i Am Entertainment 23
MAY/JUNE 2013 Volume 4, Issue 22
Lisa Matassa LONG ISLAND COUNTRY
Since the release of her 2011 EP, Me Time, Lisa Matassa has been proving that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams. After spending nearly two decades away from recording, the former pop star from Long Island, whose late 80’s hits topped the Dance Charts, is now taking the country music world by storm. Learn how this wife and mom of two has revived her singing career in such a big way.
WOMEN IN FILM 7 | CRYSTLE ‘CLEAR’ ROBERSON GOES TO CANNES FILM FESTIVAL WITH ECHOES. The talented young director/writer is taking her latest indie short film, starring Rockmond Dunbar, to France.
9 | LI LU ASIAN FEMALE FILM DIRECTOR embarks on a journey to fund her feature film and show the world the real faces of the South.
FILM INDUSTRY 11 | BOX OFFICE FLOPS This article shines a spotlight on Hollywood’s biggest failures ever placed on the big screen, and shows just how much money investors are willing to sink into a film just becuase it has a few stars featured.
12 | SHORT FILM REVIEWS Here, we have reviewed two independent short films that deserve to be seen and shared. Very few short films gain the attention they seek to get, so I Am Entertainment wanted to show them some love.
MAY-JUN ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
i Am Entertainment Gwendolyn Smith 15 MAY/JUNE 2013 Volume 4, Issue 22
MORE THAN A PRETTY FACE
Never one to backdown from a challenge, this UK-born actress/model took her talents to Hollywood and scored big, despite the hurdles she had to clear along the way. See what motivates this mom of 5 and wife of a 2x NBA champion/sports analyst.
FILM & TV
KIDS & TEENS
13 | DVD RELEASES
29 | JOSH NICOTRA
49 | DREW DAVIS
HOT NEW SUMMER RELEASES for the month of June, including Die Hard 4: A Good Day To Die Hard and more.
GM of BRUSHFIRE RECORDS shares how he got his start in the music business, why Jack Johnson is so cool, and why music doesn’t sell these days.
NICKELODEON, ABC FAMILY, & BBC AMERICA ACTOR, tells us what its like to be a working actor before you’re a teenager.
31 | LANCE BROWN
50 | NADJI JETER
GM of DREAM RECORDS talks about his journey from superstar rock artist manager to flat broke and back to the top of music, but in a different lane.
GROWN UPS 2 star gives us a peek at what we can expect in this upcoming summer hit.
16 | SAY WHAT? CRAZY NEWS AFFECTING US ALL - This issue Leslie White shines the spotlight on the FCC and what we can do to help ourselves fight back.
17 | CRAWFORD WILSON KING’S FAITH ACTOR talks to us about his starring role in this awesome summer movie about foster care and troubled youth.
19 | TOBIT RAPHAEL THE INTERNSHIP, ACTOR shares his love for the film business and gives us some insight into his role in the summer 2013 film opposite Vince Vaughn & Owen Wilson.
21 | LOW-BUDGET FILMMAKING A CAMERA YOU CAN AFFORD in this article we explore the DSLR camera and how it fairs in the realm of filmmaking.
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
22 Aria Johnson
BILLBOARD AWARD WINNER & BEVERLY HILLS PAWN STAR tells us how she won multiple music awards and landed a leading role on the upcoming REELZ TV show.
51|RISING MUSIC STARS
3 of the Hottest Young Music Artists of the Year, talks to IAE EMMY WINNING SONGWRIT- Kids & Teens about their music, ER gives us the scoop on how she touring, and some of their favorplaced 4,000 songs over her career. ite things to do. Find out what IM5, Charlie B., and Gareth Barker are all up to this 2013 43 | MUSIC FESTIVALS summer.
NETFREQ highlights top festivals.
33 | BENJAH (Grammy Nominated Hip Hop Producer/Artist) 35 | THE AFTERS (Capitol Records Rock Band) 37 | CARMEN & CAMILLE (Juno Award Winning Pop Duo) 39 | FRUITION (Touring Indie Rock Band) 41 | LIZ LONGLEY (Touring Indie Singer-Songwriter) 42 | KRISTIN ERRETT (Indie Singer-Songwriter) 45 | ALBUM REVIEWS 47 | HOME RECORDING: Building A Budget Studio www.iaemagazine.com
NPPL ICE E P A EV
ON NDR A
i am Entertainent
i am Entertainent
The Entertainer’s Handbook
ime is precious. While there are 24 hours in a day, sometimes it feels like you can’t get everything on your list done in that timeframe. Why do we feel the need to race the clock and put so much pressure on ourselves? Is it to gain worldly fame, accolades, money, power, or is it to prove someone who doubted us, wrong? What is fueling your desire to succeed? I’d like to pose a question: “If you had one month to live, what would you do?” Life is so short and you can’t determine when your time is up. In my quest to live in my purpose, I had to really evaluate what I was wasting my time on, and what really mattered the most. From a business perspective, I knew that I didn’t want a lot of stress in my life, and I knew that dealing with certain people and things would bring stress. So, I removed myself from those stressful situations and I also change my mind set on how to react to stressful situations. One thing I discovered is that worrying doesn’t change the situation, so why stew in it? Time and chance happens to us all, while we have the time we should take advantage of every chance to use it wisely, and make the most of every opportunity that comes our way. We must be cognizant that every opportunity isn’t always a good one, and there are consequences to every decision we make; whether good or bad. As you read this issue, you’ll see a reoccurring theme in the interviews - timing. We can’t force success to happen because there are too many factors that come into play. I want challenge you to live like you only have one month to live. I would love to hear what you learn. Ready, set, go…
CANDY FREEMAN Editor-In-Chief
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
PUBLISHER: NFluential Holdings LLC
CEO & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Shaine Freeman firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Candy Freeman email@example.com RESEARCH & COPY EDITOR: KW Jackson - firstname.lastname@example.org REVIEWS EDITOR & ART DIRECTOR: Senseitional email@example.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Candy Freeman, Michael Van Dyck, Leslie White, Shaine Freeman, Senseitional, Kaylee Turbeville, Pavlina Osta, T-Rep CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Please see interviews/articles ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: firstname.lastname@example.org Print Subscriptions (US): $15 for 1 year - $25 for 2 years I Am Entertainment Magazine PO Box 263 Kennesaw, GA 30152 Tel: 818-813-9365 Article Submissions & General Info: www.iaemagazine.com/contact I Am Entertainment (IAE) Magazine is published bi-monthly in January, March, May, July, September, and November by NFluential Holdings, LLC (NFH). The opinions expressed by our contributors falls under their constitutional rights of free speech. While we have made extensive efforts to ensure that the content herein has been obtained through reliable sources, NFH is not liable for any errors or omissions, typographical errors, or misprints. NFH reserves the right to refuse any advertising which it deems unsuitable. All advertisers agree to hold the publisher harmless and indemnify any and all claims, losses, liabilities, damages, costs, and expenses (including attorney’s fees) made against or incurred by the publisher, including but not limited to the sole negligence and/or fault of the publisher. The publisher is not liable for any claims, losses, or damages of any kind, arising from the wording, text, graphics, or representations of any ads published herein, or of the condition of the articles sold through the paper, or performance of service advertised in this publication. All advertisements and submissions are wholly the property of NFH and cannot be copied in any form without the expressed written consent of the publisher. We reserve the right to edit or refuse any ad and reprint any ad or photo for promotional use. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2013. All issues of I Am Entertainment Magazine are wholly the property of NFH and shall not be printed, copied, duplicated, or distributed without expressed written consent from the publisher. I Am Entertainment is a trademark of NFH. ISSN 2161-9093 (print) ISSN 2161-3109 (digital) www.iaemagazine.com
INDEPENDENT WOMEN: A recent SDSU study revealed that women working as directors, writers, producers, and editors on feature films appearing at film festivals is higher than that of women working on the top 250 grossing films.
WOMEN IN FILM
Source: Dr. Martha M. Lauzen at San Diego State Univ. http://womenintvfilm.sdsu.edu/files/Independent_Women_Exec._Summ.pdf
INDIE FILM SPOTLIGHT
Title: Echoes Genre: Dramatic Short Studio: Symmetry Ent. Starring: Rockmond Dunbar, Quynh Thi Le, Adam Fristoe, Eric Mendenhall Crew: Crystle “Clear” Roberson (Writer/Director), Dianne Ashford & Angi Bones (Producers), Alpha Tyler (Casting), Ross Sebek (Dir of Photography), Rico Wade (Composer), Deanna Nowell (Editor), Will Johnson (Visual Effects)
Director Extraordinaire: (top inset) Crystle “Clear” Roberson on set making her mark.
Interview By: Candy Freeman
CRYSTLE ROBERSON Shouts Her Echoes At 2013 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL A gifted filmmaker, Crystle “Clear” Roberson has been paying her dues and working under the guidance of some of today’s top filmmakers. Now, she’s ready to show what she’s learned, but on the big stage at one of the largest, most respected film festivals in the world, in Cannes, France. What made you decide to finally pack up and move to Los Angeles, from Atlanta? You mean other than the beach? [laughs] A wise man once said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” I believe that! I also believe that changing my environment was, and is, key to changing my level of thinking. I love Atlanta very much and I realized that it was my comfort zone. I heard that ones dreams are realized just beyond the comfort zone, so I ventured out to find new experiences and environments that pushed my creativity and raised my competitive bar. I love what Los Angeles has to offer to
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
filmmakers, and I couldn’t deny that I should give this place a shot. Plus, I mean, there is the beach. [laughs] What have you been working on since moving to LA? I’ve been re-writing a screenplay and writing new projects. I believe I’ve found myself as a writer since I’ve been here. Directing is still my passion, but I have discovered that screenwriting is the vehicle to that place; the key to that door. Congratulations are in order! Your short film recently got accepted into Cannes Film Festival. Tell us how the film and how Cannes came about? The short film called, Echoes, is a film about the remnants of love. The film was selected to be apart of Cannes Court Metrage - Short Film Corner. An echo is something that continues to impact it’s surroundings long after the original occurrence. Love does the same thing and sometimes, the echoes are harder to deal with than the actual love itself. Echoes stars Rockmond Dunbar and Quhyn Thi Le, and is inspired by my feature film Echo at 11 Oak Drive. When I decided to create a short film from the feature, I didn’t aim to reduce the whole movie into a shorter form. Instead, I created a new story that was within the bigger story and focused on that. So the exwww.iaemagazine.com
WOMEN IN FILM FACT: Nnegest Likké is the 1st African American woman to write, direct and act in a fullFUNNY SCRIPT QUOTES: George Burns once said, “If it’s a good script I’ll do it. And if it’s a bad script, length movie released by a major studio, Phat Girlz (2006) starring Jimmy Jean-Louis and Oscar winning actress/ and they pay me enough, I’ll do it.” comedian, Mo’Nique.
“Directing is still my passion but, I have discovered that screenwriting is the vehicle to that place...” perience felt really good, like I was working on something new; it felt fresh. For someone looking to enter Sundance or Cannes for 2014, what wisdom would you like to share on what steps they should take to increase their chances of getting accepted? It has been a long and strenuous journey since we started the online crowd funding campaign that helped us raise $20k, dollar by dollar, toward our feature film Echo at 11 Oak Drive. Now, over a year later, we must continue to come up with creative ways to get the film where it needs to be. Echoes is a demonstration of our tenacity. Because so many people have donated their money, time, and effort to this project, we will push until it reaches it’s greatest potential. I guess what I’m trying to say is, “never give up. Keep going.” Although film festivals are wonderful, they should not determine your own value on your work. Thousands of wonderful
filmmakers submit to these festivals every year and only a small percentage are chosen. But, that doesn’t mean that this small percentage are the only filmmakers who should continue to make movies. You have been on quite the voyage; what do you know now that you wish you would have known earlier in your career? I wish I would have known that there was never any reason to rush or worry or fret. That everything has it’s season and takes it’s time, and will work out for the better in the end, every time. I would have a lot less premature gray hair. [laughs] So what other things are on the horizon for you? Currently, I’m writing and developing a few different projects, as well as potentially directing my 2nd feature film in late summer. I’m also seeking representation as a Writer/Director. iae
WOMEN IN FILM
1st LADIES OF FILMMAKING Kathryn Bigelow (Director)
Became the 1st woman to win the Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Director among numerous other awards.
Neema Barnette (Director)
Became the 1st African-American woman to get a 3-picture deal with Sony. She has won an Emmy, two NAACP’s, & a Sundance Award.
