TA NG I N A STON E
G OG O M OR R OW
5. THE MOTIVATION
8. BEAST Lee Mazin
10. FEARLESS MILLY ROZE 2
12. PASSION Inas-X
GoGo Morrow Vali
Bahja & Miss Mulatto
24. CHOSEN LIANA BANK$
MASTH E A D On The Cover LIANA BANKS Words NICOLE GORRITZ COVER SHOT: Dress GEORGINE Fur GEORGINE Jewels ALEXIS BITTAR
LOVINâ€™ THE CREW
BLEU LIFE MEDIA GROUP CEO & PRESIDENT
LAWRENCE PITTS & DOMINIC BIELAK
DEVON CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS RHESA MAE BERNAL
MARA THE HIP HOP SOCIALITE
EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS NICOLE GORRITZ
KAITLYN CASSADY TATIYANA-KENT HOWERTON OFFICE COORDINATOR
BOMBSHELL BY BLEU ONLINE DIGITAL MEDIA MANAGER
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T H E M OT I VATI O N
The Motivation Sometime back in March I overheard a conversation with 3 women on my morning commute from Brooklyn to Manhattan. The topics of discussion being the new generation of women and our lack of ambition. Slightly offended, because all the women I know are driven, but still intrigued by what these women had to say.
“They’re all gold diggers with no sense of work ethic” “They just want to be famous for nothing” “They’re all lost”.... These were the talking points that I took in and digested! And while some of their revelations may have held some truth it inspired me even more to continue to push the stories of the girls who embody the exact opposite of this stereotype of women that they felt we all had become because it simply wasn’t true. We are the generation of girls who have refused to settle for the status quo, who refuse to silence our voice and opinion and have decided that our dreams, OUR DREAMS, trump everything! So this issue is dedicated to all the young women around the world who have enough guts to go against the grain and fulfill a life that matters to them without the influence of our society! Cheers to you! Cheers to us! The odds will always be in our favor!
EDITOR EBONY ALLISON
A M BI TI O N TANGI NA STONE
BABYGIRL HAS A WHOLE LOT OF AMBITION.
PHOTOGRAPHER DANIEL VASQUEZ
Hailing from the small town of Canton, Ohio but making her presence known worldwide, it’s evident that drive is one thing this songstress doesn’t lack. Aspiring to impact the world through her music, Tangina Stone recognizes her purpose and hopes to bring change to our society with the release of her latest project: “ELEVATE”
I KNEW THAT EVENTUALLY MY SMALL TOWN WOULD STIFLE MY CREATIVITY. IT FELT LIKE LIFE OR DEATH. I CHOSE LIFE. NEW YORK WAS LIFE. 6
From Ohio to NY....Was it worth it?
Absolutely worth it. I feel like my time in New York has taught me lessons that I wouldn’t have learned in any other place in the world. My skin is thicker. My back is straighter. I walk with purpose. Being in New York has helped me to become the best version of myself that I have ever been. How did growing up in a small town affect you and the type of music you make?
It affected me a lot. I knew as just a little girl that to be the person that I dreamt of being, and to learn the things that I wanted to learn in music, I would need to come to New York. But my hometown was and still is the foundation for all that I do. I was inspired by midwest music and culture. Most importantly I was inspired by my Grandfather’s music and the music he played. Everything motown. Old and new. By the time I was ten, I knew every one of the Temptations dance routines for every one of their songs. But my mom played 90’s r&b and hip hop. And her parents played 70’s and 80’s Rock&Roll. It all inspired me and still continues to. How did you know NYC would be the best city to live in to take your career to new levels? All of the artists that I admire, and have been inspired by have spent a significant amount of time here. Their careers were impacted greatly by their time here. What gave you the courage to move to NYC and pursue your dreams full time? It’s interesting what you can do when you tell yourself that you have no choice but to do it. I knew when I turned 18 that if I didn’t make the move and come to New York, I would never become who I wanted to become. I knew that eventually my small town would stifle my creativity. It felt like life or death. I chose life. New York was life. Why do you love it? (Music) I love it because it is the only thing that I feel like I can do every day for the rest of my life, and still be happy. Music is my passion. It is also my purpose. First artist you fell in love with that in-
spired you to pursue music? The first would be Lauryn Hill. I remember sitting in my car seat in the back of my moms car rocking back and forth singing “ killing me saltyyyyy”. I did the best that I could with the lyrics lol. But those times really played a big part in forming my big dreams of pursuing music. Overall Goal with your music? My overall goal is to use my music as a platform for my activism. To make a ton of money off of music and use that money to make REAL change in the world. To make a real IMPACT in the communities that I am apart of . To make as many people’s lives better, as I possibly can. For me, this is what it is all about. Your most memorable moment in your career thus far? My most memorable moment would be recording a song for my album with one of my favorite artists and biggest inspirations. Stay tuned for this on my upcoming album. What’s next? What’s next is my upcoming album, “Elevate”. It will involve so much. It’s actually more than just an album. It is a story, and an experience that I hope will make a real impact on the world. It involves a lot of social and political commentary. With the current social and political climates of the world, I feel like it is an even more important time for “Elevate” to be shared. 7 words to inspire Young revolutionary women.... Growth hurts. You must keep doing it.
