INSIDE November/December 2012
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Wake Up & Make Your Dream Reality by Ace Alexander
TRIBUTE: Remembering Dontavies Boatwright
YOUR IMAGE: Your Seeds in Good Soil Reap Good Harvest by Adrian Anderson
RISING STAR: Recording Artist Speak Life
YOUR FINANCES: Financial Breakthrough…Why Your Gift is the Answer by Nicole B. Simpson, CFP
VOCAL HEALTH: How Singer Should Cope During Cold & Flu Season by Mark A. Williams, MD PhD
Gospel Teen Talk Show & Concert by Letita Martin
Cover Story: Anthony Brown…”From the Background to the Forefront” by Louise Moore
New Music Releases
PR & MARKETING: 6 Simple Steps to Promote Your Web Presence by Pam Perry
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Recording Artist & Musical Director James Hall by Louise Moore
NEW MUSIC SPOTLIGHT: Recording Artist Modern Day David by Letita Martin
GUEST COLUMN: Black Pearls… Let’s Not Forget…Give Thanks! by Doris Stokes-Knight
On The Cover: Anthony Brown – Tyscot Recording Artist
PR & Marketing
to Promote Your
Web Presence DONTAVIES BOATWRIGHT 2
by Pam Perry 9 Social Media Expert & PR Coach
Wake Up! Make Your Dream a Reality NOW he year is quickly slipping away and many of us have been in somewhat of a slump throughout 2012. We have lost loved ones along the way, and with that alone, we should realize the urgency of NOW. We cannot afford to sit and wait for years and years for our dreams to become reality. Isn’t your dream the best of what God wants for you? Don’t you believe He wants you to live it, experience it and impact people with it right here on earth? If you truly believe that, as I do, then wake up and start living your dreams right now. It doesn’t matter if your dream has not manifested yet. You have to learn to tell the story and live the narrative that is in agreement with your dream. If you are an artist, when someone asks you to tell your story, tell them that you are a successful recording artist and there are literally millions of people who need to hear your music. In fact, they are waiting now to hear your music ministry so that their lives can be changed. That’s the story that God has for your life, your career. Now, it’s up to you to tell your story as God does. Tell it when you wake up in the morning, tell it during the day and tell it at night before you go to bed. Tell it often and tell it convincingly. Make your dream reality right NOW.
Nov/Dec 2012 / Vol. 5 No. 3 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 Pam Perry Nicole B. Simpson, CFP Chris Squire Mark A. Williams, M.D., Ph.D. SPECIAL EVENTS REPORTERS Letita Martin Miranda Brokenberry GUEST COLUMNIST Doris Stokes-Knight ADVERTISING LTL Entertainment LLC
AIRPLAY 360 Online Magazine published bi-monthly www.airplay360.com
Ace Alexander Publisher/Founder Follow on Twitter @acealexanderVIP
Ace Alexander is a national radio personality and a two-time 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.
Copyright © 2008-2012 Airplay 360 Online Magazine, an ace alexander company publication 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.
