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December Cover April Washington-Essex

PUBLISHER’S NOTE ‘Tis the Season, Let’s Not End the Year in Fear nce again, we’re into the holiday season. It’s another chance to thank God for seeing us safely through to the end of another year. It’s also a time to reflect on what’s important in life— family, friends and the God-given capacity to live out our purpose and dreams without FEAR. Appreciating our loved ones is easy for most of us but operating free of fear, well that’s more of a challenge. If we could only see ourselves through the eyes of God, we would be so amazed. We are awesome beings. We are phenomenal people. We are exceptional at all that we do. We are God’s property which in itself makes us priceless. With God, there’s nothing we cannot achieve. Our dreams are within our grasp even if they sometimes seem unattainable, and our purpose is ever before us because God gave it to us and ingrained it within us. The only thing holding us back is FEAR. I’ve heard fear referred to as “False Evidence Appearing Real” because it bluffs us and causes us to doubt everything we know God has already ordained us to do. Remember, fear prevents us from doing GREAT things! God has not given us the spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). If you are going to walk on the water you must step out of the boat (Matthew 14:29). Step into your destiny... live your purpose!! Happy Holidays!

December 2010 / Vol. 3 No. 5

PUBLISHER Ace Alexander EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Louise M. Moore ASSISTANT TO PUBLISHER Alicia Baiden Nicole Doldron EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Michelle Slater TEAM OF EXPERTS Adrian Anderson Tina A. Fears Kathy Grant Angela D. Green, Esq. Dileesa Hunter Roderick Jemison Nicole B. Simpson, CFP Chris Squire Mark A. Williams, M.D., Ph.D. COLUMNISTS Linda Berthier Wanda Patterson ADVERTISING LTL Entertainment LLC AIRPLAY 360 Online Magazine published monthly www.airplay360.com

Copyright © 2008-2010 Airplay 360 Online Magazine, Airplay 360 Media & Entertainment / The Ace Alexander Company INTL

Ace Alexander Publisher/Founder

Ace Alexander is a national music director and radio personality. He is a recipient of the Central South Distribution REACH Award. He is a two-time nominee for the R&R / Billboard Achievement Awards for Radio Personality and National Music Director of the Year and a 2010 Radio Stellar Award nominee. He is also a Music & Entertainment Consultant and Founder of Airplay 360 www.airplay360.com

Reproduction, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited. Readers are free to forward this web magazine to friends and colleagues. DISCLAIMER: The articles and resources in AIRPLAY 360 are not intended to be a substitute for professional consultations. While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this web magazine, neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.


December 2010


INSIDE December 2010

Contents 3

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: ‘Tis the Season, Let’s Not End the Year in Fear - Ace Alexander


LEGAL BRIEF: Listen Up Indies, Are Your Taxes in Order? by Angela D. Green, Esq.


COVER STORY: April Washington-Essex – Creating Indie Record Label Success by Nicole Doldron

13 YOUR FINANCES: Financial Breakthrough! It’s All in Your Gift by Nicole B. Simpson, CFP On the Cover: Brian Courtney Wilson

14 INDIE ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Cheneta Jones by Louise M. Moore 17 VOCAL HEALTH: How Singers Should Cope During Cold & Flu Season by Mark A. Williams MD PhD 18 YOUR CAREER: 10 Rules You Must Live By by Adrian Anderson 23 INTERNATIONAL: Internet Radio Has Potential to Impact Canadian Gospel Industry by Kathy Grant

On the Cover: Label Executive April Washington-Essex Photography by Roy Cox Photography S


INDIE Artist Spotlight

Why YOUR Gift is the Answer


13by Nicole B. Simpson, CFP 4

December 2010





Legal Brief Listen Up Independent Artists: Are Your Taxes in Order? BY ANGELA D. GREEN, ESQ.

here are many artists who are so engrossed in the creative side of their business or trying to make a living, that they sometimes neglect the administrative side of their business. One important administrative job is paying taxes. As an independent artist you are running your own small business. Artists produce their own product (music, compact discs, posters, t-shirts, etc.) for sale directly to consumers and contract their services as a performer, producer or recording artist to name a few. Even though you do not have an employer taking your taxes out for you, Uncle Sam still expects his share of the pie. It is important that you develop healthy practices now, in the beginning, before you start making the large sums of money. There is a reason why many artists are audited by the Internal Revenue Service. Some of them have been forced to sell their homes, personal belongings and achievement awards to pay delinquent taxes.