B E AST L EE M A Z I N
THE L U LEE MAZIN F I T U A BE BEAST The world has taken a great liking to you and your music due to the hit show “Sisterhood of HipHop”. However, for those who aren’t as familiar with Lee Mazin, could you describe yourself in three words and why? Amazin, Ambitious, Beast My ambition has gotten me to where I am and the reason I’m still putting in work to go further !! I’ve been through so much and made it through so much that defines the beast in me & I think the Amazin part speaks for itself ! AS A FEMALE ARTIST OR MC IN GENERAL, WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES YOU’VE HAD TO FACE? ALSO, WHAT WERE YOUR MOTIVATIONS OF GETTING OVER THOSE HURDLES? Being an independent artist, being signed and then being an Independent artist again. Adjusting to different things and the complications of still feeling like an independent artist while signed ! I got through because I always knew how to stand on my own 10 toes and make it happen with no excuses or handouts !! WITH EVERYTHING YOU’VE EXPERIENCED IN LIFE AS AN ADULT, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF? Stay true to yourself, write it all down, take full advantage of all opportunities presented to you, keep your faith & think before you act or react !!! Keep your head high as you can & plan ahead rather than focus behind !!! YOUR LATEST VIDEO “MISS YOU” WAS AN HONEST & EMOTIONAL VIDEO. PHILADELPHIA HAS TAKEN MAJOR LOSSES OVER SENSELESS ACTS OF VIOLENCE. DO YOU MIND SHARING THE EMO-
TIONS YOU FELT ON SET? ALSO WERE THERE ANY PLEASANT MEMORIES CONJURED UP OF A LOST ONE THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE? I’ve lost so many people to these streets I wouldn’t even be able to share just one story! From my first boyfriend to my 3rd boyfriend, best friends to cousins ...I’ve seen a lot been through a lot, been to so many funerals and Janazahs for people under the age of 25 that’s it’s crazy ! The video was very emotional. Made me think of all the people I lost out here. THE SHOW HAS DONE WELL, MUSICALLY YOUR PROGRESSING AS WELL AS GAINING AN AMAZING FOLLOWING, BUT ARE THERE ANY ENTREPRENEURIAL ENDEAVORS IN THE WORKS? A lot !!! Gotta stay tuned to see !!! WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE THE WORLD TO KNOW ABOUT LEE MAZIN AND WHAT WOULD THE ULTIMATE DREAM OF ACCOMPLISHING? I’m just a girl from around the way that made a way & if I can do it with all the things thrown my way anyone can !! I’m nowhere near where I want to be but I’ve come so far and the legacy will be remembered !!!
F E AR L ES S MI L LY ROZE
MILLY ROZE IS BRINGING A NEW WAVE OF MUSIC TO NASHVILLE WORDS RHAMER BERNARDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY SEAN HAGWELL
AT JUST 24 YEARS OLD, MILLY ROZE, THE BUDDING STAR FROM NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE IS MASTERING THE ART OF DOING IT ALL. FROM SINGING, TO SONG WRITING AND PRODUCING, MILLY IS CREATING A LANE FOR HERSELF IN THE WORLD OF POP AND R&B AND BRINGING HER OWN TOUCH OF FLAVOR TO THE NASHVILLE MUSIC SCENE.
BORN IN MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN- ROZE AND HER MOTHER MOVED TO NASHVILLE WHEN SHE WAS 7
IN PURSUIT OF A NEW LIFE IN THE MUSIC FILLED CITY. WITH A GROWING INSTAGRAM FOLLOWING OF OVER 3.4K FOLLOWERS, TWO EPS, AND TWO SINGLES ON ITUNES AND SPOTIFY, THE YOUNG VISIONARY IS AN ARTIST TO KEEP AN EYE ON. BOMBSHELL HAD THE CHANCE TO CHAT WITH THE BUDDING SONGSTRESS ABOUT HER MUSIC CAREER IN NASHVILLE, AND HOW WATCHING HER MOM SING IN BARS SPARKED HER LOVE FOR MUSIC.
