LIFE INSIPRATION MAGAZINE
OUR MSSION STATEMENT Fusion Magazine is dedicated to creating a platform that highlights and celebrates the diverse world in which we live. By celebrating the work of all those in the creative arena who are impacting individuals,communities and the world through their chosen art form. By celebrating their work, we celebrate those who inspire and lead us towards a better future.
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PAGE OF CONTENTS
EDITOR’S NOTE Editor’s note to our beloved readers .
BLACK IRIS PROJECT Black iris Project founder Jeremy tells us how Ballet is changing lives of black youth.
PAPI OJO “THE BLUEMAN” “The Blue Man “ Stephen (papi) Ojo, tells us how he ended up dancing side by side with Queen B in “Black is King.”
VOICE KIDS UK JOSHUA REGALA Joshua Regala, shares his Voice Kids UK journey.
RANDOLPH MATTHEWS The performer , musician , singer.
TRE MAJOR Creations of Tre Major | Celebrity Hairstylist.
PORTLAND PROTEST Sunny September gives insight into how a community strive towards positive change amidst the tear gas and rubber bullets.
MUSIC FOR WATER J. BONDOLO Meet our partners for the Music for Water Campaign.
DEL RAY’S ANCIENT VOICE Navajo nation photographer Del Ray explains how his work is inspired by the beauty of his heritage.
ENIGMA BY ROCKY GATHERCOLE The Enigma that is Celebrity Designer Rocky Gathercole.
BEHIND THE LENS Join a well known photographer Charles Winslow as he tells his journey in photography.
MARIANNA’S JELWELLERY DESIGNS Marianna Hairanutian tells us about the her custom jewellery. Sought after by some of the biggest celebs in the world.
BERNY MARTIN Catou an international brand for men and women | Designer to the Stars.
OPLA EYES | SPIRIT SINGERS A celebration of the human spirit by Dana Pauzauskie.
YOUNG CHANGE MAKERS Meet young Designer Maiya Mcmonagle as she shares her ten tips to becoming a sustainable Fashion Brand.
EDITOR’S NOTE There’s no real way to explain
at Fusion are dedicated to sharing
partners to know Dondolo and the Music
the excitement that comes at the
for Water Campaign
beginning of a new project. That
Each one, brings a special ingredient to We want to give. A special thanks to
flutter of nerves or the anticipation of
help create what we feel is something
Jessica Spencer who is like the
the finished result mixed with a hint
proverbial fairy godmother. Waving her
Of fear about how your “baby “ will
It is hugely important to us to share
magic wand and making things happen.
be received once it leaves the safety
We will always be grateful for her.
of the nest.
To all of you who are working to make
Well, our baby is Fusion Mag and it is
resilience of the human spirit! We try to
positive changes in your lives and the
the culmination of a vision that started
accomplish this by offering a platform
lives of others. We thank you! Dana
a few years ago. The vision was the
through which to share the work of the
desire to share the amazing stories of
Pauzauskie, Sunny September, and amazing change makers and creatives Albert Fontanilla, our contributing
the many talented people from very
whose stories breathe life into the
writers thank you for sharing our vision and
diverse backgrounds and cultures
pages of this Magazine.
sharing your valuable content in Fusion.
throughout the world. Artists and
So many inspiring stories sending so Benedict Salvacion needs a special
creatives who are impacting the lives
much positive energy into the world.
of others and challenging outdated
It is a joy and an honour to have have been possible.
social constructs. Using their creative
interviewed many of the artists who
To the artists and creatives who agreed
platforms to share the beauty of the
chose to share their energy and
to share their work with us. Thank you.
world we live in while exploring some
passion with Fusion Mag. It is also
of the issues affecting us all. Our team
a pleasure to have become media
MAIGHREAD NI MHAONGHAIL EDITOR OF FUSION MAGAZINE 6
mention, without him Fusion would not
Together all things are possible. X
Maighread Ni Mhaonghail has been working in the creative arts for over 25 years . (She began her career
Editor in Chief
in Theatre as a Facilitator & Arts Director ) Her writing career began in earnest almost eight years ago when she began working as sub-editor and a contributing writer with several magazine and Newspaper Publications. During this time she also Co. Founded a sustainable Fashion Brand. Her educational background in the creative arts and journalism has given her a broad base from which to approach many topics. (Maighread has a degree in English Language & Literature, a post grad in Innovation & Enterprise, an M.A in Drama therapy and she also studied M.A Theatre Studies .) Her writing skills may be found in Flawless Magazine, MilliOn Air Global, Maganda Magazine, Lifestyle Monthly UK & Africom.com. Maighâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work in the creative arts has always been about promoting the stories which are at the heart of our society. Fusion Magazine was created specifically, to do just that.
Jessica Spencer is a Production Manager , booking agent & Events Coordinator who is co- owner of
Complexion Model agency & Fusion Magazine.. Having spent nearly a decade as a producer on Fashion shows, photo shoots, music videos & working as a casting agent Jessica has extensive knowledge & experience of the entertainment & Fashion industry. Her work as Director of New York Fashion Week, Co-Ordinator of The Vogue experience project, & her work on international projects makes her an invaluable resource for any client.
Project Manager Benedict Salvacion is the creative director and is one of the co-owners of Fusion Magazine. Having a
decade of experience in shooting fashion and commercial as a photographer, he is in charge of the overall look and layout of the magazine with the help the team. Aside from his wide experience in photography, he also directed several videos. His experience in the industry of arts and entertainment will bring more spice on every issues of the magazine.
Creative Director Sunny September is a Professional Photographer. She is from NJ and lived in TX and CO before making Portland home. Sunny has a degree in Public Relations, a minor in Philosophy, and is a Certified Fearless Living Coach. She also spent many years as a Restaurant Manager. Most often you can find her outside taking photos of nature, writing, and exploring Portland.
Dana Pauzauski Writer Health and Wellness Albert Gonzales Fontanilla Writer (Enigma) Jun V. Lao Producer (Enigma) Above Ground Ortigas Malick James Hilado Head HMUA
Dana Pauzauskie is bridging the micro individual within the macro world we share, which she has spent the last 18 years exploring in experiential & intellectual capacities. Dana has been on a journey of discovering her own ancestral roots, while finding sanity through it all in yoga studios where she practices and teaches TRUE love.
Rapsie R. Mallorca, Justin Gumara Dela Cruz, Aj Laylo Asst HMUA Marco Paulo Castro Head Video BTS Marvin Bosque Video BTS Dee Assuncion Photo Editor (Enigma)
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BLACK IRIS PROJECT Fusion Magazine caught up with Founder of the amazing Black Iris Project, Jeremy McQueen, a gifted choreographer responsible for founding the collaborative of black ballet professionals who create classical ballets rooted in black history and the black experience. His passion for what he does and why he does it is evident As he shares his story with us. It is easy to see why this incredible artist is winning awards and changing lives.
Jeremy for our Readers who may not be aware of your work, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who is Jeremy McQueen? I’m a highly driven, motivated and unapologetically Black male choreographer from San Diego, California in the United States. I was about eight years old when I first started dancing. My mom took me to see the national tour of the Broadway musical the Phantom of the Opera. From the very moment the performance started, I loved everything about it. We sat on the last row of the balcony inside a huge theater. We sat so high up that my mom rented binoculars so I could better see the performance and enjoy the experience. I loved the experience so much I told my mom I wanted to be a part of something like what I had seen. My parents were by no means wealthy, but I’m so grateful that they made financial sacrifices to expose me to music, dance and theater. In addition to dancing, I grew up studying music (the violin, flute and piano). Anything I wanted to explore, I was given the opportunity to try it. But dance was the artistic outlet that really stuck with me the most. I really loved being able to lock myself in my bedroom with my stereo and my catalog of CDs and just dance my heart out. While in my bedroom, I also spent time choreographing different types of numbers and imagining the type of productions that I would one day create. Dancing on Broadway was always a huge dream of mine as a child, so I moved to New York after high school to further my studies and chase my dream. After graduating from college, I eventually danced in a number of Broadway productions including Wicked and The Color Purple. It’s been truly amazing to be able to see some of my wildest dreams become realities.
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piano). Anything I wanted to explore, I was given the opportunity to try it. But dance was the artistic outlet that really stuck with me the most. I really loved being able to lock myself in my bedroom with my stereo and my catalog of CDs and just dance my heart out. While in my bedroom, I also spent time choreographing different types of numbers and imagining the type of productions that I would one day create. Dancing on Broadway was always a huge dream of mine as a child, so I moved to New York after high school to further my studies and
Jeremy for our Readers Jeremy for our Readers who who may not be of your notmay be aware ofaware your work, can you tellwork, us a little about canbit you tell yourself? us a little Who Jeremy McQueen? bitisabout yourself? Who is Jeremy McQueen? I’m a highly driven, motivated andI’m unapologetically male and a highly driven,Black motivated choreographer from San Diego, unapologetically Black male choreCalifornia in the United States.California I was ographer from San Diego, about eight years old when I first started in the United States. I was about eight dancing. My mom took me to see the years old when I first started dancing. national tour of the Broadway musical My mom took me to see the national the Phantom of the Opera. From the tour of the Broadway musical the very moment the performance started, Phantom of the Opera. From the very I loved everything about it. We sat on moment the performance started, I the last row of the balcony inside a loved everything about it. We sat on huge theater. We sat so high up that the last row of the balcony inside a my mom rented binoculars so I could huge theater. We sat so high up that better see the performance and enjoy my mom rented binoculars so I could the experience. I loved the experience so better see the performance and enjoy much I told my mom I wanted to be a part the experience. I loved the experience of something like what I had seen. My so much told momwealthy, I wantedbut to parents wereI by nomy means be a part of something like what I had I’m so grateful that they made financial seen. My parentsme were by no means sacrifices to expose to music, dance wealthy, but I’m so grateful that they and theater. In addition to dancing, made financial sacrifices expose I grew up studying music (thetoviolin, topiano). music, Anything dance and theater.to fluteme and I wanted In addition to dancing, I grew up to explore, I was given the opportunity studying music (the violin, flute and
try it. But was thegraduating artistic outlet chase mydance dream. After that stuck with me the most. in I fromreally college, I eventually danced really loved being able to lock myself a number of Broadway productions in my bedroom with my stereo and including Wicked and The Color Purmy catalog of CDs and just dance my ple. It’s been truly amazing to be able heart out. While in my bedroom, I also to see some of my wildest dreams spent time choreographing different become realities. types of numbers and imagining the type of productions that I would one You started the Black Iris Proday create. Dancing on Broadway ject in 2016, what inspired you was always a huge dream of mine as to do so? a child, so I moved to New York after high school to further my studies and I was at a dream. place inAfter my life where I rechase my graduating ally wanted stretch outdanced my wings from college,toI eventually in and challenge myself in new ways. a number of Broadway productions So, I decided it was time toColor take a leap including Wicked and The of faith and start my own organization. Purple. It’s been truly amazing to I had already be able to seebeen somechoreographof my wildest ing professionally around dreams become realities. the city in between performing jobs. But I felt