Julie Dash (Director)
Became the 1st African-American woman to receive a general theatrical release in the U.S., for her film ‘Daughters of the Dust’, which was selected by the Library of Congress to be preserved in the U.S. National Film Registry.
ASIAN WOMEN IN FILM: Japanese film director, Naomi Kawase, won the Grand Prix at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival for her film, The Mourning Forest (Mogari no Mori) and she will serve as on the Competition Jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
WOMEN IN FILM
INDIE FILM SPOTLIGHT
The Film: There Is A New World Somewhere is a dramatic coming of age story about self-revelation and the pursuit of success, love, and acceptance.
For Indie Filmmaker, Li Lu
PHOTOS COURTESY OF LI LU
Crew: Li Lu (Writer/Director), Elizabeth Ai & Jonathan Yaniv (Producers), Igor Kropotov (Cinematographer), Maxwell Orgell (Production Designer), Thomas A. Krueger (Editor), Benoît Pioulard & Zahid Dewji (Composers)
There Is A New World Somewhere
Funding Goal: $33,310
ell us where you’re from and how you got your start? I was born in China and my family and I moved to Philadelphia when I was 5. I grew up there and then when I was 13 we moved to Texas and I finished out high school there. After that I spent a year in Austin attending University of Texas and I also worked in the Austin film community. Then I transferred to USC in LA and have been here ever since.
Tell us about the film you’re currently raising funds to shoot. I watched the trailer and it looks really good. The film is about this girl Sylvia who’s from a small town in Texas, but she moves to New York City to try and make it as an artist. After 3 years of trying to hone in on that goal, she doesn’t find herself any closer than she was when she first got there. So, she goes back home for a friend’s wedding where she meets this guy named Esteban, and they instantly connect with each other. What she feels for him is something that she hasn’t felt for anyone in a very long time. As the movie progresses, she’s trying to rediscover who she is, but she finds that the place she calls home has become a place of judgment toward her. Her friends feel as though she abandoned them to pursue her dreams in New York City, and they accuse her of thinking she’s better than them. She feels claustrophobic in this environment because everyone is prodding her for tangible
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
results from her pursuits in New York. So, when Esteban asks her to go on the road with him, which is on the day of the wedding, she agrees. She, again, leaves all of her friends behind to go on a random trip with this stranger; which is a huge risk. As the road grows long and various secrets about them are reveal to one another, the lust fades. They begin to clash and, in the end, they realize how broken each of them are. When you come out of a relationship, you learn a little bit more about yourself and I don’t see that shown in too many movies. It’s either the couple works it out and it’s a happy ending, or they break up and immediate closure takes place, which is a little too simple and reductive on how human beings really interact with each other.
How are you funding this project? We’re actually in the fundraising stage now. With indie filmmaking, you always worry about how you’ll fund your project. It’s the one piece of the puzzle that most people struggle to put in place; and it’s different for every film. We’re crowd funding, reaching out to investors, taking donations, and looking for businesses who would be interested in doing some product placements in the film. We’re going through the South and showing people in these cities; actually experiencing them, versus shooting everything in California and calling it a Southern movie. I want to make a movie that resonates with the audience. We’d like to start shooting (the film) in October 2013. iae
VISIT THE CREW & WATCH VIDEO @ www.tianws.com
SXSW CROWDFUNDED FILMS: 26% of the indie feature films at the 2013 SXSW festival used crowd-funding, raising $1.3Million.
Get Rewarded For Helping Li Lu Make This Movie
Every donor will be rewarded for helping Li Lu cover the below listed ‘Pre-Production Wish List’.
ARRI Alexa Camera Body To capture the beauty of the South, we need a wonderful camera! You can subsidize a day’s rental for just $80 and we need help with renting it for 30 days.
Lenses - Cooke S4 Prime Set A good looking movie needs a nice set of lenses! You can subsidize a one day rental for only $50.
HMI: Fresnel - 200W Great lighting is key to making a movie that is easy on the eyes! Subsidize one of these lights for a 4 week rental at just $40.
Duvetyn Duvetyne is a multipurpose dark fabric used to block out light and cover up equipment stands. They only cost $2 and we need 100 of these. You can help us by covering the cost of one or more of this vital production piece.
Water Bottles We give everyone on set a reusable water bottle to save money, stay hydrated, and stay green. You can subsidize this vital part of the production for just $3.50 each.
Light Bulbs To retain a naturalistic aesthetic, we try and use “practical” lights as much as possible. You can subsidize this key element for just $6.50 each.
Accounting Services A production accountant is needed to capitalize on the various tax incentives offered to filmmakers, and help us stay on budget. You can subsidize an hour these services at just $200 per hour.
Supporting indie filmmakers is a must. I Am Entertainment would like to encourage you to help Li Lu and her make this awesome movie. www.iaemagazine.com
RANDOM FILM FACTS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW: Actor, Tim Allen was a convicted drug dealer before he made it in Hollywood. • The Japanese edition of ‘Kill Bill: Vol.1 (2003)’ is longer and has even more violence and gore.
of the Worst MOVIES Since 2000
Worldwide Box Office Bombs
Since the turn of this new Millenium we have seen Hollywood film studios make some of the worst decisions on which movies to release. But here are 5 of the worst films released in the past 13 years.
1 PLUTO NASH (2002)
3 CATWOMAN (2004)
Counting The Costs of Some of Hollywood’s Biggest Box Office Flops
Seth Green & Joan Cusack (Mars Needs Moms)
$111 Million Loss
Starring: Halle Berry and Sharon Stone Budget: $135 Million Worldwide Theatre Gross: $82 Million Net Loss: $53 Million
With an allstar cast like this, I can’t see how they could’ve messed this up; but they did. I like Halle Berry just as much as the next person, but come on! I don’t care how much lingirie you put on her, this film wasn’t worth looking at. Touted as “laughable,” by many critics, this so-called action thriller came up short at the box office.
4 TEXAS RANGERS
In Seth Green’s defense, he didn’t speak in Mars Needs Moms; he only did the motion capture for the 9 year-old lead character.
BillyBob Thornton (The Alamo)
Warren Beaty (Town & Country)
Angela Bassett (Supernova)
Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon Jack Nicholson, Owen Wilson (How Do You Know)
Thomas Donnelly & Josh Oppenheimer (A Sound of Thunder)
Brendan Fraser (Monkeybone)
Starring: Eddie Murphy Budget: $100 Million Worldwide Theatre Gross: $7.1 Million Net Loss: $92.9 Million
This film should have been renamed “The MISAdventures of Wasted Cash”! Throwing this kind of money away is a crime! Warner Brothers had to know that this film made absolutely no sense and would bomb; proof that your name means everything in Hollywood. Eddie Murphy went from being one of the funniest comics and action stars of the 80’s, to being every filmgoer’s nightmare at the turn of the century.
2 GIGLI (2003)
Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel, & Jamie Foxx (Stealth)
Bill Murray, Chris Rock, Laurence Fishburn (Osmosis Jones)
Starring: James Van Der Beek, Rachael Leigh Cook, Ashton Kutcher, & Usher Raymond Budget: $38 Million Worldwid Theatre Gross: $600k Net Loss: $37.4 Million This movie was doomed from the start, just look at the cast! Usher and Ashton Kutcher? Really?
5 GLITTER (2001)
Alec Baldwin (Final Fantasy)
Val Kilmer (Red Planet)
Kurt Russell & Kevin Costner (3000 Miles From Graceland)
John Travolta (Battlefield Earth)
Robert DeNiro & Rene Russo (The Adv. of Rocky & Bullwinkle)
Bruce Willis (Hart’s War)
Jackie Chan, Will Forte, & Steve Coogan (Around The World In 80 Days)
Harrison Ford & Liam Neeson (K-19: The Widowmaker)
Starring: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez (aka Bennifer) Budget: $74 Million Worldwide Theatre Gross: $7.3 Million Net Loss: $66.7 Million
The above photo says it all; it’s almost as if they knew this was going to bomb. While every filmmaker and actor has their day as the box office bomber; for Affleck, whose 2012 box office smash, Argo (won 3 Oscars), Gigli has to be the biggest stain on his film resume. Jennifer, on the other hand, has had so many flops I can’t see why she’s still around?
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
Starring: Mariah Carey & Terrance Howard Budget: $22 Million Worldwide Theatre Gross: $5.3 Million Net Loss: $16.7 Million
There were movies that did way worse than this, but I had to mention this one because I hated it so much! Mariah Carey and Terrance Howard’s acting was atrocious and so was the script. I’m actually angry that I wasted 35 precious minutes of my life.
Will Ferrell (Land of the Lost)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Treasure Planet)
Emile Hirsch & Christina Ricci (Speed Racer)
HOLLYWEIRD: In 2010, on Larry King Live, actor, Dan Aykroyd said: “They (aliens) only land in isolated places. They have taken people, I do believe,” and “I do believe they’re breaking the law.” - So E.T. broke the law by making Elliot’s bike fly? Huh?
NO ONE KNOWS
FIFTY PENCE ACTION DRAMA
Producers: Eric Kolelas & Serial Productions | Directed & Written By: Eric Kolelas | Cinematography: Guillaume Miquel
Director: Bunee Tomlinson | Writer: Jamie LivingstonDierks | Producer: Daniel Hoyos | Exec Prod.: Sylvia Llewellyn, Judy Minale, Alice Searcy | Cinematographer: Vahid Farzaneh The Jamie Livingston-Dierks penned short, is a 9 minute exposé on child physical and sexual abuse. Brilliantly delivered by the film’s two young stars, Sami Isler (Hannah) and Caleb Barwick (Jason), the story gives us a candid view of what millions of children are experiencing daily. As Hannah and Jason help one another cope, the film ends on a very poignant note. A must see. Senseitional
This 13 minute film, set in Paris, is focused on a young man named, Darren (Eric Kolelas). He must escort a young woman (Anoushka Ravanshad) who is a human trafficking victim, to the other side of Paris for a Maﬁoso. Just as we begin to believe Darren is the world’s biggest douchebag, the two have a soul stirring encounter with a mother and her young son, causing Darren to face his own morality and mortality. Senseitional
DIE HARD BOX OFFICE GROSS PER FILM Die Hard (‘88) - $140M Die Harder (‘90) - $240M With A Vengenance (‘95) - $366M Live Free or Die Hard (‘07) - $384M Good Day To Die Hard (‘13) - $303M
A GOOD DAY TO
The World Still Loves Bruce
A Good Day to Die Hard (20th Century Fox)
Also Coming June 4th
Rated ‘R’ Genre: Action Runtime: 98 minutes Releasing: June 4th Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch
ad it not been for the overseas (non-U.S.) box office success of, A Good Day to Die Hard, the 5th installment in the Die Hard series would have experienced a very hard death. The film’s lackluster domestic box office showing only pulled in $67.3Million (to date) of the film’s $92Million budget. But thanks to the film’s foreign box office ticket sales, the Die Hard franchise has grossed more than $300Million to date. Since 1988, the Die Hard series has not only made Bruce Willis a very wealthy man, but the films have made him one of the most successful action film stars to ever hit the box office. Collectively, the Die Hard movies have grossed an estimated $1.4Billion at the box officeworldwide, proving that bad man Bruce is worth every penny of his $25Million + 20% of the box office gross. While American audiences
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
may have been swayed by the many film critics who have cut into A Good Day to Die Hard like a set of shark teeth, the box office numbers show that foreign audiences have an appreciation for John McClane’s antics and nearly super-human resistance to severe injuries. Lets face it, when people watch an action movie, they don’t care about the script; they just want to be entertained. Most film critics have tried to make the comparison to the first
Die Hard movie, but that’s a bad thing to do because the two films involve completely different ingredients. The first movie was done in the 1980’s, so we hadn’t really seen anything like Die Hard before. Just like any franchise, Die Hard will never be the same as the first time we saw it in the 80’s. It’s like the first time you tasted a Big Mac back in the days when the meat was real. You never had that mix of flavors in your mouth before so, it was the most awesome thing in the world to be eating. But, as an adult, it’s not the same. The ingredients inside the ingredients have changed so it’s not the same sandwich. So, if you’re looking to be entertained this summer, and you’ve been looking the perfect movie to watch on that ridiculously oversized/over priced TV on your wall, rent (or buy) this DVD on June 4th.