YOU MUST GO DAYS ON DAYS DEBATING BEFORE YOU POST SOMETHING ON INSTAGRAM, BECAUSE IT IS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. Roze: Thank you! I’m actually trying to get more actors now because I’m trying to get a new single out. THAT’S GREAT! BECAUSE YOU HAVEN’T RELEASED ANYTHING SINCE 2016…AND I WAS LIKE, “WELL HOLD ON… IT’S ONLY 3 OR 4 MONTHS INTO 2017 Roze: It was the end of 2016 when I released my last project…It seemed kind of long, but now I’m like, “I’m okay. This is okay.” WE ARE ONLY 3? 4? 5? MONTHS INTO 2017 AND WE AREN’T EVEN HALF WAY THROUGH THE YEAR. YOU SAID IN AN INTERVIEW WITH NOI SE MAGAZINE, OR NOISE ONLINE, THAT YOU WERE HOPING TO GET A TEAM TOGETHER TO WORK WITH YOU MUSICALLY. WHY THIS YEAR? WHY NOW? Roze: Because I’ve been pushing myself as an independent artist all by myself for years now. I wanna say—I’ve been singing since I was such a young girl. I started to do it (singing) and wanted to do it professionally when I was 17 (years-old). So 17 and on, and I’m 24 years-old now. I’ve been trying to do it professionally: No backing, no management, no help or anything. Hopefully this year I could build a little bit more. YOU ARE LABELED AS A “R&B/POP” ARTIST ON ITUNES. YOUR SOUND IS THAT DEFINITE MIX OF R&B/POP, BUT IN A CREATIVELY DIFFERENT SORT OF WAY. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE NASHVILLE, V. ATLANTA OR L.A. TO BEGIN YOUR CAREER?
HOW HAS YOUR MOM INFLUENCED YOU IN YOUR LIFE AND IN YOUR MUSIC? Roze: She is such strong woman. Single parent. I didn’t really know my dad, didn’t really have much family backing, but she was one of those people that loved music so much. She’s been playing guitar since she was young, no one really knows what age (she started). So she calls herself the female Jimi Hendrix, hilarious! *laughter* She used to take me with her to jam sessions, to random people’s houses, playing records and stuff like that. So we would be there, having a good time. She always knew how to have fun with music, even though she wasn’t making money off of it or doing anything with it professionally. She would walk into a bar and be like, “Hey can I play real quick? I’m bored and I just wanna play the guitar.” —And to me that means so much because it’s music and she loves it. She’s not doing it to make a living off of it, even though we might be struggling to pay our electric bill. We’re not trying to use our gift to pay bills and to me that just meant a lot, you know? Her love for it. Between music and her strength and stuff, I look up to her a lot. IN CONNECTION TO THAT, WHAT WAS THE BEST ADVICE ADVICE YOUR MOM HAS GIVEN YOU SO FAR? Roze: Never let anybody tell you what your art is. Art is art. If you’re given a blank sheet of paper, how can somebody tell you what you put on there is right or wrong. It has no lines, it has no directions. There is no, “Follow this dotted line,” it’s a blank sheet of paper. Your art is your art. So never let anybody tell you your creativity is wrong or try to tell you how to do it. Just be yourself. WHAT IS A MAJOR PROJECT THAT WE CAN BE EXPECTING FROM YOU IN 2017? ANOTHER EP? A FULL-OUT ALBUM?
Roze: Right. Well I’ve been here since I was 7 years-old. My mom moved me here; (she) moved me here for a better life. She said she doesn’t want to live in a hardcore area where we were at. We came here and her first thought was, “Music City”! I started getting involved in chorus, and just music programs here and there…I always felt like Nashville chose me, rather than I chose Nashville. It’s kinda weird *laughter* . Though I am doing it (music) professionally, it has been a little frustrating at times because I’ve had the thought, “There’s nothing here. What is going on?!” But now, it’s changing. Like I was saying, more people are tired of the statures. More people are tired of the big saturated, Atlanta, where people are doing the same thing. It’s kinda good because I can be a diamond in the rough if I stay here and if I stick with it. You know?