You the Black Irisa Project like Istarted was constantly hitting wall, and in 2016, whatmany inspired you to do I was not given opportunities so? to grow as a choreographer. I felt like something was missing, but I really Ididn’t was atknow a place in to mymove life where I how from one really wanted to stretch out my wings step to the other. and challenge myself in new ways. So, I decided it was time take a leap In 2012, my mother was to diagnosed with breast cancer, and I was deeply
of faith and start my own organization. Ishaken had already up bybeen all ofchoreographing it. My mother has professionally around the city been such a dynamic force in in my life. between performing jobs. But I felt like I I was really depressed, but a friend was constantly hitting a wall, and I was encouraged me to meet him for a not given many opportunities to grow trip to the Metropolitan Museum of as a choreographer. I felt like something Art. While I was there I fell in love was missing, but I really didn’t know how with a painting by Georgia O’Keeffe to move from one step to the other. entitled Black Iris III. The beauty of the painting really struck me in ways I In 2012, my mother was diagnosed with have never been struck by a painting. breast cancer, and I was deeply shaken Because of the painting, I immediately up by all of it. My mother has been such with in mymy younger-self and aconnected dynamic force life. I was really my first experience seeing the Phan-me depressed, but a friend encouraged tom of the Opera. The more I looked to meet him for a trip to the Metropolitan at the painting, more I thought Museum of Art. the While I was there I fell in love with a painting by Georgia O’Keeffe entitled Black Iris III. The beauty of the painting really struck me in ways I have never been struck by a painting. Because of the painting, I immediately connected with my younger-self and my first experience seeing the Phantom of the Opera. The more I looked at the painting, the more about myI thought mother. about my mother. Around Aroundthis thistime timeIIhad hadan anapplication application due for the Joffrey Ballet’s due for the Joffrey Ballet’sannual annual Choreographers Choreographersof ofColor Color[Winning [Winning Works] Award. The award was an Works] Award. The award was an expense paid opportunity to create an expense paid opportunity to create original ballet for the Joffrey’s Ballet’s an original ballet for the Joffrey’s Baltrainees. As part of the application let’s trainees. As part of the applicaprocess you have to describe the type of tion process you have to describe work you would create. I decided to take the type of work you would create. how I was feeling about my mother and I decided to take how I was feeling her courageous strength, the dynamic about my mother and her courapainting that I had just viewed at the geous strength, the dynamic painting museum and channelled my depression thataI proposal had just viewed at athe museum into to create ballet in and channeled my depression into a tribute to my mother, god-mother and proposal to create a ballet in tribute aunt (three Black women in my life who to myhelped mother, god-mother andhave aunt have raise me and who (three Black women in my life who truly demonstrated the definition of have helped raise me who haveIris,” #BlackExcellence). Myand ballet, “Black truly demonstrated the definition of premiered in March 2013; during that #BlackExcellence). Myaballet, process I bonded with young“Black dancer Iris,” premiered in March 2013; named Nardia Boodoo. She wasduring a young Black womanI who waswith very amuch that process bonded young discouraged byNardia the challenges dancer named Boodoo. she Shewas facing in ballet. We bonded over my was a young Black woman who sharing with herdiscouraged my experiences of often was very much by the being one of very few Black dancers challenges she was facing in ballet. in
We bonded over my sharing with her my experiences of often being one of very few Black dancers in the ballet schools and the professional companies I’ve worked with. It was really wonderful being able to share so much of my experience and to help encourage another Black artists in a way I had never done before. The entire experience of creating “Black Iris” inspired me to create a greater dialogue in the ballet community to truly help diversify not only the works that are presented onstage but to create a greater sense of racial equity for the ballet schools and the professional Black artists. In 2015, shortly after companies I’ve worked with. It was really I was not given a renewal contract wonderful being able to share so much for a performing job I had with the of my experience and to help encourage Metropolitan Opera, I decided it another Black artists in a way I had never was time to stop making excuses done before. The entire experience and to take matters into my own of creating “Black Iris” inspired me to hands and create my ballet create a greater dialogueown in the ballet collaborative which would bring community to truly help diversify not artiststhat together from various onlyBlack the works are presented companies create originalsense ballets onstage but to to create a greater of rooted in Black history and/or the racial equity for Black artists. In 2015, Black experience. shortly after I was not given a renewal contract for a performing job I had with theWhat Metropolitan Opera, I decideddid it was kind of challenges timeyou to stop making excuses and to take face at that time? matters into my own hands and create my The ownbiggest ballet collaborative which would challenge that I faced bring Black artists together from various was fundraising. I knew nothing companies to create original balletsa about raising money or starting rooted in Black history and/or the Black company. experience. My college education completely failed me in this area
What kind of challenges did you and in the area of getting people to face at that time?
believe in me and my vision. As a rela-
tively “unknown” choreographer, The biggest challenge that I faced was I found it to be a tremendous fundraising. I knew nothing about raising challenge. But I was incredibly money or starting a company. My college driven. education completely failed me in this I focused on reading self-help and area and in the area of getting people how-to books; I reached out to mento believe in me and my vision. As a tors and people who I admired in my relatively “unknown” choreographer, I community support and guidance. found it to be a for tremendous challenge. Next, I frequently spent time brain-on But I was incredibly driven. I focused storming in myand journal, and of course reading self-help how-to books; I made plenty of mistakes along reached out to mentors and peoplethe who way.AsinI tell partner constantly, I admired my my community for supportI
fail something every single day. But andatguidance. Next, I frequently spent I’m with it because thejournal, failures and and timeok brainstorming in my of coursetruly made plenty mistakes help me of to mistakes learn and to alongin the way.I never As I tell my partner grow ways really thought I constantly, I fail at something every could. single day. But I’m ok with it because the failures and mistakes truly help me to learn and to grow in ways I never really thought I could.
Do those challenges still exist? Absolutely! I have been so blessed to have had a number of organizations and individuals make contributions to my organization, and they continue to assist me in growing my organization. But, I’m not a big name [yet], and I understand that New York City is such a saturated market with dance and the arts. My faith in myself and in my mission has truly kept me going. The outpouring of support I have received from the community, including kind words of encouragement, has been so amazing, and it has helped propel me forward as I continue to explore the best ways to grow as a choreographer and to grow The Black Iris Project.
You have said that The Black Iris Project is designed as a collaborative not a company, howthose does challenges that work? still exist? Do
my mission to make The Black Iris Project aYou full-time company because have said that The I truly believe order foris true diversity, Black that IrisinProject designed inclusion and equity tonot occur in these as a collaborative a company, antiquated, exclusive ballet how does elitist that and work? companies (that are primarily white dominated) have tocompany continue which to have We are not we a full-time our Black dancers’ voices and talents means we do not have represented inexclusively those companies. It was dancers that dance for us never my goal to segregate the dancers. for long periods of time. Nor do I desire That doesn’t help move culture and to ever be a “full-time” company like humanity forward. In order to achieve the American Ballet Theatre or New York true definition of diversity, we need those City Ballet. What we do is we specifidancers to stay in those companies, but cally bring in dancers, from different it’s also equally as important that we professional companies from around have spaces to be able to come together the country, during their layoff periods to build our community, to celebrate and (which are generally in the summer) share or voices and stories, to give back to be able to create original ballets to our communities and speak candidly and to share our works with Black and about our experiences as Black people communities around the country toBrown encourage, motivate and strengthen in an effort to uplift and encourage the next generation of artists and arts them, and to create a greater sense of patrons. community amongst Black artists. It’s never been my mission to make The
“frequently spent time brainstorming true diversity, inclusion and equity to in my journal, and occur in these antiquated, elitist and of course made exclusive ballet companies (that are primarily whiteof dominated) we have to plenty mistakes continue to have our Black dancers’ along the way” voices and talents represented in those Black Iris Project a full-time company
because I truly believe that in order for
companies. It was never my goal to segregate the dancers. That doesn’t help move culture and humanity forward. In
We are not aI have full-time company which Absolutely! been so blessed to means weado not have dancers that have had number of organizations exclusively dance for us for long and individuals make contributions to periods of time. Nor do I desire to my organization, and they continue to ever be a “full-time” company like assist me in growing my organization. American Ballet Theatre or New But, I’m not a big name [yet], and I York City Ballet. What we do is we understand that New York City is such specifically bring in dancers, from a saturated market with dance and different professional companies the arts. My faith in myself and in my from around the country, during their mission has truly kept me going. The layoff periods (which are generally outpouring of support I have received in the summer) to be able to create from the community, including kind original ballets and to share our works words of encouragement, has been so with Black and Brown communities amazing, and it has helped propel around the country in an effort to me forward asencourage I continue them, to explore the uplift and and to best ways to grow as a choreographer create a greater sense of community and to grow Theartists. BlackIt’s Irisnever Project. amongst Black been
order to achieve the true definition of diversity, we need those dancers to stay in those companies, but it’s also equally as important that we have spaces to be able to come together to build our community, to celebrate and share or voices and stories, to give back to our communities and speak candidly about our experi-
ences as Black people to encourage, motivate and strengthen the next generation of artists and arts
Why did you focus on Ballet as a Dance form specifically?
patrons. Why did you focus on Ballet
I’ve always appreciated ballet since I was really young. I wasn’t always very good at it, but I have always respected many of the values and the structure of ballet.
as a Dance form specifically? I’ve always appreciated ballet since I was really young. I wasn’t always very good at it, but I have
What was the first Ballet you ever saw? How did that shape your concept of the art form?
always respected many of the values and the structure of ballet. What was the first Ballet
I have fond memories of watching Pacific Northwest Ballet company’s Nutcracker on television as a child. It came on almost every year, and my favorite scene was the Arabian scene. It had a stunning female dancer dressed as a peacock, and I loved the way she danced on her toes with so much power. As I got older I loved watching other full length classics I could rent from the library- such as Don Quixote, Le Corsaire and Swan Lake.
you ever saw? How did that shape your concept of the art form? I have fond memories of watching Pacific Northwest Ballet company’s Nutcracker on television as a child. It came on almost every year, and my favorite scene was the Arabian scene. It had a stunning female dancer dressed as a peacock, and I loved the way she danced on her toes with so
Can you tell us about A Mother’s Rite, what was the inspiration behind that production?
