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Lawrence Bryant Photography Director


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Leneia O’Hara Managing Editor

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@DeluxPromo Writers Ashley Broyles Leneia Weston Philip Blanks Seven L Maxwell Tiffany S. Nashville Photographers Lawrence Bryant Arthur Smith Keith N Griffin II Sales Kimberly Wells Publicist/PR Rep Shuntae Shields Ryan

Advisory Board: Jacque Land, Dr. Christi Griffin, Bethal Harris, Jeffery Witt, Esq, Trina Claggett, Kim Moses


Editor's Chaos Nothig to say this month.... *crickets* Thanks for the support!!!! YOU ARE DELUX... LOL!!! That was wierd... :-)



Keith Griffin, II Publisher/Editor in Chief





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you strutting are Fo o h

October 6 - Missouri History Museum in Forest Park

The Sista Strut Rally is 8:00am-10:00am. The Sista Strut Walk starts at 10:00am.

Did you know that African American women are more likely to die of breast cancer than other races? We strut for our mothers, our sisters, our friends, ourselves. Who are you strutting for?

Registration Info:

• Individual: $15/per person

- Registration includes a 2012 Sista Strut t-Shirt

• Team: $25/per person (maximum 50 people)

Registration includes: - 2012 Sista Strut t-Shirt - Commemorative Sista Strut head scarf - Team photo for each team member (photos will be given to team captain).

Pre-registration deadline is August 31st.

Register NOW at A portion of the proceeds benefit The Breakfast Club, Inc., an African American breast cancer support group, The Black Women Breast Cancer Survivors Project, a community-based project at UMSL and The Siteman Cancer Center.

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frank ocean

The story goes: A journalist attending a listening party for the new Frank Ocean album, Channel Orange, noted to Frank that several of the songs were composed to a male love interest. Frank then chose to turn to his own web page and issued two paragraphs. They begin with an assertion of compassion — “Whoever you are, whatever you are ... I’m starting to think we’re a lot alike” — and we are then enlightened with the anguish of Frank’s first love; love of a male friend who ultimately refused Ocean’s decisive attempt to name their love. He ends with: “Some things never are. And we were. I won’t forget you. I won’t forget the summer. I’ll remember who I was when I met you.” One thing is certain: Frank Ocean is a poet. The details are painstaking, yet simply stated: “I wept as the words left my mouth. I grieved for them, knowing I could never take them back for myself. He patted my back. He said kind things…” It was a kind of coming out: it was a revelation that he’s experienced intimate feelings for both men and women. In the realm of hip hop, this is virtually unprecedented. Los Angeles Times music writer Gerrick D. Kennedy called it “the glass ceiling moment for music. Especially black music, which has long been in desperate need of a voice like Ocean’s to break the layers of homophobia.” There is a brief ancestry of black artists who have presented us with a wider definition of sexuality through their public persona and music, as well, though homophobia in the black community has certainly hampered countless people from living their full and true lives. Choosing between the passion of one’s craft, and who is acceptable to love in their lifetime is tragic. There are a few who have brazenly faced the harsh judgments. The great disco and soul singer and drag artist Sylvester James was undoubtedly a key player in making a career like this a thinkable reality. Timeless lyricist Billy Strayhorn (Duke Ellington’s collaborator) helped shape classic songs like “Lush Life “ as an openly gay man in mid-century jazz. Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith are among many early blues queens who sang of loving both women and men. Little Richard’s feminine eccentricity helped define early rock and roll. Me’Shell NdegeOcello is openly bisexual. Ocean’s public statement certainly contributes to the cause of greater visibility for LGBTQ artists and people; but in his music, he’s not so much being revolutionary as he is finding his place in an ironic history. He actually fits effortlessly inside the evolution of popular music. Pop artists have long celebrated dynamic sexuality. From David Bowie, Prince, Rick James, and Annie Lennox’s deliberate androgyny; to Mick Jagger to Janis Joplin, all have manipulated the ever-expanding definition of love and sexuality. There is an age-old debate about how sexuality develops: through identity- (perhaps biologically) - or through deed. Ocean has successfully shifted the two-sided discussion of sexuality in black America, and presented another layer where sexuality ascends fluidly within particular circumstances, defined by fluctuating desires and distinct encounters rather than hardening sexuality as an identity or deed. Loving and losing makes for the most expressive of music and art. And art, like love, is never easily defined. DELUX-MAG.COM | 17

D lifestylefashion LONDON 2012 The London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony took place at 9pm on 27 July 2012. Titled ‘Isles of Wonder’, the Ceremony welcomed the finest athletes from more than 200 nations for the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games, marking an historic third time the capital has hosted the world’s biggest and most important sporting event. The Opening Ceremony reflected the key themes and priorities of the London 2012 Games, based on sport, inspiration, youth and urban transformation. It was a Ceremony ‘for everyone’ and celebrated contributions the UK has made to the world through innovation and revolution, as well as the creativity and exuberance of British people. The spectacular finale of the event saw the Olympic Cauldron, formed of 205 copper petals representing the competing nations coming together in London for the Games, ignited by seven young Torchbearers nominated by Britain’s past and present Olympic and sporting greats.

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Makayama Movie Mount for Apple iPad Mobile devices have definitely come a long way, and although it takes some time to adjust to new technology, the iPad is more or less here to stay. Shooting a video with the iPad does have its advantages, even though shooting freehand might not get the desired results, let alone looking slightly weird at the same time. Makayama is introducing the Movie Mount for the Apple iPad to achieve the professional result easily, and looking professional while shooting videos. The well designed case clicks onto the back of an iPad, enabling attachment of additional light and mic with a breeze, as well as capabilities to screw on different lenses and tripods. Check out the informative video below to find out more.

Tracey Robbins is St. Louis’s It Girl and she knows it. As the city’s most stunning socialite, Tracey is the envy of all onlookers who secretly desire to walk a mile in her shoes. She has it all: money, style, friends, a career, and a successful man to keep her occupied when she’s not working as the head of the city’s most successful magazine. Tracey is a professional in pursuit of maintaining the elegant lifestyle in which she’d grown into, and is committed to protecting her supreme status at all costs. Just when things were 20 | DELUX Magazine V3 Issue 9


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looking up for Tracey; greed, lust, and envy interfere with the future she had planned, sending her life on a downward spiral. Through a series of carefully orchestrated events, Tracey has no choice but to watch as those closest to her begin to reveal their hand. As Tracey falls victim to the scandals of society and her secrets become publically exposed, will she fight her way back to the top or is she doomed to be consumed by her own demons?



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Wealthy and Wicked is a story showcasing the ugly side of success. When secrets surrounding the lead character—Tracey Robbins—are revealed, the reader is whisked on a whirlwind of emotions as the details are dished throughout the story. First-time author, Chris Renee, managed to capture the reader’s attention from the first page. With each turn, there was a new twist to the plot which keeps you lingering. Just when you thought nothing else could go wrong—it did. Chris Renee painted a picture of imperfection as Tracey’s material world came crashing down around her. Hidden in the story are treasures which reveal some of St. Louis’s urban entrepreneurs and

personalities which the author candidly coded throughout the story. From outside of the city this seems like a really good read, but the DELUX audience who knows the inner workings of the socialites in the city will wonder are these lines based on fact or fiction? Read and be the judge. Download the Kindle app and purchase Wealthy and Wicked on Interact with the author, @IamChrisRenee on twitter and offer inspiration for her next novel. story by: Seven L. Maxwell DELUX-MAG.COM | 21




Ryan Lochte: You’ve watched this powerhouse swim from out of the blue to front and center, putting pressure on some of America’s most legendary swimmers—yes, you Michael. But just how do you get that fast? Or even half that fast? Put the time in, says Lochte. “Push when you don’t want to—that’s what separates the average from the great.” Ryan Lochte Lochte’s mantra: Go big, or go home If you want to increase your speed in the pool, make sure your time is well spent and follow these tips that helped Lochte pave his path to the London Games. Master Your Form: Keep your body as straight as possible. “When I push off the wall, I try to stay in a tight line,” says Lochte. “My body basically looks like a pencil going through the pool.” When your hands enter the water, they should be flat, striking down into the surface, and aiming toward the other side of the pool. When you pull your palms back—transitioning into that next stroke—your palms should be facing down toward the bottom of the pool, slightly cupped. That’s how you’ll pull all that water and propel yourself forward, says Lochte. Lochte’s Techniques Dominate the Flip Turn: If you want to master this move, it all comes down to timing. When approaching the other side of the pool, do a somersault towards the wall when you’re about a stroke away. Instead of focusing on the position of your feet, concentrate on curling your body in a tight ball. The tighter you are, the faster your hips will turn over—and the rest of the body just follows, he says. Train for Speed: The secret to faster times? Swim harder. To increase your speed, the distance you put in doesn’t matter as much as the amount of power you put into each stroke. “There are always certain days in the pool where you just feel tired, and your body starts to fatigue,” says Lochte. “But that’s when you push your body harder.” Lochte’s suggestion: Start out sprinting shorter distances like 25 meters and 50 meters—as hard as you can—and power through the fatigue. As your times begin to drop and your body feels stronger, work your way up to something longer like 200 meters. MORE USEFUL STUFF U.S. Olympian Shows Us His Abs OLYMPICS: The Best Advice from Olympians Inside the Mind of Nastia Liukin Master Your Golf Swing Inside the Mind of Alex Morgan Build Your Core: No matter your skill level—Olympic or beginner—a strong core is the foundation for a strong stroke, says Lochte. When you’re kicking in the water, power originates from there, moving down through your hips, hamstrings, and feet. Your move: Work your abs till they burn. “For me, regular sit-ups do the trick, but you’ve got to work them hard enough to feel it,” says Lochte. Keep It Fun: A rookie mistake: Hitting the pool alone. “If I had to swim by myself, I wouldn’t be where I am at right now,” says Lochte. If you’re trying to get in to the sport, bring along a friend. Training alongside someone keeps it entertaining, it’s motivating, and it keeps things competitive. 22 | DELUX Magazine V3 Issue 9



FOLLOW THE LIA Brooklyn's fi n est -- Lia N eal has becom e th e secon d Black woman ever to make th e U.S. O lym pi c Swi m d sh e's n ot even o ld en ough to vote


o you remember the biggest thing you did when you were thirteen? Maybe you held a bake sale and raised money for a charity. Perhaps you organized a car wash or shoveled sidewalks to make some extra cash.