Identity Thief (Universal)
Rated ‘R’ Genre: Action Runtime: 111 minutes Gross: $170M Worldwide Cast: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Jon Favreau, T.I., Amanda Peet
Escape From Planet Earth (Weinstein Company)
Rated ‘PG’ Genre: Animation Runtime: 89 minutes Gross: $66M Worldwide Cast: Brendan Fraser, Rob Corddry, Ricky Gervais, Jessica Alba, Sarah Jessica Parker
SUMMER 2013 The Call (TriStar)
Snitch (Millennium Ent.)
Foodfight! (Phase 4 Films)
Horrid Henry (Phase 4 Films)
Rated ‘R’ Genre: Thriller Runtime: 95 minutes Gross: $50.9M Domestic Releasing: June 25th Cast: Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin, Morris Chestnut, Michael Eklund, Michael Imperioli
Rated ‘PG-13’ Genre: Fantasy Runtime: 108 minutes Gross: $8.1M Worldwide Releasing: June 18th Cast: Jim Sturgess, Kirsten Dunst, Timothy Spall
Pictured: Mila Kunis & James Franco
Oz The Great & Powerful (Disney/Buena Vista) Rated ‘PG’ | Genre: Adventure Runtime: 130 minutes Gross: $486Million Worldwide Releasing: June 11th Cast: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams
Rated ‘PG’ Genre: Animation Runtime: 91 minutes Gross: No Box Office Releasing: June 4th Cast: Hilary Duff, Haylie Duff, Charlie Sheen, Eva Longoria, Wayne Brady, Chris Kattan, Christopher Lloyd
Rated ‘PG’ Genre: Family Runtime: 93 minutes Gross: No Box Office Releasing: June 4th Cast: Anjelica Huston, Richard E. Grant, Theo Stevenson, Parminder Nagra, Noel Fielding, Mathew Horne
Rated ‘PG-13’ Genre: Action Runtime: 111 minutes Gross: $42.5M Domestic Releasing: June 11th Cast: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Barry Pepper, Jon Bernthal, Susan Sarandon, Michael Kenneth Williams
Pictured (l-r): Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Jack the Giant Slayer (Newline/Warner Bros.)
Rated ‘PG’ Genre: Adventure Runtime: 114 minutes Gross: $196M Releasing: June 18th Cast: Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Eddie Marsan, Ian McShane www.iaemagazine.com
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (New Line/Warner Bros.)
Rated ‘PG-13’ | Genre: Comedy Runtime: 100 minutes Gross: $22.5Million Domestic Releasing: June 25th Cast: Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, James Gandolfini MAY-JUN ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
RANDOM FILM FACTS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW: The Price Is Right originally aired in 1972 as The New Price Is Right • On September 4, 2012 the show celebrated its 40th anniversary making it one of the longest running network television series in the U.S.
FILM & TV
THE PRICE IS RIGHT TV Role: Model/Actress FUN FACTS - Married to 2x NBA Champion & TNT Basketball Analyst, Kenny “The Jet” Smith - Mother of 5 - Landed her current job on The Price Is Right while taping an episode of The Bold & the Beautiful
Growing up in the UK to a Jamaican mother and a British father gave Gwendolyn Osborne-Smith a cultural advantage. Gwendolyn’s diverse family upbringing prepared her for a future in one of the most diverse industries in the world; entertainment. As the only African-American model on, “The Price is Right”, the wife of two-time NBA champion and TNT analyst, Kenny “The Jet” Smith, and the mother of 5 children, Gwendolyn puts most women today to shame when it comes to multitasking. Here, Mrs. Smith shares how working Hollywood moms can still be successful, beautiful, healthy, and maintain a happy and balanced family life all at once.
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
Please tell us where you’re from and what got you interested in entertainment? I’m from Bath, England and it was my older sister who influenced my interest in entertainment. She attended Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts; the same school that Naomi Campbell went to. My sister was always singing and dancing, and she loved the show Fame, so we would imitate what we saw on that show. She would dress me up and come up with stories, and that’s how it all started for me. When you moved to the U.S., what was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome when trying to break into the business? I came to the states as a teenager and went to school at the New World School of the Arts in Miami for one year. The challenges I faced were more cultural because, people would immediately ask where I was from, and they’d put more focus on that. But, I wanted to be taken seriously, and once I proved that I was serious about my art; that’s when the challenge went away. Early on, you were on the TV series, Ocean Ave, which also had Megan Fox; how did that opportunity come about? I played Jade Dominguez; one of the main characters on the show. The way it came about was, I was modeling in Miami and heard about the auditions, so I went and booked it pretty quickly. I had to take on the role of being a Hispanic www.iaemagazine.com
PHOTOS COURTESY OF GWENDOLYN SMITH (MAIN) & FREMANTLE MEDIA (THE PRICE IS RIGHT)
GWENDOLYN OSBORNE-SMITH Interview By: Candy Freeman
PHOTO COURTESY OF STASI PHOTOGRAPHY
Family & Fame: (insets) Gwendolyn and husband, Kenny Smith, with their son on set.
GAME SHOW QUOTE: “Many people have the idea that game shows are easy to come up with. And nothing could be further from the truth.” - Bob Barker (host of The Price Is Right from 1972-2007)
When did you move to LA; I bet you learned fast that it was different from Miami? Yes, it was totally different. I moved to LA in 2001, and at the time I was a single mother. I became a SAG member after working on the film, Any Given Sunday. I started working with LA Models, and those modeling gigs helped me pay the bills while I continued to go out on acting auditions. I booked The Price is Right in 2005, and I’ve been there ever since.
With your work keeping you in LA, and Kenny traveling to cover the NBA season, how have you guys been able to make it work? It’s not much different than most other married couple who work and are trying to raise a family. I hear from other married people who are in similar situations, and they talk to their
“Don’t let the barriers you face keep you from your dreams. Have confidence in yourself and never give up...” Gwendolyn Osborne-Smith
Speaking of The Price is Right, how did you land that gig? What is the audition process like for a game show? I auditioned for them in 2004 and didn’t get the job at first. But, I continued going out on other auditions and wound up working on The Bold and the Beautiful as a model. That set is right next door to The Price is Right. One day, a stagehand who usually works on the Price is Right was working on The Bold and the Beautiful, and he suggested to the then producer of The Price is Right that, ‘you need to see this girl.’ So, I went over and they were like, “Thank you for coming back in! We would love for you to work here.’ [laughs] So, I’m like the one Price is Right model to actually be discovered outside of the auditions; so they say.
How important is it for you to establish in the game show world that it’s okay to have African-American women represented? It is very important to me. I feel a huge responsibility to be a role model for other girls, and keep them inspired and aware that it is possible to do this. It’s also important for me to maintain a certain standard of class, beauty, and individuality; while still being able to balance being a wife and a mother. In addition, I carve out time to work out and maintain a healthy body. I’m proud of the fact that I have a curvy body and I’m not the stereotypical, skinny model that people are accustomed to seeing. I’m always appreciative for what God has given me and I would love for other African-American girls to know that they should appreciate what they’ve been given too. There’s strength in a black woman’s body. What’s the one thing that people may be www.iaemagazine.com
SAY ? WHAT
shocked to know about you? From what I’ve heard, I’m easy to talk to and very down to earth. I try to maintain openness about me so that I can relate to whomever I meet. Because of my background, and the fact that my family travelled so when I was a child, I gained relativity to others.
spouse every couple of days. Kenny and I call each other as much as we can, and there are no rules to it. We both work in television, so it makes it easy for us to understand that when you’re on set it’s hard to get to the phone. If it’s been a long day and he was unsuccessful at reaching me; he knows that I was tied up with work, or I had a long day; and vice versa. But, we make it a priority to not go a week without seeing each other. Sometimes that means he’ll fly home for one day and then fly back out. It’s a lot of sacrifice, but anything worth having in life requires a lot of sacrifice. We just focus on the positives and keep at it. Together, we have 5 children; he has two from a previous relationship, and I came in with one (child). We now have 3 teenagers and they all have their own things going on too, so we have to balance their stuff as well. What advice would you like to give to young women who are struggling to get opportunities in Hollywood due to racial or image barriers? Many say that there are not a lot of opportunities for women of color. I would say, just work on your craft and be the best that you can be at what you do. Don’t let the barriers you face keep you from your dreams. Have confidence in yourself and never give up on yourself, because if you do (give up), then other people will give up on you. If those (women of color) before us had given up on their dreams we wouldn’t have the opportunities that we have today. iae
NUDITY & F-BOMB
because I’m from a mixed heritage and still had a very strong English accent at the time. It was a Swedish-American soap opera that only aired in Sweden. I never actually got to see it, but it was a great experience. I learned a lot about the day-to-day operations on a show.
FILM & TV
OKAY ON DAYTIME TV? WUCHOO TALKIN’ BOUT JULIUS?
As if finding appropriate TV programs to watch isn’t hard enough these days, the Chairman of the FCC, Julius Genachowski, is talking about dropping the ban on explicit profanity and “non-sexual” nudity. As the commission considers fully lifting its ban on these “no fly zones” in the broadcast industry, the chairman has decided to stop enforcing the ban to focus on what he calls, “egregious indecency cases,” which is really a matter of interpretation. In a press release last year, Julius said that since September (2012) “...the Bureau has reduced the backlog (of indecency complaints) by 70% thus far, more than one million complaints, principally by closing pending complaints that were beyond the statute of limitations or too stale to pursue.” Simply put, Julius decided that the backlog was too deep with complaints filed by the American people and various other groups, so he hit “Delete” on his FCC complaints account and acted as if they were a matter of “the statute of limitations”. This is a blatant disregard for the American people, and the responsibility of his Obama appointed position. The FCC was put in place to protect the general public from those in society who would like to believe that soft-core porn and explicit profanity doesn’t harm society. I, for one, am outraged by the all out attack on my enjoyment of the very cable service that I’m paying for each month. I thought this was why we have premium channels as an option? - Leslie White FILE YOUR FCC COMPLAINT TODAY: Enter 13-86 under Proceeding Number http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/upload/display?z=c9oui or visit www.iaemagazine.com MAY-JUN ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
FILM & TV
ADOPTION FILM FACT: 2010 Oscar Winning film, The Blind Side (starring Sandra Bullock) is the story of 2013 NFL Champion & Baltimore Raven, Michael Oher, who was homeless before being adopted.
Famous Foster Kids STEVE JOBS
was adopted at birth by a California family.
was raised by a foster family in Roswell, GA (Atlanta)
In Theatres Now Starring: Lynn Whitfield, James McDaniel, Crawford Wilson Interview By: Shaine Freeman
Talks Acting, Foster Care & King’s Faith
here are you from and how did you get into film acting? I was born in Memphis, Tennessee. I grew up playing National Tennis so, I got to travel a lot as a child. Believe it or not, I actually got into this business in the Atlanta airport. I was on my way to a national tennis training camp when this photographer approached me and ran off his credits, and he asked if I’d be interested in taking some photos for this company he was working with. When he said he would pay, that opened my eyes to modeling. So, on my day off from training, I did the photo shoot and the images wound up on billboards in New York and all through Macys and Saks Fifth Avenue stores. When the photographer called again, I flew to NYC and when I got there I was asked if I had ever done any acting. But, I had never tried acting so, I figured I may as well try it. I worked with an acting coach in NYC and continued to do the photo shoots for national ad campaigns. But, that’s when I decided to give acting a go and really pursue the dream job. After a year in New York, I realized that if I was going to be an actor, I needed to move to Los Angeles. So, I took the money that I made from modeling and moved to LA to pursue acting full time. What’s tough about LA is that, while there is so much opportunity, there are far too many people trying to fill those jobs?