much power. As I got older I loved watching other full length classics I could rent from the library- such as Don Quixote, Le Corsaire and
With A Mother’s Rite I was purely inspired by Black mothers I have constantly seen on television speaking about the devastating injustices that occurred to their children. They often shared much information about their children and honored their legacies by continuing to fight against systemic racism and brutality against Black lives. But I didn’t often get to hear the mothers speak about their experiences and how they are grieving through it all. I became intrigued about wanting to know more about the grieving process. In 2016, I lost my father and that was the most significant loss I had ever encountered in my
Swan Lake. Can you tell us about A Mother’s Rite, what was the inspiration behind that production? With A Mother’s Rite I was purely inspired by Black mothers I have constantly seen on television speaking about the devastating injustices that occurred to their children. They often shared much information about their children and honored their legacies by continuing to fight against systemic racism and brutality against Black lives. But I didn’t often get to hear the mothers speak about
surprised by that? presentation, I was in a really boring business meeting and happened to look I foundI noticed out the Kennedy Center atWhen my phone. I had received
their experiences and how they are life. From just observing grieving grieving through it all. Imy became process and understanding intrigued about wanting tohow know more traumatizing and sudden all ofInthat about the grieving process. 2016, was for me, I empathized so much with I lost my father and that was the most these countless mothers and just how significant loss I had ever encounchallenging any grief process is, let tered in my life. From just observing alone having to go through it so publicly. my grieving process and understandThese mothers not only lost children, ing how traumatizing and sudden all but suddenly had cameras in their face of that was for me, I empathized so and journalist constantly asking for much with these countless mothers interviews. I often wondered how the and just how challenging any grief mothers were really doing, and what process is, let alone having to go were their lives like “behind the scenes.” through it so publicly. These mothers As With A Mother’s Rite I wanted to shine not on only lost children, butpublic suddenly light a process that the is often had cameras in their face and journalnot privy to, in an effort to be able to ist constantly asking for interviews. shine light on grief and mental health in I often wondered how mothers Black communities, and the to also navigate weretoreally and what were ways bringdoing, communities together liketo “behind the encourage scenes.” totheir rallylives around uplift and So I started timeto infight these mothersinvesting as we allmuch continue researching whatever accounts I for social change. could find of mothers speaking about
The a howfilm theyadaptation were feelingreceived and how theses 2020 Emmyhave Award nomination, experiences changed their lives how didWith you Afeel aboutRite that, you forever. Mother’s I wanted must have been incredibly proud? to shine light on a process that the public is often not privy to, in an effort I was humbled and brought to beincredibly able to shine light on grief and tomental tears when I found out that our film health in Black communities, had nominated a New York andbeen to also navigatefor ways to bring Emmy® Award. The nominations were communities together to rally around announced on one of our local television to uplift and encourage these mothers stations. Luckily, I had scheduled the as we all continue to fight for social recording of the telecast ahead of time. change. After I heard our film’s title, the first one
called in our category, I had to stop The film adaptation received the recording and play it back just a 2020 Emmy Award nominato make sure I heard it correctly. tion, how did you feel? Though we did not win the award that, you must have been incredibl in our category, I still believe that I was incredibly humbled and receiving the nomination was a brought to tears when I found out huge win. I always remember my that our film had been nominated for younger-self dreaming of making a New York Emmy® Award. The nomiballets in my bedroom, and then nations were announced on one of all of a sudden being able to create our local television stations. Luckily, I had scheduled the recording of the telecast ahead of time. After I heard
was considering my work for presentaan email from the Kennedy Center. I had a production at the tion,never I wasseen in a really boring business Kennedy aside from watching meeting Center and happened to look at my the annual Kennedy Center Honors phone. I noticed I had received an on television and dreaming of the day I email from the Kennedy Center. I had would their stage my never dance seen a on production at or thesee Kennedy work performed there. So when I saw Center aside from watching the annual the email I Center immediately thought it was Kennedy Honors on television junk and nearly it. Butdance and mail dreaming of thedeleted day I would something in that moment before on their stage or see my work per-I hit delete told me to open it and as soon as formed there. So when I saw the email I started to read the email, tears started I immediately thought it was junk mail streaming from my face. People in my and nearly deleted it. But something in meeting thought perhaps I had found that moment before I hit delete told me out that someone had passed. I couldn’t to open it and as soon as I started to stop crying while trying to figure out how read the email, tears started streaming this all was happening. Many months from my face. and many conversations later I received I couldn’t stop crying while trying to the official green-light. I hadn’t finished figure out how this all was happening. making the ballet yet. Nor had I formally Many months and many conversations launched The Black Iris Project publicly later I received the official green-light. when I knew we would be heading finished making the ballet toI hadn’t the Kennedy Center in 2017. That yet. Nor had I formally launched The experience was also beyond my wildest Black Iris Project publicly when I knew dreams. we would be heading to the Kennedy Center in tell 2017. experience washow Can you usThat about MADIBA, alsoitbeyond my wildest dreams. did come about?
our film’s title, the first one called in our category, I had to stop the recording and play it back just to make sure I heard it correctly. Though we did not win the award in our category, I still believe that receiving the nomination was a huge win. I always them professionally, to present remember my younger-self dreamthem over the country and to ing ofall making ballets in my bedroom, receive recognition for the workable that and then all of a sudden being I’ve labored over has just beentoa to create them professionally, humongous thatcountry I am forever present themblessing all over the and grateful for. I pinch myself every day. to receive recognition for the work that I’ve labored over has just been a
You were invited tothat perform humongous blessing I am forever your production of MADIBA, at grateful for. I pinch myself every day. the John F. Kennedy Center for the performing Arts by Misty You were invited to perform Copeland. Were you surprised your production of MADIBA, by that? at the John F. Kennedy Cent-
er for the performing Arts by When I found out the Kennedy Misty Copeland. Were you Center was considering my work for
InCan all ofyou the shows various tell usand about MADIBA, companies that I’ve been a part of, it was how did it come about? very rare that I got to work with a creative team was primarily Black people. So In allthat of the shows and various compamy initial thought in creating MADIBA nies that I’ve been a part of, it was very was, would be ifaI creative hired an rare how that Icool got to workitwith entire creative team of Black menBlack team that was primarily Black people. costume designer, lighting designer, So my initial thought in creating MADIcomposer andcool myself choreographer. BA was, how would it be if I hired It was my goal to amplify Black voices an entire creative team of Black mennot just onstage but also behind the Black costume designer, lighting descenes. It was also important to me that signer, composer and myself choreogI told stories that are commonly not rapher. It was my goal to amplify Black shared. So I started researching historic voices not just onstage but also behind Black leaders and also researching the scenes. It was also important to me Black composers. While researching that I told stories that are commonly not choreographers, I stumbled upon a shared. So I started researching historic Black classical composer named Carman Black leaders and also researching Moore who had just premiered an Black composers. While researching orchestral work at Carnegie Hall inspired choreographers, I stumbled upon a by Nelson Mandela’s life entitled Black classical composerreached named out Car“MADIBA”. I immediately
man Mooretowho hada just to Carman set up timepremiered to meet an orchestral work at Carnegie him and to hear the recording. IHall was inspired by Nelson lifeinentiimmediately struck Mandela’s by his music tledsame “MADIBA”. I immediately reached the way I had been struck by out to Carman set upand a time meet Phantom of thetoOpera withtoBlack himIII. and to hear the recording. I was Iris I know that this was the ballet that I was destined Carman immediately struck to bymake. his music in welcomed meIwith the same way had open been arms struckand by even collaborated withand me with to expand Phantom of the Opera Black the score. Nelson Mandela’s Iris III. I know that this was thejourney ballet in South reminds me of Dr. that I wasAfrica destined to make. Carman Martin Luther Jr.’s journey in welcomed meKing, with open arms and the United States. I felt like Nelson even collaborated with me to expand Mandela’s life wasMandela’s a story that I had the score. Nelson journey never really learned about in South Africa reminds mein ofschool. Dr. I learned much more about Rosa Martin Luther King, Jr.’s journey in Parks, George Washington Carver, the United States. I felt like Nelson Frederick Douglass and others as a Mandela’s life was a story that I had child, but knew so little about Nelson never really learned about in school. I Mandela. And that’s how I knew learned much more about Rosa Parks, I wanted to help share his legacy George Washington Carver, Frederick and his teaching through ballet. It is Douglass and others as a child, but important to me that we celebrate knew so little about Nelson Mandela. his life and celebrate the amazing And that’s how I knew I wanted to accomplishments he achieved in his help share his legacy and his fight for humanity around theteaching world. through ballet. It is important to me that we celebrate andbeen celWho would youhis saylife have ebrate the amazing accomplishments inspirational figures in your life
he achieved and why? in his fight for humanity around the world. My biggest inspiration is my mother. Who you and sayhas have been She is would an educator been for inspirational figures in your over 40 years now. I am impressed life why? with and how she has learned different things, and how she continues to evolve, grow, and familiarize herself My biggest inspiration is my mother. withis technology over the years. She an educator and has beenMy for mother in the during over 40 grew yearsup now. I amsouth impressed the 50s, 70s; she often with how60s sheand hasthe learned different told meand about the struggles shetoand things, how she continues her family endured during those evolve, grow, and familiarize herself periods and the injustices that she with technology over the years. My observed as a young Black woman. mother grew up in the south during Despite everything that she’s been the 50s, 60s and the 70s; she often through, she continues to possess a told me about the struggles she and vibrant and loving spirit. I especially her family endured during those enjoy watching her when she periods and the injustices that she encourages and motivates young observed as a young Black woman. people she teaches to do their very Despite everything that she’s been best. through, she continues to possess a vibrant and loving spirit. I especially enjoy watching her when she encour-
What does dance mean to you?
ages and motivates young people she teaches do Itheir best.myself. Dance isto how trulyvery express I am thankful for dance because What does dance mean to it has allowed me an opportunity
you? to express myself when often words weren’t possible. Dance has provided Dance is how Ito truly express myself. me a platform be able to not only I am dancebut because has healthankful my ownfor wounds to alsoit help allowed metheirs. an opportunity toallowed express others heal Dance has myself when larger often words weren’t posme to dream than my present sible. Dance hasDance instilled circumstances. hasconfidence, instilled confidence,individuality, motivation, individuality, motivation, creativity creativity andother so many other incredible and so many incredible attribattributes meI that utes withinwithin me that don’tI don’t knowknow who who or where I would be without or where I would be without dance. dance. What do you enjoy most about
What do you enjoy about choreographing ormost working
choreographing or working with with other dancers? other dancers?
I love being able to see my vision take I love being able to see my vision take shape on stage. I’ve always loved pershape on stage. I’ve always loved forming, but there’s an indescribable performing, but there’s an indescribable feeling I get sitting in the audience feeling I get sitting in the audience or standing backstage and watching or standing backstage and watching something I’ve worked so hard on something I’ve worked so hard on come to life. I haven’t always been come to life. I haven’t always been in artistic settings where I felt like my in artistic settings where I felt like my contributions were appreciated or contributions were appreciated or respected; so for for me me to to be be able able to to be be a respected; so a leader the frontofofthe theroom room and leader atat the front and to be to be able to motivate and to inspire a able to motivate and to inspire a
team for the goal of creating a unified team fordynamic the goalwork of creating unified and of art isajust truly andamazing. dynamicI sincerely work of art is just feed off truly of the amazing. sincerely feed the and energyI of the artists in off theof room, energy of the artists in the room, and I believe that our works are created I believe that our works are created as a conversation in collaboration, a as a conversation in collaboration, a constant give-and-take. As they take constant give-and-take. As they take my my dance steps and internalize them dance steps and internalize them into into their bodies, I am constantly their bodies, I am constantly inspired inspired by their interpretations of by their interpretations of what I had what I had demonstrated. Being able demonstrated. Being able to collaborate to collaborate with such dynamic with such dynamic and beautiful artists and beautiful artists and to be able to and to be able to share ideas and share ideas and thoughts specifically thoughts specifically on our history has on aour has forward been a joy been joyhistory that I look to. that I look forward to.
Do you feel your work is more Do you feel more important thanyour ever work given is the important than ever given current political landscape? the current political landscape?