Four years ago, then-thirteen year old Lia Neal was swimming in the 100 and the 50-meter freestyle at the 2008 Olympic Trials. She is a gold medalist in the 100 freestyle at the World Junior Championships, but at the Trials that day she got blown away, finishing 78th in the 100-meter freestyle. Fast forward four years and Neal can’t stop crying. Her tears of joy flowed after she qualified to compete in the 400-meter freestyle relay in London for the U.S. Olympic swim team by placing fourth (54.33 secs.) in the 100-meter freestyle finals. It was an eighth place finish (54.60 secs.) the day before in the preliminaries that allowed her to just slide into the finals, which shows how she never gave up despite the odds being against her.

Neal, who’s father is Black and mother is Chinese, will join Cullen Jones and Anthony Ervin, both from the men’s team, to form the largest group of Black swimmers to ever represent the United States at the Olympic games. Prior to this year, this swim team never had more than one Black member and before 2000 when Ervin captured a Bronze, there were none. Lia is, in fact, only the second Black woman to ever make the team after Maritza Correia, won a silver in 2004 in the 400-meter freestyle relay – the same event Neal has qualified for. She told reporters that she had gotten an email from Correia who told her to enjoy every moment and to soak it in. As a member of the U.S. swim team, Neal has suddenly become a role model to Black kids who rarely get to see Olympic swimmers that look like them. Even though she is still a kid herself, Neal seems to have embraced that role telling interviewers, “I just hope this inspires more people to join the sport.” Perhaps her success will inspire more kids of color to get in the pool and go for Olympic gold, but until then, they’ll all be rooting for Neal.

But, the odds were against her long before the trials earlier this month. Lia grew up in Brooklyn, New York where there aren’t any swim teams near her, but after taking lessons at age six, another parent suggested she try out for a team. She did. And she has been training at Asphalt Green United Aquatics on Manhattan’s Upper East Side ever since. DELUX-MAG.COM | 23



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t was reported that Ms. Lauryn Hill has been charged with three counts of misdemeanor failure to file taxes. These charges were incurred for the years of 2005-2007, during a time in which Ms. Hill had removed herself and her family from society, in order to keep them safe, healthy, and free from danger. In response to these charges, Ms. Hill has issued the following statement:

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For the past several years, I have remained what others would consider underground. I did this in order to build a community of people, like-minded in their desire for freedom and the right to pursue their goals and lives without being manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex with a completely different agenda. Having put the lives and needs of other people before my own for multiple years, and having made hundreds of millions of dollars for certain institutions, under complex and sometimes severe circumstances, I began to require growth and more equitable treatment, but was met with resistance. I entered into my craft full of optimism (which I still possess), but immediately saw the suppressive force with which the system attempts to maintain it’s control over a given paradigm. I’ve seen people promote addiction, use sabotage, black listing, media bullying and any other coercion technique they could, to prevent artists from knowing their true value, or exercising their full power. These devices of control, no matter how well intentioned (or not), can have a devastating outcome on the lives of people, especially creative types who must grow and exist within a certain environment and according to a certain pace, in order to live and create optimally. I kept my life relatively simple, even after huge successes, but it became increasingly obvious that certain indulgences and privileges were expected to come at the expense of my free soul, free mind, and therefore my health and integrity. So I left a more mainstream and public life, in order to wean both myself, and my family, away from a lifestyle that required distortion and compromise as a means for maintaining it. During this critical healing time, there were very few people accessible to me who had not already been seduced or affected by this machine, and therefore who could be trusted to not try and influence or coerce me back into a dynamic of compromise. Individual growth was expected to take place unnaturally, or stagnated outright, subject to marketing and politics. Addressing critical issues like pop culture cannibalism or its manipulation of the young at the expense of everything, was frowned upon and discouraged by limiting funding, or denying it outright. When one has a prolific creative output like I did/do, and is then forced to stop, the effects can be dangerous both emotionally and psychologically, both for the artist and those in need of that resource. It was critically important that I find a suitable pathway within which to exist, without being distorted or economically strong-armed. During this period of crisis, much was said about me, both slanted and inaccurate,

by those who had become dependent on my creative force, yet unwilling to fully acknowledge the importance of my contribution, nor compensate me equitably for it. This was done in an effort to smear my public image, in order to directly affect my ability to earn independently of this system. It took a long time to locate and nurture a community of people strong enough to resist the incredibly unhealthy tide, and more importantly see through it. If I had not been able to make contact with, and establish this community, my life, safety and freedom, would have been directly affected as well as the lives, safety and freedom of my family. Failure to create a non toxic, non exploitative environment was not an option. As my potential to work, and therefore earn freely, was being threatened, I did whatever needed to be done in order to insulate my family from the climate of hostility, false entitlement, manipulation, racial prejudice, sexism and ageism that I was surrounded by. This was absolutely critical while trying to find and establish a new and very necessary community of healthy people, and also heal and detoxify myself and my family while raising my young children. There were no exotic trips, no fleet of cars, just an all out war for safety, integrity, wholeness and health, without mistreatment denial, and/or exploitation. In order to liberate myself from those who found it ok to oppose my wholeness, free speech and integral growth by inflicting different forms of punitive action against it, I used my resources to sustain our safety and survival until I was able to restore my ability to earn outside of it! When artists experience danger and crisis under the effects of this kind of insidious manipulation, everyone easily accepts that there was something either dysfunctional or defective with the artist, rather than look at, and fully examine, the system and its means and policies of exploiting/’doing business’. Not only is this unrealistic, it is very dark in its motivation, conveniently targeting the object of their hero worship by removing any evidence that they ‘needed’ or celebrated this very same resource just years, months or moments before. Since those who believe they need a hero/celebrity outnumber the actual heroes/celebrities, people feel safe and comfortably justified in numbers, committing egregious crimes in the name of the greater social ego. Ironically diminishing their own true hero-celebrity nature in the process.

that I wanted and needed to be freed from, not from art or music, but the suppression/ repression and reduction of that art and music to a bottom line alone, without regard for anything else. Over-commercialization and its resulting restrictions and limitations can be very damaging and distorting to the inherent nature of the individual. I Love making art, I Love making music, these are as natural and necessary for me almost as breathing or talking. To be denied the right to pursue it according to my ability, as well as be properly acknowledged and compensated for it, in an attempt to control, is manipulation directed at my most basic rights! These forms of expression, along with others, effectively comprise my free speech! Defending, preserving, and protecting these rights are critically important, especially in a paradigm where veiled racism, sexism, ageism, nepotism, and deliberate economic control are still blatant realities!!! Learning from the past, insulating friends and family from the influence of external manipulation and corruption, is far more important to me than being misunderstood for a season! I did not deliberately abandon my fans, nor did I deliberately abandon any responsibilities, but I did however put my safety, health and freedom and the freedom, safety and health of my family first over all other material concerns! I also embraced my right to resist a system intentionally opposing my right to whole and integral survival. I conveyed all of this when questioned as to why I did not file taxes during this time period. Obviously, the danger I faced was not accepted as reasonable grounds for deferring my tax payments, as authorities, who despite being told all of this, still chose to pursue action against me, as opposed to finding an alternative solution. My intention has always been to get this situation rectified. When I was working consistently without being affected by the interferences mentioned above, I filed and paid my taxes. This only stopped when it was necessary to withdraw from society, in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family. As this, and other areas of issue are resolved and set straight, I am able to get back to doing what I should be doing, the way it should be done. This is part of that process. To those supporters who were told that I abandoned them, that is untrue. I abandoned greed, corruption, and compromise, never you, and never the artistic gifts and abilities that sustained me.”

It was this schism and the hypocrisy, violence and social cannibalism it enabled, DELUX-MAG.COM | 27

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Office of Minority Health Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

Margaret Donnelly Director

Jeremiah (Jay) Nixon Governor

The Office of Minority Health:

• Monitors the programs in the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services for their impact on improving health equity for African American, Hispanic American, Alaskan/Native American and Asian/Pacific Islander American populations.

• Advises the director of the Department of Health and Senior Services on all matters that affect health equity for all Minority populations.

The Office of Minority Health is responsible for:

• Participating in the health education, design and implementation of culturally sensitive and competent awareness programs that reduce the incidence of disease in Minority populations and increases the knowledge of available resources. • Analyzing federal and state legislation for its impact on the health status of Minority populations.

• Developing programs that can attract other public and private funds.