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
Oh, I know! To get work in (LA) is really a feat in itself because, there are thousands of kids auditioning for one role. The chances are slim to none that you’ll get anything so, you have to keep on keeping on. A lot of actors don’t look into voice-over acting, but you have. Can you talk about your work as a voice-over actor? Certainly! Voice-over acting is not easy, and it’s just as credible as on-camera acting. There are tons of actors submitting for voice-over auditions each day. Voice-overs are great because you get to take a script and turn those words into whatever wacky, funny voice you want to put on your character. You really get to make that character yours. That’s what’s awesome about voiceovers. Plus, once you’re known in the voiceover world there is constant work, which keeps you creative and active. I’ve been blessed enough to work on several cartoons, like Avatar and Batman. Tell us about your role in, King’s Faith. King’s Faith is an amazing story about, Brendan King, who had a pretty rough life growing up in and out of foster homes. He fell in with the crowd and wound up involved in gangs and drugs. In the movie, they get raided and all the kids in the gang end up a Juvenile Detention Center. The only book Brendan’s allowed to read is the Bible, and after reading it over and
spent 1 yr in foster care before reuniting with their mother.
was placed in foster care due to her mother’s bouts with insanity. Learn more about helping foster children at: www.fosteringchange.org over again, his mind is suddenly opened and he changes his ways. When Brendan gets out of jail, he’s put into an Outlook Program until he’s 18 years old. After he ages out of the program, he meets Mike (James McDaniel) and Vanessa (Lynn Whitfield), and they make him a part of their family. He starts to transform his life and sees all the positive things that come from being a positive person. He really starts to be happy with his life, but his past comes back to haunt him when his old gang puts one of his new friends in the hospital. He starts to struggle with how to deal with them because he’s slowly reverting back to his old ways. You see Brendan struggling to do the right thing and put God first in his decision making so that he doesn’t turn into the monster he once was. It’s a great story. There are a lot of kids in the foster care system. My aunt used to take in foster kids, so I know first-hand how that system operates growing up. It’s really hard on those kids. Yes, I know! King’s Faith actually comes out in May, during National Foster Care (NFC) month. NFC, tries to bring awareness to the fact there are, on average, about 25,000 Americans each year who are 18 and the age out of the foster care system and they don’t have any other family and they had a really rough upbringing and they don’t know how to transition into adulthood. So those kids wide up either homeless or in jail. www.iaemagazine.com
PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Faith Street Film Partners
NFL Champion has an Oscar winning film about his adoption
5 He recommended writing a spec script first 8 Represented Mickey Rourke 9 Worked for a US Senator before becoming a record exec 10 Worked as a temp receptionist at CAA before working at a major film studio 11 Remade Jamie Hartford’s song “Somebody’s Gonna Pay” 13 Musician turned Filmmaker
1 Advised artists not to overcompress their music 2 Plays Kenzi on a SyFy channel series 3 Worked as a PA on hit TV show ‘Girlfriends’ before acting 4 First professional gig was in a Nike print ad 6 Actor turned producer at Urban American Outdoors 7 Appeared on the hit show ‘Undercover Boss’ 12 Said that actors are limited by the creativity of the writers
WIN AN INTERVIEW IN OUR SEP/OCT ISSUE
How To Enter: 1. Fill out the above crossword puzzle by finding the answers in our MAR/APR 2013 issue (cover to your left). If you don’t have the issue visit www.iaemagazine.com/magazine 2. Scan your filled in puzzle and email it to email@example.com. Be sure to include your: real name, email address you used when you joined our email list (visit our ‘Subscribe’ page at www.iaemagazine.com to sign up), Twitter and Facebook links, your online profile (if music submit Reverbnation or Sonicbids page; if film submit IMDb profile). 3. Must be 18 or older to enter There will be 2 Winners chosen (one from music & one from film). The winners will be announced and “tagged” via Twitter & Facebook on Friday, June 7th.
RANDOM FILM FACTS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW: Before Denzel Washington was an Oscar winner he filmed several Fruit of the Looms commercials as the Grapes • The original title of ‘Ghostbusters’ was ‘Ghost Smashers’.
THE INTERNSHIP Genre: Comedy Rated: NR (likely ‘R’) Release Date: June 07 Studio: Regency / 20th Century Fox Cast: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, John Goodman, B.J. Novak, Rose Byrne, Max Minghella Director: Shawn Levy Producers: Vince Vaughn and Shawn Levy Screenplay: Vince Vaughn and Jared Stern
Interview By: Shaine Freeman
appears alongside Vince Vaughn & Owen Wilson in the summer 2013 box office comedy...
obit Raphael shares the big screen with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson this summer, in the upcoming summer comedy, The Internship. Tobit’s character in the film is being touted as the new, “McLovin” (Superbad); and if that’s indication then this young actor has a very bright future ahead of him. Please tell us where you’re from and what got you interested in being an actor? I was born in the Bay area (California); my parents immigrated to San Francisco from the Philippines. I took up theater in middle school and continued doing it through high school. Usually Filipino families want you to be a doctor or a lawyer, so it’s a pretty big deal that my parents let me do this. But, I think they recognized that theater was really the only thing that I was good at growing up. [laughs]
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
PHOTO COURTESY OF STASI PHOTOGRAPHY
FILM & TV
ANOTHER RANDOM FILM FACT: In December 2009, film composer, Brian Tyler graced the Dec/Jan ‘10 cover of I Am Entertainment Magazine, and was later (2010) inducted into the music branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His films have grossed $4.2 billion to date.
FILM & TV
Our Fave Intern
LIVE COMEDY BOX OFFICE RELEASES OF ALL TIME
Eddie Murphy Raw
$50.5 Million Paramount Pictures 1987 I enjoyed making people laugh so, I think the transition into being an actor was the obvious path for me. After high school, what was the first step you took toward becoming a professional actor? I enrolled at UCLA for acting. I knew that I wanted to study theater and not just jump head first into acting right out of high school. It was really great that I got accepted into UCLA’s Theater, Film & Television program because, it’s well respected and located in the middle of the film industry. While I was at UCLA I was able to build a network, and in my senior year we had a showcase, which is where I met my manager. After about a year with my manager I finally booked the role in, The Internship. Tell us a little about the audition process? I think the big thing for me was that it was the first major feature film that I got an audition for. It’s also the first film and TV audition that I actually got a callback on. Everything before that was TV guest star auditions, or casting off of tape. When I got the sides for The Internship I really believed that I could pull the role off. I remember sitting in my living room and working through the sides continuously. I felt very prepared when I went to the audition room the first time. Because my character in the film is kind of eccentric, I wanted to make him very relatable and likable so, that’s the angle I took. When you finally got the word that you booked the part, did you celebrate? [laughs] I remember it very clearly. It was two weeks after my final audition and, as an actor, if you don’t hear anything from casting right away you start to go a little crazy. So, after two weeks of hearing nothing I figured it was over. Then, my phone starts buzzing in my pocket and I’m hoping it’s my manager, and sure enough it was. I answered and heard the news that I got the part, and I started screaming and running around. [laughs] Even though I www.iaemagazine.com
felt like I had a really good audition, you just never know. Very few actors book a role like this right out the gate; especially next to stars this huge. Yea, it’s pretty weird, but cool at the same time. You rarely hear stories like this so, I hope my story encourages others to know that it can happen for them if they’re the right one for the role, then you’re the right one for the role. Tell us a little bit about your role in the film? I play a computer programmer at Google named, Yo-Yo. He feels a lot of pressure to do well in the program and you see that manifested in several scenes, in a very comical way. As the film progresses, Yo-Yo comes out of his shell and the awkwardness dissipates. I don’t want to give away too much of the movie so I encourage everyone to go see it in theaters, on June 7th. What’s your ultimate career goal in film? It’s tough to say, really. I just want to be a part of good, quality projects and be recognized as someone who does great work. I still love theater too so, I would love the opportunity to work in that arena in LA, NY or London. What advice can you give to other actors who may have been doing this for a while and still have yet to get their “break”? You’re not at a dead-end until you’re dead, at least that is what I believe. As long as you’re alive, there’s a place waiting for you. One quote that I like to use is from Lisa Kudrow’s commencement speech at Vassar where she said, “It’s not supposed to be easy, but it doesn’t have to be torture.” If you can find people who believe in you and are on your side, that’s all you need. That’s what I have with my manager. She believes in me and that’s what got me the opportunity to film, The Internship. iae
The Original Kings of Comedy $38.1 Million Paramount Pictures 2000
Richard Pryor: Live on Sunset $36.3 Million Columbia Pictures 1982
Martin Lawrence: Runteldat $19.1 Million Paramount Pictures 2002
Richard Pryor: Here & Now $16.2 Million Columbia Pictures 1983
Martin Lawrence You So Crazy $10.2 Million Goldwyn 1994
Kevin Hart: Laugh @ My Pain $7.7 Million Code Black Ent. 2011
Bette Midler: Divine Madness $5.3 Million Warner Brothers 1980
Jerry Seinfeld: Comedian $2.8 Million Miramax 2002
Eddie Griffin: DysFunKtional Family $2.3 Million | Miramax 2003
Source: www.BoxOfficeMojo.com To see the full list of stand up comedy box office gross, check out Box Office Mojo.
MAY-JUN ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
FILM & TV
Using DSLR Cameras for Low to No Budget Films
fter years of speaking with indie filmmakers, I have learned that one of the toughest line item decisions to make is what camera the film will be shot with. Despite the tons of other things a DP has to worry about when shooting a movie, the camera they go with seems to always be a top concern? If you’re blessed enough to have an investor, the truth is, your investor could care less what camera you use to shoot the movie; so long as the end product looks great. But, if you’re like most indie filmmakers who have virtually no budget to work with, you’re looking for a great camera that won’t make your film look to like a low-budget project. So, I thought I’d just share some info on an affordable DSLR camera rig that filmmakers have told me they’ve used to shoot their low-budget indie features; some have even won awards with this camera set up. Is the DSLR a replacement for the ARRI’s of the film world...no way! But, it does the job very well when you don’t have ARRI money and don’t want to keep renting everytime you shoot a movie.
| By: Shaine Freeman
CANON EOS REBEL T4i is a DSLR that has received pretty high marks among the DSLR’s in the market. The cool thing is that this camera is used by photographers, so you’ll also get some great hi-res production stills. DSLRs offer shallow Depth of Field (Dof). That’s when one part of the image is in focus while the rest is not; like in the movies when the subjects in the shot are in focus, but the background is not. Canon 16-35 f2.8 Lens will help with zooming. Make sure it’s an f2.8 lens. Lilliput 7” Field Monitor will help you see exactly what your camera is capturing, so you’re not forced to rely on the built-in flip screen on the T4i. Rode VideoMic - Camera Mounted Shotgun Microphone - Sound quality from the DSLR’s internal mic isn’t very great so, to record high quality cinema audio many filmmakers have recommended the Rode shotgun mic plugged into the Zoom H4n Mobile 4-Track Recorder.
“I realized that I could really help these kids. I make sure they understand how to maintain their innocence, integrity and honesty.”
FILM/TV & MUSIC
Photos: Aria Johnson, Reelz Channel
HOLLYWEIRD: Marilyn Monroe once said, “Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”
Job: Singer/Vocal Coach/Actor Awards: Billboard Award “Song of the Year”, eWorld Music Award “Best Female Performer”, World Music & Dance Award Locale: Los Angeles, CA TV: Beverly Hills Pawn REELZ Channel, Premiering June 5th at 9pm ET
Interview By: Shaine Freeman
ARIA JOHNSON The Billboard Award Winner Talks
About Her Upcoming Music & TV Projects
www.ariajohnson.com So, tell us where you’re from and what got you interested in an entertainment career? I’m from the Bay area and I grew up singing in church since I was about 5 years old. I performed throughout my childhood in the church, and I was always singing at school functions. People would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up and I always said, “a singer.” I also watched Disney a lot growing up, and I would dream that someday I would be on TV acting and singing. By the time I was 15, I had convinced my parents to sign me up for professional singing lessons. Within months of starting professional lessons I began singing professionally, and getting paid to do it. At age 16, I joined a girl group named, Reality, and I actually booked our first gig. I called up Nordstorms because I knew they had a piano there during the Holidays, and I booked us to do a swing routine. You’re a go-getter, and it’s paid off for you. You’ve worked with David Foster and even won a Billboard Award. Tell us about that? The David Foster situation came out of a TV show I did with him in 2007. As far as the Billboard Award, I entered my song into their contest for indie artists, and I won. Every music competition that was out there I would enter my name and music into it; really just to build awareness, and it paid off. www.iaemagazine.com
You’ve also been doing a TV show, right? Yes. I didn’t expect it to happen because I’ve been doing music this whole time. But, I decided to audition for some TV stuff just for fun and I actually landed a presentation for this show. That turned into a pilot that aired on E! like 25 times. A year and a half later, I got a call from the producers of that show saying they had sold the series to REELZ (channel) and they needed me to come film the next day. So, I showed up on set the next day with 5 dresses and no clue what we were going to be doing. The show turns out to be, what is now, 12 episodes of Beverly Hills Pawn. The network loved it so much that, before it even aired, they bought 24 more episodes. I shot a total of 36 episodes for my first ever television series, and I’m one of the four main characters. I’m sort of the comic relief on the show. It’s been a lot of fun, and it wasn’t anything I really expected. I felt like God gave it to me. What’s really cool about you is that you’re also a vocal coach, helping kids learn to sing. Yes, and I tell the kids (I coach) all the time, “If you’re going to pursue a career in entertainment, we have to work on your attitude too.” Because I belive your attitude plays a huge part in your success in this business. I choose who
I want to work with because I want to make a difference in the world, and teaching is the most rewarding job a person can have. To be able to shape minds for the better is a blessing. I didn’t even know if I could be a good teacher, but once I figured it out, I realized that I could really help these kids. I make sure they understand how to maintain their innocence, integrity and honesty. What would you like to see more of, in this business? What I’d like to see the most is success going to those who deserve it. I got the TV show because of the hard work I put in on my music. I write my own music and I’m still indie. Beverly Hills Pawn hired me, not because I was an actress auditioning for a role, they hired me because of my brand. I have spent my whole life developing my brand and making sure it was clean and true to who I am. I didn’t want to be viewed as a product. I’m a real person. It may sound preachy but, I feel like celebrities should be responsible and not pollute their fans with trashy stuff because they (fans) are going to copy everything you do. So, maybe you should not smoke that joint in front of the camera. [laughs] Especially when 12 year olds are a part of your demographic!