I feel my work is truly relevant, and I am feel myto work is many truly relevant, and I so Igrateful have opportunities am so have many opportuto use mygrateful voice totocontinuously help shape and the minds of people nities to expand use my voice to continuously around world. makesof help the shape andSometimes expand theitminds mepeople a little uncomfortable to see how around the world. Sometimes relevant theme work thatuncomfortable I’ve created is. to it makes a little I always believe that the what I create has see how relevant work that I’ve found me. Iis. haven’t necessarily searched created I always believe that what for Iit.create But what I have done is remained has found me. I haven’t necesopen to observation curiosity. I allow sarily searched forand it. But what I have thedone universe to guideopen me totowhat it is that is remained observation I need to say or create in that moment in and curiosity. I allow the universe to time. guide me to what it is that I need to
How important do you think the say or create in that moment in time. creative arts are in general to society? How important do you think
The 100 Fists photo series is a project a greater ofto community Ibring developed as asense tribute Nelson amongst It Black in New York Mandela. was dancers created with a vision City and to also allow our bodies to bring a greater sense of com- and our voices to advocate for Blackinlives, munity amongst Black dancers whileYork alsoCity celebrating theallow incredible New and to also our teachings and life of Nelson Mandela bodies and our voices to advocate on his 100th birthday. I often find for Black lives, while also celebratmyself journaling wild ideas of how I ing the incredible teachings and can contribute to the world through life of Nelson Mandela on his 100th dance. Motivating and educating birthday. I often find myself journaling communities about Black history wild ideas of how I can contribute to has always been at the forefront the world through dance. Motivating of my mind. The 28 days in Black and educating communities about History Month is not enough of a Black history has always been at the time for us to celebrate and learn forefront of my mind. So The 28 days in about Black history. I created Black History Month is not enough this campaign which revealed one of a time for us to celebrate and learn picture and either a historical quote about Black history. So I created or fact about Nelson Mandela, this campaign which revealed one picture on our social media platforms, on and either a 100 historical orup fact each of the days quote leading to about Nelson Mandela, onbirthday. our social Nelson Mandela’s 100th media on each of the 100 Some platforms, key elements of each photo days leading updancer to Nelson was that each wasMandela’s given an opportunity to come up withalso his or 100th birthday. The dancers had her own creative or afist dynamic to include at least pose 1 visible in their movement embodying strength. pose/movement and also wear all The series wasPrior photographed Black clothing. to workingby with a dynamic her, she hadphotographer already been named highlightMelika Dez. is not talents Black, ing Black andMelika. brownShe dancers’ but she thoroughly understood and beauty in her photographs. the So, importance of this movement. Prior bringing her onboard felt like a natural to working with her, she had already fit. been highlighting Black and brown dancers’ talents and beauty in her What does the future hold for the photographs. So, bringing her on Black Iris Project? board felt like a natural fit.
the creative arts are in genI think art is extremely necessary. Art has eral to society? provided me so many opportunities to express myself, and I think it’s important I think art is extremely necessary. Art for people to find an artistic medium has speaks provided soand many opportuniwhich to me them that they can ties to express myself, and I think partake in, (even as a hobby) to find it’s a important for people to find an artistic sense of comfort, solace and expression medium which speaks to them and throughout their days. that they can partake in, (even as a
I’m currently working on a new bal-
hobby) to find sense the of comfort, Can you tell us aabout 100 Fists
partnering BronxNet The ballet with will be unveiledtelevision in three to broadcast a previously recorded parts over the course of the next year. performance of MADIBA. The ballet But on July 18th of this year we are will be available TV in The Bronx, partnering with on BronxNet television
solace and expression throughout Project? their days. The 100 Fists photo series is a project I developed a tribute to Nelson Can youastell us about the 100 Mandela. It was created with a vision to Fists Project?
What does the future hold for the Black Iris Project?
let entitled W I L D which is loosely
inspired by Maurice Sendak’s 1962 timeless children’s book Where the I’m currently working on a new ballet Wild Things Are and the juvenile entitled W I L D which is loosely justice system in the United States. inspired by Maurice Sendak’s 1962 The ballet will be unveiled in three timeless children’s book Where the parts theAre course of the next year. Wild over Things and the juvenile But on July 18th this year we are justice system inof the United States.
New York andaalso available online for to broadcast previously recorded performance of MADIBA. The ballet the world to embrace.
Who would be your dream will be available on TV in The Bronx, dance collaboration? New York and also available online for world to embrace. Itthe might sound a little cliché because everyone knows who this person is,
have achieved a lotCopeand orYou at least you should, Misty
inspired many. Who would be your dream dance collaboration?
land. Misty Copeland has been
tremendously supportive of me and
our organization, but I’ve never had It might sound a little cliché because the opportunity to choreograph a everyone knows who this person is, or ballet for her. She is the very reason at least you should, Misty Copeland. why we received the opportunity to Misty Copeland has been tremendously perform at the Kennedy Center. I am supportive of me and our organization, forever grateful for how she has embut I’ve never had the opportunity to braced me and has helped support choreograph a ballet for her. She is my thedreams. very reason why we received the opportunity to perform at the Kennedy What advice do you have Center. I am forever grateful forfor how young boys or girls out there she has embraced me and has helped who want follow their passupport my to dreams. sion to become dancers?
What advice do you have for young I would them startwho wherever boys ortell girls outto there want to they aretheirpassion at, put someto music on the follow become dancers stereo and dance! The internet and I would tell them to start wherever they social media is a huge an invaluable are at, put someyou music theso stereo and resource where can on learn dance! The internet and social media much about dancers/choreographers, is atake huge invaluable resource where and soan many free classes. There’s you can learn so much about dancers/ just so many resources out there choreographers, take so many for young dancers and these days. So I free classes. There’s just so many resources always encourage young people to out there for young dancers these days. surround themselves with people that So I always encourage young people encourage and motivate their gifts to surround themselves with people and talents.You must continue being that encourage and motivate their gifts creative as well and observe everyand talents. You must continue being thing, absorb everything and take creative as well and observe everything, every single class you probably can. absorb everything and take every single class you probably can. Explore One last question. What would dance techniques that you probably you most like our readers or otherwise wouldn’t be interested in. to take from this interview All of these things will help create your today? colorful and diverse dance vocabulary which will help enhance your abilities as “You beyour thecreativity. change well asmust strengthen
you wish to see in the world.” One last question. What would ~Mahatma you most likeGandhi our readers to take from this interview today? “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
PAPI OJO Up Close and Personal
Since Black is king’srelease everyone is talking about Beyoncé’s stunning visual album. The dance routines, the symbolism and the styling. One person who has captured the public’s attention almost as much as ‘Bey” is Stephen Papi Ojo “the blue man “ who is dancing side by side with Queen B throughout the album. He self taught dancer from Nigeria talks to us about how he ended up teaching African dance moves to Rhiana, Janet Jackson and Beyoncé. - Maighread Ni Mhaonghail F. The “Blue Man” is now synonymous with “Black is King”. People don’t
what significance did he have for you personally?
mention one without the other. How does that make you feel?
F. How important was the positive representation of African Culture to you personally, in the movie?
S. I really connected to the role because in my own experience I also
S. It was a crucial element. We had a one
S. You know it’s a blessing! I didn’t really
have a blue man watching over me
time opportunity to get it right, this is not
know what to expect first but since the
and guiding me through the journey
something as an artist you want to get
movie came out, there just been so
of life. You know, IT lost my brother in
wrong. I didn’t wanna find myself in a
much love. I’m really happy to be at the
2016 and ever since then he is like a
position where I would have to deal with
receiving end of that.
guardian angel guiding me. So when
backlash from my people back home or
I was asked to play the part of the
F. Can you tell us a little about the man beneath the paint? How did your journey begin?
people here in America. So, I just pulled
prince’s conscience I just connected.
up my bootstraps and got to work to
I was really happy I was given that
properly represent. I’m so glad that god
role because it reflected my story too.
gave me the wisdom and strength to do
S.My name is Steven (papi) Ojo. I was
F. The project was a year in the making, how difficult was it to keep it secret?
that and now here we are. born in Lagos Nigeria and I am an artist, singer, dancer, songwriter, and model. I’m the whole package. Now I’m the ‘blue man’ too. I’ve been dancing for a long time but I
S.Well, you know how it is, we’re professional and we signed
started to take it really seriously around
non - disclosure agreements.
late 2014, early 2015. I’ve been dancing
Really though keeping it a secret
with my group Avio boys. We’ve been
wasn’t really a big deal for me
training and working really hard for a
because o know how it goes on
long time. We post on Instagram and
this kind of production. I didn’t really
people see it and reach out I’m just
know the time frame of the project
really happy that all the dedication and
from production to release. I just
hard work is paying off and I was able
felt that whenever it was released
to represent myself , the culture and my
was ok by me. Even if it took three
family the way I did on this project.
years I would still have been fine keeping quiet. I’m happy that it
F. In the film the blue man seems to represent Prince’s conscience
droppedNwhen it did though, you know because it’s our time.
“I really connected to the role because in my own experience I also have a blue man watching over me and guiding me through the journey of life”
F. When you moved to the US from Lagos
excitement of people seeing us.
kid on a candy store. I was actually at the
in 2008 did you ever imagine you would
Most of our opportunities come from
gym when I got the call and I just started
be dancing with Beyonce? Was that a
People sewing is on Instagram and
dancing all over the gym, making little
goal of yours at the beginning.
videos. It was a crazy feeling.
S. Coming to the United States wasn’t
F. How did it feel dancing with Beyonce during the film, & choreographing her moves?
F Did you know your character would play such an important role on the project when you began?
school and high school system. It wasn’t
S. It’s a dream come true. You now I
S. You know, I had no idea what the
easy you know, the cultural difference
didn’t get a chance see homecoming
outcome would be. When you arrive
and language, and I was bullied a lot
when it first came out so when I did
on set you never really think about
in middle school. I guess I’m the end
finally see it on Netflix I was just so
the impact of the project. Mostly your
that just made me a stronger man. I
inspired and moved by the whole
never really thought I would be where
project that I said a little prayer that
focused on doing the job. The final product isn’t really something you think
I am today. Growing up I wanted to be
one day I would get the opportunity
about. You never know if you’ll have
a professional soccer player or a pilot, I
to work with Beyoncé.
one appearance or ten. Your just there
didn’t take dancing that seriously at first.
A few months later and that prayer
to do a job. I didn’t really think about the
But you know, when god has a plan for
was answered. So, I’m dancing next
magnitude of this project but I’m just
you! I’m really happy where it has lead
to her and it’s like a dream come true.
really happy I’m here to see the fruit of all
and to just enjoy it.
Who would have thought that just
the hard work
the easiest transition for me. I came here when I was eleven years old and had to go through the whole middle
by praying, putting it out there and
F. You have worked with some of the biggest celebrities on the world, Janet Jackson, Rihanna, Texans Taylor, how did that come about?
putting good energy into it that good things would happen.
F. You’re also a music artist can you let us know a little about that,& your new single Beremole?
F. How did it feel when you first got the news you would be dancing with a Beyonce?
S. Music has always been part of who I
Well, mostly through posting content
am but when I was a little insecure about it when I was younger. I have gotten over
on social media, people seeing us (avio
S. I was extremely hyped. I wish I
that now and since last February have
could show you guys a video of my
begun to focus on it more. It’s been great
Cos we love what we do and love the
reaction. I was dancing around like a
so far. I’ve been getting a lot of love. I feel
like I’m ready to change the world with my
journey with me and be patient with
me and see what I have to offer as an artist.
F. How do you feel this project has changed your life ?
F. What advice do you have for other young artists out there who may be inspired by your journey ?
F. What’s next for you? S. To all the aspiring artists and
S. It’s game changing. This project will
S. Well I was planning to teach
creatives out there I’d say, stay true to
be streamed worldwide by people for
choreography but corona has pit that
yourself. In this world there are gonna
generations and it’s always gonna be a
on hold. I could do online classes but
be a lot of people who will have an
monumental piece and I’m always gonna
I prefer the personal connection and
opinion and make you doubt yourself.
be a part of that. So, people will always
being around people’s energy.
When it’s your turn , it’s your turn.
wanna know who the ‘ blue man’ is and
When God says yes you have to be
that’s gonna bring attention on me. I
I am dropping an EP next year and
ready. Stay ready do you don’t have
wanna flip the switch a little on that and
also want to take acting a bit more
to get ready. Keep putting out good
let people see that I have so much more
seriously so I can put myself forward
energy because people feel your
to offer. I’m ready to take this journey
for bigger roles. Hopefully you guys
energy. Remember one day it’s gonna
and I hope and pray that people take this
will see me on the big screen!
be your day!
The Voice Kids UK
F. How did you feel at that moment the first judge turned? J. You know before the competition I was hoping that just one judge would turn for me so that I could just have a spot. When all four turned I was so overwhelmed I
don’t think I can even remember what
At just 15years old,Voice Kids UK contestant Joshua Regala has been making his mark. Making it all the way to the semi finals, just a few days after he released his debut single “if I’d never let go” He tells Fusion how it all began. -Maighread Ni Mhaonghail
anyone said. I was a bit star struck. I’ve never met a celebrity before and there were four in front of me. I just really remember nodding a lot and saying “thank you,”
F. When did you first discover your talent for singing?
F. How nervous were you at the blind auditions?
J I have been singing since I was about
J. I was so nervous, I dunno if people
four years old when my parent enrolled
could see that on the television but I
me in piano lessons. I used to dance then was petrified. Once the band started playing and the adrenaline kicked in, to. I used to try and dance like Michael
F. You picked Pixie, were you a fan of hers before the show? J. I knew of Pixie before the show, and I think the reason I picked her was because of the energy I felt from her. I
Jackson. I think I really began to sing at seven though when my dad bought me a new blue guitar.