• Assisting in the design of evidence-based programs and evaluations targeted specifically toward improving the health status and promoting health equity for all Minority populations.

• Providing necessary health information, data, and staff resources to the Missouri Minority Health Regional Alliances and minority communities. • Collaboration with community and professional organizations, community health centers, universities and colleges, and federal, state and local public health agencies.

The Office of Minority Health supports:

• Six regional minority health alliances (Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, Southeast, Eastern, and Central). • Community-based organizations and activities.

• Senior services outreach.

• Education and capacity building seminars and trainings. • Faith-based communities and initiatives.

• Technical and advisory assistance related to minority health issues.

Office of Minority Health P.O. Box 570 Jefferson City, MO 65102 (800) 877-3180 The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER Services are provided on a nondiscriminatory basis.

Joseph Palm Chief

delux fashion


emember when styling men was so simple that even a caveman can do it? A man dressed in a nice pair of premium jeans, a classic white v neck t-shirt, a fresh pair of air force ones and a vintage leather jacket made anyone take multiple looks. This look requires no talent and very little effort. Although this still may be stylish, yet undeniably safe, stylists and designers are now pushing the boundaries. At the present, men could take just as many unsafe fashion chances as women. The time has come for men to embrace style change and sway away from the usual. Men, get prepared to welcome changing styles as freely as women do. What do you need in your wardrobe for 2012? Here are three trendy items that can be easily integrated into any wardrobe. Relaxed Tailoring 1. For the past four seasons (but who’s counting?), slim and skinny cut clothing has been all of the rage for men. It’s safe for you to give your favorite skinny jeans a break because relaxed fit clothing has made its way back! Though skinny is not out of style, loosed fit relaxed tailored is undoubtedly in. If you haven’t already, go purchase slacken trousers or a loose fit blazer. Bolder Colors 2. Colors were introduced into men’s wardrobe a year ago at the spring fashion shows; however, the hues are becoming even bolder. Expect to see colors such as Blue, Apple Sage, Grape, and Canary as summer and beach wear attire. A blue light-weight jacket or yellow shorts would be a great item to incorporate into your wardrobe. Metal Detailed 3. Designers such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Costume National are adding metallic emphasis to the toe and heel of shoes for the Fall/Winter 2012 collection. If you want to get a jump start on your fall wardrobe, pre-order a pair of these steel-toe effect shoes that can be worn in the office or a night out on the town.

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turn your talents into a business The Recession is over…or is it? Our economy still has a very high unemployment rate and many are employed but underpaid for the work they perform. Being unemployed or under-employed can leave a huge gap in a person’s finance. Instead of being stressed out about your finances, turn your talents into a thriving small business to supplement your income. This is a perfect time to own a small home based business. Don’t search the internet for franchise systems or work from home programs. Look within yourself and pursue your dreams. You have talent that the local community needs. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, take a leap of faith and start your business. Let’s think about five great home based business opportunities: 1. Event Planner 2. Cake Decorator 3. Personal Fitness Guru 4. Handyman 5. Mobile car wash or Mobile Oil Change Do not simply look at our list and pick one you can do. Remember to pursue your dreams. We want you to put your personal touch on anything you develop. Therefore, take a moment and write down a list of things you’re good at. Once you have completed that list, pick out the one you believe people would pay for. Now let’s build your business. Here are some business fundamentals everyone must explore. 1. Determine your product and services. Be able to show your products and services in a clear manner to potential customers. 2. Develop a customer base that is willing to pay market rates for what you’re selling. A list of relatives that want discounts is a horrible way to start a business.

3. Set a budget. Determine your startup cost. Make a list of everything you need to start your business. Then determine your monthly cash flow cost. You should know how many items must be sold each month to make a profit. 4. Register the company with the State. Each state has a different registration process. Seek advice from a business center, accountant or attorney. 5. Open a business bank account. separate from business finances.

Keep personal finances

6. Seek advice from a business consultant. There are many great organizations that help small business owners. The consultant can help point you in the right direction and help you avoid costly mistakes. Some organizations have a fee while others are supported by the government and are free. 7. Develop a marketing strategy. Every company must know how they are going to find and sell to potential customers. For example, will you set up a booth at a flea market? Will you make presentations? Each of these different methods has a different cost associated with it. Many of America’s great businesses were started in someone’s home. They started as a result of someone just like you who saw an opportunity. Your talent is your opportunity. Our economy is perfect for the person willing to take the risk and develop their business dreams. Curtis Triggs Curtis Triggs is the Director of Saint Louis Business Resource Center. SBRC is a membership based nonprofit business development agency. For more information or to contact Curtis Triggs, please visit their website at



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"NEVER STOP PLAYING" BWEDC Presents the Venture Draft ...Where Athletes, Tech Firms and Venture Capital Intersect


" Pitch the Player" " Show Me the Money" " How to Pitch the Athlete/ Investor"

St. Louis University August 10 and 11, 2012 Workshops, Receptions, Auctions, Come find Investments for your BUSINESS Investors from Silicon Valley, NY, Las Vegas, Chicago and St. Louis For More Info: LIMITED SEATING FOR BOSSES ONLY!!!!!!!! 38 | DELUX Magazine V3 Issue 9




here’s no doubt that Elle Varner’s creative journey should be filed in the latter category, but even as her destiny unfolds before her, she can barely believe her eyes.

Hers was a childhood steeped in hooks and verses, melodies and choruses. Whether flipping through her mother’s Motown collection, singing along to Burt Bacharach classics or accompanying her songwriter parents to their recording sessions, music was an ever-present force. It’s the only life she knew. “Growing up in the studio was absolutely normal for me, but looking back, I realize that it’s not a very common environment for a kid,” Elle says. “At an early age, I absorbed so much about music and learned how to create a song, from beginning to end. My dad always asked for my opinion about what he was working on and I remember my mom would ask, ‘What word should I add here?’ They really empowered me.” With the release of her debut album, Perfectly Imperfect (MBK Entertainment/ RCA Records), which she wrote and co-produced, it’s evident that her early experiences have served her well. Crafting the album also proved to be a fullcircle moment for the 22-year-old singer/songwriter as she enlisted the help of her parents – Jimmy Varner and Mikelyn Roderick – both of whom contributed their production and vocal arrangement talents and pushed Elle toward, and beyond, the bounds of her creativity. When asked to describe her feelings about the finished product, Elle takes a moment to ponder the question. “I can honestly say that I’m in love with every song on this album,” she says, matterof-factly. Leading the 12-song set is the flirty, funky single, “Only Wanna Give It To You,” produced by Pop & Oak and featuring J. Cole. If you have her tell it, the song has taken many shapes and forms since she began writing it as a teenager. At first listen, it seems as though she’s singing about someone special, but then she switches it up real quick. Is she talking about a pair of pumps? Maybe. Maybe not. Thought that you were just another Romeo, The shoe you pass by in the store window. But soon as I got home I wish I’d bought you instead, I got it bad, I’ll take the black, take the navy and red… “I get stuck whenever I try to explain where that song came from because it wasn’t really about anyone in particular,” she notes. “People think different things about it, but I was more focused on playing with the words and nailing the lyrical flips.” Like many songwriters who’ve come before her, Elle admits that ideas reveal themselves in different forms, at different times and places. “I keep my phone on-hand so I can record whatever sound or phrase comes to me because I never know when it’s coming or where it’s coming from,” she says of her creative process. “Sometimes, I’ll just be humming a tune off the top of my head and it will turn into something bigger.” Such was the case with the song, “Refill.” As she prepares to take her place on center stage, Elle Varner sees no limit to her possibilities. “I think every girl dreams of being famous and enjoying all of the hoopla that comes with it, but at this point in my life, I know like I know my name that this is what I’m supposed to be doing,” she says. “I’ve been blessed with the tremendous gift of music and it’s my responsibility to share it with the world. I see big things in the future.”

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ll things in time…so they say. The finer things in life, such as art, can never be rushed. They arrive when The Creator deems the work, the channel and the audience to be ready.

