Below are seven highlights from the episode. Check them out.

  1. The Impact of the Environment You Grow Up In

Da’Vinchi grew up in poverty in Brooklyn, New York with his siblings. His parents were also divorced. Although his mom raised him, he was mainly reared by his maternal grandparents, whose wisdom he appreciates. The thespian shared with Samuels that his mom did her best to give him and his siblings necessities, but they couldn’t participate in extracurricular activities or afford the latest clothes. Not wanting to be picked on or fight because of their lack of money, they felt forced to choose other routes like dealing and stealing to fit in, which is why the quote “poverty is the mother of all crime” by Benjamin Franklin sticks with him.

“They (his mom and grandparents) just made sure that they met the very basic needs of survival of the child, which is very dangerous,” he explained. “That type of poverty is like your emotional needs as a child is not being met, so it starts to create a monster within… so you gravitated towards the streets. Everything that I had from a certain age up, you know, it was definitely ill-gotten gains from myself and my brothers and whatever.”

  1. Exposure To New Things In A New Location Changed His Outlook On Life

Due to his life in the streets, Da’Vinchi ended up in juvenile detention. In hopes to keep him out of trouble and save his life, his family agreed that it was best for him and one of his brothers to move to Florida with their dad for high school. Seeing a different side of the east coast opened Da’Vinchi’s lens to what the world had to offer. While living in his new home, he realized how much he didn’t truly have or know while he was living in Brooklyn. Because he was seeing more, his expectations on what he could do in life drastically changed. He feels that if he never moved to “The Sunshine State,” his imagination truly wouldn’t have been sparked.

“When I moved to Florida, I was able to see like a real side to life that I never -- and not that it is a real side to life, a different side to life,” the actor explained. “We didn’t know any better, you know?” he added. “Being in that better environment, going to a predominantly white high school… it changed everything and it made me realize where I come from.”

  1. Letting Adversity Be The Fuel To Catapult You, Not Take You Down

One time during class, Da’Vinchi said something to one of his Black peers and a white girl named Megan corrected his misuse of a word. Other kids in the class started laughing, which made him feel embarrassed. English was not his first language, so after being made the butt of a joke because of how he spoke, a fire was lit inside him.

“They judged my intelligence based off of how I [spoke]. I was like, ‘Okay, so I got to start changing it up.’ I was like, ‘I can speak like y’all if I want to,” he said to himself, determined to flip the narrative.

To become better at English, he started immersing himself in books, YouTube, and whatever other available resources he had access to, to educate himself.

  1. Reading Is A Fundamental Key To Success

After hearing the quote, “If you want to hide anything from a Black man, put it in a book,” Da’Vinchi was determined to read more than ever before. His senior year in high school, he began reading self-help books, which were more interesting to him than the books the school system assigned. Reading expanded his mind. Each book he picked up, the more Da’Vinchi became inspired to learn more, which helped him make the decision to pursue the arts full-time.

“As I was reading, I was just like, ‘Whoa, like, all these things is making me a better man, a better person,” he told Samuels. “So, that's what started changing my trajectory. I wanted to be a better human being.”

  1. Four Books Da’Vinchi Recommends
  1. Mental Health Is Essential To Living A Happier And Peaceful Life

As someone who began to work on himself during his teenage years, Da’Vinchi knew he wanted to give back to his community. Due to his complex upbringing, the star recognizes how a marginalized group such as Black Americans, who have a history of trauma in the United States, need a lot of healing.

“From 17 to 27 every day, or probably 95 percent of all those days within that 10 years, I would wake up [and] listen to something positive. I would meditate. I would read my affirmations, read mantras, go to sleep, same thing,” he revealed.

Da’Vinchi also speaks about why self-care is important at different universities, festivities, and other mental health events. “I don’t want these people to think I made it here by just luck or he was just snapped from whatever or he knew someone and that’s what happened,” he said regarding him being a mental health awareness advocate. “It’s like no, I’ve spent hours and years, over a decade now, working on myself.”

  1. What You Feed Your Spirit Can Heavily Impact Your Perspective

One of the keys Da’Vinchi credits to keeping his mind and spirit in a great state is that he doesn’t soak up everything the media or society feeds the public. Because he’s focused on constantly evolving, he pays attention to what he spends his time doing. He believes what you take in, you start to become, which is why he delayed creating a platform on social media until he got his role on “Grown-ish.”

“I literally put myself in my own rehab, not for drugs, but because of the other influences in my environment, and that made me a better man,” he shared. “And in doing that, you know, my vision was clear.”

To watch Da’Vinchi’s full episode of “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” click here.