F. You have won quite a lot of accolades can you share with our audience what those are, including a little bit about your group Bright lights ? J. I began competing around the age of nine, just doing small competitions and then I moved on to the National ones. I guess the biggest one was junior teen stars I came 3rd. I took part again joining the junior section but was moved up to the senior section half way through the competition because I turned 14.
I just thought, “I’m all for it “
exactly what songs would work for me.
That was a bit nerve wrecking because everyone else was so much bigger than me, but I won 1st place and became grand champion 2019.
remember her telling me that she knew
F. What was going through your That gave me the confidence to chose to be on her team. head at that moment you first I felt that she would know how to use set foot on stage? my voice and help me improve it so I can
F. Is it true that the Voice scouted you a year ago?
J. At first I was thinking “wow, this is
show everything I’ve got. That’s why I
actually it, this is actually the stage”.
I’ve been watching the voice kids on
F. What artists inspire you most ?
J. Yes They saw the teen stars video.
television since I was very little, so to
When they contacted us first we thought
finally be there on the stage felt really
it was a scam. Then when I realised it was
surreal. Then I just decided “go big or
J. Well, when I started singing first Adele
real I couldn’t believe it.
go home “
was my biggest inspiration. She’s the OG!
“I haven’t really experienced this ever before, but I’m just enjoying it while I can” next rounds of the voice ? J. Definitely, very nervous. There are a lot more eyes on me now especially after the blind auditions. I’m nervous but excited too. The love rounds are definitely gonna be like a full on vocal boxing match. At the moment I really like the musical
it was a fake account and that there
style of Louis cabildi and Calum
was no way he was posting about
Scott. I love the heart felt emotion of
me! I couldn’t believe it. I just started
an artist trying to express the feeling
jumping around because he is one of
of the song to the audience.
my biggest idols and it was amazing to
F. Since you’ve mentioned emotion, where does all that emotion come from at 15?
F. You have just released a Debut single, can you tell us a little about that?
think he posted and said thank you to
J. Yes! I’m so happy to say that I’ve
me for singing his song.
released a new single and I’m really grateful for all the people who worked on
F. Did you tweet back?
it with me. It’s available on all the platforms now.
J. People are always asking me that
J. I just sent him a dm saying thanks.
question and I don’t really know how to answer it. People wonder if I’m ok
F. How are you dealing with all
because I’m singing these really deep the attention your getting now?
F. So, we heard you say that you would like to be a doctor. If you had to choose would you choose to be a singer or a doctor?
heartfelt songs. But I’m ok I just really love watching
J. It is quite overwhelming to be
J. Oh! That’s a really hard question. I think
other performers and listening to
honest, all the attention since the live
whichever one I chose would be okay
how they deliver a song. I just try to
auditions but I’m just taking it all in.
because I would still be helping people
put myself in the moment. I think that
I haven’t really experienced this ever
either way. I could be both who knows, I
comes very natural to me.
before, but I’m just enjoying it while I
could be the first singing doctor.
Either way once I’m helping people or
F. Callum Scott tweeted about your performance of his song!?
inspiring them I’m ok with either choice.
F. How supportive are your friends of your success?
J. You know I actually came across
F . What three pieces of advice would you give to other young people out there following their dream who might be in?
his Instagram post and didn’t realise
J. My friends are really happy for me.
what it was at first. I was just casually
I would feel the same for them. My
scrolling through Fanbook, going
close friends are so supportive and I
about my day. I saw a post from one
love them so much. Some people have
J. I would say, 1.be humble in victory
of my friends that said “ well done to
had experience of their friends
and defeat. Stay in your lane. 2. Trust the
this young man getting noticed by
getting jealous but my friends just
process. 3. Be yourself, don’t try to be
Calum Scott.” He was talking about
build me up. I’m really lucky and very
anyone else, stay true to who you are,
me. I went and checked Calum’s
happy to those kind of friendships.
express your individuality and remember
feed on Instagram and see the blind audition there. I was thinking
self love. Mostly just enjoy it.
F. Are you nervous about the
Randolph Matthews THE VOICE
A MAN, A VOICE THE HAT & A HAT & A SUITCASE
Randolph Mathews, is an accomplished artist, musician performer who has performed with artists, Mulatu Atstake, Casey Benjamin (Robert Glasper Experience) and opened for Richard Bona (Pat Metheny) and grammy award winner Jazz legend Herbie Hancock. He once said that for him music was about “being loved and sharing love.” It is evident in his performances that he radiates that energy & the audience have no choice but to accept and offer back. -Maighread Ni Mhaonghail Q. I heard you described once as Bold and Beautiful in an interview. Have you ever been described like that before? R. No but it’s a lovely sentiment Q. How do you like to be described? R. As an artist Q. How did you find your musical voice & Style? R. My friends noticed my voice before I did.I was encouraged during a jam session to sing and I did and saw the reaction and thought hold on I might just have something here. Q. Can you take us back a little and tell us about your very first gig and how that felt.? R. My first gig was in Hackney at a place called Hoxton Hall I was about 19 at the time .It was agonising and stressful.i was hiding in a toilet so stressed at the mere thought of getting on the stage to sing my first solo infront to my family and friends,but once I got up on stage it just washed away in a flood and I knew I just had to get over my nerves and reach for the stars. Q. As you and your music have evolved how has that feeling changed?
R.I’m still reaching for more,I want to inspire many many people before its time to leave this earthly plain. Q. What’s the most exciting thing for you about live performances? R.The most exciting thing is the moment you have with an audience,The energy you feel in the room of anticipation because the audience is looking for something special to lift them up Q. Can you tell us a little about Waka Waka? R.We all need to be seen ,heard and appreciated as Unique.Every Monday ,Wednesday and Friday The Waka Waka Show promotes empathy through interactive online play for children around the world. Q. Tell us about your Hats, what do they symbolise for you.? R.My Hat symbolises Gentleman , Charm and history of my father Q. I heard you tell a beautiful story about your suitcase recently and what it represents to you. Can you share that with us? R. Yes my Suitcase is a reminder of my roots and the journey many black people from the carribean had to make to be somewhere else.Its about taking only what you can pack
in possessions and the rest you will work out.Its about remembering that we carry all of our dreams , aspirations and fears with us and any given time we can empty the bag and fill them with new tools for the journey ahead . Q. Who is Walter Tull, would you consider him a major inspiration? R.Walter Tull was a soldier who fought during the Great War becoming not only the first British-born black army officer but also the first black officer to lead white British troops into battle. He lived in the same area where I live in Folkestone Kent. he is an inspiration as I was looking for people who looked like me and so when I heard his story I wanted to celebrate his courage and one man’s resolve to live as an equal within society. Q. What do you see as the biggest challenge to musicians & performers.? R.Belief a time and space to create great work
Q. What are your biggest dreams for the future musically and personally.?
was sellable on a wider arena
R. I wish to become the most successful singer i can be so i can inspire others to keep going for what you believe in. You have to develop a fiery desire to achieve something great in life.So to continue touring around the world is top of my list.
Q. You’ve been described as a “A stunning McFerrin-esque talent!” by Song lines, while the Guardian said you “One of the great Jazz voices” & Jazz FM have remarked on your “Dazzling improvisational skills. Flawless and world class!”
Q. What are your fears?
How does that make you feel?
R.To Underestimate how much I can really go with my talent and gifts
R. It makes me feel touched and proud that the work has been received as I feel it.
Q. You have played with some of the greatest jazz artists there are. Who would be the ultimate dream to perform with. R. Robert Glasper, Miles Davis , Al Jarreau ,Marvine Gaye ,Duke Ellington. Q. In 2017 you were awarded the People’s choice award at the Ascona Jazz Festival, What did that mean to you? R.It meant alot for the wonderful work we had done to get there.It also meant we were able to present a product that
Q. So Randolph When will people be able to see you perform again, and where? R. My next performance will be in October in Switzerland and then I am planning an absolutely packed 2021 Q. Before we wrap up what piece of advice would you like to give to young artists out there starting out!? R. As an artist there are 6 things you must focus on each week for
your success 1 - Practice your gift 2 build your team around you 3 Search for opportunities to work 4 - work on new things that come in to the best of your ability 5 - Network and collaborate 6 - write down your dreams everyday
“write down your dreams everyday”
a 10-product hair care line, Tré Major Hair Care, and inventor of an exclusive and
Tré Major (born December 20, 1974) is
an AmericanTouch creative director, producer, Maida’s social media influencer, hair, makeup and wardrobe stylist and entrepreneur. Tré discovered his passion for visual artistry young and began his styling career at
seventeen when he was hired to style Taj Tré Majorthe (born is Mowry, starDecember of the then20, hit1974) television an American creative director, producer, series, Smart Guy for a series of social media influencer, hair, makeup and McDonald’s commercial. From there, his wardrobe stylist and entrepreneur. Tré career tookhis offpassion and soared to innovative discovered for visual artistry heights as he is prized for creating many began his styling career at seventeen when he was hired to style Taj Mowry, breathtaking and cutting-edge styles on the star of the then hit television series, our favorite celebrities. Smart Guy for a series of McDonald’s Well known for revamping singer and commercial. From there, his career took actress Mary J.toBlige’s hair image for the off and soared innovative heights as he millennium is prized for when creating new he many draped her with breathtaking a blonde, full,and softcutting-edge and bouncy styles Farrahon our favorite celebrities. Fawcett-esk look which essentially revoluWell known for revamping singer tionized black hair concepts that time. and actress Mary J. Blige’s hairatimage In 2003, he made an edgy and hardcore for the new millennium when he draped with blonde, full, soft Lil’ Kimher look softa and desirable on her La and bouncy Farrah Fawcett-esk lookhe kept Bella Mafia album cover. For years which essentially revolutionized black the late and great Aaliyah’s locks flawless hair concepts at that time. In 2003, he and Patti LaBelle, to sing made an edgy andcontinues hardcore Lil’ Kim his praises how well heon keeps herBella looking look softfor and desirable her La Mafia album cover. For years he kept the legendary. late and great Aaliyah’s locks flawless With more than 26 years in the beauty and Patti LaBelle, continues to sing his and entertainment industry, Tré Major has praises for how well he keeps her looking become an industry staple and The Major legendary. With than 26the years in thestandards beauty Lookmore is amongst highest and entertainment Tré Major of celebrity styling.industry, Sought after by many
has become an industry staple and The Major Look is amongst the highest standards of celebrity styling. Sought after by many entertainment industry icons, Tré Major whips hair, beats faces and slays wardrobe in unparalleled fashion. A true, God-gifted visionary Tré can take one good look at a client and envision how to uncover and enhance the depths of their beauty. With the masterful touch of his hands, Tré elevates a person from pretty to perfection with ease. Tré is also the creator of a 10-product hair care line, Tré Major Hair Care, and inventor of an exclusive and patent-pending wig line that is a chic hair-parade of must have looks.