Such is the case with songwriter and vocalist supreme Lalah Hathaway’s Outrun the Sky (in stores September 28, 2004), only her third album as a solo artist…and her first in ten years. It is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, her most revealing work to date – one that encompasses more of her own compositions than ever before. And with the album’s stylistic breadth, it will once and for all extricate the luscious, resonantly smoky-voiced singer from any “box” that listeners, including her staunchest fans, may have placed her. Sister Lalah is simply, naturally, beyond categorization. “I am so excited that this record is finally done,” Ms. Hathaway declares with a playful mix of exasperation and gratitude. “People have been asking me for years, ‘When’s your new album coming out?’ The time it takes is never something you plan. Nobody waits for 10 years to put a record out! It’s just ‘the bizness’ and timing, particularly if you’re not the kind of artist who can be plugged into a niche. I do a lot of things and always have. It was a matter of finding the right place and people willing to make it happen.” Ray Shields, Lalah’s longtime manager, found the perfect place for her: Mesa/ Blue Moon Recordings, headed by George Nauful. “We have a really good relationship,” Lalah states. “He trusts my instincts as it relates to the peoplewho want to hear me and why. A lot of these songs would not have been able to go on my first or second record. I was not in a place creatively where people would let me do that.” Such dedication and patience has yielded Outrun the Sky, a candidly personal, 13-song offering from the Berklee School of Music graduate whose mother is classically trained singer Eulaulah Hathaway and whose father is Donny Hathaway, a profound artistic contributor to what has been reverently dubbed “The Black Pool of Genius.” Outrun the Sky takes you on a rich emotional journey through Lalah’s reflections on love and relationships. From the soaring acoustic resiliency of “Stronger,” the country-tinged “If You Ever” and something funky to shake off an old lover to titled “Back Then” to the delectably dreamy “More,” a long, hot soak in a steam bath of blues titled “We Were Two,” and the soul-baring groover “In The End.” Each and every song is its own story, speaking intimately to your spirit and on multiple levels. Producer Mike City (whose work has minted hits for such kindred artists as Gerald Levert, Yolanda Adams, Dave Hollister, Mary Mary and Carl Thomas) contributed the seductive cha -cha “Better & Better” and the delightful “Your Favorite Song,” the latter a sentiment that everyone will relate to. “I hear that phrase, ‘your favorite song,’ so much,” Lalah relates, “in reference to my songs, my dad’s songs, or songs in general. Me, I’ve rarely had a favorite of anything, not even a favorite color. There’s even a slinky, organ and electric guitar-driven rocker with powerfully shifting dynamics that Donny would have dug, titled “Admit It.” “That was penned by some friends,” Lalah shares. “My band and I performed it in Japan and they loved it.” And then there is “Boston,” an especially haunting piece that sets you down in a stark painting from Lalah’s past for a misty meditation on not only lost love, but lost innocence. 42 | DELUX Magazine V3 Issue 9




o true-- “D’Angelo. Chris Tucker. Dave Chappelle. Lauryn Hill. They all hang out on the same island. The island of What Do We Do with All This Talent? It frustrates me.”

That’s a comment from Chris Rock in a fascinating new GQ profile of neo-soul singer D’Angelo, who is in the midst of mounting a comeback after more than a decade away from the spotlight. Based on the article — D’Angelo’s first high-profile interview in 12 years — Rock’s frustrations, at least in regard to D’Angelo, should be subsiding. In the words of writer Amy Wallace, his performance earlier this year in Paris, part of his comeback-launching European tour, generated “the most soulful, palpable connection I’ve ever felt between an artist and an audience.” While tracing his path from son of a Pentecostal preacher man to mega-music star/sex symbol to broken addict to rebounding artist, Wallace reveals some fascinating tidbits about her subject. Some key ones involve D’Angelo’s Marvin Gaye dreams, his rejection of Madonna’s advances and his conversation with longtime friend and collaborator Questlove following Amy Winehouse’s death. — While growing up in Richmond, D’Angelo was drawn to the music of Marvin Gaye, a man in whose soulful footsteps the “Untitled” crooner would eventually follow. After Gaye was shot and killed by his father in 1984, the GQ story says, the then-8-year-old known as Michael Archer began to have black-and-white dreams about a young Gaye meeting him at Motown’s Hitsville U.S.A. and shaking his hand. The dreams freaked him out so much, the story says, that he had to go to a therapist. They finally stopped when D’Angelo was 19 and had gotten signed to his first record contract. In the last one, D’Angelo says, Gaye “got into this whirlpool Jacuzzi with his wife and his daughter and his little son, and that’s when he turns around and looks at me. And he goes, ‘I know you’re wondering why you keep dreaming about me.’ And I woke up.” — Once D’Angelo’s star started to rise, he began to attract attention from all sorts of famous musicians, including Madonna. After singing to her at her request during her 39th birthday party, D’Angelo “rebuffed her advances at another gathering not long after,” the article says. “At that event, the sources say, Madonna walked over and told a woman sitting next to D, ‘I think you’re in my seat.’ The woman got up. Madonna sat down and told him, ‘I’d like to know what you’re thinking.’ To which D replied, ‘I’m thinking you’re rude.’ ” — And then there’s that Questlove conversation. Years after D’Angelo nearly killed himself in a car accident, got arrested a couple of times and finally sobered up and started on the slow path to getting his life back in order, the Roots drummer called him to talk after Winehouse’s death. “I just said plain and simple, ‘Man, there was a period in which it seemed like you were hell-bent on following the footsteps of our idols, and the one thing you have yet to follow them in was death,’ ” Questlove told his friend. “That was probably the most emotional man-to-man talk that D and I ever had,” he added.

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The Phoenix Rises


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GOOD HAIR I s the summer humidity giving your hair attitude? GOOD! Rock the “Miami Heat” look ALL the way! Be prepared to experiment and work with your own hair to find out what it responds to. Natural ingredients and water soluble products work greatest with natural hair so limit the use of chemical-filled stuff and go light! If you absolutely must tame the frizz, be gentle and stay bold. We tried a few products for you: You’re welcome! 1. Nothing But’s seven new cleansing, conditioning and styling formulas ( Nothing But’s seven new cleansing, conditioning and styling formulas are free of petrolatum, mineral oil, sulfates, parabens, colorants and phthalates. They also contain zero drying alcohols or animal proteins. We LOVE the curly pudding!! Although it is free of many chemicals, Nothing But is not All-Natural. Its natural components blend with gentle synthetic ingredients to keep the formulas stable and better performing. We think it’s FABULOUS! 2. Original Moxie ( “Moxie” means bucking convention and doing things your own way, with

spunk, spirit and style. And that’s exactly what they did! For one thing, Rachel Blistein, the creator of the Moxie line, is not a stylist or corporate mogul – just a regular person with ‘challenging’ hair and a knack for creating truly awesome hair products. And filled with awesomeness they are! We LOVE the Lux Locks™ Styling & Shine and the Hair Bling™ High Shine Pomade. 3. Good ‘ol Olive Oil STRAIGHT outta the kitchen (Get up and go to the kitchen cabinet!) Nothing lightly conditions and moisturizes a summertime scalp better than simple natural extra virgin olive oil. It’s light and almost weightless, and creates a shine that lasts ALL day! If you want to get creative, add a few drops of scented oils to make a scentsational hair treat! 4. Mizani Their Thermasmooth anti humidity spritz is great for heat protection and guarding against humidity and adding shine without making hair heavy. “Probably my absolute fav product!” says Candace Marshall, cosmetologist/hair stylist.

Patrick Wellington of Wellington Hair Spa by: Tiffany S. Nashville 119 West 23rd Street New York, NY 10011 (212) 206-7962


re you in the New York area or do you have a trip coming up perhaps? Consider setting up an appointment with Patrick Wellington in his first class hair spa where healthy hair is the cornerstone of the personalized service you will receive. Patrick Wellington stands out for his true understanding of natural African-American hair. He uses geometric patterns to create flowing movement of the hair, which starts with the preparation of the hair to create the perfect, balanced canvas. Patrick Wellington has over 20 years of exceptional experience styling celebrities, executives, and exclusive clientele who demand the very best in cuttingedge hair styling and hair care. He also trained with celebrity stylist, John Atchison, before opening his own space. Wellington Hair Spa was recognized by the prestigious Essence Magazine and on television on the hit talk show the Ricki Lake Show. Recently, the salon was featured on VH1’s “Style By June”, when Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child paid a visit to the salon.



St. Louis deo gracia african hair braiding 2017 Redman Road St. Louis MO (314) 741-8500 Infinity Styles9998 West Florissant Avenue St. Louis MO (314) 388-1997 Napps 6267 Delmar Blvd # 5 St. Louis MO (314) 727-0312 Prime Time Barber shop 9124 West Florissant Avenue St. Louis MO 63103 (314) 342-9063 Suave House 4517 S. Kingshighway St. Louis, MO 63103 (314) 330-9976

midtown/downtown Chi Salon 1900 Olive Street St. Louis, MO 63103 (314) 588-9948 CHRISTOPHER STEVENS 2018 Washington Avenue St. Louis, MO 63103 (314) 241-8900 Dimensions Salon 1911 Washington Avenue St. Louis, MO 63103 (314) 802-8039 PARADISE SALON 1923 Washington Avenue St. Louis MO 63103 (314) 342-9063 LASH LOFT & SALON 1624 Delmar Boulevard St. Louis, MO 63103 (314) 588-1313

Botanical Heights/ the grove CISSE'S AFRICAN HAIR BRAIDING 4412 Chippewa Street St. Louis (314) 600-4523 lisa michelle's hair studio 5539 South Grand Boulevard St. Louis MO (314) 832-4247 Show-Me Stylz salon 2018 Washington Avenue St. Louis, MO 63103 (314) 241-8900 THE NAPPY KITCHEN 1110 Tower Grove Avenue St. Louis, MO(314) 535-1811 UHURU SALON 2012 South 39th Street St. Louis, MO 63110 (314) 771-8487

The Pomade Shop’s signature line is its growth pomades: Growth Foundations and Growth Essentials. The names of the growth pomades were inspired by the characteristics of the essential oils. Peppermint oil is full of nutrients, which is the basis for a healthy scalp. Hence, our Growth Foundations pomade contains peppermint oil. Rosemary oil relieves dry scalp, and eliminating dryness is an essential for length retention. This is why our Growth Essentials pomade contains rosemary oil. The Growth Foundations and Growth Essentials pomades can be ordered fragrance- and sulfur-free, as well as in the Vanilla and Hawaiian Plumeria scents. Our more recent Growth Fundamentals Coffee Pomade contains our usual growth ingredients of emu oil and sulfur, along with the added benefit of coffee butter and pure coffee grounds. Caffeine helps to stimulate hair growth, so the coffee pomade is suitable for those who want to grow their hair and love the smell of coffee. We recommend applying a small amount of the growth pomades on the scalp and massaging it in well. The growth pomades can be used as often as needed, but we suggest a maximum usage of one to two times per week. “My personal favorites are the Growth Foundations (fragrance-free) and Sweet Indulgence pomades. It is our personal hope that our customers enjoy using the pomades as much as we enjoy making them.