Roze: You should be expecting bigger singles from me this year and an actual project from me later on in the year. I’m actually gonna try to release more visuals of me singing live, like music videos, to give people something to look forward to in the new future. Get different versions of some of the songs that I have released, singing them live, that should be kinda cool.
YOU’VE MENTIONED YOUR MOM A LOT. YOU HAD AN INSTAGRAM POST, SAYING SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR MOM AND YOUR GRANDMA AND HOW SHE’S RAISED YOU.
To get the latest on the Nashville beauty, follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Listen and track her music on iTunes and Spotify @MillyRoze
IF YOU COULD PICK ANYBODY IN THE WORLD, RIGHT NOW OR IN THE PAST, WHO WOULD YOU COLLABORATE WITH? Roze: Frank Ocean! His song writing is ridiculous. He can actually write a song!
PASS I O N I NAS -X
INAS-X BRINGING LIGHT TO THE WORLD THROUGH SONG BECAUSE SHE UNDERSTANDS THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE - MUSIC.
When did you realize music was the purpose? Music is the most powerful tool to touch people. All I want to do is inspire people, help people, move people. Music can touch people around the world, in the deep parts of the desert, jungle and biggest cities. Music touches everyone. What better vehicle to use to touch people? The meaning of Inas-X? Inas is my real name. The X stands for being independent, undefined etc. It doesn’t matter what anyone says about you or thinks about you, you define yourself. It doesn’t have to be one definition because you are undefinable and limitless and amazing. The X started as my mark of independence when I first started pursuing my music career but has become so much more than that. If you follow me or are a fan
of mine, you are X’d out. You are undefined and amazing! You’re everything. The mission behind your music? To spread love around the world! To spread light. To be someone who gives people hope. To let people know it’s going to be okay. Especially little girls. I want to save as many people as I can before my time is up, especially my baby girls because my icons saved me. Your greatest influence? Michael Jackson. His art, level of performance and philanthropy work inspires me on the daily. No one will ever replace him and everyone is inspired by him. He saved me! I love MJ!! I will make him proud.
3 girls on the underground music scene that you respect?
7 words to empower young revolutionary womenâ€Ś
Doja Cat Kali Uchis Ravyn Lenae
Believe in yourself; nobody can stop you.
Whatâ€™s next for you? Music music music! More music, more visuals, more art. More life! Lots coming this year! The X is taking over!
Process Passion Patience Perserverance Persistence Purpose Positivity
D R I VE N GoG o MOR ROW
GOGO! Sweet, stylish, and a vocal sharpshooter are just a few characteristics to describe the Philadelphia native known as GoGo Morrow. As her voice fires away hitting notes that even some of our favorite artist struggle with executing, GoGo Morrow is the go to girl when it comes to assassinating a performance. Although the days of singing background for the likes of Lady Gaga are well behind her, the wonderful and humbling experiences are cherished, and she uses the fond memories as motivation.
PHOTOGRAPHY RICKY RICARDO
ruising through the fast lane in her mustard colored mustang, her locks ripple in the wind as she rolls down her tinted windows. Pulling up to parallel park, she twirls the tips of her turquoise colored hair sitting fly right before her studio session to speak with us.
“This project has been really therapeutic” she says with an exhale, “2016 was a year of discovery for me because I haven’t put out any music since the end of 2015”. Parting ways with her production team, the “Like a Trap Boy” singer found herself starting over. “It forced me to explain what my goal was and how I wanted people to view me. It became challenging expressing myself which made me realize that I honestly wasn’t sure.” All of a sudden she pauses, slightly paralyzed by her thoughts she reflects finishing
her statement, “For the longest time I thought I knew, but writing and recording again helped me to become more vulnerable and clairvoyant.” As an independent artist making strides in a male dominated industry, she’s well aware of what makes her stand out which many refer to as the “It” factor. Yet, she calls it showing respect to her craft. “I’m not just a singer. I’m not just a songwriter. I am an all-around entertainer.” As a witness to her wildly charming stage presence and wonderfully detailed performances, there is no exaggeration to her statement. She continues by saying, “I’m not a rapper. I can’t record a freestyle in my basement and simply throw it up on Sound Cloud. I have to mix and master and make sure the quality is up to par. It’s unacceptable for a singer to not have a standard she says in her sweet like voice yet sternly in her conviction.
“FOR THE LONGEST TIME I THOUGHT I KNEW, BUT WRITING AND RECORDING AGAIN HELPED ME TO BECOME MORE VULNERABLE AND CLAIRVOYANT.”