“Even though you do not have an employer taking your taxes out for you, Uncle Sam still expects his share of the pie.� Find a good tax preparer who can help you stay on the right side of the law. As your business grows, you may need the services of a payroll company. Either professional will be a lot cheaper than a tax attorney. The articles and/or legal tips provided by Angela Green, Esq. are for informational purposes only, concerning general legal principles. You should consult your legal counsel for answers to specific legal questions. Angela Green is an entertainment Attorney in Memphis, Tennessee and also part owner of Key II Entertainment which is an artist management company. She is also founder and CEO of music publishing and registration service Positioned for Millions. www.positionmenow.com

LEGAL TERMS EVERY ARTIST SHOULD KNOW Sample Clearance The authorized use of a copyrighted sound recording to be incorporated into a new composition. www.airplay360.com


December 2010


“The writing of the business plan (for Habakkuk Music) took two days. I was so driven, it was as if I was not writing. I could not sleep. . . . I guess that’s what the Lord means by ‘Write the vision and make it plain.’ ”


pril Washington-Essex is an astounding force in the music industry. As the visionary, owner and CEO of independent gospel record label Habakkuk Music and promotions, marketing and special events firm Threefold Music Group, Inc. she is making an indelible mark in the gospel music industry. This year, Habakkuk Music was one of the most successful independent gospel record labels with its artist Lisa Page Brooks reaching #1 on Billboard’s Gospel Singles Charts. Habakkuk’s very first artist, Jessica Greene, won the 2009 Stellar Award for Best New Artist and label mates James Grear as well as Brooks have received 2011 Stellar Award nominations. I had the opportunity recently to interview April and discover more about the origin, mission and success of her businesses. ND: How did you come to start Habakkuk Music and what is its mission? AWE: The Lord gave the business plan for Habakkuk Music to me inspirationally in 1996 while I was employed at RCA Loud Records, a primarily secular music group. The Lord pressed on my spirit to resign, which I did not understand but ironically, all of my drive was drying up. The day I resigned I was endowed with wisdom to do the business plan. At the time record labels were not interested. Later, a colleague of mine from my years in the secular music industry, Rhoda Lawrence who later became Vice President of the Universal Music Christian Distribution Group, said that they were launching into gospel. She asked me if I had a record label. I had one on paper! So I made a couple of changes and sent her the business plan as well as a demo of music. That was three years ago and since then Habakkuk has won many accolades. I guess that is what the Lord means by, “Write the vision and make it plain.” ND: Why did you choose the name Habakkuk? AWE: The writing of the business plan took two days and I was so driven it was as if I was not writing. I could not sleep. When I was finished the


Habakkuk recording artist Lisa Page Brooks’ hit song “I Want to Say Thank You” reached #1 this year on Billboard’s Gospel Singles Chart .

Lord said to open up the Bible. When I did, it was on Habakkuk 2:14 which reads, “Cover the earth with the knowledge of the glory of God.” I knew then that would be our mission. ND: I see you have worked with many record labels, could you tell me what makes Habakkuk Music different from other gospel music record labels? AWE: We are very passionate about the artists we sign and consequently release. It is very competitive in the gospel music industry and this quality is very important. For instance, as seen with Lisa Page Brooks whose record we were working on for a year. It took some time to get her song “I Want To Say Thank You” on the Billboard charts. We do not give up on our artists. Another thing is we do not put a lot of product out at once. We space our products out and pace ourselves. Most importantly, we are selective about what the message is. The music must “cover the earth with the glory of God.” We aim for everyone from a baby to a scholar to experience God through our music. APRIL WASHINGTON-ESSEX Continued Page 10


December 2010



ND: Of course, I know that in addition to Habakkuk Music, you also own Threefold Music Group Inc. Tell me a little bit about the type of services it offers to artists. AWE: Threefold Music Group Inc. is the parent company for Habakkuk Music and was started in 1997 for marketing, promotions and special events for faithbased/gospel interests. We started doing independent radio promotions for Shekinah Glory Ministries, Mighty Clouds of Joy, Bishop David G. Evans, Vickie Winans and CeCe Winans to name a few. We also do major events such as concerts and conferences.