ESPERANZA MUSIC GRAMMIES & AFROS This jazz bassist and singer is not only amazingly gorgeous and talented, she was also a child prodigy! Finished with high school by 16, she was hired at Berklee College of Music at 20, becoming one of the youngest professors in the institutions history. How's that for brains and beauty?! The curly world has always adored Esperanza Spalding- - her music, her chic style, her beautiful face. But it's her perfectly executed afro that makes her a permanent fixture in our inspirational photo albums. On her natural hair story... I’ve been natural my entire life! My mother didn’t believe in relaxers, and vowed never to put lye on her child’s scalp. Lye is very toxic and your scalp is among the thinnest skin that you have on your body. The harm this stuff can do should not be taken lightly. I’ve never had a relaxer, and I never will. On embracing her natural texture... I’ve pretty much always loved my hair but there were a few years where I really didn’t know how to take care of it. My hair is not as thick as it used to be... when I was younger it was SO, so thick! I didn’t know what to do with it and found it to be very frustrating. Around age 13 or 14, I began to learn new techniques which expanded my styling options, and that’s about the time that I truly began to embrace it. On her experiences in the entertainment industry... Wow... I never really think about it. I mean, it certainly makes me ‘identifiable’ when I show up with my Afro, but, to me, that’s the most obvious way to wear my hair. That’s how it grows out of my scalp. Having big natural hair makes me stand out to people at first take. I think of myself as an artist, as a musician, and I’m happy that my hair is just one more way that I can express myself. On her current routine and achieving her signature Afro... I usually wash my hair once a week-- a really thorough wash using a shampoo bar full of oils and natural cleansing agents. I then apply a mix of Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Olive Oil and Tea Tree Oil to my wet hair, brush it through using a typical Goody Brush (the white one with the red plastic bed and teeth), set my hair in 8 twists and allow it to air dry. The twists not only help to set my hair, but they also keep it from tangling as it dries. In between washing sessions, I’ll reapply my butter mix and twist my hair. I find that I don’t really need conditioner. My hair fairs well with little product. My routine is very simple, very natural. On routine changes while touring... I keep the same routine when I can. I do find that I have to moisturize it a lot more often because the air gets so dry. I usually do my hair

myself-- whenever I’ve let others try, they usually mess it up, LOL. People just don’t know what to do with it! The few times that I’ve gone to a hair dresser to get it cut, I’d let them brush through it, and blow it out in order to get it even, but I’d lose so much hair! Not cool, and I’m pretty sure I’m not going that route again. Luckily my hair regimen is simple-- it’s not much to it, it’s just an Afro, so it’s easy for me to maintain on my own while on tour. My hair is the least of my concerns while I’m out here trying to lead my band and put on a show every night. On protecting her hair at night... I usually just re-twist it to keep it from matting up or tangling while I’m asleep. In the morning, I release the twists, and fluff it out. I moisturize with the butter mix as needed. On being natural... Embracing and freely wearing my natural hair is like a form of selfexploration. I’m not White, I’m not European, and my hair is not straight. So I don’t have any desire to make it straight-- it doesn’t speak to who I am as a person. I am very mixed and I like that my hair is a reflection of that. My hair is an extension of me, and that’s how it should be. On getting others to embrace their natural hair... Don’t get discouraged when at first your hair doesn’t do what you want it to do. That’s part of the beauty of it! You have to learn to work with whatever you have. Some people get frustrated when it doesn’t ‘respond’. Just give it time, be patient, and enjoy it! I love seeing people do their thing and embrace what ever type of hair they have. I also find it inspiring to see naturals that rock crazy, creative and artistic styles. On her upcoming projects and ventures... Please check out Chamber Music Society, my new album set to be released August 17th in the U.S. It’s inspired by the classical training of my younger years-- it weaves the innovative elements of jazz, folk and world music into the enduring foundations of classical chamber music traditions. Pick it up! DELUX-MAG.COM | 49



s a professional hair stylist, I believe natural hair is neither a trend nor a phenomenon. No, it is really so much more! For the many women around the nation that choose to go natural, it’s about freedom. It’s about confidence. Its where sexy, special and unique meet to make beautiful women that need no other validation than that which they get from themselves. Natural hair is about the woman inside of you. Romantic as that sounds, going natural may be a stretch for you, but hear me out. For every reason NOT to go natural, there are three reasons to go natural. For me, natural hair means COLOR and we all know mixing relaxed hair and color ends in disaster. So, I started wearing my hair natural and while it took trial and error to learn and get used to, I began to relish in the freedom and flyness my natural curls gave me. Being beautiful is part of being a woman, and a woman should be comfortable and confident in her own skin. For me that means rocking my natural hair! My natural hair is an extension of my creativity and the perfect fashion accessory. It sets me apart from the norm and sets my soul free! There is nothing more rewarding than being recognized for being yourself. Recently, I was listed in Essence. com’s “100 Naturalists on Instagram”,

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and this proves that America is accepting and celebrating women with natural hair. Being included in the list was truly a great moment for me. I shared the experience with 99 other incredible natural beauties like Tracee Ellis Ross, Solange Knowles and the many fabulous internet savvy women who help us love our natural tresses more every day. So, For the ladies long in the natural hair game, keep rockin’ your Angela Davis Afros! And for those on the fence or with questions… remember your hair doesn’t wear you! You wear your hair! It’s not about what he says or she says. It’s about what YOU say…that’s why this is more than a trend, because it’s about you. And you never go out of style!!! To Being Free and Fly, Maria Antoinette For more information about Maria Antoinette go to


Sofn’free is not new to the hair game. They have almost three decades of experience caring for black hair. Nothing But is their first entry into the natural hair world, and this product line does not contain petroleum, mineral oil, sulfates, paragons, colorants, or phthalates. AKA all the unhealthy ingredients and additives that can harm your natural hair. Nothing But line includes an Intense Healing Mask, Curl Wake Up Hair Spray, Clarifying Shampoo, Cleansing Conditioner, Curly Pudding, Mold and Hold Wax, and Curl Sealer. Currently, you can find the Nothing But line at HonestHairCare. com and select beauty supply stores nationwide.

The Hydratherma Naturals line is so different from other products on the market. This product line promotes healthy hair by infusing the hair with a balance of moisture and protein. Moisture is definitely one of the keys needed to obtain and maintain healthy hair but it needs to be balanced with the right amount of protein. This balance is a very important factor needed to strengthen and protect the hair.

There are four new curl enhancing formulas - Hair Milk Perfecting Shampoo, Hair Milk Perfecting Conditioner, Hair Milk Lite Curl Booster, and Hair Milk Original Curl Definer - all specially formulated to bring out the very best in naturally curly locks. Infused with ingredients such as, Vitamin C, Pro-Vitamin B5, Sweet Almond Oil, and Lemon Oil, the shampoo and condtioner made my hair feel like silk and rid me of the frizziness that often accompanies humid summer days! The Carol’s Daughter Collection is available at DIVERSITY GALLERY, 6150 DELMAR AVE 63112 ST. LOUIS, MO stores nationwide.

Blended Beauty hair care products were designed specifically for the needs of those with dry, wavy, curly, kinky, and relaxed or heat-straightened hair. Our main goal is to provide superior quality products that beautify the look of the hair but also nourish the hair from the inside out, promoting healthy growth and diminishing breakage. All our products are formulated with naturally derived ingredients and are between 98%-99% natural.


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Lala Anthony Alani "La La" Anthony is breaking into Hollywood! What? Yes! This lady doesn’t STOP! After a red-hot career as an MTV VJ, radio DJ, radio show host, and reality TV star, our girl is ready to grace the silver screen. Enter scene: Alani Anthony. Mother, wife, film & television producer, and actress. Alani has embodied the transformative empowerment of the women of 2012, and takes hold of her entrepreneurial spirit. She’s not a complete stranger to the genre. La La has already charmed Hollywood, earning roles in several motion pictures, including Think Like A Man, the film adaptation of Steve Harvey's popular book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. In 2010, she starred opposite 50 Cent and Val Kilmer in the action-drama Gun. This past year she also took her talents to the New York stage with an appearance in the Off Broadway smash Love, Loss and What I Wore. Taking the sage advice of former co-host, Rapper/Actor Ludacris and Singer/Actor Tyrese, Lala has taken the time to hone her crafts behind the scenes. Determined to become more than "just a talking head," Alani has made the choice to broaden her vantage, and is becoming a respected player as a director and producer. In 2008, Mrs. Anthony launched Krossover Productions. Based in Los Angeles, the company’s mission is to produce and create global content through the medium of Film and TV that connects to and with all human-kind. The venture teams her alongside Carmelo Anthony, actor Kevin Phillips and established film producer Dave Haines. They have recently inked production deals with VH1, Russell Simmons's SimmonsLathan production, and 51 Minds. Krossover is among the executive production team of “TYSON,” an independent documentary on the legendary heavy weight champion Mike Tyson. Krossover Productions learned of the Tyson project through Damon Bingham, the god son of Muhammed Ali and a producer on the project. “TYSON” debuted to a standing ovation at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and was named the winner of the Regard Knockout Award in France. Tyson, acclaimed indie