“I’M NOW IN A PLACE WHERE I’M MAKING MUSIC AND SONGS THAT FEEL GOOD TO ME SO PEOPLE CAN REALLY BELIEVE AND CONNECT TO THEM AND UNDERSTAND THE THINGS I’VE GONE THROUGH OR WITNESSED THROUGH OTHERS.”
Taught by the best by attending Freedom Theatre as well as Philadelphia’s High School for Creative and Performing Arts, it seems as though all the of the training has paid off. Gearing up for the release of her Untitled EP due out this year, Ms. Morrow is elated to share her evolution. “Some of the music I’ve released before was very calculated. I put out music that I thought people wanted to hear, certain sounds for certain people. A journey is most certainly not a race but if it were, the belting Bombshell is more than prepared.
P R E PARED VAL I
WORDS NICOLE GORRITZ
BREAKOUT ARTIST VALI TALKS ‘AIN’T NO FRIEND OF MINE’ AND DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE
Her classically trained background. Her unapologetic style. Her raw talent. Her need to spread love, positivity, and dreams of healing the world. Vali, Rostrum Records’ up-and-coming songstress, has crooned her way into the spotlight and is not letting go. Her climb to the top has resulted in collaborations with notable industry icons such as Wiz Khalifa, and manager, Laurieann Gibson. A very Zen, yet bubbly, Vali shows that she is more than a beauty with a tender voice and killer dance moves. She is a true artist and lyricist, with a vision for the future. Here is what she had to say:
WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO GET INTO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY? Well when I was a little kid I knew I wanted to do music in general because both of my parents were musicians, so I already knew that music was something that I wanted to do. It wasn’t until I started working with Wiz Khalifa that I realized I wanted to be an artist. WOULD YOU SAY THAT WAS YOUR BIG BREAK? I wouldn’t say it was my big break as much as it was just one of the key pieces in the puzzle to make me come out as an artist. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY YOUR BIG BREAK WAS? This video. [‘Ain’t No Friend of Mine,’ written entirely by Vali.] YOU ALSO GOT THE ATTENTION OF LAURIEANN GIBSON. WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH SOMEONE WHO IS SO WELL KNOWN AND RESPECTED IN THE INDUSTRY? It was definitely a dream come true because she’s always been someone that I admired and looked up to. Once we got together and collectively came up with this whole movement of ANFOM [title of upcoming EP] and ‘Ain’t No Friend of Mine’ and all the others songs it kept
snowballing in a great way from there. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSICAL STYLE? I have a broad spectrum. I think I’m a multigenre artist. Because I’m a musician as well—I play the piano. I’m learning the bass. I’m very musical so, for me, I love all kinds of music, but I would say my music is definitely pop. WHAT CAN FANS EXPECT TO HEAR OFF OF YOUR UPCOMING EP? They can expect to hear a personal side of me as an artist. HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK IT IS FOR AN ARTIST SUCH AS YOURSELF TO SPREAD MESSAGES LIKE THIS, ESPECIALLY IN THESE SOCIALLY TRYING TIMES? I think it’s very important for artist to come together and talk about what’s going on in the world. Music and art are the most impactful ways to reach people and bring them together. IN YOUR MIND’S EYE, WHAT IS IN STORE IN YOUR FUTURE? WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH? I would like to tour and connect with people all over the world. I would like to be in position where I can help other artist achieve their dreams.
V A L I
STYLE SNOOPS WHO WAS YOUR FIRST STYLE ICON? Gwen Stefani
IF YOU COULD BE THE FACE OF (DESIGNER OF YOUR CHOICE) NEXT CAMPAIGN, WHO WOULD IT BE? Gucci.
WHAT’S THE SECRET TO HAVING SKIN AS FLAWLESS AS VALI’S? I put my Sephora facemasks in the fridge and before I go out I put one on for 30 minutes!
DRUGSTORE BEAUTY PRODUCTS OR HIGH-END BRANDS? I mix and match, but I’ve learned that the higher end brands test on animals more so than drugstore products. Just something to think about.
THE MOST VITAL ACCESSORY YOU OWN? My Jamaican friendship bracelet. It holds magic.
BAHJA RODRIGUEZ Notably known for being a former member of the OMG GIRLZ, Bahja Rodriguez is on the road to solo success and her 297K (plus) followers are in heavy anticipation of what’s next.