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YOUR Image Your Good Seed in Good Soil Will Reap
Good Harvest BY ADRIAN ANDERSON have a personal story I'd like to communicate with you so thank you in advance for your attention. I received a call recently regarding a jazz project that I wrote and performed a song entitled "When No One's Around." Now, I did this work last year and continued on with the building of my company, Halo Tu' Beauty, as well as my corporate career. I made my decision to work on this project based on the high respect I had for the producer, Dave Repace, who is an industry veteran and consummate musician. He is also someone who encouraged me very early in my recording career. He heard my voice and introduced to me what attributes pleased his own ear. George Duke and Kym Waters are featured among other's and now you have "Portrait Of A Man" by Dave Repace. Dave is also a recent cancer survivor and I am so thankful he is still here. From the days of working with Quincy Jones, Bobby Brown, Gerald Albright, Wayman Tisdale and 101 North A jazz band just to name a few, he has maintained relationships that allowed for his first solo jazz offering. Taking a hiatus from the industry to care for his mother in her last days is the turning point that caused him to distance himself for a few years yet kept his skills sharp. He comes from the school of the grind so doing the work is something he does not avoid. He gets it. He is genuine—the real thing and that is why he can still build his dreams. What he is willing to do so easily, many artist have to be coached and almost begged to do. You have to work because it's a new world and those budgets www.airplay360.com
ADRIAN ANDERSON at the record labels that were plentiful are gone and won't return. Anyway, when I hung up the phone after talking to Dave, I thought about what I had experienced. Good seed in good soil brings a good harvest just as scripture teaches us. It does not always have to be “your project" in order for you to be willing to work on something. The greatest things are accomplished or built often times by people just humbly coming together and sowing their gift for the greater good. Dave's good character was key in everyone wanting to be a part of his project. I have been happy to contribute to Airplay 360 for a few years now and love being a part of the Airplay 360 family. I continue to build my company and career. I have speaking engagements, write this column, write a beauty column for RSVP Magazine, do strategic and selective PR and make time to contribute to the events and projects of others. As you can see I am in this for this long run. I will be on stage supporting Sheryl Lee Ralph’s event, Diva's Simply Singing, on Dec. 1 at the Continued HARVEST Page 12 AIRPLAY 360
HARVEST Continued From Page 11
Nokia Theater in Los Angeles which promotes HIV education and aids those living with HIV. Dreams, opportunities and visions are all built beginning with a seed, then you have to add the muscle. Please don't try to avoid the process, for nothing happens without work. Once you have been around in this industry you learn what's real and I know that nothing beats diligent work with good people who are on the same page whether it's for one day, one project or a long term process for optimum profitable results. Sow with the right intention and invest with the right intention, using knowledge and wisdom. Dave laid a foundation long ago with, not only his talent, but his commitment to excellence, diligence, expertise, compassion and kindness. He did not let the stars in his eyes blind him to the true â€œlight" that shines upon him. He cares about every friend that appears on his project and has a sense of satisfaction that this work stands for all time. Daveâ€™s latest project is now indeed real and truly a wonderful musical offering if I do say so myself. Yes, I will leave my desk at times to perform with him and enjoy the journey that has began. He's requesting that I do a video for the song so this project continues to reveal itself. I will continue to write, work, build, perform and maintain my corporate standing because to me, good soil is all around. I am just glad that Dave is still around also. Kindness, Love and Glamour to all, Adrian
Adrian Anderson is a motivational speaker, beauty entrepreneur and former member of the award winning urban gospel group Trin-i-tee 5:7. She is also CEO of Halo Tu' Beauty . To book Adrian for speaking engagements contact email@example.com.
peak Life is a group like you've never seen before. More than just great musicians, Speak Life is full of radical, on-fire worshippers who utilize every gift and talent given them to bring the gospel of Jesus to a dying world. The members of Speak Life come from different parts of the world, different ethnic backgrounds, and different church homes and are a true representation of unity in the body of Christ. Speak Life is dedicated to traveling and ministering and "speaking life" into the dead situations of this generation and the generations to come. Speak Life has been taking the country by storm, as they travel around ministering through their unconventional live shows. Speak Life has shared the stage with award winning national recording artists such as Donnie McClurkin, CeCe Winans, J. Moss, Leeland, Canton Jones, Mali Music and Sunday Best winner Leandria Johnson. When asked what type of music they do, Speak Life responds that they have formed their own genre entitled, “Christian Contemporary Urban Pop.” Known for their stage presence and “out the box” presentation, Speak Life has quickly become a favorite to enjoy when it comes to inspiration and live music. www.airplay360.com
This dynamic group recently released their debut album, “Exposed”, on August 4, 2012. Their single, “Inhabit This Praise”, has been playing on radio stations around the world. You can purchase “Exposed” on iTunes, Amazon, Google Music Store, CD Baby and many other digital stores. Speak Life received the 2011 I Hear Music Award for Group of the Year and Youth Performers of the Year. Also, Speak Life is nominated for the 2013 Rhythm of Gospel Awards in seven different categories including Artist and CD of the Year. Although Speak Life continues to gain many accolades and grow thousands of new fans, their main objective is to make an impact through the power of Christ. Speak Life's heart is after winning souls for the Kingdom, encouraging the hearts of God's elect, and taking the faith and worship of His children to new levels. Speak Life is currently preparing for a worldwide tour called “The Exposed Tour”. If you are interested in bringing Speak Life and/or “The Exposed Tour” to your city, call 513- 289-0123 or visit the website at iwillspeaklife.com and fill out the booking form.