“You may not get that break you think you deserve at the time you think you deserve it…if you are committed, it will come to fruition.” ND: As a successful record executive, what advice do you have for aspiring gospel artists? AWE: Start where you are. Be committed to what you do .You may not get that break you think you deserve at the time you think you deserve it. However, if you are committed, it will come to fruition. Remember that we are called to the assignments that we are. It is true that everyone is recording CDs, but to promote your product nationally involves time away from family and your church. It may not be for you. Get with God to know if this is your calling because you may be needed in your church or community. Be prayerful and stay passionate. To have your music personally reviewed by April Washington-Essex, send requests to april@habakkukmusic.com.


December 2010



Your Finances Financial Breakthrough! It’s All in YOUR GIFT BY NICOLE B. SIMPSON, CFP

want to speak to those individuals who desire more than a traditional job. Working from 9 to 5 simply isn't enough. You have the inability to maintain a viable standard of living because you are forced to live from paycheck to paycheck. Toward the end of each month, you become stressed and filled with anxiety. You have dreams, desires, goals and a gift that can help you achieve everything you desire and more! How do you know when your gift is the conduit to your financial freedom? Furthermore, how do you create a business out of your gift? I am reminded of a very good friend of mine who realized that at an early age, she was quite gifted at doing hair and making both men and women look beautiful. Not only did she make them look good, they left her company feeling special as well. Separately, I was working with an individual who desired to write a book about what parents experience when dealing with disabled children. That experience coupled with her compassion for animals being therapeutic for disabled individuals made her focus on an invention matching people with a disability to a four-legged animal that compliments their medical ailments. Here is an example of a gift creating a revenue stream. My friend is now a salon owner making well over $200,000 annually. My client had an experience that affected her so much; she wanted to make the experience easier for the next person to be affected. Needless to say, the inventor is basking in the glow of her success still quite shocked that success was in her. What do these two individuals have in common?


Somewhere in the middle of life, they realized that opportunity was knocking on their door. They aren't special or any different from you and me. We are all blessed with at least one talent. There is a story story in the Bible that verifies that everyone is provided with at least one talent--use it. If you don't, you are destined for a life of mediocrity. You will long for the finer things in life but because you're too afraid to take any risk, life will simply pass you by. What are you good at? What comes natural to you? I'll share some of my childhood experiences with you that gave me insight on what direction in life I could go in. Perhaps it will make you think outside of the box and stop overlooking the very path to your financial freedom. As a little girl, I realized that I had the ability to captivate an audience. When I spoke, people listened. I desired to be an attorney and a politician. I could see myself convincing people that my way was the correct way. Perhaps you already know you can sing, praise dance, or be a spoken word artist. Where does your business strength lie? Are you good on the computer, can you articulate your desires with clarity of thought, and most importantly, have you defined your ultimate plan? Often, what you are good at and what you love to do, go hand in hand. I believe that you should evaluate that seriously because major opportunities to nurture that gift will often arise. Will you recognize an open door? Let's talk about it. Nicole B. Simpson is a certified financial planner, author, speaker, and disaster planning specialist. www.nicolebsimpson.com


December 2010


Indie Artist Spotlight


inger, songwriter Cheneta Jones is a young, up-and-coming urban inspirational artist with a fresh sound, broad appeal and a fervent zeal for her ministry purpose. Her new single “My Everything” is getting great reviews from radio and the music industry in general. The 25-year-old St. Louis native also recently became a background singer for Stellar Award winning gospel artist Tye Tribbett. In an interview with Cheneta, I was so impressed with her poise, energy and expression of who she is and how she plans to impact the world through her music. LM: How long have you been singing? CJ: I’ve been singing my entire life, since I was a toddler. But I started recording at the age of 16. That’s when it became on a career level that this is something that I want to pursue. LM: You have an R&B background and have been in some R&B groups. What happened that you decided to do inspirational music only?