patent-pending wig line that is a chic hair-parade of must have looks. In 2014, Tré launched The Major Look Course, teaching stylists everything from hair techniques to marketing strategies across the country. Tré is natural teacher with a down-to-earth approach towards hair education, leaving stylists motivated, inspired and more passionate about what they do. His desire to empower new stylists, inspired The Major Look Media on Youtrafficked publications and magazines Tube as where TréTeen will provide such Vogue, Vogue,hair Elle,tutorials, Style, a behind-the-scenes look at the industry and Redbook, Harper’s Bazaar, People, Vanity Fair, more.American Salon, Black Hair, Cosmopolitan, Ebony, Often contracted as theEssence, principleFlaunt, hair and Honey, Hype Hair, Jet, Sophisticated makeup stylist for motion pictures, major Hair, Today’s Black Woman, Vibe network television shows, music videos and and W Magazine.
various ad campaigns, The Major Look is a Some of Tré Major’s clientele hasTré’s one-man brand that A-list speaks volumes. included (some but not all): Aaliyah, masterful work has been featured in the Glozell (YouTube), CeCe industry’s highest trafficked publications Peniston, Yolanda Adams, Tichina and magazines suchHalle as Vogue, Arnold, Tyra Banks, Berry, Teen Mary Vogue, J. Blige, Naomi Campbell, Bailey Elle, Style, Redbook, Harper’s Bazaar, Noble, Palmer, Natalie Cole, People,Keke Vanity Fair, American Salon, Black Deborah Cox, Rosario Dawson, Macy Hair, Cosmopolitan, Ebony, Essence, Flaunt, Grey, Taraji P. Henson, Lil’ Kim, Patti Honey, Hype Hair, MC Jet, Lyte, Sophisticated Hair, Labelle, Nia Long, Tisha Today’s Black Woman, Vibe W MagaCampbell-Martin, Kimora Leeand Simmons, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Trina, Gabrielle zine. Union, Veronica Webb, Jillian Hervey Some of Tré Major’s A-list clientele has (Lion Babe) Lil Mama, Foxxy Brown, included (some but not all): Aaliyah, Glozell Anita Baker, Claudette Robinson (YouTube),Mary CeCeWilson, Peniston, Yolanda Adams, (Miracles), Jayne Kennedy, Tichina Arnold, Tyra Banks, Halle Berry, V Bozeman, China McClain, and more.
In 2014, Tré launched The Major Look Course, teaching stylists everything from hair techniques to marketing strategies across the country. Tré is natural teacher with a down-to-earth approach towards hair education, leaving stylists motivated, inspired and more passionate about what they do. His desire to empower new entertainment industry icons, Tré Major whips hair, beats faces and slays wardrobe stylists, inspired The Major Look Media on YouTube where Tré will in unparalleled fashion. A true, God-gifted provide hair tutorials, a behind-thevisionary Tré can take one good look scenes look at the industry and more. Often contracted as the principle at a client and envision how to uncover hair and makeup stylist for motion and enhance the depths of their beauty. pictures, major network television With the masterful touch of his hands, Tré Shows, music videos and various ad elevates a person from pretty to perfeccampaigns, The Major Look is a onetion with ease. Tré is also the creator of man brand that speaks volumes. Tré’s masterful work has been featured in the industry’s highest
Mary J. Blige, Naomi Campbell, Bailey Tré Major’s Corporate clientele has Noble, Keke Palmer, Natalie Cole, Deborah included (some but not all): MAC Cox, Rosario Dawson, Macy Grey, Taraji P. Cosmetics, FOX, Awesome TV, Tru TV, Henson, Lil’FOX, Kim, VIDCON, Patti Labelle, Long, Pop Sugar, BET Nia Networks, Dark and Tisha Lovely, GMC Motors, HBO, Kera MC Lyte, Campbell-Martin, Kimora Haircare, McDonalds, the Lee Simmons, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Trina, GaNFL, and Pepsi. brielle Union, Veronica Webb, Jillian Hervey
(Lion Babe) Lil Mama, Foxxy Brown, Anita Baker, Claudette Robinson (Miracles), Mary Wilson, Jayne Kennedy, V Bozeman, China McClain, and more. Tré Major’s Corporate clientele has included (some but not all): MAC Cosmetics, FOX, Awesome TV, Tru TV, Pop Sugar, FOX, VIDCON, BET Networks, Dark and Lovely, GMC Motors, HBO, Kera Haircare, McDonalds, the NFL, and Pepsi.
A CRY FOR LOVE & PEACE
by: Sunny September May 29th 2020, I was in bed when “rioters” “took over”
bravery. There was even a person dressed as a unicorn (It
Portland. The massive” Angry Mob” ended up out-
is Portland, after all!). This was the group everyone said
side my window, engulfed in clouds of tear-gas, and
was dangerous; only they were kind and fearless. They
followed by a swarm of police. As media stations were
were holding banners, and peace signs, and making sure
showing Portland being overtaken by fires, destruc-
everyone was safe.
tion, and looting, due to protesting the death of George
Suddenly police rushed towards the group in several
Floyd, many were scared.
intimidating lines. Police cars filled the street and so did
The following morning I walked around. As a photogra-
officers with weapons drawn. Attempting to wrap my head
pher I took pictures of everything. Windows were being
around why, I watched until a political photo op (between
boarded, people were washing graffiti, and curious
protestors and police), caused officers to retreat.
Portlanders were walking with cameras in hand. Not
As the group moved around the city, I put down my
knowing what to think I turned the corner and there
camera, and marched. The more we marched the more I
they were - “The Protestors!”
understood the news narratives weren’t all inclusive.
Inching closer I listened as Black voices invited anyone
Every-time the group paused Black Leaders invited people
who wanted to join without judgement. There was a list
to tell stories; it was clear many have experienced pain. It
of demands including: defunding the police, removing
also clear Portland has some work to do so everyone was else
armed officers from campuses and schools, stopping
can be treated equally.
police brutality, and justice for families who have lost
That same night the protestors ended up again outside of
relatives to racism. Love was radiating from this group
my window. Dozens of police cars lined the street as they
of “scary” protestors.
declared a “riot.” The police began throwing things; that’s
People linked arms, encouraged each other, and made
when I experienced what its like to get tear-gassed (while
hearts with their hands. My attention turned to protest
in my condo) for the first time. Scared by the unknowns I
signs; the messages reflections of heart and passion.
decided to learn as much as I could and attended every
There were two parents (one Black, one White) explain-
rally and march I could find.
ing to their child what was going on. She sat on her
It became clear Portland is a city of voices; many repre-
moms shoulders, her little hands in the air, and her eyes
senting democracy. While there is a history of passionate
full of sparkle. The energy all around felt warm; some-
protest, there is also one of racism. Oregon was the only
one offered me food, water, and sanitizer.
state founded as “whites’ only,” and despite becoming
Black Leadership shared stories of experienced rac-
more inclusive many Black people still experience rac-
ism. Members of the community acknowledged their
ism. The challenge then is when many voices in the Black
28 20 38 38
community have gone unheard. Then when those voices start being heard we throw in election politics, Police brutality (in response to a fight against it), and Federal Agents. All inviting Portland to be a platform for outside agendas. The story on the inside has been different and centered in Black Lives Matter. If you work through the clouds of political teargas, and the brutal tactics of Federal and local Police, you find a city that has grown stronger through ongoing Protest. Despite protestors nightly being gassed, shot at, and pepper sprayed -Portland has also been about people coming forward to activate positive changes for the future. Families have been teaching their kids to fight against racism. Thousands of people have come forward to support Portland. The once boarded windows have turned into murals, celebrating Black Lives. Community organizations, including: Don’t
Groups, including Indigenous Community, Pastors, Black Youth, Lawyers, Teachers, Parents, Grandparents, Veterans, Latinos, and LBGTQ+, have marched in solidarity...
Shoot Portland, Care Not Cops, and Critical Resistance Portland, have lead rallies. Behind the scenes, these organizations work on systematic changes. Groups, including Indigenous Community, Pastors, Black Youth, Lawyers, Teachers, Parents, Grandparents, Veterans, Latinos, and LBGTQ+, have marched in solidarity. Each group using their voices to educate community on ways to show alliance and support. Each of these rallies adding to the growing culture of Portland. During a prayer ceremony Indigenous community called
Photos and stories of Black Voices (and their allies) from
upon those who have fallen. As they formed a drum circle,
each night show you another side of Portland, inviting
inviting everyone to join a round dance, it began to rain. This
you to see why Black Lives Matter is so important. Just
rain was special and considered to be the tears of the spirits
like the young Black man too afraid to join the protest,
coming forward to guide and protect us. The indigenous
until the crowd doubled in size so he could blend in,
community and the Black community joined forces and have
who stood at the cross-walk not willing to cross, you will
been working together ever since holding several rallies and
hear examples of sadness, trauma, and injustice. You will
marches with powerful speakers and ceremonies.
see a group of teenagers who have protected protestors
Pdxpainttoprotest invites the community to hear stories, listen
nightly against people proving racism is still a problem.
to music, and experience artwork. Hip Hop groups organize
Family members of Black Lives lost to Police brutality
get-togethers and speakers in the
have come forward to ask for justice. Black youth are working to educate their allies and eliminate where rac-
park teaching about Black culture. People of all ages have
ism exists in our schools, on our streets, and within our
taken to the streets of Portland to get involved and build
stronger more united community.
After 60+ days of protesting together, Portland is turning
Surrounding each protest are tables of donated food, medi-
the past into a much more unified present. There are
cal supplies, and other resources. Watching lovingly, over the
plans for more art, platforms for more voices to share,
crowds, are “street medics,” who work to keep everyone safe.
and even more ways for community to support commu-
Throughout the park are photographers and streamers who
nity. Black leaders are building resources for Portland’s
have been there every night - many with different narratives
houseless community as well. Proving once again the
from mainstream media. Gathering in groups are peaceful
narrative being built at the core of these protests, is not
protestors who always outnumber those choosing to be less
one of danger or violence, and one of kindness, educa-
tion, and growth.