YOUR Finances Your Finances Financial Breakthrough! Why Your Gift is the Answer 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
VOCAL Health How Singers Should Cope During Cold & Flu Season
Gospel Artist Deanna Dixon Spearheads Gospel Teen Talk Show, Concert
BY MARK A. WILLIAMS, MD, PhD 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. Follow these simple precautions. • • • •
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 where he specializes in the prevention and treatment of voice disorders of singers, performers and professional voice users. A vocal care expert, Dr. Williams has served on many seminar and workshop panels including Ace Alexander’s radio and Indie artist sessions.
DEANNA DIXON BY LETITA MARTIN Atlanta-based gospel artist Deanna Dixon hosted the “Gospel Youth Fire Explosion” at the Marriot in Atlanta. Airplay 360 founder and national radio personality, Ace Alexander, was among the speakers and panelists. According to Dixon, her vision for this event is to “educate, empower and equip our teens like never before.” Her Christian teen talk show and concert is the first of its kind in Atlanta. Dixon’s program focuses on choices, self esteem, peer pressure and solutions for youth. “It’s time for us to listen to their voices. They have been talking to us for years so it’s time for us to really pay attention so we can have a real change.” “I want to impact the world, not just Atlanta. I want to create awareness that our kids are crying out for help and we need to help them for real, not for play. We need to address laws, situations and definitely our school systems.” Although this was the inaugural event, Dixon plans to expand the “Gospel Youth Fire Explosion”. For more information on this event, call 678-325-9747.
BY LOUISE MOORE ospel singer Joshua Rogers made history when he won Season 5 of BETâ€™s Sunday Best. He gave the show a brand new look with his gender as well as his youth. After four previous female winners, Rogers broke through as the first man, and at 18, the youngest to ever win the popular singing competition. Rogers, who wowed the judges and viewers with his incredible vocal range and passionate delivery, won a recording contract with Music World Gospel, a cash prize and a 2013
Ford Escape. During the show, the Greeleyville, South Carolina native performed Deitrick Haddon's "Well Done", Bebe and Cece Winans' "Lord Lift Us Up", Vanessa Bell Armstrong's "Peace Be Still" and several other inspired songs. Still settling into his newfound status as a national recording artist, Rogers talks to Airplay 360 about how he is handling all of the attention, which gospel stars he hopes to record with in the future and the message he intends to send to youth through his music.
