INSIDE March/April 2012
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: ‘It’s Time to Move Out of That Comfortable Place” by Ace Alexander
Conference: “Making It As An Independent Gospel Artist Today” at I Hear Music In the Air Conference
LEGAL BRIEF: Contracts…4 Rules You Must Know Before You Sign by Angela D. Green, Esquire
11 YOUR IMAGE: “What Does Your Ministry Say About You?” by Adrian Anderson 12 YOUR VOICE: “How to be a Better Singer” by Dileesa Hunter 14 COVER STORY: Bryant Scott - “Taking the Gospel to Hollywood” by Letita Martin
17 INTERNATIONAL: Toronto Gospel Film Festival Introduces “Blessed & Cursed” by Kathy Grant 18 Conference: Independent Gospel Alliance 20 IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Rev. Lawrence Thomison 22 RISING STARS: My Sisters Keeper
Rev. Lawrence Thomison
23 Conference/Awards: Rhythm of Gospel 25 NEW MUSIC RELEASES
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Know 4 Rules Before You Sign!
PUBLISHER’S NOTE It’s Time to MOVE Out of That Comfortable Place re you in a comfortable place in your career and ministry but you know there’s so much more for you? Are you afraid to make a move? Well, we’ve all been in that comfortable place and, most likely, still there. You know the place—where everything is going well but it’s no where near the fulfillment of what God has for you. In fact, that comfortable place is sometimes not comfortable at all. It’s just familiar to you, so you stay there. Bishop T.D. Jakes once said, “When you get comfortable in a place where God only intends to take you through, you will delay entering into your promised land.” See, the children of Israel didn’t reach the Promised Land by standing still or staying in the same place. They had to keep moving. And it’s the exact same for you. Just ask yourself this question: “Where I am right now? Is this my promised land?” If it’s not, then I’m speaking directly to YOU. Don’t delay God’s promise for you. Walk in faith and believe in what he has called you to do. Move out of that comfortable place into your promised land.
Mar/Apr 2012 / Vol. 4 No. 5 PUBLISHER Ace Alexander ASSISTANT TO PUBLISHER Alicia Baiden EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Louise M. Moore 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.
SPECIAL EVENTS REPORTER Letita Martin ADVERTISING LTL Entertainment LLC
AIRPLAY 360 Online Magazine published bi-monthly www.airplay360.com
Ace Alexander Publisher/Founder Follow on Twitter @acealexanderVIP
Copyright © 2008-2012 Airplay 360 Online Magazine, an ace alexander publication Reproduction, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited. Readers are free to forward this web magazine to friends and colleagues.
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 2011 and 2010 Radio Stellar Award nominee. He is also a Music & Entertainment Consultant and Founder of Airplay 360. www.airplay360.com
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.
LEGAL Brief Contracts… 4 RULES You Must Know BEFORE You Sign! BY ANGELA D. GREEN, ESQ.
s an independent artist you enter into a variety of contracts and agreements for your services over the course of your career. You start off with the managers contract. Then, you pray for the recording contract. If you are in high demand, you may need to retain a booking agent via contract. The list goes on and on. Every move that you make, as you build your career in the music industry, is governed by a contract. That is why you need to know some contract rules of conduct. Rule #1: Never sign a contract or agreement on the spot. No matter how good the deal sounds, it can wait a reasonable amount of time for you to read over the terms of the deal before agreeing to them. Rule #2: Never sign a contract or agreement that you do not understand. You are going to be held responsible for the terms of the agreement, so you need to know what is expected of you as well as what is expected from the other party. Rule #3: If the contract needs negotiating, never use the other parties attorney. You need someone who is looking out for your best interest.
“No matter how good the deal sounds, it can wait a reasonable amount of time...” Rule #4: If a service contract requires a large payment, never pay the full amount up front. You should be able to make a reasonable down payment. Then you can evaluate and make sure you receive the service promised, paying the balance in full once services have been completed. These rules could go on from now to infinity because every contract or agreement and situation is different. The four rules above will help you to get through those on-the-spot situations, buying you the time to consult with your manager and/or attorney for guidance. 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 Vice President of On Location: Memphis International Film & Music Festival. She is also part owner of Key II Entertainment an artist management company and founder/ CEO of music publishing and registration service Positioned for Millions. www.positionmenow.com
Advertise with the #1 Music Industry Resource for Independent Gospel Artists Go to www.airplay360.com and Click on ADVERTISE
YOUR Image What Does Your Music Ministry Say About YOU? BY ADRIAN ANDERSON
When the true affect of the economy hit main street, any business large or small became vulnerable especially if what they sold was not a necessity. Individuals and businesses started evaluating needs opposed to wants. Likewise, you have to relate and accept that what you’re selling may not fall on the side of need. Now I think music that praises GOD, inspires hearts, evokes JOY, and lifts spirits is a needed medicine for ailing souls, especially during weary times because it makes people strong. That said, respectfully, people have to feed their families and take care of themselves the best way that they can. Volunteering is where it's at for a majority of Americans today so when you’re trying to sell your music, sometimes it's just better to volunteer. At the same time you’re meeting a need and building relationships. You will find that the music you wanted to sell can wait and the wait will be for the better because people get to connect with you as a person. They actually look forward to hearing your music because they have a connection with you.