“I’m young and I’m fresh and I love Jesus just as much as anybody else. I’m just real.” CJ: There came a time and place when I had to sit still and listen to God. At the top of January 2008 is when God revealed inside of me my purpose that I wasn’t fulfilling because I was not in his will. At that moment, I made up my mind that God’s will is better than anything else that I could ever be involved with. So I left from that group and I didn’t have a master plan for what I would do next but I knew I wanted to be obedient to God. LM: Have you ever gotten any criticism from any traditionalists regarding your personal style? CJ: Everybody has an idea of what a gospel singer is supposed to look like but I’m going to be me because I represent Christ and his spirit dwells within me and so if anything is out of line, He checks me. I like to show people that whatever your ideology of what a gospel artist is supposed to look like, I’m here to ruffle it up perhaps because I don’t want you to get this image in your head that all gospel singers wear


choir robes and skirts to their ankles. LM: How important is it to you to be unique and to show who you really are when representing Christ? CJ: Very! I’m young and I’m fresh and I love Jesus just as much as anybody else. I’m just real. LM: Who’s your audience? Who is listening to Cheneta Jones and who is Cheneta Jones trying to reach? CJ: I like to tell people that my music is for everyone. I’m telling youth that you don’t have to go in the wrong direction and you don’t have to experience this and that to find out that God is all that you need because I’m here to tell you that. And with older people, I can relate to them that I know that God is all-knowing and great and he’s shown himself to me. LM: But when you’re performing or ministering, who do you actually see in your audience? CJ: Young adults that are college age between 18 to 30 years old. LM: Where do you see yourself in the next two or three years in this industry? CJ: I see myself being able to minister throughout the world and to be a vessel really used by God for the gospel. I love singing but I would also like to be an influence in speaking to represent Christ and let people know that it’s not just about the music but about the lifestyle. If all else fails, I want you to see the Christ in me even if you don’t love my music, I want you to love my spirit. For more information on Cheneta Jones visit her online at www.chenetajones.com.


December 2010


Are you

Stage Ready? BY TINA A. FEARS




November 2010


Vocal Health How Singers Should Cope During Cold & Flu Season BY MARK A. WILLIAMS, MD, PhD

Follow these simple precautions. old and flu season is upon us and with it comes the coughing, nasal congestion and runny nose that affects so many people this time of year. Without question, repeated coughing can cause problems with the voice. A cough is produced by the tight closure of the vocal cords that allows pressure to be built up by the contraction of the diaphragm against the column of air below the vocal cords. The cords are flung open as the column of compressed air below is expelled through the cords. This repeated action causes injury to the vocal cords. While suppressants like those found in over-the-counter cold/flu medicines are beneficial, cough drops containing eucalyptus and menthols are not because they can have a drying effect on the vocal cords. Expectorants help to thin the accumulated phlegm and permit better clearance of mucous. If possible, it is best to avoid singing and unnecessary voice use while experiencing a cough.


Don’t sing if you’re experiencing a cough.

Get plenty of rest.

Drink lots of water.

Take Vitamin C.

Mark A. Williams, M.D., Ph.D. is an otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose & Throat doctor) in Nashville, TN. He is the founder of the Voice Care Center of Nashville ( www.entson.net ) where he specializes in the prevention and treatment of voice disorders of singers, performers and professional voice users. In addition to his medical doctorate, he holds A doctorate of philosophy (Ph.D.) in Pharmacology and Cell Biophysics. His experience as a surgeon, scientist and singer/songwriter gives him unparalleled insight into voice, ear, nose and throat care for his patients.


December 2010


Your Career

10 Rules

to LIVE By

BY ADRIAN ANDERSON 7. Bring light into every room you enter. Someone will need it. love the holidays; however, you can imagine how different this season is without my mother—the regal, introspective, funny, compassionate and kind Juanita Heffron. She loved me and my siblings dearly and Christmas time was her favorite so the tree she decorated last year is the same tree that remains standing for us all to cherish as a family. Each twinkle of light I feel her deep within my healing heart. There’s nothing like missing your mother. With that said, this month I will convey to you wisdom she gave me which has blessed me and my career and will serve you well. 1. Always keep the “Spirit of Appreciation” and be approachable. 2. You reap what you sow, so what have you sown? 3. Give to those who do not expect it and cannot repay you. 4. Don't be foolish and do not suffer fools. Know to be wise and spend time with others who are reason minded. 5. Celebrate other people’s accomplishments and contribute to their growth when led. 6. Do not overextend yourself. Only do what you can do very well.