30 22 40 40
LubieMlambo Mlambo Lubie https://jbdondolo.org https://jbdondolo.org i i firstname.lastname@example.org 817-705-6212 email@example.com MeetJB JBDondolo’s Dondolo’sMusic Musicfor forWater WaterTeam Team Meet Dallas,Texas Texas––InInpartnership partnershipwith withGrand GrandMountain MountainRecords, Records,Disinfect Disinfect&&Shield, Shield,and andthe theNavajo NavajoNation, Nation, Dallas, JBDondolo Dondoloisisproud proudto toannounce announcethe thelaunch launchof ofthe thefirst firstannual annual“Music “MusicFor ForWater WaterCampaign,” Campaign,”aaglobal global JB competitionfor foremerging emergingmusicians musiciansto tohave havetheir theirwater-themed water-themedsong songsigned signedto toaadistribution distributiondeal dealand and competition showcased by JB Dondolo as the organization’s theme song for 2020-2021. Four women, spread across showcased by JB Dondolo as the organization’s theme song for 2020-2021. Four women, spread across theUnited UnitedStates, States,are areheading headingthis thisinitiative initiativefrom frominside insideJB JBDondolo: Dondolo:Lumbie LumbieMlambo, Mlambo,Beatrice BeatriceDavis, Davis, the RachelSvetanoff, Svetanoff,and andRonda RondaBowen. Bowen. Rachel
About Beatrice Davis, JB Dondolo Development Director: #MusicForWater is theofbrainchild of About Beatrice Davis, JB Dondolo ProjectProject Development Director: #MusicForWater is the brainchild Beatrice Davis. Hailing originally from Switzerland, by way of Germany, Beatrice Davis is an Beatrice Davis. Hailing originally from Switzerland, by way of Germany, Beatrice Davis is an EntertainmentDevelopment DevelopmentConsultant Consultantand andowner ownerof ofSassy SassyBBWorldwide WorldwideProductions, Productions,Inc. Inc.Beatrice’s Beatrice’s Entertainment backgroundisisininfashion, fashion,with withspecialties specialtiesininmillinery millineryand andfur furdesign. design.InInaddition additionto toSassy SassyBBWorldwide Worldwide background Productions,Inc., Inc.,Beatrice Beatricehas hasalso alsodeveloped developed onlinelifestyle lifestyle magazine NSAEN,LLC LLCand andSassy SassyBBKaffee Kaffee Productions, online NSAEN, invested in biyingmagazine new equipment Goodevening Del Ray! Klatsch. In addition to her work at JB Dondolo, she serves as an executive board member for Fashion Klatsch. In addition to her work at JB Dondolo, she serves as anskills. executive board member for Fashion and learning new CommunityFoundation, Foundation,aanonprofit nonprofitthat thatteaches teaches homeless youth basicsewing sewingskills skillsand andassists assistswith with Community homeless youth basic B. Perhaps you could tell our within audiproviding them job opportunities withinthe thefashion fashionindustry. industry.Beatrice’s Beatrice’spassion passioninvolves involveshelping helping providing them job opportunities individuals ofall allage agegroups, groups,regardless regardless background, tobecome becomein the bestversion version themselves. B. So you to invested yourself ? ofofthemselves. ence a little about yourself and theofofbackground, individuals of the best work you do! About Lumbie Mlambo, JB Dondolo Founder & CEO: Born in Zimbabwe andaproudly a Texan,isLumbie is President About Lumbie Mlambo, JB Dondolo Founder & CEO: Born in Zimbabwe and proudly Texan, Lumbie President and CEO of
D.Yes, i just knewa Iwife, wanted be and CEO of JB Dondolo, mother sons and daughter, andto an for She clean water.her SheBachelor earned her JB Dondolo, a mother to 2asons andtoa 2daughter, aawife, and an advocate for advocate clean water. earned of Science someone who is really doing someBachelor of Science in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics from Texas Woman’s University. In to being D.I am a music photographer mainly but in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics from Texas Woman’s University. In addition to being the addition spokesperson for the spokesperson for the organization, Lumbie advises board members on preferred strategies and reports directly to the thing.on I travelled lot to study. It’sreports althe organization, Lumbie board preferreda strategies and directly to the board of directors. She I also shoot sports, events,advises landscape & members boardfails of directors. She never to mention that the reason she founded JBfather’s Dondolo is to keep her father’s legacy alive never to mention that the fails reason she founded JB Dondolo to keep her most two hours to is the nearest airport legacy alive and advance his work to general photography. and advance his work so dignity is restored. In 2019, Lumbie proudly UN accepted prestigious UN improve people’s lives, to soimprove dignity ispeople’s restored.lives, In 2019, Lumbie proudly accepted the prestigious Global the Leadership Award from where I love on the reservation. Global Leadership Award from the United Nations Association of Dallas Chapter. The award honored the work the organization from the United Nations Association of Dallas Chapter. 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AN ANCIENT VOICE DEL RAY
by: Ben Salvacion Good morning Del Ray how are you? Thank you for agreeing to this interview.
B. Perhaps you could tell our audience a little about yourself and the work you do! D. I am a music photographer mainly but I also shoot sports, events, landscape & general photography.
B. What was it that attracted you to photography? D. One of my main passions was going to music festivals & concerts to watch my favourite bands play. One day I noticed
all the photographers in the pit and I wondered, ‘what it would take to have that job’ . Finding out about how to do that became my main focus. I started researching where I could find training or attend photography workshops.
B. What kind of challenges did you face when beginning your photographic journey? D. Well one of the first challenges was learning what equipment I needed. I didn’t know much about various lenses or apertures or anything like that. My first camera was a little point and press and I thought that would be enough. So, I began to study other photographers and invested in buying new equipment and learning new skills.
B. So you invested in yourself? D. Yes, I just knew I wanted to be someone who is really doing something. I travelled a lot to study. It’s almost two hours to the nearest airport from where I love on the reservation. So I would drive to the airport and then hop on a plane to
attend a workshop .
B. How did you support what was at that time, a hobby? D. Well, I was working at my regular job and saving. I was investing in Silver coins before I began investing in camera’s, then when I retired for that job I was able to follow my passion.
B. What kind of equipment do you have now? D. Right now I have a 1DX & 5D Mark, which is a far cry away from my first Panasonic point & shoot in the early days. I bought that one for about 30 bucks on eBay.
B. You have talked about being from the Navajo community can you tell us what that means to you! D. It’s my heart! It’s the love for my culture and the land I grew up on. It’s part of everything I do. Here where I live there’s a sense of freedom.
B Why do you feel that Navajo nation was badly hit by Covid?
B. What about your health service and education here?
D. I think it was just so unexpected, we didn’t think we would be hit so hard. Lack of water and accessibility to basic - necessities didn’t help. In rural areas here there are as many as ten people sometimes living in one home. There is no water or electricity and people could often have to maybe travel two or three hours away just to get basic necessities. Navajo nation is big. We are the biggest Native American tribe in the world.
D. Well, our health service is pretty good and we have a lot of native people working there. We have about 4/5 hospitals and then small sub clinics. In my community the hospital I was born in 50 years ago is still there, still in use. There are about 4/5 ICU beds in it to service my community.
B. What about health insurance? D. Our health service is free for those on the reservation because that was the agreement that was made with the federal government when we came back to our land. But in the cities you need health insurance.
B. I’m really shocked that In 2020 In America there are still people with no water or electricity. D. In rural areas in particular some people still don’t have roads or even pathways.
B. What supports were put in place by the government, if any? D. Our Navajo nations president and Vice President really are doing an excellent job helping out our community. People really supported each other and worked together to try to combat the situation. People sent donations, our president and the national guard helped distribute food and water every week.
B. How bout the federal government? D. Well we are a sovereign nation so we have our own government, but we get donations from the federal government.
D. We would need a lot more than that! At least 40% of our population are living in poverty without basic needs being met. Many as I’ve said have no water, electricity, internet or even roads. We would need a lot more than 6million.
B. I read that Jason Momoa had truck loads of water donated to Navajo nation, what did that mean to your communities?
D. Yes, we were so grateful to him and to the other celebrities like Sean Penn and Mark Ruffalo who have been raising B. Why In 2020 are Native awareness about what was happening. Americans still living in poverty? It really made me feel special to know that people actually cared about what is D. There are no jobs. Many of the happening here. Not many people knew younger generation leave the what we were going through before reservation and move onto cities Covid-19. to find work. But our elders want to remain on the land. They have been B. What challenges do the Navajo here for generations. So they mostly community face pre Covid and survive growing food or looking after why in 2020 do you feel these life stock. challenges still exist?
B. Does that include the 6 million dollars that was pledged? D. Yes, the federal government has already sent that to our government. It will be discuses up between the chapters. The way our system is set up is that each community has a chapter and each chapter has a president. They take matters from each community to the council delegate who will then discuss with our president. They then can decide what is needed and how to distribute to the communities. The 6 million dollar fund has to be used by December of this year.
B. Is 6M dollars enough to meet the needs of the communities?
“I want to change people’s perception. To show them the beauty that exists here in our culture and our land” D. Well. Things have improved a little since the 60’s and 70’s. The same problems still exist. I grew up with nowater or electricity and as I got older I joined the military and sent home money I earned to help my family. Now, some places especially the border towns, have the basic infrastructure but most do not. There aren’t the funds to make improvements.
B. For many years native Americans were discriminated against. Is that still something you feel is still a problem? D. It’s been that way ever since I can remember, long before I was born. Ever since we came to our land. I don’t know
if it will ever change. Our people have been through a lot. Navajo were here on the land before anyone else.
B. How do you educate your young people to deal with discrimination? D. Our grandparents taught us it is not right to judge someone based on the colour of their skin. We are all the same, we are all born the same way. We all breath the same air. So we pass this on to our young people. I think there has always gonna be racists in different cultures. What we need is communication and education. Some issues that are a direct result of the problems in our young people are
drug abuse, alcoholism and depression. Also, when our young people go out of state to work there are many who go missing or are murdered.
B. What do you think will help solve the problems your communities face. D. Building on the infrastructure. Jobs, schools, hospitals and making sure people have access to basic needs.
B. What impact do you hope your photography will have. D. I want to change people’s perception. To show them the beauty that exists here in our culture and our land.
38 32 54
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BEHIND THE LENS Spike Lee, Heidi Klum, Angelina Jolie, are just a few of the people Charles W Winslow has photographed. Senior photographer at the NFL, New York Times photographer of the year (both firsts for an African American Photographer), are just some of the titles behind his name. This year he became Head Photographer at Tyler Perry Studios and just finished shooting behind the scenes at Spike Leeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Netflix series DA 5 Bloods. We managed to catch a little of his time to find out just how his journey began. F . You have been a photographer for over 30 years. You have worked with some of the most famous people in the world and have achieved so many accolades and awards along the way. Can you tell us how you started you journey as a photographer?
Black photographers were not really given the respect on the professional level back then, so I had to do what I could to be different from the hobbyist
C. My father Charles L. Winslow Sr. was a famous artist and professional photographer, and he was my inspiration. When I decided I wanted
majority of minority photographers
to follow in his footsteps at 15 he
on a professional level remain as
went out of the way to build me a darkroom in the basement. My high
were not really given the respect on
business owners only, with clients
school photography teacher (also
the professional level back then, so I
based on those who live in that local
pretty famous in NY) taught me how
had to do what I could to be different
to master the darkroom, and my father
from the hobbyist. Also I had to fight
taught me how to master my photo
10 times harder to be taken serious on
a pro level.
F. What is photography to you? C. Photography is an art of mind; it is
F. What challenges if any did you face in the early days of your photography career? C. There were many challenges for
F. Do you feel Black Photographerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s today face those same challenges or do you see them as having more opportunities?
image which took less than a second to create. Photography collects our history and reminds us of our past years later when viewed and shared with others. It feeds our brains with
me, including the ability to be as good as my father. Black photographers
the ability of capturing a story of an
C. Nothing has really changed. The
F. What do you find most rewarding about your work?
are linked to moving forward in some sort of way. Some of my big contracts were based on how someone loved
C. The smiles it puts on others faces
these specific images.
F. What in your opinion makes a photograph stand out as great not average?
F. Can you tell us a little bit about being voted photographer of the year by New York Times, or holding the position of Senior Photographer for the NFL. What do those achievements mean to you?
it is for the photographer to connect with his/her subject to being out their true self? C. That can be very dangerous. As a
C. Everyone has an opinion and my feelings are that if it catches my eye right away as an image that took not only the time in snapping it, but the time in cleaning it up to make it flawless, makes it an outstanding
C. I actually didn’t have no idea until
someone screenshot me the article
photographer you don’t want to get too deep into bring someone out, they sometimes feel that the photographer is trying to get too close instead of doing the job, especially if they don’t know what exactly is your goal at the time.
F. How do you deal with someone who is being difficult during a shoot?
about the presentation, the following
F. Your work is so diverse in subject matter. Military combat, NFL, Fashion, Book covers, Album covers and Film. Which of these areas do you prefer & how does one lend to the other?
month. I had just lost my dad the year
C. Very easy, I don’t! If I have to get
before, and all I could think about
aggravated because a client doesn’t
wishing he were here to celebrate it
want to cooperate, he or she got to
with me. Senior Photographer for the
go, or find someone else to shoot
NFL was when I realized racism was
them. I don’t do this for the money, I
alive and well against photographers
do it because I enjoy it, and if I don’t
of color. The very first time meeting
enjoy it at that time, I don’t shoot it.
photographers 95% of them were
F. What kind of mental preparation do you need to photograph military combat?
C. I enjoy the challenge of
white, they didn’t know who I was
shooting everything, not just one
walking in, and were in shock when
subject matter. Lots of people get
I identified myself. After my second
comfortable when they shoot one
year I made sure that 95% was no
subject, and they remain with that
longer an issue, yet the NFL has a
C. After I left the military, I returned
subject, but you cant grow from doing
long way to go still. In the end, I love
to Kuwait and Iraq as a Government
that, also how will a photographer
what I do.