Social media is as strong as your connection to people and that is why Facebook and Twitter have come to the forefront when business decisions are being made. Your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube numbers often determine getting a record deal or endorsement. The days of being an artist and focusing on your craft primarily are over for many artists however it opens another door to entrepreneurship, business, marketing and many other complimentary industries that will allow more strategic access to the buying public. Chart and or radio success does not automatically equate to increase in bookings and financial increase; however, if you have a grass roots nurtured base, connected with many via volunteering, internships and or meeting a need and have a quality product, then you have sown well. Therefore, you can look to gain well. You reap what you sow, remember? Also, remember to do it all with the right intention, for the right reasons and with sincerity.
Click Here Adrian Anderson is a motivational speaker, beauty entrepreneur and former member of the multi-award winning urban inspirational trio Trin-i-tee 5:7. She is also CEO of Halo Tu' Beauty .
YOUR Voice How to be a Better
BY DILEESA HUNTER
any people sing for personal enjoyment and want to know how to improve their singing. Still others sing as their vocation and find themselves struggling at times to create the sounds they want and want to learn to sing better. There are some key things one can do to improve their singing voice regardless of whether you are a beginner or advanced singer. 1. Breathing Techniques - Strong breathing techniques lay the foundation for vocal endurance and vocal control. Being aware of when and how you inhale and exhale will enhance any singer's skill. There are several exercises one can do to achieve great breath control. The first being bending over and taking in a deep breath to feel the pressure in your back and against your belt area. If you practice this breathing technique, you will begin to teach your body how to expand while breathing to sing. 2. Projection Techniques - This explores how to make sound, independent of 'singing sounds'. This is where you repeat nonsense syllables. It works great because it takes a singer's mind off of 'singing'. You learn to engage not only your voice but also your body as a total instrument. It frees the voice, because you are learning to free your throat and allowing your voice to sound more natural, as if
speaking. One such exercise is doing a surprised sounding 'WOW'. To be surprised, the entire body is engaged and a quick breath is inhaled. There is usually extreme facial movement and maybe even hand and arm movement. The voice is then thrown out. If you start of with a fast 'WOW' then move to a slower 'W-O-O-O-O-W' while keeping the same intensity, you are learning to project your voice for singing. 3. Tone Control - This is where your singing starts to sound polished. You learn to avoid sounding 'shouty' but to attack, sustain and release notes. Many times this can be achieved with something as simple as bringing the corners of your mouth forward. There are several positive side effects of a forward mouth. One is that your voice will sound richer and fuller. The second is that you will inadvertently relax your tongue which will give you a rich natural vibrato as well! Singers will find that in this process their voice has become stronger and more powerful. They are able to sing more challenging music with ease and find themselves singing more comfortably for longer periods of time. They are, indeed, better singers!
Dileesa Hunter is an international vocal coach and consultant based in Atlanta, GA. She also records and tours with several recording artists and performs in various stage plays. Born in Manchester, England, She has always been exposed to different music vocal and music styles. Dileesaâ€™s vocal repertoire includes Gospel, Jazz, Rhythm and Blues, Barbershop Quartet and Opera.