director James Toback’s stylistically inventive portrait of a mesmerizing Mike Tyson, was their first project as executive producers. According to reports, the film ranges from Tyson’s earliest memories of growing up on the mean streets of Brooklyn through his entry into the world of boxing, to his tumultuous ride of worldwide fame and fortune. Other projects in the pipeline at Krossover include a movie with the director Brett Ratner (“Rush Hour,” “X-Men: The Last Stand”), more reality programming for VH1 and a children’s book about bullying. Of course, we know Lala is staking her claim in the midst of the booming reality TV industry. MTV, VH1 and the reality show production powerhouse 51 Minds all continue to show Lala the love. And it’s well-deserved. She’s certainly paid her dues. She has appeared on an assortment of our favorite shows, including pop-culture phenomenon’s Flavor of Love, I Love New York, Charm School, and For the Love of Ray J. Alani is at ease in this genre thanks in part to her memorable reality show specials as the host "Flavor of Love Reunion," "Charm School Reunion," and her latest role as the co-host of "Charm School 3: Charm School Gives Back with Ricki Lake." Alani continues to be an in-demand on-air talent. Since stepping away from her roots as the hostess-with-the-mostest to begin her family life, she sporadically appears to host projects that fit into her schedule as a mother and business owner. She is currently most well-known as the star of the VH1 reality show, La La's Full Court Life, which chronicles her sometimes challenging life in the city of New York with husband Carmelo Anthony, star of the Knicks, and son Kiyan. It goes without saying that Alani's relationship with NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony has impacted her life, and given her yet another foothold in the elusive limelight. Their five year relationship has opened her life to a new, complex, and completely different world. Mr. & Mrs. Anthony are grinding, poised for a great success in becoming New York’s next big “Power Couple.” Hailing from Atlanta by way of New York, Alani now calls Los Angeles and New York home.



a DELUX Guide of where to eat + play + drink

gramophone THE GROVE

The Grove is a growing vibrant business and entertainment district along Manchester between Kingshighway and Vandeventer in St. Louis City. In the Grove you can find a diversity of independently owned restaurants, nightlife, retail, and services. It is also home to the premier nightlife in the area, and is a thriving center for the LGBT, artist, and cycling communities in the St. Louis area.

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The Gramophone is one of the stalwarts of the Grove’s burgeoning nightclub scene. The venue prides itself on booking a stylistically diverse mix of music, from up and coming hip hop acts to bloghouse DJs and swampy Delta blues. The Gramophone is also the new home of legendary bi-weekly dance party London Calling. With its classy yet laidback feel, non-smoking policy and great drink selection, the Gramophone is suitable for just about any genre.



St. Louis

SOHO LOUNGE & RESTAURANT | 4229 Manchester Avenue Yep! The Grove’s newest hot spot is bringing you all the hip and sophistication of the posh New York neighborhood while merging the Southern Hospitality STL is known for – SoHo Restaurant + Lounge is the result. Mixing the elements of a full-service restaurant, with contemporary southern favorites like shrimp and grits, chicken wings, and catfish, along with the excitement and animation of a trendy, chic nightspot, SoHo Restaurant + Lounge promises to provide you with an experience like no other. The multi-level establishment features a bar, a dining area and lounge area on the main level. The second levelalso features a bar and lounge area, and also houses private areas for special events and large parties.

HANDLE BAR | 4147 MANCHESTER | WWW.HANDLEBARSTL.COM Handlebar is an eco-friendly watering hole with a mission: sustainability, increasing bike traffic on the Manchester strip and supporting local indie craft brewers and artisans. With kinetic bike art on the walls and stellar murals by local artists, HandleBar is a unique, fun and smoke-free addition to the well-established block. HandleBar offers Home made Russian Blinchiki and Pelmeni, Gourmet Pizzas for every taste, and vegetarian friendly choices. Be on the lookout for the bike tune up station planned for the back patio, plus a soon-to-be sustainable garden, powered by a nifty stationary bike irrigation system.

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EAT+PLAY+socialize | clayton • midtown • downtown • cwe • the grove |

clayton Araka – Market-fresh cuisine and bold American flavors. Featuring live music on the patio ALL summer long, check for the lineup. - 314.725.6777


bar napoli Claytonian favorite for quick power lunch and people watching. Classic Italian with a few yummy twists. - 314.863.5731

AREA 14 This discreet sushi and cocktail lounge is the dark and mysterious stepsister of Clayton’s Tani Bistro. Adjacent to Tani, Area 14 is unmarked other than its street number -- 14 South Bemiston -- and an open door leading down a long, black hallway. Behind the next set of doors, patrons find a sleek, intimate space illuminated by a minimalist geisha motif, mirrors and white leather lounge furniture. Beer selection and pricing are reasonable, but the emphasis is on $8-$9 crafted cocktails, such as the Plum Saketini.

coastal Exciting menu combination of coastal influences from low country and creole inspired items, to New England favorites, and West Coast specialties. - 314.932.7377

midtown/downtown diablitos cantina Mexican Street Vendor themed restaurant with stunning plates, scrumptious dining, and some of the best cocktails we’ve tasted! - 314.644.4430 Hamburger Mary's Classic Americana, burgers, and FRIED TWINKIES! Features multiple levels and an outdoor patio, fun nightly entertainment, and awesome service. - 314.533.MARY Triumph Vroom vroom! A chic, urbanite dream in Midtown. Great spot for lunch and for nights at the Fox. - 314.446.1801

central west end/ the grove


chi Japanese sushi sake martini bar & Restaurant with great happy hour and after happy hour drink specials. - 314.367.2209

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herbie's vintage 72 Herbie’s Vintage 72 serves up a combination of classics and new American cuisine, incorporating new signature dishes traditional fare. - 314.769.9595

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salt High accolades from local foodies, their culinary philosophy is sustainable, fresh, farm-totable and DELICIOUS! A little secret: They have a theatre seating about 30 for your private event. - 314. 932. 5787

MOCHA LATTE | THE QUEEN The Queen of Promotions. Mocha is The First Lady of St. Louis night scene. From Spoken Word to hosting events of thousands -Mocha is always part of the mix. She not just one of St. Louis’ social utterflies she also holds it down on the community service side by speaking to young girls about choices. Positive Life changing choices.

S.L.I.M | THE MOGUL Mr. Saint Louis Is His a moniker that fits his winning personality. Slim has taken night life by the throat and hasnt let go. From Free parties featuring 2Chainz at the Loft to Celebrity basketball games--SLIM is definitely one of Saint Louis’ influencial affluent personalities. What’s Next? Im sure he’ll tell you. @loosecannonslim

DJ KUT | MR Worldwide The Myth. The Legend. Dj Kut is one of the if not THE premier DJ in St. Louis. As did Lebron, DJ Kut took his talents to NYC --the mecca of hiphop -- added more tricks to his aresenal and now has come back to St. Louis in rare form. Check him out on Facebook to see where he will be this weekend.




MARIO “THE GREAT” | ST LOUIS Eat : seafood, sushi p Play: shopping, traveling, creating events and ideas Drink : water and apple martinis

April Bobo | ST LOUIS Eat: Baileys Range Play: SoHo Lounge Drink: Ciroc Peach mixed with Moscato You can find me @: Pepper Lounge

Star Ariel | JETSETTER

THE COLISEUM Music Lounge Apromising 9,000-square-foot venue featuring live music and entertainment is just what the doctor ordered. The Coliseum on Washington Avenue offers something for everyone, the Las Vages-esqe music lounge will house some of the most diverse entertainment this city has seen in years. From the plush VIP seating the huge indoor waterfall to the swanky bathrooms. The Coliseum is more than just a music venue it is a lifestyle changer. 2619 Washington Ave., Downtown, 314.531.2864.

In St. Louis I enjoy brunch from Scape and Duffs, happy hour at Mango,dinner from Coco Loco Brasil or India Rasoi. Play anywhere, often cycle to,thru and jog Forrest park and drink water often but love pineapple upside down cake drinks and top shelf or mango Margaritas. DELUX-MAG.COM | 59

EAT+PLAY+socialize |buckhead • decatur • emory • midtown |

BUCKHEAD 10 DEGREES SOUTH Atlanta’s first South African restaurant. Hearty specialties include boerewors sausages, bobotie, grilled whole kingklip fish and rack of lamb., 261 19th St NW, 404.815.8990 $$

Lunacy Black Market On a couch or a table? This is typically more of, say, a third-date question. But if you and your honey venture downtown to Lunacy Black Market on your first date, come prepared with a response. Intimate clusters of sofas, loveseats and armchairs, as well as a smattering of tables, fill the restaurant’s living room-like interior. Chef Paul Luna’s rotating menu of small plates arrives scrawled in Sharpie on tornup cardboard wine cases. But rather than looking sloppy, it feels personal and charming.