BY LOUISE MOORE
nthony Brown is still getting used to being in the forefront. It’s not a place he’s comfortable being nor it is a place he sought to be. But according to Brown, he is content to work with other artists, helping them to realize their dreams. But after working in the shadows of top artists like Donald Lawrence and Myron Butler, Brown is finally and deservingly in his own spotlight, reaping the benefits of all of his work from behind the scenes as a songwriter and vocal producer. His latest single “Testimony” recorded on Tyscot Records, is quickly moving up the Billboard Top Gospel charts. Brown, who penned #1 Billboard hit “It Ain’t Over” for Maurette Brown Clark, is absolutely in his season of blessings. In an interview with Airplay 360, Anthony Brown discusses his new project, “Anthony Brown & group therAPy” and the magnitude of opening for Mary Mary on their “Go Get It” concert tour. A360: I want to congratulate you on your new album and Top 10 single “Testimony”. ANTHONY: Thank you very much. It’s been a great road so far. God has been really kind to us. A360: You’re in Top 10 on Billboard Gospel! ANTHONY: I am! I just found out actually while I was out of town on this Mary Mary tour. It was like the best news. It was incredible to hear. To have people supporting the project and actually liking it, for me, it’s a real treat. A360: I know you’ve produced background vocals for many artists like Donald Lawrence and Myron Butler and, of course, you wrote “It Ain’t Over’ for Maurette Brown Clark, so how does it feel to step out of the background into the forefront? ANTHONY: For me, it’s a little awkward. I actually enjoy writing for other artists and helping pull vocals together for other people and help their dreams come true. I like doing that. It’s fun for me, so God had to really, really get me to a place to where I was even comfortable doing what I’m doing now, and I’m still not comfortable to be honest. He gave me great time to prepare to be out front. I had a great time learning in the background for a long time and now I feel a little more prepared because I had that experience. www.airplay360.com
A360: Of course, with you being in the Top 10 seems like you’re headed toward the top, so we’ll see in the next few weeks. ANTHONY: Oh wow, you’re being real nice to me, got me smiling early in the morning. A360: It’s well deserved. You wrote “It Ain’t Over” and it was such an anthem for the body of Christ and now you’ve written “Testimony” which is also like an anthem. So, how do you keep writing these prolific lyrics with so much meaning? ANTHONY: You know I think life everyday gives you a starting point but keeping my ear to heaven is really what it’s all about when it comes to songwriting. I mean I can’t even take credit. God literally downloads songs to me and I just send out what he says. I’m a conduit. A360: So, tell me about how you were inspired to write “Testimony.” ANTHONY: “Testimony” came with me sitting in my room having one of those moments where everything was coming at me at once and I felt overwhelmed. I didn’t know how I was going to deal with what I had coming in front of me. And, I just began to hear the voice of God speaking to me saying, “Anthony you really have to look back at my track record. I’ve never failed you. I’ve never left you short.’ And (God) began to remind me of victories He had won on my behalf in the past. And that’s where “Testimony” came from. I just encouraged myself in my room sitting there, and Continued ANTHONY BROWN Page 19 AIRPLAY 360
Miracle November 6 Provident
Christmas Bundle November 6 Six Step Records
Bishop Jerry Lee Maynard Bishop Richard White Bishop Jerry Lee Maynard… November 6 Jelama Media Group
I’m Glad November 6 Flow Records
Bishop Paul S. Morton
Moses Tyson, Jr.