BY LETITA MARTIN
t 19, Bryant Scott took the reins of Tyscot Records, the oldest African American owned international record company in the nation, and so many years later, he has never let go. Using his savvy business and creative skills, Scott catapulted the label’s sales to over $3 million when sales had previously been less than $100,000. Tyscot has had great success in the music industry with artists like John P. Kee, Rance Allen, Deitrick Haddon, GMWA Women of Worship and so many others. Coming off the critical acclaim of Deitrick Haddon’s “Blessed & Cursed”, Tyscot is moving more toward film and is looking to several future projects. In an interview with AIRPLAY 360, Scott discussed all kinds of transitions, from traditional to contemporary, from music to film. LM: How have you seen the transition in gospel? BS: I’ve seen a new fresh movement of the Holy Spirit. You know I’ve been around for so long. I’ve seen when it used to be all traditional and we had John Kee and that was contemporary back then. We’ve seen a young lady Jai perform and people like Deitrick Haddon. It’s a new fresh move of God. It’s worship but it still has an edge to it and I love it. LM: Now, I know that you have some artists on your label like Deitrick and Damita Haddon and they’re kind of have their own thing going on. How do you manage having those traditional artists and then the edgy ones. BS: We try to do what God leads us to do. But inevitably, we’ve been blessed to have a full array of artists from jazz artists to the very contemporary to those you can’t even categorize yet but they’re (still) singing about the gospel of Jesus Christ. And, then, I can never break away from my roots. We even do hymnal albums with my dad (Dr. Leonard Scott). And then we have Rance Allen and Shirley Murdock. But I don’t know if you can call Rance or Shirley traditional. You know they’re contemporary from way back, they’re just the heritage contemporary artists. LM: With Tyscot being an independent label, how have you seen a transition with so many different media outlets opening up and so many artists being able to do so much. How do you guys stay on top?
BS: Well we’ve actually entered into the new medium of film. We’re trying to do films and soundtracks and God has blessed us with our first movie and it’s on Showtime the Movie Channel and TV One picked it up and it’s just great. I think God is moving us in an area of scoring film and seeing the acting abilities of our gospel talent. LM: So is Tyscot going to become kind of like Sony/Columbia where you have the artist music side and then the film and TV side? BS: Prophesy. Prophesy. LM: So this movie venture is not a one time thing? BS: Honestly we did it as a one time thing. Deitrick asked for money to do a film instead of a music video and we did it. People don’t know the success we’ve had with this movie (“Blessed & Cursed”). It’s been so great that we’ve launched a new CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
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Deitrick Haddon (R) and Kierra Sheard (L) in a scene from Tyscot and Haddon’s first movie “Blessed & Cursed” (2010)
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 division—a film division. And we now have a deal with TV One to produce movies, We have a deal with BET to produce movies. We’ve been signed by a major agent out in Hollywood that has been hooking us up with major studios to do business. So, we’re really more in the movie business now than even the music business. LM: The thing I like about Tyscot and what Deitrick decided to do is that he stepped outside of the box. It must just feel good to have someone (like him) that can see that vision. BS: I just feel blessed. There’s no mistakes in God. In any relationship, sometimes you wake up and say, “Lord what am I into?” And sometimes with very creative people they can make you feel like that and I’m kind of the business guy trying to stay a little rooted and grounded in making wise decisions. But at the end of the day when we pray and ask god the direction that he wants us to go in he never fails us. When you have a creative person, a very grounded person and you have God in the middle stirring this whole thing up, you have potluck that everybody’s going to love. LM: So what do we have to look forward to with Tyscot in 2012? BS: This year our new movie “A Beautiful Soul”
starring Deitrick Haddon, Harry Lennox, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Golden Brooks—just an all-star casrt and it’s a great movie. It’s going to premier on TV One. And then we going to go into production with Damita on a movie that’s more of a Lifetime chick flick that’s going to go straight to BET. LM: What would you say to inspiring artist? BS: Make sure it’s something that you’ve really been called to do. And if you believe that your calling and election is sure then don’t back down for any reason. Go forward. Things may not open up when you want them open up but God always proves himself faithful. Bryant Scott is also president of Taseis Distribution, one of the leading independent music and video distribution companies in the industry. He has been instrumental in helping to build the careers of Kirk Franklin, Tae Bo’s Billy Blanks and Kim Burrell, Allen & Allen and Vanessa Bell Armstrong to name a few. For more information Bryant Scott and Tyscot, visit Tyscot.com. ●
Letita Martin is a North Carolina-based radio personality, choreographer and urban inspirational independent recording artist.