MAY-JUN ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
“...I’m not your typical 25-yearold country artist who just came into Nashville...I’m the mom who buys the tickets to a Taylor Swift concert, and the one who talks about what happens after you meet prince charming and wind up with bills...”
Hits #1 On CMT and iHeartRadio Introducing the World to Long Island Country BY Shaine Freeman PHOTOS Traci Goudie
We’ve all heard that Nashville is the prime breeding ground for country music artists; and how the music business says that you have to be Taylor Swift’s age in order to have any real shot at building a truly successful music career. Well, Lisa Matassa is proving all of that wrong. She’s not only from Long Island, New York, a place that is not known for producing country music stars; but she’s also a wife and mother of two who just re-launched her music career in 2011. I say “re-launched” because, Lisa is no newcomer to the music business. Having recorded two Top 10 singles as a signed pop/dance artist before she was 20, Lisa shares with us the importance of going after your dreams, regardless of the “odds” that are seemingly stacked against us. www.iaemagazine.com
Tell us where you’re from and how you got your start? I was born in New York and then my family moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. When I moved (to Florida) it was completely different from the way it is today. There was a lot of farmland and country music was really big at the time. I lived there for a good 10 years, during which time, I started singing. My whole family is into music so, I listened to a lot of Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, and Johnny Cash, and as I got a little older I developed an interest in Southern Rock. Between the ages of 9 - 14 (years old), I became clasically trained in Opera, and then, around the summer of my 16th birthday, my parents decided to move back to New York. At the time, moving North was not something I wanted to do. But, my parents moved my two brothers and I back to New York during my sophomore year in high school, and I had to start all over again. The only thing that gave me strength was the fact that I could sing so, I immersed myself in music. Back then, New York didn’t have any outlets for country music, which was like culture shock for me! [laughs] The only music being played on the radio was dance or Rock n’ Roll so, there was a lot of KISS, Bon Jovi, and Pat Benatar being played. From that point on, rock music became my primary influence. But, my heart was still into country music. MAY-JUN ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
“I have a true belief that God makes things happen for a reason.” - Lisa Matassa
So, how did you wind up becoming a dance/ pop artist? When I was about 19 years old, I was offered a record deal to do freestyle dance music, but I wasn’t really interested in it at all. My dad was my manager at the time and he convinced me to give it a shot. He saw at as an opportunity for me to get my foot in “the door”. So, I figured if I can’t do the country music that I truly like to sing, then at least I’m going to have a name that sounded like a country artist, so I changed my name to Lysa Lynn (in homage to Loretta Lynn). I ended up doing really well with it. I had my 15 minutes of fame. I got to tour and open up for artists like Taylor Dayne and Brenda K. Starr. It was fun and I gained a lot of experience in front of larger audiences. But, in the end, I felt that this trained voice I had wasn’t being showcased on the music that I was singing, so my focused began to shift and I lost interest in being a dance artist. I know that a lot of artists have a hard time seeing themselves doing anything other than recording and touring. What did you do next? At that point I met my husband and put the dream of becoming a country music artist on hold because the timing just wasn’t right. Although I started raising a family, I continued writing, recording and performing every weekend. Fast forward to about 4 years ago, I went to my kids (daughter 17 and son 15) and said, “Your mom has always wanted to become a country singer. I know it sounds crazy because you don’t hear a lot of country music in New York, but I can’t deny what I have in my heart. I really want to sing country music, but I want to make country music with an edge.” I call it “Long Island Country”. It’s that great storytelling of a country song, with lyrics that really tug at your heart, but that edginess of New York rock n’ roll music; because that’s who I am. I told (my kids) that if I had their support I would take that huge leap of faith and see what happens. They were amazingly supportive and said that I should get out there and do it. I’m literally rolling the dice, at this point, but I don’t want my kids to ever think that once you reach a certain age you can’t really go after your dreams. No matter what happens in life, you can always take a chance and try to be or do something you thought you never could. I wanted to inspire my kids. So, with the support of my entire family, including my parents who have always supported me in my singing career, I decided to take a leap. I
haven’t looked back and it’s been amazing. I have a true belief that God makes things happen for a reason. Anytime I felt that maybe it wasn’t the greatest thing to do, or things just weren’t going to happen, something would happen and a path would be shown to me that the timing was right and this is what I needed to do. I’m living each day like it’s the last day of my life, and with support of my family and a really great team behind me, I’m taking it as far as I can.
Clearly, timing is everything and it’s your time now. You currently have the #1 & #2 spots on the iHeartRadio Country chart. How cool is that? Isn’t that nuts! I still can’t believe it’s at the top of iHeartRadio. The team that I have working with me are absolutely wonderful. To have people like Kirt Webster and Martha Moore, who are really important people in Nashville, in my corner is a true blessing. I’m really thankful that Somebody’s Baby is so relatable because it’s really resonating with country music fans. Let’s face it, I’m not your typical 25-year-old country artist who just came into Nashville, and I surely not the girl next door. I’m not trying to be someone that I’m not. I’m the mom next door who is a part of the 30 – 55 year old female country music demographic. I’m the mom who buys the tickets to a Taylor Swift concert, and the one who talks about what happens after you meet prince charming and wind up with bills, a house and a mortgage. I may be wrong but, I think that’s what is resonating with country music fans. www.iaemagazine.com
It doesn’t really matter where you come from; country is a lifestyle. Just because I live in New York, it doesn’t mean that I’m less country than somebody living down South. It’s about family, faith and freedom. It comes out in your lyrics. It’s hearing a song like, Somebody’s Baby, and recognizing that I’m talking about your life. That’s what I love about country, and that’s what I want to be a part of. Right! It’s not Christian just because you talk about your faith in God. It’s not white. It’s not black. It’s life music! Exactly! Music is the universal language and I’m really grateful that country music has touched so many peoples’ lives. America’s finally catching on. When I first got to Nashville, there were no country radio stations in New York. I met with a guy named Ed Salamon, who is a legendary country programmer, and I asked him, “Do you think I’m wasting my time? I’m a wife and a mom, and I’m coming down to Nashville with this Long Island country sound.” But he loved what I was doing and was very supportive. He said that it was a shame that New York didn’t have a country music station because, if they did, I’d be right on that first row of people getting into the business as the first country music out of Long Island. What’s funny is that, he must’ve thrown it out there to somebody in his network because, within 12 hours of us having that meeting, Ed called my manager and said, “You’re not going to believe this, but WJBC is going live on the air at midnight as the first country station on Long Island.” We were shocked! The next morning, I got an email from the station’s program director saying they read about me in a New York newspaper and were really happy to hear that I was from Long Island. That was the first station I had ever visited, and I performed right there in the station’s conference room. Like I said before, God does everything for a reason and the timing was just right. Now there is WNSH/Nash 94.7 FM, also in New York. Country is taking over. [laughs] It’s funny you say that because, country has taken over. Artists from other genres listen to country music for inspiration because of the truthful storytelling you have in your songs. It’s all about evoking that emotion from the listener. That’s what I try to do as an artist and MICKIE JAMES a songwriter. I write /about life. The songs Championship pro wrestler eOne real recording artist www.iaemagazine.com
that are on my album and my EP come from a place of experience. There’s a song on my album called, Learning As You Grow, and it’s about my kids. There is no manual on parenting so, you learn as they grow. How do you relate to your 17 year old who is going through totally different things than you did when you were her age? You’re trying to be her friend but, at the same time, be her parent. Along the way you’re saying to yourself, ‘I’ve never done this before. Am I doing the right thing?’ The same goes for her. There’s a give and take, and so many people can relate to that. That’s what I’m most happy about. It’s actually touching people of all ages, which is really what I’m trying to do. What’s I found so cool about your situation is that you’re an independent artist doing all this with no major label backing. Yes, but I couldn’t do it without my family’s support and the wonderful team I have. But I must say that I’ve knocked down many doors in my lifetime to live this dream. Unlike when I first started, today’s artists have so many different avenues that have leveled the “playing field”. Nowadays, you can go on shows like American Idol, or you can use the internet and build a following on YouTube, social media, internet radio; there are so many outlets for independent artists to get through the door. I want to make sure that my journey is documented. I want to take my fans on this journey with me and show them the behind-the-scenes; whether it’s video shoots, the ACM Awards, or
CMA’s. I’m trying to keep on top of that. I understand that you can only go so far as an independent artist, but I am trying to see how far I can take it on my own. Because you’ve been so successful as an independent, what advice can you give to other indie artists who may be struggling to reach your level of success? There is a team. My husband, who is also my manager, is a huge support person for me, and my dad is my #1 fan. [laughs]. They believe in me. Finding people who believe in your music and your art is so important. You need to surround yourself with people who are truthful and honest, and have the same goals as you. Just make sure your name, face, music, and everything about you is out there all the time. Make sure it’s in the peripheral of everyone; but in a positive light. If there’s a cause that you like, then take part in it, and use your little soap box to bring awareness to it. For instance, my nephew has autism and cerebral palsy so, I’ve always been supportive of the Sidewalk Angels Foundation and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. Now that I’m at a point where I can bring awareness to them, I’m doing all I can to broadcast that. I think it’s important to show all sides of yourself so that people know you are more than just a singer/performer. Show that you actually care about things that are bigger than yourself. You also have to believe in yourself and develop really thick skin because there will be people out there who will try to knock you MAY-JUN ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
“...remember to pace yourself because it’s all about timing. Slow and steady wins the race. ” - Lisa Matassa
down every step of the way. You have to put the blinders on, take their advice with a grain of salt and keep striving toward your goals. But remember to pace yourself because it’s all about timing. Slow and steady wins the race. I’m not trying to get all religious on you, but my faith plays a big part in my career. When I was about 8 years old, I was singing a Debby Boone song in my bedroom and my dad overheard me. He walked in at the end of the song and dropped to his knees, my mom was right behind him, and he was so expressive when he said, “Lisa, you can sing! I can’t believe how you can sing.” I remember his face and the way he was looking at me with such sincerity and said, “God gives everyone, when they are born, a very special gift. It could be the gift of voice or art, or maybe even the gift of gab. But, God gives you something that you are responsibile to take and nurture it, and then share it with everyone else. That’s what you have, you have the gift to sing.” I have lived with that my entire life. Whether I’m going into a meeting or a performance, I say my prayers before everything I do. For instance, when I went to CMT to interview and play them my video I said, “Lord, if it’s your perfect will and CMT wants to put this video on, then great. If it’s not going to happen then I’m okay with it because it’s up to You. I’m doing what I’m supposed to do for You.” After I played them the video of my version of The Christmas Song, I never thought in a million years they’d broadcast it. Well, that video wound up at #1 on CMT and it confirmed to me that I’m supposed to be here right now. You have over 500,000 followers on Twitter and nearly 200,000 on Facebook. How cool is it to know you have so many peoples’ attention? I know, it’s just crazy! I can’t believe it every time I log on. Recently, my song, Somebody’s Baby, was placed in a few thousand restaurants like Burger King, Taco Bell, and KFC; places that have in-network dining TV. My song was played maybe 10 times a day, so all these views started coming through and I think the video has a little over 4 million hits now. In Europe, this song did so well that we actually released my next single, I Won’t Ask, overseas first and it already debuted at #38. When I see the followers on social media going up, I try to acknowledge them as much as I can. I want them to know that they are all significant to me. The fact that they take the time to write me and say that they love my music, or they share whatever experience they had with my songs, I love that! The performing part is great and that’s my element, but when I get done I don’t want to go straight home. The best part about this career is meeting the fans when I get off stage because, country music fans are the most loyal fans you’re going to find. They are so awesome! I want to meet those people who are waiting to talk to me, take a picture with me and get my autograph. That’s the great part of this business and I’m happy to have the opportunity to do that. iae www.iaemagazine.com
Selling Tours of All Time
U2: 360o Tour
$736.4 Million 110 Shows (2009-11)
Rolling Stones: A Bigger Bang $558.3 Million 144 Shows (2005-07)
AC/DC: Black Ice World Tour $441.1 Million 167 Shows (2008–10)
Madonna: Sticky & Sweet Tour $407.7 Million 85 Shows (2008-09)
U2: Vertigo Tour $389 Million 131 Shows (2005–06)
Source: www.Wikipedia.org ‘List of Highest-Grossing Concert Tours’
La be lT al k
GM of Brushfire Records
On Running A Record Label, Jack Johnson, and Spotify
“...selling music is not purely about the quality of the record.”