THE COME UP
OMG GIRLZ introduced me to the world —period. I feel like that was my platform to do what I’m doing right now, being a solo artist.
DO’S AND DON’T OF DATING IN THE INDUSTRY
Don’t date anybody in the industry unless you know you’re going to be together a long time because the industry is super small.
‘Thoughts of the Brainless. ’And OVO Sound.
BIGGEST LIFE LESSON
CAN’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT
I love watching ‘Flavor of Love’ and ‘I Love New York,’ and all of those kinds of shows when I’m not doing anything.
Keep going, and everything happens for a reason. You just have to learn to deal with it, move forward, and heal and learn from it.
I need my journal. I need my computer. I like to write things down and visually see them so that I’m able to do what I need to do.
TOP 3 FAVORITE ARTISTS
Sold by Patricia McCormick
Syd Tha Kid BLAQUE
Read more about this Bombshell on the site www.bombshellbybleu.com
F R E S H BAHJ A
MISS MULATTO Award-winning rapper and Georgia-native, Miss Mulatto rose to popularity when she became a cast member on Lifetime’s ‘The Rap Game’ with music industry legend, Jermaine Dupri. Now her fans, and a whopping one million followers, are anxiously awaiting what is yet to come.
THE COME UP
I would say the big break would have to be The Rap Game. I was already doing stuff in my own city, but after this show—obviously that’s national exposure. So, I started doing shows across the country, and I had my first show out of the country as well. DO’S AND DON’T OF DATING IN THE INDUSTRY
If you’re pursuing a career in this music industry never think that you have to date someone in this business just to make it. If you chose to that’s fine but never think you have to! DOPE PODCAST
IGNORANT PHILOSOPHY on SoundCloud!
CAN’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT
BIGGEST LIFE LESSON
Always work like you’re losing.
Copper Sun by Sharon Draper
I don’t have one in particular but I love streetwear brands.
Can’t leave home without: My phone of course and lip gloss.
TOP 3 FAVORITE ARTISTS
BANDIT GANG MARCO
FR ES H M I SS M U L AT TO
Read more about this Bombshell on the site www.bombshellbybleu.com
CHO S E N L I ANA BANK$
LIANA $ K N A B $
NEW LEVEL$ INTERVIEWED JAZMINE PARSON WORDS NICOLE GORRITZ
WORDS NICOLE GORRITZ
SHOT BY WILL FALIZE PHOTO EDITS TATIYANA-KENT HOWERTON HAIR KISHA MARIE MAKE UP HALIMA NAIL TECH AMANDA RENEE STYLED BY DARRYL GLOVER
Sleeve Jacket Darkestever, Shirt Kye, Top Georgine, Dress Top Shop, Belt Jeremy Scott, Glasses Shiney Squirrel, Jewels Stylist Owned, Shoes UNIF
C HO S EN LI A N A B A N K $
CHO S E N L I ANA BANK$
NEON HEAD CAGE WXYZ ,RINGS ALIBI, EARRINGS ALEXIS BITTAR
C HO S EN LI A N A B A N K $
The number one rule is not to ever give up because this shit takes time and if you’re scared of your faith then you’ll give up and you’ll miss out on your calling LIANA BANK$
CHO S EN L I ANA BANK$
WHEN LIANA BANK$ STEPPED FOOT INTO THE STUDIO THE DAY OF HER BOMBSHELL COVER SHOOT, EVERYTHING SHINED. DRIPPING IN FIERCE FEMININITY, THE QUEENS-BORN NATIVE COMMANDED THE ROOM. GROWING UP IN A FAMILY OF SUCCESS- FUL MUSICIANS, BANK$ BEGAN WRITING AT A VERY EARLY AGE, WHICH STEERED HER IN THE DIRECTION OF WRITING SONGS WITH ESTABLISHED ARTISTS ACROSS THE WORLD. NOW BANK$ IS MORE THAN READY TO CONTINUE HER FAMILY LEGACY AND TAKE THE MUSIC INDUSTRY BY STORM—ON HER OWN TERMS. BECAUSE OF HER INNATE SONGWRITING ABILITY AND RAW TALENT, BANK$ BEGAN TO RECORD HER OWN MUSIC, PRODUCING SINGLE AFTER SINGLE, EVENTUALLY LEADING TO THE RELEASE OF HER FIRST MIXTAPE. BANK$ IS CURRENTLY RIDING THE WAVE OF HER DEBUT ALBUM ENTITLED ‘INSUBORDINATE’ , A NAME WHICH SEEMS TO COMPLETELY EMBODY THE UNAPOLOGETIC GREENHAIRED SONGSTRESS. THE ALBUM FEATURES 12 FEARLESS TRACKS THAT REVEAL BANK$’ TRUE SELF. IT IS NARRATED BY HER SMOOTH VOCALS, AND