Contractor in forensic photography.
know what they like most until they have tried it all.
F. If you had to choose just five of your favorite photographs which ones would they be and why?
I had previously worked in Baltimore
F. You have photographed so many amazing people, Heidi Klum, Alicia keys, spike lee, Angelina Jolie, Jay Z and so many more. What five people would be on your wish list to shoot next?
C. I guess, all 5 are photos 2 photos
MD as a forensic investigator for the State, so it was not so hard for me to mentally handle recording death. For me, I had to realize that death leaves only a shell, and that the person is no longer there. I still keep a hard drive of over 4000 images taken in Kuwait, and Iraq.
from my series of The Seven Deadly
C. Now this is a tricky question,
Sins, both models were experiencing
lol. I have shot so many actors,
real life problems and volunteered
musical artists, I think my 5 would
to model. A photo of my wife and
be different than the norm. I would
daughter holding a dandelion making
have to say, Tennis pro Naomi Osaka,
a wish. A photo of my daughter
Congresswoman Sharice Davids,
The facts of war. All photos go to
sitting on a life size statue of a kid
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Actor
Washington DC to be put in archives
riding a scooter, and she was pretty
Director Jordan Peele, and Singer
of our war history.
upset in the photo. A photo I took of
songwriter John Legend.
Heidi Klum on my first photo shoot with her in 1997. All these photos
F. What do you want those particular photographs to convey?
C. Do you feel your experience of
Q. How important do you feel
working in conditions or situations
What does that mean to you?
that were unpredictable added to
C. My father, I never seen a man so
your ability to work in any situation?
proud of me the way he was. It made
Absolutely! I have been caught off
a few family members jealous, to a
C. It means I still have a job! Lol,
guard only one time ever, and it was
point that right after he died, a camera
No, I am so grateful for so many
during the filming of DA 5 Bloods
that I bought him went missing from
opportunities in my life as a
while shooting behind the scenes I
his house and didn’t show up again
photographer and videographer, and
actually got a flashback during a war
until a year later under a bed. My
not every time they are based on my
scene and threw a grenade on the
dad was my rock, we had a big fight
skills, but what I have done for actors,
set during shooting, lol. It was pretty
when I was in Germany and didn’t talk
directors, etc. that I refused to take
embarrassing to me but funny as hell
for almost a year. Then when I came
payment from. Just telling them not
to everyone else.
home we hugged and cried together
to forget me in the future. AND THEY
making our love so much stronger
F. What do you want your legacy to be as a photographer Charles?
until he passed away. There is no one else, everything I did, learned, taught was to impress my father to show him “I got this”.
F. What advice do you have for those aspiring photographers out there?
C. To be the one to have had opened doors for minority photographers, videographers, designers, actors, directors etc. I want them all to be able to sit next to me laughing about
F. What do you feel is your own photographic style if you had to give it a title. What would that be?
how we made it to the top of our craft.
C. That is so hard to do with many of them. Most think they know it all already. It goes back to that local business mindset, and nothing past that. My advice is the very first thing
I want people to look at my work
C. I consider it Xpressive Moments in
is to have a solid portfolio of images.
100 years from now and say “Willie”
photography, and yes with a “X”.
Limit your work on social media like
created that work!
F. Who were the people who Inspired you & why?
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram,
F. You have recently become Behind the Scenes Photographer at Tyler Perry Studios.
unless your goal is to remain there. Every time you post an image, it no longer belongs to you, regardless if you sign it. Some learn the hard way.
ABOVE GROUND O R T I GA S
THE ART OF JEWELRY
Marianna Harutunian is one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most sought after jewellery designers. The Armenian designer has created designs for some of the best known names in the music industry--Lady Gaga, BeyoncĂŠ, Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson, Nicki Minaj & Madonna are just a few of those who have sought her out to collaborate. Her successful career is a testament to her hard work and creativity. She shared her journey with Maighread Ni Mhaonghail.
F. Can you talk a little bit about what you do, for those who may not know your work?
my first wired crystal necklace in 15 minutes.
F. What kind of challenges did you have starting off?
I showed it to my father, and he asked me to make more designs. After that,
M. Financially it was hard in the
M. I am a jewellery designer. I love to
he went door-to-door in Downtown Los
beginning but my family and I saw a
create wearable crystal art. I cater to
Angeles and looked for buyers from
light at the end of the tunnel. Once the
everyone. I also have an Etsy shop and
boutiques. The orders started coming
orders started coming in we started
a showroom in Los Angeles. I have
in and soon my whole family began
hiring and creating non-stop.
ready made jewellery as well as make
manufacturing and completing orders.
My father was a truck driver at the time and he sold his truck to invest the
F. How do you like to be described
money into my business. I am blessed
When did you begin your journey as a
with an amazing and supportive family
Jewellery designer? M. I’m a hard working, passionate, jewellery and accessory designer. I find
F . What challenges do you face now? M. Currently, it has been a challenge for many due to the Covid-19
F. What would you say has been the most important skill you have learned as a designer?
motivation in everything and always
pandemic. But, I am using this time in designing and creating new pieces for the future and putting my energy into my work which helps reduce the stress
challenge myself to create art that you
M. It’s about not giving up. That’s just
and anxiety that we are all presently
not an option for me!! My work ethic is
I started at 5 years old playing with
to always say yes and figure out a way
beads instead of dolls. I’m completely
to make it happen later
self taught and have always been ready to learn new techniques and methods
F. What was the first moment you knew you could actually make a living from your creativity and craft?
F. Can you tell us a little about your distinctive design style and why you chose to work mostly with Swarovski crystals?
F . Who was your very first celebrity client and how did you feel designing for them? M . My first celebrity client was PINK. I was working in one of my stores at the time when a stylist walked in and
M. I want to be unique and design
had a design drawn up. He showed
things that you normally wouldn’t find
it to me and it was a full body piece
M. The very first piece I made with
at an accessory store. Using the best
with shoulders and arms covered in
crystals is a simple Y-shaped necklace.
materials is important because I believe
crystals. He needed it in 4 days. Of
This was actually the last day of high
in high quality and craftsmanship. I
course I said yes, as I always do, and
school and my friends and I had gone
produce 90% of the materials I use to
the next day, I went to meet her for her
shopping at a bead store, so I bought
create my pieces and use Swarovski
measurements. It was an amazing and
some crystals and supplies and started
crystals because of their dedication to
humbling experience. You can see
working with the crystals. I made
that piece in her ‘U+UR HAND’ music
video. After that, other stylists started
I’m known to always say yes to any
itself. She asked me for a sample mask
reaching out which started my journey
and I created it and sent her the images.
on designing and creating more custom pieces.
F. How do you deal with pressure when working for a big client like Madonna or Beyoncé?
Once Madonna approved it, I created
F. You collaborated with Madonna making the masks for the dancers on “living for love” how did that feel? M. I screamed, loud! lol. I’m a huge
about 27 masks in a couple of weeks.
F. You design for some of the biggest names in the industry do you ever nervous when working with names like say , Lady Gaga, Cher, Beyoncé or Nicki Ménage?
M. It has a humbling and amazing
Madonna fan. One of my dreams was
feeling. It’s hard for me to really
to create for her. I was asked to make
describe it. You have to get used to the
a sample and working with her stylist
M. Always. I’m my worst critic so I
pressure. It’s always a rush order and
Bea Akerlund is a dream in and of
always have a fear of someone not
liking my work. I hate that about myself.
But with all the pressure and challenges
M. Whenever I create a new piece it becomes my favourite. But I must say,
I have overcome and still have to face, it
M. I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m
PINK’S piece is one I will never forget,
is still my dream. I sometimes keep the
living my dream!
because of how it ignited my experiences
pieces the celebrities wear and pinch myself to see if all of this is real. And I always, realise, that no matter what, it
F.Who are your favourite Jewellery designers and why?
is a dream come true each and every single time.
M. I love all creative designers. I don’t
F. Who have been your mentors in the industry and what is the best advice they have given you?
have a specific designer in mind and
F. When you started designing what clientele did you have in mind ?
I think I would be doing a disservice
M. My family. I couldn’t do what I’m
to anyone either in the industry or
doing without them.
those wanting to be in the industry by singling anyone out. I think that
M. I was honestly always thinking big.
if you have a dream in mind you
When I started I just wanted to create
should do whatever you can to make
unique pieces and satisfy my clients. I
M. Always stay true to yourself. Surround
am truly happy doing what I love.
F. If you were to begin your journey now would you do
F. What advice would you give now to aspiring designers?
yourself with positive people and never
F. What is your absolute favourite piece of yours?
EVER give up on what you believe in!
EPICA JEWELLERY Follow us on Inst: @epicajewellery
BIO Dana believes in the beauty of the human Spirit. She has spent the last 16 years exploring the relationship(s) micro individuals have with the macro world we share through experiential & intellectual inquiry. Following her own Spirit, Dana ventured into the Alaskan wilderness and then roamed the high desert training as a wilderness therapy instructor. She researched the intersections of climate science, social impacts and community preparedness at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Working with youth, she has taught in Montessori and public classrooms, led empowerment programs and worked alongside emerging leaders in the environmental justice movement. Throughout the journey, Dana unexpectedly uncovered her own ancestral legacy while finding sanity along the way when studying, practicing and teaching her True love, yoga.
Opal Eyes Co Background:Opal Eyes Co is on a mission to nourish the human Spirit, bridge intergenerational knowledge and honor the
© Opal Eyes Co 2019
relationship between our internal world and the natural world we share. We offer uplifting experiential + intellectual processes designed to support individuals as they expand their awareness + deepen connection with the inner peace & power residing within. www.opaleyes.co All visuals have been co-created by Opal Eyes Co & the fabulous graphic designer Emily Kryska (efkryska.com)
© Opal Eyes Co 2019
© Opal Eyes Co 2019
© Opal Eyes Co 2019
Holistic Health ‘Spiritsinger Collection’ August 2020 Welcome to the ‘Spiritsinger Collection’, capturing a discovery journey of yoga, true beauty and connection within the natural world we share. “This ‘Spiritsinger Collection’ is an invitation to connect more deeply with the poetry of life pulsing within you, through you, as you,” Dana Pauzauskie. In the West where I live yoga is often marketed, and therefore associated, with flexy looking positions. It is true the physical asanas, or postures, of yoga help cultivate features of flexibility, strength and vitality which permeate the SpiritMindBody connection. For many of us, we are taught practicing these postures is where our yoga begins. However, I have come to realize yoga found me years prior to practicing these asanas. The practice of yoga began when I started to answer internal calls to open & integrate my awareness to new teachings, to connect with the healing power of the natural world and to learn the rhythms of falling in & out of connection with my own Spirit’s song. This collection is a tribute to that journey, a tribute to Gaia and an invitation to embark on a refreshing journey of your own, inside & out. You see yoga offers us all, whether you’ve ever stepped onto a yoga mat or not, the profound invitation to consciously reconnect, unify, yoke, become whole within the natural world inside ourselves & beyond. It would be my greatest love for those of you meeting these Spiritisingers for the first time to get lost in their story of connection, only to find yourself in refreshed, perhaps forgotten, ways. And who knows, perhaps one day you’ll share your journey of discovery with the world, for Spiritsingers cannot help but pulse with the poetry of life. **Stay tuned for an enriching story behind one of this month’s featured Spiritsinger visuals**
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