Pastor Milly Collier
Rance Allen Group
Best Days Yet November 13 Light Records
Music 2 Remastered November 13 Tymo Gospel Music
I Owe It All to the November 13 Dialtone Records
Amazing Grace November 27 Tyscot
Promote Your New Music Project With AIRPLAY 360 CLICK HERE TO CONTACT US NOW 18
ANTHONY BROWN Continued From Page 17
wrote this song. It actually wasn’t on the project at first. I had finished the project altogether when I wrote ‘Testimony”. But it ends up being the lead single. A360: How did you end up signing a deal with Tyscot? ANTHONY: I was putting this project out independently. I talked to a lot of different labels, knew a lot of people from working behind the scenes but I didn’t feel compelled to go in any direction at that point. So I sent “Testimony” over to my good buddy Vashawn Mitchell. I said, “Vashawn I want you hear this song I’m going to put out as my single from my soon to be released independent project.” He listened to it and called me back five minutes later and said, “Anthony you cannot put this project out independent.” I’m like, “Why not?” And, (Mitchell) said, “You have to give this song a chance to be heard by more people than you may be able to touch on your own.” He called me back that night with Tyscot President Bryant Scott on the phone and the rest is history. We pretty much put together a deal in a week and it was on. A360: So how is it working with Bryant Scott? ANTHONY: It’s amazing. Bryant Scott and Tyscot, even Dr. (Leonard) Scott who to me is legendary in what he does, have been very kind to me, very accommodating. As a new artist, most labels would spearhead and be rather controlling as to how the artist starts out but they really understood that I know who I am and what my assignment is. They have supported me and not tried to change me into anything or even make me do something that’s not me. They loved my project when they heard it. They’re just trying to help support who God already says I am. A360: How did the tour with Mary Mary come about? ANTHONY: Wow! That came about because Mitchell Solarek who is Mary Mary’s manager also managed or worked with, at some point, Donald Lawrence who is my mentor. Donald Lawrence came to my CD release and he heard the project and talked to Mitchell about opening acts for Mary Mary tour and says, “I have just the person for you www.airplay360.com www.airplay360.com
and I think he will be a great opener for this tour.” He could have suggested anybody but I feel so incredibly favored to have this opportunity. A360: How does it feel to have your audience expanded with this tour? ANTHONY: It feels amazing. It gives me a chance to connect with people that I probably never would have had a chance to reach. A360: You are so blessed to have Tyscot partner with you and go on tour with Mary Mary but for those artists still waiting for that breakthrough, what advice to you have? ANTHONY: Really seek God on what you are supposed to do. Ask God to make the way clear. Don’t look to the left; don’t look to the right. Just really trust God for his plan for your life. Don’t rush the process, take time out and present the very best that you can possibly be and let God do the rest. For more information on Anthony Brown and group therAPy, visit ajblive.com. AIRPLAY 360 AIRPLAY 360
July/August 2012 Nov/Dec 2012
PR & MARKETING Simple Steps to Promote Your Web Presence PAM PERRY
BY PAM PERRY any people make the mistake of viewing a website merely as an online promotional brochure. They make it look pretty but it doesn’t get traffic In fact, it’s all about the “SEARCH” Your website must be search engine friendly. SEO is the name of the game today. It must be search engine optimized! And today, the interactivity of the “blogsite” allows you to develop a community and tons of “raving fans” that can make you a social media superstar! It’s not enough to just establish a Website (this is your hub); you must actively promote the site so that prospective visitors can find it. Below is a checklist of the steps to successfully market your Web presence: 1. Develop Your “Internet Image” Your identity online should establish brand. I always suggest obtaining your name as one of the domain names (www.yourcompany.com), then your company/ministry and possibly your project title or publishing company. Just make sure that your online image reflects the image you present in your marketing materials. Branding is so important – don’t be random!
2. Integrate Your Web Site into All Marketing Efforts Mention your domain name in all advertisements, PR, brochures, email signature and your social media sites. Your letterhead, envelopes and business cards should contain your URL for your domain name too. Let nothing go out without that website address on it… not even a napkin! 3. Add Keyword Rich Title Tags and Descriptions and Meta Tags The Internet search engines use text hidden within your Website’s code to properly catalog your site for customers who are looking for your services. Describe your company/brand in 25 words. Make a list of up to 150 key words that describe your company and products. Put the most important words at the front of the list. Work closely with your SEO web developer to make sure this information places you in a favorable position – like page one of Google! 4. Gather Visitor Data for One-to-One Communication Conduct surveys, contests, and opinion polls on your site. Gather e-mail addresses of visitors. Continued WEB PRESENCE Page 21
WEB PRESENCE Continued From Page 20 These addresses may be used to send email messages (ezines) about new information in your ministry, industry, your company and/or book. Keep e-mail messages short and include a way for people to unsubscribe from the list. Use the personal, interactive nature of the blog to maintain a dialog with those who are interested in you. Do not E-BLAST! 5. Use Social Media and SEO Press Releases Use social media to push out your content and use SEO press release to get back links and also get media exposure. I use the blog as my main tool to brand and post information to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, FriendFeed and other mobile blogs to get good “google juice.” 6. Is your website WHACK? (Not getting traffic?) If your current website was designed by graphic artist rather than SEO professional, consider a redesign to make sure that your message is being adequately presented on the Internet. Don’t put up a website or a blog simply because everyone has one. Make the site useful and informative for your target audience. Make certain the information flows. Make certain it pays off for the person who has gone to the trouble to come to your site. Make certain it pays off for you. And make sure you have an “opt in” box to build your list. That is mandatory.