So how did you wind up in the music business and working at Brushfire? As the job with my uncle became more lucrative, I found myself focusing more on that. A couple of years had passed before I realized that if I didn’t make a move soon, then I probably never would. So, I told my uncle I was going to leave and he was supportive of my decision. At the time, I was living in Connecticut, so I got on Monster.com and started sending out resumes to music related listings in New York City. Even though I was the Operations Manager at my uncles company, I had to start out looking for entry level jobs because his company wasn’t music related. I got a couple of interviews, one of which was at Universal Motown (Records). At the time (1999) they had just started their New Media department and needed an assistant. I started there as a part-time temp, but that job
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turned into a fulltime gig and eventually an official staff position. Up until that point, I was being paid through a temp agency. From there, I went on to become a coordinator – which is just a glorified assistant – and then I got promoted to Director of New Media. Eventually, I wound up over in the marketing department as the Director of Marketing. In that position, I worked as a product manager on a wide range of releases, which included two of the first records on the Brushfire imprint - G.Love and Donavon Frankenreiter. (Brushfire) was a deal that had been done between Jack Johnson and Universal. In my position, I was working with the co-owner of Brushfire, Emmett Malloy (Jack’s manager), and talking to him and the Brushfire staff on a daily basis. When the “In Between Dreams” record came out from Jack, I ended up doing day-to-day on it, while my boss oversaw the project. That record became a massive success and Brushfire was able to turn their imprint deal into a distribution deal. So, they went from signing bands to Universal through their imprint, to signing bands directly to Brushfire. At that point, they needed someone to help them run the company, rather than just helping them as an imprint. That’s when they called me and asked if I’d be interested in moving to LA to run the record label for them; or if I knew someone who’d be interested. To be honest, I never really wanted to live in Los Angeles because I considered myself a New Yorker. But, I thought, “How could I possibly give this gig to someone else?” [laughs] My girlfriend, at the time, encouraged me to take it and she’d consider moving to Los Angeles; so I took it! I
moved to LA in September 2005 and I’ve been at Brushfire ever since. As the GM at Brushfire, what are you most proud of about the label itself? I think the great thing about this label is that it’s owned by an artist (Jack Johnson). For him, it’s really about making music, not money. Jack and his wife donated all of his profit from his last two tours to charities. But, of course, part of the reason he’s able to do that is because he does quite well on his recorded music sales. That means that this label is not necessarily a profit center for him. We put out records that we love; and yes, we hope that each release has commercial success but, that’s not the only driver. We don’t just put out something because we think it’s catchy and has a high potential of selling, if we also think the record is lame. It has to be music that we love and believe the world should hear. Obviously, that’s not the case for a lot of labels. Some (labels) would purposely put out music they know is terrible, just because they know it’s going to sell enough singles over the next 3 months to make it worthwhile. That’s not an invalid piece of the business, but it’s just not our piece of the business. With tons of new songs released on iTunes each week; what would you say is the primary reason most of them fail to sell? Success is a very difficult thing to manufacture, but you do sometimes need that manufacturing process, combined with great music, to become very successful as an artist. I think there are a lot of great records that, from a qualitative perwww.iaemagazine.com
STEVE CORRAO/SAGE AUDIO
Please tell us where you’re from and who influenced you to pursue a career in music? Music influenced my life early on. As soon as I had money to buy music I did. When I was around 12, people would ask me what I wanted to do when I got older and I would always say, “music.” It has always been a primary focus of mine. When I got to college I started writing record reviews for the campus newspaper and, I was also on the committee that brought concerts to our school. When I graduated (college), I took a job working for my uncle so I could save up some cash to move out to California. My plan was to either go to law school or business school so that I could get into the music business that way.
Noteable Brushfire Releases
spective, should sell; but when you go and look at Soundscan, you’re mystified that it only sold 2,000 copies. This is proof that selling music is not purely about the quality of the record. It’s really about marketing, radio, YouTube, and everything else falling into place all at once; which is almost impossible to do. [laughs] That’s why you only see a certain number of records cracking through every year. Even if every record out there had a great team behind it, some of them would still fail. It all comes down to the quality of the record mixed with the marketing campaign, and quite honestly, the flukes of timing. You could have put out a great record that had banjo on it two years before Mumford and Sons came out, but nobody would have played it and you would have sold nothing. Now, Mumford has opened the door for that sound and, obviously, there are tons of copycats running through the door. But, I guarantee if you go on Spotify and search back two years before the Mumford record hit, you’ll find songs that have the same qualities; it’s just that the business wasn’t ready for that sound yet. Also, the number of releases plays a big part in why most records fail. Every week the general public is faced with 50 new records and only one of them has timing, chatter, radio, press, good visuals, and has scored a good tour. The next tier might be five artists who have seven of the 10 things you need to have going on for it to be a success so; it’s not banging on all cylinders. Then there are another 40 beyond that; and this is just for one week of releases. Yes, every once in awhile you’ll see an artist post a track online and somebody will find it and it explodes. But, you can also buy a lottery ticket and win the Powerball! [laughs] If that’s how you approach your music career then the odds for success are going to be against you. In the end, if you don’t have a team of people helping you push your agenda, and you don’t have the blessing of timing, it’s going to be very difficult to succeed. What should bands do to book venues if they don’t have a booking agent? Even bands that are moderately successful find out that touring is really expensive. You need to be able to win the people near you. If you’re going out and playing music and nobody’s paying attention, there’s probably a good reason for it. It’s probably not good enough yet. You have www.iaemagazine.com
to hone your craft enough where people in your immediate vicinity want to come and pay to see you play. Once you’re at the point then go on a tour. If you’re in Texas, don’t book at tour in the Northeast. If you’re in Austin, take a tour to Dallas, Houston, and New Orleans. Build out regionally first. If you’ve honed your show enough locally, then when you go to those other markets, even if there are just 30 people in the room, they will be turned on to you. If it’s not good, it will just wash by them as background noise; which, a lot of music does. Keep in mind too that, not every market is great for every kind of music. If you’re making music that doesn’t resonate with your hometown then, you need to find out where other bands like you are doing well and then go there. You may even have to move and build out that way. But, in terms of touring, you have to build it locally. Rarely does a band go on tour and it automatically works out. If you pull that maneuver and dirtball it, it’s going to be brutal. Nobody will show up to see you and it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg, and you’re going to come home with no return on your investment. Major labels are looking for small signs. You don’t need to be a massive success across the US to get labels to pay attention. You only need to show success in one market. Every major label has an entire department whose job is to research SoundScan and Billboard reports looking for outliers. They are asking, “Why is this song showing up in this market and nowhere else,” and then they’ll go and research it. If they see that your record has sold 300 copies a week for the past 4 weeks in that one place, but nowhere else in the country, they want to know what’s going on. They will hit up their radio contacts and ask if anyone is playing it. They’ll reach out to their booking contacts in the area and ask if you’re playing anywhere. If the booking contacts say that you’re playing two times a week in that city or region that may be all it takes sometimes to get the right people’s attention. You mentioned Spotify earlier with the whole Mumford & Sons situation; would you say that Spotify is a solid new revenue stream for the music business? I kind of feel like we’re in a middle period with Spotify! It’s not giving you a big income stream, yet, and part of the reason why is be-
cause we’re still in the early stages of services like that. None of them have hit a critical mass where enough people are paying to use them. I come up against people who just want to hear music, but they don’t want to buy records. So, I tell them they don’t have to (buy music) if they go join Spotify, and they are like, “What’s that?” Fortunately, Spotify and other companies like them are now running ads on TV so I think the moment is coming when those services become ubiquitous. At that point, the music business is probably going to be back in a happy spot. If you look at some of the studies done on how much music the average consumer buys in a year, it only shows that the average person bought 3 to 4 records per year. If you do the math on an average sell of $15 per copy sold, you are talking about consumers spending only $45 to $50 a year on recorded music on average. The above average consumer, someone like me, who buys 2 records per week, which totals out to about $1500 per year is very rare. It’s possible you’ll bring in less revenue as they transition to a streaming model, but they’re probably most likely to be the ones fueling the growth of the vinyl market. Pulling in $45 per consumer each year isn’t working. We will eventually have to ditch the old model and start converting people into paid users of streaming music services; the same way the television industry converted people into cable subscribers by giving them more choices. For your $10 every month, you can listen to as many records as you want, rather than just one. You lower the barrier of entry for discovery, but at the same time you’ve taken that average consumer from giving you $45 a year, to $120. At that point, you have enough uptake that all of sudden you’re looking at a prosperous business again. Looking at where we are with streaming music services today; millions of people have a Spotify username but only a few hundred thousand are premium accounts. At those consumer levels the income is going to look terrible. Right now, the bulk of the revenue being made on record sales is coming from physical CDs and paid digital downloads. But I don’t think this is going to be the case too far into the future. We’re just in this awkward middle ground where selling individual copies of records is becoming more difficult, and the streaming aspect hasn’t become successful enough yet. iae
MAY-JUN ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
La be lT al k
GM of Dream Records
Took Plain White T’s From 400 to 4 Million sold, Now He Has a New Purpose “If this interview doesn’t inspire you, then check your pulse.”
Shaine Freeman, CEO of I Am Entertainment Magazine
ance Brown is one of the most inspirational people I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to. I’ll admit that I’m biased a bit because, his journey is almost identical to my own, prior to co-founding I Am Entertainment. Lance went from being one of the most successful managers in the rock music business, to being broke and alone. In this feature, we get a candid look at the music business through the eyes of a guy who has been there, done that, and doing it again under a whole different purpose. Who, or what, influenced your decision to pursue a career in music? I truly discovered music for the first time when I was 14 years old. Prior to that I was into basketball, but most of my friends were into Hip Hop. I got into Hip Hop and R&B in the early 1990s and actually bought cassette tapes of Keith Sweat and MC Hammer. But I also was acquiring other tapes by bands like Nirvana. Some of this music was game changing and the industry was thriving off of it so, my journey with music began as a consumer. I listened to Rock, R&B, and Hip Hop; I had no knowledge of Christian music until I was about 17 years old and went to a Christian camp and discovered dcTalk’s music. That’s when I started to get familiar with Christian music. Around that same time, Hip Hop turned into Gangsta Rap and Rock turned into Metal so, I started going to the extreme and through that process I picked up a guitar. I also started
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going to church and learning to play a couple of worship songs and leading worship. That piqued my interests even further and I started a band. Wow! I did the exact same things. So, what happened next? About a year after forming the band, we were on tour and being managed by Doc McGhee, who also managed KISS. William Morris was handling my band’s booking, radio was playing us, and every label wanted to sign us. That’s my first memory of going from being the consumer of music to the one creating and performing it. Even though my band was doing all this stuff, I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. So, I decided to enter seminary school and study Apologetics as well as Communications. But, at the same time, my love for music kept growing. At 22 years old, I left the band and started interning at Capitol Records, while they (band) signed with an independent label. How did you wind up being a manager? Well, my internship turned into a fulltime position in the marketing department at Capitol Records, where I was working on Radiohead, Foo Fighters, and The Eagles’ catalogs. But, I was working with bands from afar and wasn’t close enough to them. I really wanted to know the bands, so I started applying for internships at every management company in LA. I eventually got an internship at Left Bank Management and left my job at Capitol.