December 2010


8. Discover your talents and gifts then nurture them all accordingly. In life you will need them all. 9. When people would speak of Jesus to distract my mother from the matter at hand she would say, "I don't have a problem with JESUS. We are fine. It's people I have a problem with." 10. Trust GOD. Be daring and dream and know to treat others as kind as I've been. With the above in mind, I'd like you to know that it's not always where you can sing. Sometimes it's where you can join hands and participate. As I begin a career transition, know that I am always here, for you see I could not transition had I not followed God's Word and “Juanita's Rules.” As I honorably invested in our group I also honorably invested in myself. I will continue to educate write songs, speak, teach, work corporately in our industry, build and grow my company Halo Tu' Beauty.

Adrian Anderson is a motivational speaker, beauty entrepreneur and member of the multi-award winning urban inspirational trio Trin-i-tee 5:7. Follow her on twitter at http://twitter.com/adriansmile.



Internet Radio Has Potential to Impact Canadian Gospel Industry BY KATHY GRANT

facility or the latest in technology which would facilitate an Internet radio station. Internet

any of the Canadian 24-hour radio stations’ programming is either Christian hit only or alternative rock only. They have no room in their programming for black gospel. Other 24-hour Christian radio stations may program black gospel in their line-up but it is miniscule at best. In order for the Canadian gospel industry to thrive, the country must have its own 24hour black gospel radio station such as is available all across the United States. Only then, can the constituents of Canada who are members of the black gospel community (artists, managers, producers, record stores,

radio, being the least expensive of the two in terms of start-up costs, should definitely be aggressively explored. There are, in fact, those who have been at Fred Hammond

the vanguard of Canadian gospel Internet radio. Streaming Radio with Clairmont Humphrey has been streaming black gospel and Caribbean gospel music over the web now for over five years. We need more people like Clairmont Humphrey in Canada who will champion the cause of black gospel music radio and take the Canadian radio industry and the black gospel genre by storm.

record labels, promoters) can function as part of a viable Canadian gospel music infrastructure. Internet gospel radio in Canada has not yet taken off to the degree that it has in the U.S. In this respect also, the Canadian gospel music industry has been complacent. There are likely a multitude of reasons for this, not the least of which being financial

Kathy Grant is a gospel artist, radio and television host, CEO of KGM Enterprises and founder of Canadian Gospel Music Conference. She is a radio host on Canada’s CHRI 99.1 FM where she hosts a weekly Sunday program called Gospel Groove.

outlay required for either a brick and mortar



December 2010


ARTIST MANAGEMENT IGA Talent Management & Consulting, Inc. Damon Stewart dstewart@igatalentmgmt.com

Kingdom Global Management & Booking 32 Parade Drive Greenville, SC 29605 Tel: 404-664-0715 Fax: 864-243-8747 www.kingdomglobalmanagement.com




Deanna Ransom


Gospel Jazz R&B www.cdbaby.com/cd/deannaransom1

Linda ‘Chocolate’ Berthier

LEGAL Angela D. Green & Assoc. P.C.

Caribbean/Reggae/Jazz www.lindachocolateberthier.com


www.kathygrant.org Johnny Blanks 347-483-9797 (M) 347-329-0464 (O)

Positioned For Millions www.positionmenow.com


Kathy Grant




Brown Angel Apparel



Stage Ready LLC Choreography, Fitness Training and Artist Development info@stageready.net www.stageready.net

MUSIC PRODUCTION FINANCIAL Nicole Simpson, CFP Certified Financial Planner Disaster Planning Specialist www.nicolebsimpson.com


D3 Entertainment Michelle Duffie Contact www.d3egroup.com

TELEVISION West Coast Praze www.westcoastpraze.com


CHRI – 99.1



1.877-215FLYERS www.215flyers.com

Christian Jukebox



Bezworks Design LLC Aziz “Zee” Peregrino-Brimah getresults@bezworks.com www.bezworks.com

Creative Marx Handmade Jewelry

American Singing Studio www.americansingingstudio.com

En Sound Radio Power of Gospel

Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists of Nashville




En Sound Entertainment







For information on how to list in directory, email us at airplay360@aol.com

November 2010


Profile for AIRPLAY 360

Airplay 360 December 2010  

Airplay 360 is the ultimate online magazine for today's independent spirited artist providing information and education in the areas of prom...

Airplay 360 December 2010  

Airplay 360 is the ultimate online magazine for today's independent spirited artist providing information and education in the areas of prom...