Pam Perry is a successful entrepreneur, author, book publicist and social media expert. Based in Detroit, Michigan, Perry conducts workshops on PR, book marketing and social media. She is owner of Ministry Marketing Solutions, Inc. and founder of the Blacks in Radio, Advertising and Television and The Chocolate Pages Network .
BY LOUISE MOORE ames Hall is a master at his craft. The Stellar-nominated New York-based recording artist is a musical director, arranger and composer too. Hall is tried and true—a much needed constant in gospel, especially with choirs.
His exhilarating performances with his choir, Worship & Praise, are sincere and fervent, leaving everything on the stage. Recently released on eOne, his album “Trip Down Memory Lane” features the single “God Is In Control” and is a
celebration of his 25 years in gospel. Hall is highly regarded by top artists like Hezekiah Walker, Tye Tribbett, Ricky Dillard, Kim Burrell and Donald Lawrence. Lawrence says, “James Hall songs have brought a unique style and sound to gospel music.” And, Dillard praises Hall saying “Hall has forged a revolution, not only among choirs and directors, but in the totality of gospel music. Airplay 360 had the pleasure of talking to Hall about his latest project, his passion for choir music and how he is monetizing his unique style of dress with a brand new endeavor. A360: First I want to congratulate you on your new CD “Trip Down Memory Lane”. JAMES: Thank you so much. We were excited doing it. A360: You recorded the album in Toronto, so tell us why you chose to go to Canada to do the album? JAMES: Well the reason we went to Canada is that we have great love there. And, one thing I will say about the people in Toronto is they will come out and support and they will stay “live” all night and I mean they were “live” and on their feet all night. They bring a certain kind of energy so we love going to Canada. We’re getting ready to go there again and do a CD release party Thanksgiving weekend. A360: With you working with your choir, Voices of Worship, I’m wondering how important do you think choir music is to gospel? JAMES: Choir music has always been important. That’s where most of us got our start. And, I hate it when people say, “Choir music is dead.” Choir music will never die, especially not as long as I’m around. Even for the young people, it teaches discipline. There’s nothing like going into a church on Sunday morning and seeing a choir in the choir stand and they’re electrifying the church before the pastor gets up. Nothing like it. A360: Do you do any music or choir workshops? JAMES: Oh yes, I’m doing workshops all the time. I love working with choirs, that’s what I do. Sometimes people just need a boost so they will bring a workshop to their church to stir up their choir directors and choir members. I’m the man to do the job so just bring me on in.