Left Bank Management handled Motley Crue, Yes, Orgy, Meatloaf, The Bee Gees, The Go Go’s, and a lot of other artists. I used to bug the owner of the company, Allen Kovac, a lot and he told me, “If you want to make it in this business, attach yourself as a manager to one of these bands. Gain their trust and then work hard and network like crazy.” I took his advice and went for it. I worked really hard for him and some of the other day-to-day managers at Left Bank, which led to me becoming a day-to-day manager. Once you became a fulltime manager, what bands did you work with? I started looking after Motley Crue; taking them to gigs and television shows. I put their moral standards aside so that I could learn the business. One day, I went to Mr. Kovac and asked if I could experiment with finding a newer, not so well known band. He had no interest in artist development because his clients were artists who already had an established following; it’s an instant money maker and you can do well. But, I was young and had a lot of hustle in me, so I decided to start my own management company. I found a bunch of 16 year old kids who were unsigned and really applied myself. Then, I found another band and they were signed to Tooth and Nail, which gave me a chance to learn how the labels work from the opposite side of the table. I got out and went to shows and started meeting other up-and-coming managers who were all going after rock bands. My first attempt at going after a band that I
“Once I got caught up in the music business that kid from seminary school started disappearing,” - Lance Brown
didn’t know was, Fall Out Boy; this was before they were famous. I approached them and told them I’d love to work with them, but they had just signed on with a manager. So, I go to another show and discover a band named Matchbook Romance. I signed them to Epitaph Records and their first release sold 300,000 records. They sold out 2500 theaters and became headliners. They were the gateway to the real success that I started finding as a manager. That’s insane! How did you wind up managing Plain White T’s? Long story short, I went to a show looking for a new band and I met Bob Becker who owned Fearless Records. Fearless was more of a pop label and Bob asked if I was looking for another band and he offered me Plain White T’s. At the time, their song, “Hey There Delilah”, had only sold 400 records, but I knew it was a hit. I started working with them and got them to the point of selling 100,000 records, and then, I signed them to Hollywood Records. “Hey There Delilah” went on to sell 4 million digital copies in the US alone. That’s pretty cool that you were able to do all of that. So how did you end up with 40-something artists signed to your company? Yes! Matchbook Romance had released their second record and it was all over rock radio, but now, I start to learn what it’s like for artists to become unhappy with their management situation. I had all this success, but I’m a guy in a bedroom still, and my clients see this. Here I am trying to build my own company and these guys are telling me they think I should be with Irving Azoff (owns half of Live Nation and Ticketmaster). I meet with him and he offers me a job but, I turned it down because I felt like I was doing well already. I was young and had money in my pocket; I didn’t need a job! [laughs] So, I went out and got a business partner, an office, and I hired 3 other day-to-day managers because I saw what Irving Azoff did. I had 40 artists under my management company. There’s something to be said about hard work, but there’s also something to be said about working www.iaemagazine.com
with people who aren’t likeminded with you. Speaking of like minds, did you ever use the seminary school degree you got? Once I got caught up in the music business that kid from seminary school started disappearing, along with his desire to know more about God. The heart behind everything got cold and became all about making money and hustling. It wasn’t until I started losing bands that it all started to hit me. The first band I lost was Matchbook Romance because they broke up. Due to me spending so much time with Matchbook, Plain White T’s called me up and said they had decided to go with a different manager. So now, my head is spinning and I’m thinking about all these people that I just hired and the debt I had gone into. At that same time, I was newly married and wasn’t spending any time with my wife and our child so, she wanted a divorce. I was losing everything. So, here I am in my early 30’s, divorced with a child and no money; my ex-wife is angry at me and my life is just terrible. I fall on my knees and tell God that I long for that passion that I used to have for Him. In the end, it goes right back to what I learned before I got into the music business. I learned about dedicating my life to God and applying it every single day. I learned to think about God and constantly talk to Him like a son talks to his father. Is that when you got into the Christian side of the music business? No, I actually left the music industry and started working in the technology field doing e-commerce. That’s where I met a guy named Coffey Anderson, who was this 6’5” independent artist. He had just come off this TV show called, Nashville Star, where he placed 3rd, and he meets me. I tell him my story and he tells me he’s a believer. Then, he starts telling me about this whole other industry in Christian music and how he needed management. I was thinking to myself, “I just shut a whole company down, there’s no way I’m going to go back into management.” [laughs] He’s a lot like me. He’s very passionate and he wants to do a
lot of stuff. He keeps pursuing me and asks me to come by his place and listen to some music. He showed me his YouTube channel and he had about 10,000 followers. On Twitter he had about 400 followers, but he didn’t have a Facebook, yet. So, I told him I can help him with his social media since I’m more of a techie. Then, I helped him create his Facebook and showed him how to really build a following on all of these accounts. How did the GM position with Dream Records come about? I officially started managing Coffey and he introduced me to Dave Hanley who had just started a label called, Dream Records. Dave offered me a job at Dream and so I got back into the music business as a label guy. For the past 5 years I’ve been applying myself with Dream Records. Coffey ended up doing a record with Dream and is now on his own again. I worked with Dave to sign 20 artists to Dream Records, and another 10 to a new company called, Dream Worship, which is more of a church based label where we sign worship leaders. Dream Records now has offices in LA, Nashville, Honolulu, and Australia. We started a tour with TBN and JCTV that’s going to debut this fall. We also started a dance remix radio show that is syndicated to 240 stations, and Dream just released a record by our band, Silverline, that debuted really high on Billboard. I had a conversation with a young lady recently and I told her, “It’s all about perspective. You have to understand that sinners are sinners, and we’re all in the same boat. You have to know going into it that we’re all going to mess up, but it doesn’t mean you’re not in line with God just because you made a mistake.” I’m so thankful to God everyday because He was there with me through the whole journey. I thank Him for bringing me full circle with my music career. He took me back to the basics of where I started before all the secular music business success, and now I’ve learned the value of having a friendship with my ex-wife; we’re really close now. Our son is almost 4 years old and he’s such a gift from God. That’s my testimony. iae MAY-JUN ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
Artists you gotta hear
Available In Stores & iTunes Now
Grammy Nominated Hip-Hop Producer/Artist www.benjahmusic.com
t’s no secret that Christian Hip-Hop artists are providing very competitive alternatives to the Lil’ Waynes and Jay Z’s of the world, and Grammy nominated producer turned artist, Benjah, is among those competitive alternatives. Having made a name for himself behind the scenes producing tracks for Grammy winners like Lecrae, Benjah shares a little about his new album and what he’s learned about the business of music. Please tell us where you’re from and what influenced your decision to be a musician? Currently, I live in Orlando. What got me interested in music is somewhat unexplainable. I feel like the Lord puts certain passions within us for a reason. I can only say that the Lord gave me a passion for music and ultimately wanted to use me to glorify Him through spreading His word. But, I think the first person who sparked that passion in me was my mom. She’s a musician, and she was always playing music and practicing throughout the day. So, it was inevitable that the passion the Lord put in me would come out the way it has. What was your first experience with the business side of music? I don’t really remember my first encounter with the business side (of music), but I can say that it is a business. I think that was one of the hardest things for me to understand when I first got started. The businessmen at Christian record labels may love the Lord, but at the end of the day it is a business for them. You don’t know these businessmen personally so, you can’t judge them or try to judge their heart behind things.
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
When I was younger that was hard for me to understand, but now that I’m older and running my own label, it makes complete sense to me now. What should aspiring artists understand about going into Christian music today? Recently there has been a lot of growth in the urban Christian music market, with Reach Records leading the pack, and a few smaller labels and indie artists, like me, right behind them. So, the standard is set higher than ever before. You can’t be a mediocre rapper or singer anymore and expect to get support, because true fans of urban Christian music can tell the difference now. I would say, the biggest issue that I see with most up-and-coming artists is that their ears aren’t developed. They can’t tell the difference between their demos and someone who is already established. I remember when I first started producing music; I thought my beats and hooks were dope. I would send it to industry people and then wonder why my music wasn’t getting picked up. I couldn’t distinguish between quality music and amateur music. So, I started surrounding myself with people who were better at it than I was, and their constructive criticism helped me develop my ear. But it takes years of doing it. Talk a little bit about your most recent release and how you came up with that unique sound. My newest project is called Vanity Fare, and it’s an independent release. I was blessed to have a lot of amazing friends and artists on this record, and the project is doing really well for me not
to have a label and a full staff behind it. How I came about my unique sound is somewhat simple, but also complex. I’m a fan of music, so what I try to do is fuse the music that I like into one sound. I can’t honestly say how I do it, but I can say it’s a gifting from the Lord. I feel like my music can take you on a journey. Vanity Fare has the grimy hood stuff, as well as the Pop/Rock sounds, and there’s also a little flavoring of Reggae there. At the end of the day, it’s urban music. As a businessman, what have you found to be some of your toughest struggles competing in the market? There are three levels of independent artists. First, there’s the beginner (and there are thousands of them) who is just getting started and hasn’t developed a sound or a fan base yet. The next level is the established independent artist who has booked a few shows and has started gaining some momentum. Then there are the top level indie like Reach Records whose brand is established and they’re touring all of the time. Right now, my biggest struggle is getting to that top level. There’s really no formula and it’s not easy, but from my experience, it’s all about relationships. But those relationships don’t take place unless you have quality art and a quality brand. I think people recognize that I consistently put out quality music and I’m establishing a unique brand within urban music. At the moment, I’m part time on the road and the rest of my time is spent in the studio producing and songwriting, and working on other artists’ projects. iae
You Hate Radio R
and it’s the FCC’s fault
egulators, mount up! For those who didn’t get it...that was a joke that you won’t understand until you check out Warren G & the late rapper Nate Dogg’s song, ‘Regulate’. But, seriously folks, what purpose does the FCC serve again? I always thought that one of their primary roles was to regulate broadcast media’s attempts at burying decency? But, as time passes, what’s been deemed ‘allowable’ content for public consumption over the airwaves has drastically changed for the worse. I rarely listen to radio much anymore due to the graphic nature of the lyrics in the songs being played. Other than Christian and Country music, the subject matter usually revolves around sex, violence, or drugs. It’s rare to find a song on mainstream radio that talks about real life. Whatever happened to giving consumers a choice on what version of a song they want to hear? I remember when the FCC made record labels release a “radio edited” version of those songs that were too hardcore, lyrically, for underage listeners to hear over the air. Nowadays,
words that used to get bleeped out are played for all to hear. With so few curse words being censored now, I find myself wondering who’s moderating what radio stations are playing? Can’t I listen to my favorite stations without having to worry about my kids hearing words they’re not old enough to understand are not acceptable? The FCC has practically gone to bed with the broadcast industry and is now taking an extremely submissive role in their relationship. It’s almost as if there was never a time when certain words warrented a fine from the FCC if broadcast over the air. Mainstream radio programmers have taken the stance that, if a song is not related to sex or partying, then people won’t listen to it. Where they got this idea, I don’t know, but they’re wrong. My advice to the FCC is, “Do your job and stop selling out.” As for radio programmers, take a few chances on GOOD music, other than what’s hot at the clubs! You may see an increase in listeners. - Leslie White
MUSIC SWITCH If you like Hip-Hop but don’t want the trashy lyrics, you have options. DON’T WANT
Artists you gotta hear
The Afters Life Is Beautiful
INO/Columbia Records www.theafters.com
“Unlike the mainstream pop artists who collect higher royalties...Christian musicians live an average life and drive average cars.” - Matt Fuqua
oday’s music business is as competitive a world as its ever been, and nobody knows that more than Matt Fuqua of the rock band, The Afters. Here, Matt tells us what it means to be a signed and touring band. Please tell us where you’re from and what inspired you to pursue a career in music? I am from Dallas (TX) and I grew up in a musical family. My mom plays piano and my dad plays guitar; they actually met and played in a group similar to Hillsong back in their day. Music has always been a part of my life and I can remember my dad making up songs. He would sometimes play on his guitar and sing a song that would tell us what to do like; it’s time to go to bed and put your pajamas on. I remember thinking that was so cool. I think that’s really where my inspiration to make music came from; my dad. Later in life, I really learned how to play guitar so I could sing worship songs.
that is. We live in a digital music era so, the way people consume music is not the same as a decade ago. When I was coming up, the way I consumed music was through actual CDs and cassettes; there were no mp3’s. Now, people consume music digitally so they are buying 90% less music. That trickles down to the labels who then hand us (artists) the bill. With Christian radio stations being nonprofits, they don’t pay the same kind of royalties as secular radio. Unlike the mainstream pop artists who collect higher royalties and can afford to crash Maserati’s into trees, Christian musicians live an average life and drive average cars. We often wonder how we’re going to pay our bills. (The Afters) actually went into debt the first 5 years we were a band. It wasn’t until 6 years in that we actually started seeing some financial relief. The guys at the top of Christian music, like Casting Crowns and Chris Tomlin, may have a different story to tell; but, until you get to that level, you’re still not making a lot of money.