A COMBINATION OF VARIOUS BEATS AND RHYTHMS. IN FACT, THE ENTIRE ALBUM DOES NOT FIT THE MOLD OF A SPECIFIC GENRE; SOMETHING THAT BANK$ REFERS TO AS ‘GENRE-LESS.’ BANK$ REVEALS MANY SIDES OF HERSELF THROUGH HER MUSIC, HER FASHION SENSE, AND HER HAIR COLOR. BUT SHE ALSO ALLOWS HER FANS TO SEE A HEART OF GOLD THAT IS JUST BENEATH THE SURFACE. SHE REVEALED TO US THAT SHE AIMS TO EVOKE STRENGTH, POWER, AND— ABOVE ALL ELSE—AUTHENTICY IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD. THROUGH HER MUSIC AND ACTIONS SHE HOPES TO CLIMB TO THE TOP. NOT ONLY FOR HER, BUT TO ALSO EMPOWER HER FANS AND FELLOW ARTISTS. SHE WANTS THEM TO CONTINUE TO PUSH PASS ANY AND ALL OBSTACLES THAT GET IN THE WAY. HER WISH IS THAT HER MUSIC IS A WAY TO HELP THEM TO DO THAT. THOUGH LIANA BANK$ HAS ACCOMPLISHED SO MUCH ALREADY, SHE CONTINUES TO LOOK TO THE FUTURE AND SOLIDIFY HER SUCCESS AS A MULTI-FACETED ARTIST. WITH UPCOMING SHOWS, PROJECTS AND SONGWRITING GIGS, SHE SHOWS ABSOLUTELY NO SIGN OF SLOWING DOWN.
C HO S EN LI A N A B A N K $
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING? I wrote my first song at eight years old and I’ve literally been writing since.
Dress Georgine, Fur Georgine, Jewels ALEXIS BITTAR
WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE AN ARTIST RATHER THAN A WRITER? Probably in church. I was in the gospel choir and I loved the feel of the stage. It gave me some kind of energy. BIGGEST MUSICAL INFLUENCE? I’m a super fan of James Brown and Sade. I think both of them are really authentic artists with completely different styles. But they’re both really powerful, and embody the essence of power and strength. They do it in completely different ways, and I feel as if I do the same as an artist. Sometimes I’m really aggressive and loud, and other times I’m really chill and sometimes sexual. DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND? I would describe it as chill, turn up, mesh of craziness, and a little bit of a genre-less thing. HOW HAS YOUR FAMILY ENCOURAGED YOUR CAREER? Honestly, my mom was like, “Go get a real job” [laughs]. She completely didn’t encourage it because, being a singer herself, she knew that it was hard with the money situation being that it’s day to day. She definitely didn’t want me to do this for a fact. My grandmother—I feel as if she didn’t want me to do it either, but she believed so much in my song writing abilities that she still quietly supported me. WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO WRITE A SONG? I was shy and I had so much to say. I was also scared of my mom [laughs]. I was scared she would give me a beating if I would say some of the things I wanted to because they were inappropriate. So, I just got a book and I started writing my thoughts out, and my first song was very inappropriate for eight years old [laughs]. WHAT WAS IT ABOUT? It was about a relationship with a boy. I was saying, “You’re pathetic, so get out my face. You say you want to take me out and love me down.’ Stuff like that, and I’m eight! I didn’t know anything about this, but this is this is what I was singing about [laughs].
CHO S E N L I ANA BANK$
IF YOU WEREN’T DOING MUSIC WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU SEE YOURSELF DOING? This is always tough. I mean, I’m really into fashion so I would probably be doing clothes or anything in the arts. I love film. I love cooking, so really anything that thrives off of inspiration and art. I definitely would be in that. WHO WOULD YOU LOVE TO OPEN FOR, TOURWISE? I would love to open for Bruno Mars. I think that he’s an amazing performer that would give me a lot of inspiration to go harder and make myself a better performer. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS? On the top-top-top [laughs]. That’s where I want to be. I just want to be in a position to not only help myself, but my family. Help the kids. Encourage other artists, and inspire people to follow their dream. The number one rule is not to ever give up because this shit takes time [laughs], and if you’re scared of your faith then you’ll give up and you’ll miss out on your calling. I just want to be a testament for people. IF YOU WERE A SUPER HERO WHAT WOULD BE YOUR POWER? If I were a superhero I would want to fly. I feel like there’s a freedom to flying. I don’t like being in the airplane, but I love the view. I love being high up. Even in my apartment I love the view that I have. Just being able to have a bird’s eye view of everything.