A360: Well, you’re highly recommended. You’ve gotten so many glowing commendations from people like Kim Burrell, Donald Lawrence, Ricky Dillard and so many other top gospel artists. So, who is it that you really admire and see as your mentor? JAMES: When I started out I looked at artists such as Thomas Whitfield. He was like my favorite. Of course, I loved Walter Hawkins and all the “Love Alive” CDs. That music just kind of made me want to do choir music. A360: Speaking of choirs, how do you select the people to be a part of your choir? JAMES: I try to more or less handpick but there have been people who have come out of nowhere and asked to audition for the choir. We do hold auditions for the choir when I’m accepting but right now I’m not really accepting new members. When we do accept they come before me and I test them on their range and their tone and check to make sure they don’t have no bad record of stirring up trouble. A360: Where do you get your fashion sense? JAMES: I grew up wearing little velvet suits and velvet bowties and ruffled shirts and it just became a part of me. My mother always kept me in the latest fashions. I do all of my own designing. I take it to my tailor and he makes it happen for me. One of these days real soon, I’m going to start my own fashion line with men’s suits. I’m looking to have my own line of sunglasses as well. A360: What kind of encouragement can you give to Indie artists? JAMES: First of all, keep God first. Make sure this is something that God has called you to do. A lot of times we look at the glamour of somebody else’s success and we want to try it but it may not be what God has for us. When you love what you do and you are called to do it, no matter what obstacles come, you will still be able to weather the storm. You know we’ve had people talk about us and say we wouldn’t make it. If we weren’t called to do it, I would have fainted it but we were able to stand and do what God has called us to do because God made ways for us. For more information on James Hall click here to visit his Facebook page.
BY LETITA MARTIN
awrence Williams a.k.a. Modern Day David is making an impact in gospel music with his single “Feelin’ Better” from the album of the same name on Fresh Entertainment Records. The fresh, contemporary style artist is getting national airplay but his native New York offers him favor beyond his expectations. Radio station WLIB-AM, the #1 gospel station in New York, has been a staunch supporter of its native son. Modern Day David gives Airplay 360 insight on his music and how he channels it to others. A360: You have been heavily involved in the hip hop world working with commercial and underground artists. What is that experience and
what did you learn from other artists, working with them without actually being that artist? MDD: It definitely taught me how to write songs, produce music and how to appreciate other talent. From a spiritual standpoint, it always put me in a position where I can actually minister to people I work with. I think one of the major things I learned from it which is really phenomenal thing to me and would define even my sound as an artist is that it’s what God put inside of me. He blessed me to be able to actually learn how to do what I do from doing that music. A360: When it comes to doing hip hop, we know that it has made a transition and that there has been opposition with it. How do you break down that barrier? MDD: For myself, I really don’t pay it any mind. I always thought that when God gives you a word, he also gives you a voice and it’s directed to
certain people. Those that criticize it, I don’t fault them and I don’t hold anything against them because those aren’t the people that God called me to minister to in my music. When it all comes down to it, it’s about the life you live. A360: What is behind the name Modern Day David? MDD: God gave me Modern Day David because, in the Bible it says David was a man after God’s own heart but he also had flaws. David had a special love and passion for the people and my ministry is about building people. A360: Your music has an R&B and hip hop feel, explain that. MDD: That’s one side of it but God has blessed me to be very versatile. As a matter of fact, I’m working on a new album now so you’ll hear a lot of different styles. A360: Tell me the single “Feelin’ Better”? MDD: “Feelin’ Better” is a song about making a conscious choice to just have joy. It’s about coming out of the storm, having that break and just being grateful to God for your life right now. You may not have the perfect life that you want right now but there’s so many blessings that God has given you in your present day to get you to your appointed place. That’s what “Feelin’ Better” is about. A360: Awesome. If I were to sit down and listen to every track on the CD, where are you going with my mind and with my spirit? What was the process with this (CD)? MDD: I think the process of the whole album is to get everybody that listens to it to (1) to love yourself; (2) love God; (3) to be appreciative of what God is doing in your life right now; and (4) to take all of that, process it and push forward. We have cuts like “Feelin’ Better” on the album and “Smile” which is a song about celebrating the fact that Christ is in your life. The hook is “If you knew me before, you would