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Zach Vaughn, who has lived in the Mount Union area all his life, got involved with writing songs at the age of 12 or 13, but said he only did it to release feelings and never really considered taking it seriously.

However, the young man’s raps - released in video form on social media - created a large following. The great response has made Vaughn hopeful of being discovered in the music world, to continue to express himself on a larger scale.

“I started writing a lot, but it was never something I considered taking seriously,” said Vaughn. “Only really to release a lot of pent-up depression and anger. I went through a lot of traumatic experiences when I was younger and faced some hardships. Music was where I found sanctuary; writing, more than anything is where I found sanctuary.”

Vaughn released a video a few months ago about his cousin and best friend that lost her life when he was five and his nephew who had passed away near the time of the video’s release. That video got around 10,000 views, and the response was phenomenal.

“Everyone was telling me to pursue it more seriously,” he explained. “Now, it has blossomed into what it is today; pretty wild and very cool. There was never a time I planned to pursue it seriously and really only ever posted that video for my family and friends who were mourning those losses with me. I just wanted people to relate.”

When people showed so much love and appreciation, Vaughn said he decided, “why not?”

The 19-year old Vaughn is the son of Gene and Christine Vaughn. He has 5 brothers and 1 sister. He has lived in the same house in Shirleysburg until moving out on his own recently in Mount Union.

“It was a simple childhood, nothing wild or out of place,” he said. “I had a stable home, just a lot of difficult losses with family members and friends, so I was misbehaved. I got in a lot of trouble growing up at school and with the cops and everything. I started to calm down a lot more as high school came into the picture, and I started maturing a lot for sure. I wasn’t a bad student, I just never took it as seriously as I should have.”

“I’m just a basic kid who has a burning passion for music,” Vaughn emphasized. “There truly isn’t much to tell.”

Definitely described as humble, Vaughn told this reporter during the interview that he didn’t want to come across as better than anyone else or having more. His self-described ‘huge heart’ was evident in his friendly, easily approachable demeanor.

“The people I keep close to me also keep me close to them for the fact I bend over backwards for people,” he said. “I’ve got a huge heart, but break my trust and it’s never given back. This world will burn any hand that gets too close to the flame.”

Self-motivated, Vaughn is on his own and works at First Quality in Lewistown. He is hoping his music and writing will help him become even more successful and allow him to take care of those he loves the most.

“I want to become someone in music,” said Vaughn. “I want to spread my passion with everyone who wants to be part of it. Right now it’s just a grind to keep putting out good content and see where it goes. I’m working on getting music on the big platforms and hopefully get discovered, which is the biggest part.”

Growing up with the Instagram tag as Profit, Vaughn has chosen to go by Th3 Pr0f1t, and said angel 301 stands for self-expression, which is important to him. He has been appreciative that others have enjoyed his music, but said he can’t care less if people don’t want to listen, either.

“It’s breathtaking, heartwarming even,” he said. “Posting my first video was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I was so worried about hate, and got the complete opposite. Of course, there are people who don’t enjoy it, but they are outnumbered by the love I get. It is so cool how I interact with people from all over.”

Vaughn continued: “The biggest thing I want people to understand is I don’t make this music for everyone else. I’m glad they like it, but it’s my therapy.”

His latest song, “Beautiful,” is about seeing the beauty in life and what people feel, but might not say. “All of my songs and my rap videos are about real things I’ve gone through and encountered that others could also relate to if they just changed the name or switched the situation slightly. People relate to me, that’s why I think I have a fan base.”

Although he hasn’t hit the large recording studio yet, it’s a goal, and his fans certainly are hoping he gets there sooner than later. That base is growing daily, as he has also established a clothing line.

“So, there is a brand out there called ‘misfit,’ which is basically a brand for people who see themselves as different or stand out,” Vaughn explained. “I decided to go with oddball as my brand. It’s more than a brand or clothing line – it’s a movement. It’s just about you being you, and nobody can take that away from you. People can call you weird or whatever they want, but you always have a family in the oddballs.”

Sales are going well on the clothing line, and Vaughn is proud that people understand it’s about being yourself. He said he is proud that people ‘get it,’ and is motivated by several factors.

“My family and friends are absolutely my motivators,” said the young musician. “Seeing their excitement when I accomplish another milestone or break boundaries everyone said I couldn’t is so amazing. I just want to make them proud and I won’t stop until I do.”

Vaughn is a rarity in the region, becoming quite popular with raps and music. His freestyle raps tell the stories about loss of loved ones, break-ups, painful situations and things that he says people feel and think, but don’t address.

“They are really just me rapping based off of the mood I’m in,” he said. “Usually, when I’m a bit more upset, it’s my therapy, stress reliever. I’ve never had any help writing any of my music and never will.”

And, it’s obvious his heart and soul are in his writing and music. He said he will continue to strive to ‘come into’ his own music, grow, and hopefully gain more exposure and notoriety.

Until then, Vaughn is proud to be a small-town guy with a large heart.. and just as large dreams.