Aria Chef Gerry Klaskala presents modernized versions of American comfort food (braised beef short ribs, slow-roasted duck, etc.) in a lovely, romantic setting. 490 E. Paces Ferry Rd. 404.233.7673 $$$$ fogo de chao Atlanta’s first churrascaria offers slow-roasted meats and sides prepared and served by Brazilian “gauchos”. Fixed-Price menu with unlimited portions. 3101 Piedmont Rd. NE, 404.844.4810 $$$

decatur/emory float away cafe Inventive restaurant from culinary duo Clifford Harrison and Anne Quatrano. Country French and Italian cuisine grown at the couple’s farm in Cartersville. www.starprovisions. com 1123 Zonolite Rd., 404.892.1414 $$$ LEON'S FULL SERVICE A delightful eatery in the Cresent featuring delicious globally-inspired cuisine. Lunch Tue-Fri; dinner Mon-Sat 131 Carondelet Plaza, 314.725.6777 $$ NO. 246 Menu highlights include whole roasted fish, Ken’s wild mushroom pizza pie, spaghetti with Georgia white shrimp, and charcuterie and cheese plates. No reservations. 129 East Ponce de Leon Ave., 678.399.8246 $$

EMPIRE STATE SOUTH Empire State South takes a modern approach to creating authentic Southern dishes, relying on the beautiful foods of this region. A community restaurant that appeals to a broad range, Empire State South is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a to-go lunch program, courtyard bocce ball and an extensive coffee bar.


MIDTOWN [ATL] allunvia An upscale restaurant, featuring many of the city’s most beautiful women. This is not just an all men’s entertainment club, but now has a gourmet steak/seafood restaurant, to make a complete evening of entertainment. $$$$ ecco Ecco is a seasonally inspired European restaurant in the heart of midtown Atlanta. Call 404.347.9555 for reservations, directions and more information. $$$ stk atlanta Definitely a trendy spot- cool bar, pretty people and great decor. Has the NY vibe. The bar is a nice afterwork spot to meet people and mix and mingle. $$$$

Jameelah El-Amin Tell us about your career. “I own The Couture Firm. Our media division, the largest entity, specializing in social media marketing and branding. The philanthropic side, launched Krewe of Couture, honoring successful high school students. I also work with Cynthia Bailey at The Bailey Agency School of Fashion. Cynthia was one of the first to truly support my vision and help enhance my journey to success.” Are you dating? “I am dating my goals, mingling with my dreams and it works out fine. I know one day I will marry my destiny and we will not get a divorce.”


EAT+PLAY+socialize | atlanta ga | INTRODUCING CLUB REIGN

REIGN | atlanta georgia When the Gidewon brothers finally opened the doors of their latest and most controversial nightclub, the name on the marquee reads Club Reign. From the owners of Vision, The new Velvet Room, and Compound comes their latest creation. Reign. What the Gidewon Group says about Club Reign: It is 9,968 square feet and will hold 658 people | Will be open Friday & Saturday nights from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. | There is an ‘extremely strict’ dress code



TERESA JENEE ELECTRICYELLOW Words: Tiffany S> Nashville | Photo: Adrian Walker


e all have our favorite genres of music and TeresaJenee is right up my alley. It’s hard to put her in a box, and once you listen to her albums you’ll understand why. Her sound is a mix of dance, pop, experimental, jazzfusion, new wave, soul, electronica…I could name many more, but you get the point.

It’s been on her Bandcamp site for several months. On the track she sings of having what it takes to make it through the storm, or rather being built on fragile land and therefore not being capable of making it together. Romeo + Juliet, produced by The Eclectic Beings, instantly put me in the dance mode of a Morris Day and The Time video; makes me want to break out and do The Bird.

Her sophomore album, Electric Yellow, comes three years following The Ecklectic along with several singles and features on albums of her peers. Every track on Electric Yellow puts you in a different frame of mind. “Ntride,” a slow ballad with thunder and rain in the background, reminds you why you loved your ex so much. On “Discotrap,” TeresaJenee shows her rhymer abilities, yet jokingly admits in an earlier track that she’s not a rapper, but had to get some things off her chest. You can’t help but dance to this up-beat tempo.

TeresaJenee effortlessly switches between alto and soprano ranges on songs she wrote (and some she produced) giving each song a diverse effect. “I’m just grateful. God is good,” says TeresaJenee about Electric Yellow’s release. She’s basically hand-delivering 15 tracks on a golden platter seeing as the download is FREE. That’s right! You get high quality music, free of cost. When talented artists are this generous, you can’t help but spread the word so others can support as well!

I was happy to hear “The Storm” featuring Black Spade on the album.

mai lee FITNESS


Mai Lee’s new single Fitness dropped earlier this month, and guess what? There’s a VIDEO, yo! She looks gorgeous rocking her workout gear. This power-pop song makes you want to do crunches and eat your vegetables! This Bradd Young production transports her sweet, lithe vocal sound and maintains the focal point that vocals deserve. He sets the Sunday-driving melody over a twinkling synth-hop track, and BAM! It’s a hit. Her delivery maintains an 62 | DELUX Magazine V3 Issue 9

edge that kept us listening. This song is catchy! Catch it on iTunes and check out the hot video on YouTube - Directed, Produced and Edited by Pascal Beauboeuf.

daron jones BY: LENEIA WESTON


Daron Jones of 112 is a beautiful soul, and he thinks you’re beautiful, too! Mr. Jones has been busy writing hits like, “I Should Have Cheated,” for Keisha Cole, and pioneering his indy record label, DPS Entertainment. Daron is also working on his third solo album, “REINVENTION,” and has released a few singles to give fans a little taste of the sultry R&B we’ve been craving. As a singer, as a songwriter, and as a human being, Daron divulges to Delux his take on life, liberty, and his pursuit of happiness. On “The Beautiful Campaign:” The beautiful campaign is an initiative my team and I began to promote self-esteem and confidence in women all over the world. Believe it or not, I suffered from selfesteem problems. I came a point of self-discovery one day while jogging. “I AM BEAUTIFUL,” and I was gifted, and then empowered by my own words. This campaign is true to my story. It’s just true to who I am. It’s the authentic person that I am right now. I couldn’t believe there were women who said, “I’m not beautiful.” And I felt that it was vital to address self-esteem at this moment. We’re all beautiful. On his new solo single, “Baby Let Me Prove It to You:” It’s about a lot of relationship drama. The story is basically a man that has cheated, but you get to a point in your life where you hope she’d forgive you, but she isn’t going to forgive. The song is about being at the breaking point. She’s really NOT going to take you back - it’s a wrap - it’s like you KNOW she’s not going to take you back, but in your heart you have so much love for her. You become vulnerable and weak for her. Vulnerability is the key to an authentic connection. It was real, and you don’t want to lose her. So, you beg. On his latest solo album, “REINVENTION:” It’s all me and my journey through the

music industry. It’s about losing self-worth, and then emerging a stronger individual. The industry creates a lot of challenges, and unfortunately everyone can see them outwardly. Reinvention means to take something that is familiar and make an improved version of it. So, for me this album is about self-improvement. Advice to young musicians: Keep going. Be true to who you are - whatever that is. People will tell you “do this.” If it doesn’t feel right; if it doesn’t feel like you, don’t do it. Authenticity is what got me to where I am; keeping it 100. And take advantage of the internet frenzy. On Social Media: My team immediately saw the connection, and we jumped on it. It’s opened up a whole new level of connection. The times of stars being elusive and secretive are over. The “New Superstar” is at your dinner table every night. They could show up at your cookout. Social Media allows for you to connect and engage in that way with your followers. We try to stay as close to the fans. For me, it’s not a mass media thing - its more grass roots - more authentic. On the 112 Tour: Atlantic City show was a great success. Detroit was a great show too. We’re getting more dates, and growing. On his craft: I love it still. Especially when I get in front of people. I love to work hard and give the best show that I possibly can. I just - I love people and I love making people happy with the music. It’s about excellence. -------4 singles from the upcoming “REINVENTION” album are available on iTunes. Follow on Twitter @DaronJonesMusic

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Sex sells. That’s no secret. But what is a secret are the services that are being sold on the dark market—a phrase to describe the industry in which I am involved—once the lights go out. Actually, my services are offered with the lights on—how else would one see the results of their fantasy as it is being fulfilled right in front of them. You see, I am truly a vixen and fulfilling fantasies is my forte. No, I’m not a prostitute. I’m a dominatrix and my job is to come in and take charge. See, I’m not paid to stroke a client’s ego. Oh no, I’m not here for that. My mission is simple. I come and I conquer! I don’t leave until the job is done. I am highly sought out by executives and entertainers alike, therefor my services are reserved for those in powerful positions—anything less is unworthy of my time. With my skill, I possess an arsenal of erotic innuendos tailored to each client’s fetish. Skillfully and masterfully, I inject fear and excitement as I allow my client to indulge in his every obsession. Whether it’s something as simple as role-playing, a balloon fetish, or golden showers; or as extreme as erotic asphyxiation or CBT (Google it); I’m in charge—period. This—like fame—isn’t for the faint of heart. I’m serious and careful with my craft. I am well-versed in the art of applying nipple clamps and various methods of stimulation that will make the most tolerant tower of a man fall to his knees. I can make a man cringe without batting an eye—and they often do if the subject arises

when they’re intermingling within the conservative confines of their social surroundings. In private, this mighty man who yields a disproportionate level of power falls prey to my prowess and is under my complete control—always. Part pain, all pleasure; is what I offer the world. In my travels I learned that my services aren’t just offered amongst the rich and famous. Experience has taught me a few things I will never forget. I’ve learned: The more powerful the player, the more pain and humiliation is necessary to bring them to a climax. However, I’ve also learned that small cities shield a score of secrets and some of you readers may have your own tales to share. Have your own confession? Hit us up on anonymously at: CONFESSIONS@DELUX-MAG.COM Want to discuss the latest confession, hit us up at #DeluxConfessions on twitter. Disclaimer: These tales are not those of our writer, Seven L. Maxwell. They are anonymous submissions which are written by our staff in a way necessary to provide entertainment while protecting the interests of the confessor and their families.