not want to know me. Since Christ came in my life, believe me, He’s changed me. When you look at me, it’s like WOW!” A360: What are you working on? Anything scheduled for 2013? MDD: Right now we are trying to put together a tour. In the meantime, we’re pushing this album and working on my new album. I had been scheduled to perform during the Marathon. I also recently appeared at Circle of Sisters. It’s given me the opportunity to get out there and just minister. At COS, I’ve had people like Keith Sweat, Eric Benet and other people off to the side listening to my set. It’s just the favor of God, so whatever doors God opens for me, that’s what I’ll do. A360: Tell me a little bit about your management. MDD: Fresh Entertainment—we’re like family. These guys are wonderful. God has used them to be very instrumental in guiding this album. They just see the vision and the direction that God has given me. We just work together to make it happen. I’m just blessed. For more information on Modern Day David, visit him online at moderndaydavid.com. www.airplay360.com
Let’s Not Forget: In All Things, Give Thanks! BY DORIS STOKES-KNIGHT
s we are entering our traditional Thanksgiving holiday season, I know the last couple of years have been quite a challenging one, especially financially for so many people. Since the cable news channels have focused so much on this past presidential election, they (of course) wish to magnify all the NEGATIVE things that we may be currently experiencing: record job losses, unemployment, etc. Most of the time, I have to STRICTLY monitor how much of THAT information gets through my ear and eye gates because if enough of it gets in, it is bound to discourage you. I thank God that I have enough history with Him to KNOW He is truly my Provider, my Battle Ax, my Sword and Shield and my Protector even in a RECESSION! Let’s not be naïve; the economy is a mess right now; in some way all of us are being affected by it. But there is JOY in knowing WHO holds the power over the recession…there is NOTHING that is bigger than the God I serve! As a worshiper, this is the time that we must magnify the Lord as much as we can, every opportunity we get. The bigger you make God, the smaller our challenges become. The Biblical cure for depression is PRAISE; the Biblical cure for discontent is WORSHIP! Understanding who you worship and offer praise to is imperative in getting beyond any situation or circumstance you may be facing. That’s when you know that no matter the outcome, the same God that was with you when you entered the situation will be the SAME GOD who will walk with you out of it! Find your quiet place to offer the Lord your full attention; let Him know how much you appreciate the love and provision He’s made for you and your family this far. Thank Him for a sound mind; thank Him for keeping a hedge around your life. GIVE THANKS with a grateful heart; nothing gets God’s attention more than a gracious, obedient worshiper filled with FAITH! Often, when we tap into our worship for God, He changes our perspective of what we may be experiencing. Most of the time, a job loss is devastating
to our very way of living; but God’s purpose for removing the job may be from a whole different dynamic; maybe He wanted you to get some well deserved rest that you wouldn’t have ordinarily had an opportunity to get. Maybe He wants you to spend more time with your family…before you lose them being a workaholic; He may want you to reflect on your current job skill set so that you could consider updating your education or skills in order to enter a higher paying career field; He may be trying to pivot your career in another direction that could be more lucrative; or He may be trying to encourage you to start YOUR OWN BUSINESS! The more grateful we are to the Lord for what He’s already done in our lives and acknowledge His current goodness toward us, the more willing He is to continue releasing the blessings! Our praise is more important and powerful than you realize. Who wants to constantly give toward those who NEVER can find it in their hearts to say “thank you” or be gracious for the love and care you release toward them? As humans, we would become quickly disenchanted with that type of attitude from others, yet we forget sometimes that God may get tired of us being ungrateful. What’s the difference? God stays on His post being faithful toward us even when we don’t deserve anything. But the GREATER blessing comes when we continue in our obedience, our faithfulness toward Him and showing our commitment toward Him….He begins to rain blessings in our lives that are infinite and have no explanation! Remember: situations & circumstances are TEMPORARY and subject to change! No matter what circumstance you may find yourself in right now, make a commitment to the Lord to pray sincerely asking Him for direction so you may stay in His perfect will for your life. I’m lovin’ you to life and have a fantastic holiday season!
Doris Stokes-Knight is President and CEO of Black Pearl Enterprises and Voice 1 Music Ministries. She is also an ordained kingdom pastor, author, psalmist, worship leader, worship arts workshop facilitator, recording artist, songwriter, and gospel stage play actress. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
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