So, flying and probably invisibility. SO, LETS GET INTO THE MIXTAPE... DESCRIBE INSUBORDINATE. ‘Insubordinate’ is a combination of songs that are very blunt; very out there; a little bit of in your face; super honest; kind of like an FU to the people that put stigmas, and barriers on women telling them what they should and can’t do. I just went in and spoke my mind as honestly as possible. WHAT’S THE INSPIRATION BEHIND ‘INSUBORDINATE’? WAS IT ABOUT ANYTHING THAT’S GOING ON NOW AROUND THE WORLD, OR SOMETHING PERSONAL? I think it was a personal triumph for me. It was a triumph for me to stop following what people told me to do. I didn’t put music out for a long time because of a prior management situation that I was in. I was told, “Oh, you can’t put this out. You can’t do that.” Even when I was going to label meetings it was, “Oh you can’t dress like that. This is what they want you to look like.” It was really crazy. It [‘Insubordinate’] was like a coming out for me, and me getting to authentically be myself. WHO WOULD YOU LOVE TO COLLABORATE WITH? A lot of people, I would love to collaborate with The Internet. I like them a lot. I think we could make a really dope song together. I like Chance the Rapper. I like so many people.
‘Insubordinate’ was like a coming out for me and me getting to authentically be myself LIANA BANK$
C HO S EN LI A N A B A N K $ WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND LVLUP, AND THE MAKING OF THE VIDEO? LVLUP—another in the moment song. I was in the studio with half of the people that were in the video while I made that song. It was like a party really. It was nice and chill. We had some wine, we had some weed [laughs]. It was just really turnt and chill. For the video I wanted to keep that same energy so I didn’t want to do anything too over board or anything that looked like we were trying because when we did the song we weren’t trying. It came one-two-three. I said let’s shoot at my crib, so we shot one scene at my apartment. We shot another scene in Times Square because that was a place where I always went growing up. We shot another scene in this cool ass escalator in New Jersey. We just left it really cool and real. My real friends, and everyone were just like, “Oh what should I wear?” and I’m just like, “Chill.” [Laughs]. It came out great, and we got a good reaction from it.
OTHER THAN YOUR VOICE YOU ALSO DRAW ATTENTION WITH YOUR IMAGE, WHAT INSPIRES YOUR STYLE? Honestly my mood. I feel like I’m really moody, not crazy, but nobody would know that inside there are so many emotions. I’m writing 10 songs at one time. So when I wake up I’m just like; hmm, how I’m feeling? I want to dress according to that emotion, and sometimes the weather. DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE IN THREE WORDS. GIRL. Boy. GIRL. I feel like I go back and fourth between femininity and masculinity, and I like to mix and match the two. YOUR HAIR COLOR IS A MAJOR PART OF THE YOUR IMAGE. WHAT MADE YOU GO WITH THAT PARTICULAR COLOR? I was really, really bored one day. I was doing a lot of sessions and I felt like my hair didn’t match my personality. I was going in and out of sessions and everybody had black hair, and it just got a little boring to me. I was like; let me just go for it, And I went for it! [Laughs].
Blazer Color Block, Vest Elizabeth James, Skirt Elizabeth James, Chain Bra Corset Kikiriki, Corset LAYer Abaete
WHAT’S ONE THING THAT PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU? I’m really hands on with my projects. I kind of do a lot of the things myself like artwork and mostly all of the things you see online. Sometimes a lot of people tell me, “Your team must be huge and you guys must have a big budget,” but its not that and we literately have nothing. A lot of people think I’m signed already, and I’m just like nope, Indie [laughs].
WHAT UP AND COMING PROJECTS SHOULD WE BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR? I have a lot of shows coming up. I’m doing something for the show, ‘STAR.’ They want me to perform for the premiere. I’m also going to have a project coming out later this year. CAN YOU LEAVE THE BOMBSHELL READERS WITH SEVEN WORDS TO EMPOWER WOMEN? YOU ARE REALLY FUCKING AMAZING. KNOW THAT.