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Toronto Gospel Film Festival Introduces “Blessed & Cursed” BY KATHY GRANT
t the close of Black History Month 2012, we celebrate an important achievement in the world of Canadian Gospotainment. Andrew Mahorn, The Church of God of Prophecy and friends stepped out of their comfort zone to launch the Toronto Gospel Film Festival also known as the GOSPEL FEST ON FILM held March 3-4 at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto Canada. The Toronto Gospel Film Festival is the first of its kind in Canada and by all accounts has proven its success in attendance and ticket sales. Final numbers are pending; however, judging by the packed 800 seat theatre, resounding applause and satisfied comments, it definitely was an optical success. The focal point of the entire film festival was the premiering of Detrick Haddon’s Blessed & Cursed. It was clear that from the room response that less than one third of the attendees had seen or heard of the movie. Judging by how many business cards I distributed, it was also evident that there is such a dearth of knowledge. What we don’t know could be hurting us. Generally, the Canadian public at-large is unaware of the genre of Black Gospel Films. A name more readily on the public’s tongues due to his growing notoriety, Tyler Perry is more known for the box office successes of Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea’s Family Reunion, Why Did I Get Married sequels than that he is a product of Bishop Paul S. Morton’s, Greater St. Stephen’s Full Gospel Church of New Orleans, LA. This is not promoted by the secular press. Most Canadians are also unaware that his current major motion picture release Good Deeds, is playing in theatres across North America right now. Canada has no Black Gospel Film industry to speak of. We can only reflect on the past successes of those on whose shoulders we continue to stand. Dating back to 1929 when actress Nina Mae McKinney, the first black actress to sign a long-term contract with MGM and star in the film Hallelujah, and more recently the ‘50s with Clara Ward, Mahalia Jackson, Fred Hammond, Pastor Shirley Caesar,
Pastor Donnie McClurkin, Black Gospel artists have been aiming to infiltrate and inculcate Hollywood for Christ. Blessed & Cursed was enthusiastically received and applauded, giving the film a standing ovation followed by a bevy of questions. The Canadian Gospel Film Festival can easily become a major international stop for smaller production companies, to premiere their major motion pictures, short films and documentaries to an international audience before theatrical releases. With Providence, events like TGFF will expand, increase public awareness and fire-up demand for these and other forms of Gospotainment in Canada.
Kathy Grant is a gospel artist, radio and TV host, CEO of KGM Enterprises and founder of Canadian Gospel Music Conference. She is also radio host on Canada’s CHRI 99.1 FM where she hosts the program ‘Gospel Groove’.
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Spotlight Legendary Recording Artist
Atlanta-based gospel artist Pamela Johnson offers an inspiring message of victory and hope. As a two-time cancer survivor, she has a fresh perspective on life and her CD Destiny Resurrected conveys her message of resilience and strength through Christ. In an interview with AIRPLAY 360 Pamela reveals more of her amazing story. 22 20
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t the early age of 7 years old, Rev. Lawrence Thomison began singing in his grandmother's church, Fourteenth Avenue Baptist, in Nashville, Tennessee. This was the beginning of a career that has spanned more than 40 years, delighting the musical palette of gospel music lovers in Music City USA and throughout various places abroad like Rome Italy and Japan to name a few.
Recognition by his peers for his melodious voice, dedication, spirit of humility and commitment is reflected with nominations for the following honors and awards: Grammy, Soul Train, Dove and Vision awards. And, also, McDonald's Gospel Fest in Denver, Colorado along with Hezekiah Walker. He is a recipient of the coveted Church Music Award by Greater Stephen's Full Gospel Baptist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Rev. Thomison’s recording career began in 1987 with the solo project “Live in Nashville” (WFL Records) which was met with critical acclaim and garnered a Grammy nomination. “Never Let Go of His Hand”, featuring the Music City Mass Choir and the project “I'll Follow You” featuring the Voices of Binghampton continue to receive accolades from gospel radio hosts across the country. As a Christian artist, he is dedicated to fulfilling his music ministry mission: singing the good news of the gospel in prisons, hospitals, shelters, churches and other venues throughout the United States. Rev. Thomison's many television appearances include Black Entertainment Television, former lead singer with Bobby Jones Gospel featuring the Nashville Super Choir, Trinity Broadcast Network’s “Praise the Lord” program, GMA’s Dove Awards show, Bill Gaither's Jubilee and Praise Gathering and UNCF's Gospel Extravaganza plus many more. He works daily as a resident counselor at Hermitage Hall with young people by assisting them to deal effectively with life's many challenges. An ordained minister, Rev. Thomison serves as a decision counselor at the Temple Church in Nashville.
Highlights of Rev. Thomison’s Ministry “Nashville” The Movie (Appearance) “Some Sweet Day” and “Big River” (Musical Stage Play) Broadway Musical “The Wiz” (the Wizard) Dr. Bobby Jones & Nashville Super Choir in Spain, Italy and Japan Baptist World Center Choir – National Baptist Convention (Featured Soloist) New Kids on the Block (Backup Singer) For more information on Rev. Thomison, visit him online at lawrencethomison.com
Moving Forward March 6 Music World
Decade March 6 Integrity
6th March 6 Clear Sight Music
Liberated March 20 Emtro Gospel
After This March 26 Light Records
One March 27 Shanachie
I Win April 3 Verity
Once in a Lifetime April 3 EMI
Pastor George Lee III
Worship Soul April 3 EMI
Musical Revival April 10 EMI/Chordant
I Have No Doubt April 17 Emtro Gospel
A Beautiful Soul April 17 Tyscot