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e’ve done it, St. Louis. We’re officially an urban community made whole by the healing touch of our own chicken and waffle joint. St. LOUIS! We’ve arrived! J. Spain’s Waffles & Wings finally opened its doors at the Tudor building located at 1901 Washington Ave., in the spacious restaurant previously occupied by Smoking Joe’s Bar-Be-Que.

J.Spain’s is all about the customization. You can, for the low low price of a chicken and waffle, create your own tempting waffle creation, and pair it with your choice of five wing flavors. They offer a myriad of waffle batter choices - blueberry, pecan, cinnamon… the list continues. But do not stop in during their convenient hours expecting only waffles and wings. Oh no. The menu is surprisingly diverse and even vegetarian friendly. Try the JSWW - it’s the wings, eggs served with a charming heart shaped waffle! Adorable! And just in case you seek convenient hours, J. Spain’s Waffles & Wings stays open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, they keep the city fed from 8:00am to 6:00am. No excuses. Get in there and EAT! And tell ‘em Delux Magazine sent ya!

J. Spains Waffles & Wings 1901 Washington Ave St. Louis, MO 63103 314.725.8007

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caprese SALAD


summer heat

Great food + warm weath er + co ld d ri n ks + great fri en ds = N o brai n er! Si m ple flavo rs, fresh m eats an d th e job is don e story: leneia o’hare Give your meat & veggies some extra love before it hits the heat! Marinades, brines, and rubs are essential for the serious grill master. If you seek unforgettable flavor and mouthwatering texture, get fired up and get to prepping!

Marinades Marinades are flavor-infusing liquids in which the meats are soaked for several hours. The marinades make it juicy, but if you’re looking to tenderize a tougher cut of meat, add some tenderizer. Always marinate in the refrigerator. If you’re basting with the marinade liquid from the raw meat soak, do not apply it during the last five minutes of grilling.

Brines Brines are the deliciously salty solutions aiding lean meats in holding their moisture so they

stay juicy and tender during grilling. Poultry and pork are popular brining proteins, because they’re prone to dry out. Soak meats in a large container; enough to submerge the meat completely without allowing it to float in the solution. Store brined meat in the refrigerator. Before grilling, rinse brined meat to remove excess salt and dry it with paper towels.

Rubs Rubs are delicate mixtures of seasonings rubbed on meats before grilling to add additional flavor. The best rubs enhance the flavor of the meat without domineering. There are two kinds of rubs: Wet Rubs and Dry Rubs. When oil or another wet substance is added into the spice mix, it is known as a wet rub. The added moisture helps the rub adhere to the meat.

aprese salad is light, refreshing, beautiful, and easy. What more can you ask for from a meal? You can serve it as a side with your entree or as the main course. Here is what you do. Gather your homegrown, market, grocery store tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella. I prefer to use the mozzarella pearls rather than the big chunk simply because it turns out prettier with cherry tomatoes. Chop all of your tomatoes up until Then do the same with your cheese and basil. Tip: I use scissors to snip my herbs. I find that it goes faster and doesn’t bruise the leaves. Okay, now that everything is all choppy and happy, you are ready to make your dressing. Mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Amounts are up to you. Next, place all of your chopped goodness in a bowl and drizzle on your dressing. Mix gently and serve! You can make this in the morning and serve later in the day if you like a colder more combined taste. With a side of crusty bread and a glass of white wine this makes for one fantastically fresh and lovely meal. It’s also a very simple and surprisingly different salad to bring to a gathering. Enjoy! DELUX-MAG.COM | 69

It’s morning. BY: SEVEN L. MAXWELL

Your eyes open and as you’re in the midst of that magical morning stretch, you bump into what you quickly remember to be the brazen beauty you’ve been casting your net in attempts to catch for quite a while now. She’s been giving you glimpses of her gaze, but last night she finally gave in and stayed over after the club. In an early-morning haze, you begin to piece together the moments that lead to this milestone. As you roll over to confirm that you have indeed bedded the baddest babe in the city, reality sets in and any moment she’s going to hop up and hit the road. To celebrate your score, don’t get up and do a victory lap around the pad. Instead, try stepping it up to the next level by flexing your culinary competence so you can seal the deal on another round of adult aerobics before she receives the strategically-arranged “emergency call” whisking her away from your reach—killing any options for an encore. With a few simple ingredients you can create a feast that fits your flow. You’re a bold bachelor, and babes know how you roll. If you want to extend your night beyond daybreak, follow this recipe to create a sexy meal that will whet her palate leading her to invite you to lick the plate clean—this time around, she won’t be able to blame it on the alcohol. Yeah, she may be back again, but best-case-scenario, she’ll add that exquisite appetizer to her escapade as she explains to her closest girlfriends and the scandalous ones will be vying for the chance to sample a slice of what you’re serving.

RISE AND GRIND: THE MORNING AFTER PUMPKIN PIE PANCAKES The pumpkin purée and applesauce work together to create tons of moisture and richness. All you need to make my seriously easy apple butter is three ingredients and a little time. The result is an über-sweet and delectable spread that’s perfect to entice your girlfriend the morning after. Instructions: 2 cups all-purpose flour 6 tablespoons light brown sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 3/4 cup plain pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling) 4 large eggs 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 2/3 cup almond milk Nonstick cooking spray

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1- Heat the oven to 350°F. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spices together in a large bowl. Whisk the pumpkin purée, eggs, applesauce, and milk together in a medium bowl and add to the dry ingredients using a rubber spatula to stir gently until they’re just combined. The batter will be thick. 2- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Make 3 pancakes using 1/3 cup of batter for each, cooking the pancakes until the outer edges firm up and the bottom is golden-brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until golden-brown, about another 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer the pancakes to a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Continue cooking the remaining batter, moving the pancakes to the baking sheet once they’re browned (once you run out of space on the baking sheet, stack the pancakes, or for fluffier pancakes, use two baking sheets). Pop the baking sheets in the oven and cook the pancakes for an additional 5 minutes. among. Serve with a schmear of butter, maple syrup and dig in. Sexier Tip: Use a clean turkey baster to easily and cleanly transfer the pancake batter from the bowl to the skillet. Sounds silly (‘cause it is!) but it totally works.


05.27.2012 TEESE 2012 @ THE PAGEANT photos courtesty of Teddy Blackett



05.12.2012 LIVE LOVE FASHION @ FOUR SEASONS photos courtesty of Lawrence Bryant

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April 20, 2012 Westone presents blu light special @ golfclubhouse


every friday at the loft

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alking with Ledisi, it was as if I were on a lunch date with a good girlfriend. Known for fan favorites such as ‘Alright’, ‘Higher Than This’ and ‘Goin’ Thru Changes’, now the seven time Grammy nominated vocalist is not only kicking off her headline tour called ‘Be Good To Yourself’, but she penned her first book entitled ‘Better Than Alright: Finding Peace, Love and Power’—a 176 page masterpiece that was written to give fans a full scope into who she is and the life lessons that constituted her growth as an individual. “It’s a book [comprised of] personal stories, photos and words from people who’ve inspired and lifted me. It is affirmations that I’ve written and I tell my story….love, forgiveness, faith, those are the chapters. The forgiveness chapter is a little deep….read it!” she chuckled. “I’ve always been a forgiving little girl, [for instance] if you beat me up, I’ll try and beat you up back, but eventually I’d forgive. It is tailor made for women in particular, but men can get into it too, let’s celebrate them as well.” Readers will find out the origin of her name (yes, Ledisi is her real name) and her “amazing” experience performing for the President and First Lady three times at the White House. She also talks about the powerful 2010 Black Girls Rock! performance of the Nina Simone classic ‘Four Women’ in which she shared the stage with Jill Scott, Kelly Price and Marsha Ambrosius. “I had to get into Nina…who was she about, why did she write it (‘Four Women’)..I studied her and that was the second take…we did it twice. It took a lot and it is a process. It’s so much work singing songs that other people wrote. You have to add yourself along to what they did and respect what is before you. It wasn’t about me, it was about the execution,” she said. The New Orleans native also delves into the notion of beauty and how she grew up being celebrated and developed self love. “You will see the line of women I come from and the book explains it a lot clearer. There is a beauty chapter. Every day I have to tell myself I’m beautiful, because the world says something different. I think I’m fine! It’s what you allow within and it all starts at home,” she beamed. Artistically, Ledisi always stays true to herself listening only to the voice that counts—her own. Music concepts and ideas are all organically created. “It starts in the studio and then it goes to the performance. I can’t be someone else; I have to be me… everything happens naturally and if it’s not me, it’s not worth doing. I know who I am and I am ok with that. I always celebrate being a black woman and I’m never trying to fit who everyone else wanted me to be. ‘Pieces of Me’—all the lyrics exactly describe me being a woman and planning out the story for the world to hear. All the lyrics are what we go through as women,” she said. In reference to her stage performances, Ledisi shared her strategy in keeping the audience fully intrigued and entertained. “You have to keep their attention, so I am always thinking ‘what’s the show’; ‘what would you want to see’. I’m always thinking about my audience because I always think about if I were sitting there and I spent my money. They don’t wanna hear you complain on stage,” she laughed.

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