When you first got signed, was it everything you expected, or were there some surprises? I think, going into it, I had the same misconceptions that most artists do. My perception of (a deal) was that the record company is your boss and they write checks from these really deep pockets. But, what I learned was, you don’t work for the record label. Instead, they are a company that partners with you and everybody works for you. It’s not a 9-5 job where you get a paycheck. If you don’t play shows and make money, there is no check. I definitely thought it would be easier to make money, but I found out fast how untrue
How many tour dates do you do each year? Recently, we’ve had the luxury of ditacting our touring schedule a bit more. Initially, we weren’t spending much time at home or church. We were on the road close to 250 days out of the year so, we were only home maybe 5 Sundays. I know people might think that Christian artists are these spiritual giants who have it all together, but anyone who is not fellowshipping with a body of believers on a regular basis is going to burn out. So, Josh and I got together and talked about it, and we decided to make sure that we were at home with our families and worshiping at our
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
local church more. We agreed to only work 17 to 18 Sundays a year. We got back involved at our churches and it was like a breath of fresh air. It breathed new life into us. God really turned everything around and gave us confirmation that this was how He wanted us to do it. Talk about your new project, Life is Beautiful. What was the process like recording this album? Well, we just signed a new contract so, you’ll be hearing more records from us. We’re not going anywhere. [laughs] For this record, I think we’re in a different place than any of our previous releases. During our phase of being burned out, we had lost our manager to cancer, a really good friend of ours from a different band passed away, and we had a couple of guys leave the band. It was a really dark time, and coming out of those dark times is the place we wrote Light Up The Sky and Lift Me Up from. Hindsight brings a lot of perspective and looking back on it all, it was so awesome to see how God was using these tragedies to really bring about great things. With this new album, Life is Beautiful, we thought it would be cool to write about the little snapshots of life and find what’s beautiful in those experiences, whether good or bad. Each song is like a little vignette of a little glimpse into our lives. Our song, Broken Hallelujah, was written out of several different tragedies that our friends were experiencing; and from a greater perspective, the story of Job. There are also songs like, Every Good Thing, that recognizes all of the good God has done for us, and continues to bring about in our lives. This album really covers the whole gammit of the human experience and emotion. iae www.iaemagazine.com
Emmy Award Winning Songwriter
Over 4,000 song placements
rabbing two Emmy nominations (winning one) and placing more than 4,000 songs is no easy feat. But, songwriter/ producer, Michèle Vice-Maslin, has done just that; and in this exclusive interview, the Emmy winner talks about the rigors of creating and pitching songs.
PHOTO COURTESY OF:Michele Vice-Maslin
Tell us where you’re from and tell us what got you interested in writing songs and producing music? I’m from New York City and I always wanted to sing from the time I was 2 years old. I just wanted to be involved in music and I followed that path. As part of my love for singing, I started writing songs and getting into music production. Back when I was getting started, most of the songwriters I knew of were also producing their own demos, especially in pop music. This was before computers and drum machines; there was the music and the musician. I learned how to produce in the School of Hard Knocks. [laughs] Today, a lot people farm songs out and for me, it’s unnatural to have someone else produce the songs that I write. Rejection is one of the hardest pills to swollow as a songwriter/producer, but you’ve had over 4,000 placements, despite receiving tons of rejection letters. How did you keep going? It just made me want to prove them wrong. I experience rejection everyday in my profession. I know people who have quit because of one rejection letter and I have hundreds of thousands of rejection letters. One day I’m going to make a book to be used as an inspirational tool for people. Some people are going to write you the most awful rejection letters and you can still become successful. If you pitch less you get rejected less, but then you get less usage of your music. I encourage people to never give up on their dreams and if you get rejected pick yourself up and move on to the next thing. Every time something happens, it’s a miracle and I never take it for granted. If you get a single on a record, you are so incredibly lucky. Even just to get a placement on a TV show is
a miracle, because I probably send out 1,000 pitches for everyone. It’s staggering how many songs I send out in comparison to what I get in return. Can you talk about the publishing side of placing music in television and film? Sure! This is why I give seminars because the last session I had I spoke for 5 ½ hours about this question. Oftentimes, people are pitching songs with no education and that’s not good. They have to know what publishing is and what a writers and publishers share is. They have to know who owns the master, who wrote the song, and who publishes it. When pitching a song to a film or a TV show, the first thing a Music Supervisor asks you is who owns the song. They also want to make sure there aren’t any major publishers involved in the song because that makes it more difficult and expensive to use. So, if you or your co-writer has a major publishing deal with say, Universal, that means it’s going to make placement difficult. Music Supervisors want songs that are easy to license and easy to clear with all the writers listed, that way they don’t have to worry about someone coming after them saying that they illegally used the song. The only way to really make a living today is getting placements on TV shows and in film and commercials. Many people are still signing publishing deals, which makes no sense to me, because they get the advance money, but then the publishers never really do anything with them (writers). Then two or three years later they’re still locked up in the deal if they haven’t met their song requirements. Has winning an Emmy Award helped you in your career at all? It is a huge honor to be recognized by your peers for all the hard work you put in to get there. It feels good. But, I can’t really say it has contributed to more success in my career. Actually, a lot of people would ask when my next award is, so it sort of becomes something that you have to do again. [laughs] iae
“If you pitch less, you get rejected less, but then you get less usage of your music...if you get rejected pick yourself up and move on to the next thing.” - Michèle Vice-Maslin
Visit Michèle Vice-Maslin online www.sweetersongs.com
MAY-JUN ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
Artists you gotta hear
music makers www.carmenandcamille.com Congrats on all of your success thus far. You recently got the Juno nomination, which is like the Grammy’s of Canada, right? Yes, we did. Being at the Juno Awards was a great time for us. Where are you from and, what got you interested in doing music for a living? We’re twins from Canada. Our parents were in a touring band; mom sang and dad played guitar. We would always sing with our family, so it was a natural progression for us to do music. Our parents supported our decision to follow in their footsteps and, after high school we decided to go for it. When you decided to start recording, what was your biggest hurdle as you got started? The first step was defining our sound and writing music together. Initially, the music was all over the map and we couldn’t decide on what
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
sound we wanted to have. It took us a couple of years, but now we finally have something we’re happy with.
ing to congratulate us. But, I had no clue what was going on because it was 6 a.m. It was an amazing way to wake up.
When you guys released, Shine 4U, how did its success affect you? The whole experience was awesome! It won a radio contest, which led to the song getting airplay across Canada. That was great for helping us build a fan base. Then the Juno nomination came and that was a big highlight for us. We got to walk the red carpet as Justin Bieber was walking it. To experience that side of the business, all the glitz and glam, and see all the hard work you put into it paying off is really a blessing. Honestly, we were hoping for a Juno nomination, but we weren’t really expecting it. The morning of our nomination, I was still asleep and my phone kept buzzing from all the text messages that were coming in from people writ-
Explain to people what you mean by hard work, because a lot of people really don’t understand just how much work goes into a music career. A lot of it is trial and error. You have to work with a lot of different producers to find which one works for your sound. We’re also building our craft as songwriters, and we have to do vocal training. Touring as an up-and-coming band has its challenges too, because you wear so many different hats. You’re sorting out your merch and arranging your own travel. Once you get to a certain level there are people in place to do some of these things for you. We’ve come from the bottom and worked our way up. We have carried our own gear on the road and slept in
“We’ve come from the bottom and worked our way up. We have carried our own gear on the road,” - Carmen & Camille crazy places just to make it happen. It’s a lot of work but we love it. Talk a little bit about your new album and what people can expect to hear on it? This album started with us hibernating and writing a bunch of music. Then we went into cowriting and made a list of producers we wanted to work with. We co-produced a lot of the music on this album and did a lot of work in Logic (software). We home demoed a bunch of songs and picked the ones that we wanted to see through to the final release. It’s a fun project full of songs about our experience moving to, and living in LA. It’s an album you can take to the gym or pop it in on a road trip. How has moving to LA helped your career? Being in LA has opened up opportunities to meet and work with more industry people. You can have these experiences frequently in LA;
whereas, living in Vancouver it wouldn’t happen as often. Also, living in LA opens up your eyes to how many people are pursuing a career in music too. We still feel connected to Vancouver and we go there a lot. I feel like Vancouver is our home base, but LA gives us a chance to see how much more work we need to do. Yes, LA is a beast! [laughs] Yes! [laughs] It’s not all glamorous. You see that there are tons of people working just as hard as you are, so you have to work harder to get where you want to be. We have heard a lot of stories about people who moved to LA with big dreams and got chewed up and spit out. Most of them ended up moving back to wherever they came from because it’s so tough to make it. What advice would you give to other girls who are aspiring to do music; because this industry can be hard on women?
(Camille) We just had a good conversation with producer, Danger Mouse, and we were talking about the perks of producing your own music. So I would encourage more girls to…build your own home studios so you’re not dependent on others to create a sound for you. Often, things can get watered down along the way and you start to sound like everybody else. It’s something about starting the creative process on your own and letting it just happen. Even if you work with another producer to add on to what you already have, at least your own personality is infused into each song. So, we need more women producers. (Carmen) I would also like to say; believe in yourself and find a good team of people who aren’t just “yes” people. You need people around you who not only believe in you, but are also going to challenge you. You need support because you cannot do this alone. And make sure you tell yourself, “I love you,” every single day. iae
MAY-JUN ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
Artists you gotta hear
FRUITION Touring & Loving It www.fruitionstringband.com
ho says you have to be superstar artists to rock the stage? Fruition is proving that all you need is great music, passion about your craft, and people you can tour with who don’t suck. When did the band form, and what’s the meaning behind the name Fruition? Mimi started playing gigs in Portland under the name Fruition in late ’07 early ’08 with Rowan Cobb (Giraffe Dodgers, Alpaca!) and a rotating cast of friends and family in the scene. Jay and Keith moved to Portland around the same time and had seen Mimi play a solo show. Shortly thereafter, Jay, Mimi and I (Kellen) did some busking and found an immediate vocal/harmonic connection. The lineup was pretty much solidified after that day as the three of us and Keith on Upright Bass. Our first show was actually billed as “Mimi Naja’s Fruition”. A couple of years down the road we stole drummer and friend, Tyler Thompson, from his other projects because we knew he was the final piece of the puzzle. The organic way in which the band materialized is actually a great example of the word “Fruition”. Mimi had a vision of creating music with like minded people, and that vision was realized through both hard work and serendipity. Fruition by definition is “the point at which a plan or project is realized,” or “the state or action of producing fruit.” Both definitions perfectly describe the creation of the band, and our songs; raw ideas and dreams are planted, and we collectively see these ideas and dreams through to their blossoming.
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
You guys were discovered by your manager, Josh Nicotra, who is also the GM at Brushfire Records. How did you guys meet Josh? Our first couple years of touring revolved largely around busking. We called them “detours,” where we’d have a handful of booked shows over the course of a month or so, and then fill in the rest of the time with busking in new markets. Playing on the street is great because you meet all kinds of people from all walks of life, some of whom invite you to play at their bar or party, some of whom happen to be GM’s at Brushfire Records. We met Josh while playing on the streets of Austin, TX during SXSW late at night. We had decided to do one last sidewalk stint (after playing all day), and that was when Josh found us. Talk about serendipity! What’s the one thing about touring that you wish was easier? Well, 4 out of the 5 of us have significant others back in Portland, so being away from them for such long periods of time can be pretty hard on the ol’ heart. But hey, it makes for good songwriting! There’s plenty about touring that I wish was easier, but that’s definitely near the top. Tyler doesn’t have a girlfriend though (heyyyooo!!) so his answer might be a little different. You guys recently raised $22,000 on Kickstarter to cover the cost of recording and releasing your full-length album, which is set to release this summer. What are some of the things you did to raise the money, because that’s not easy to do? We offered potential donors a wide variety of prizes/incentives at various price levels. For example, at $350 we said “Fruition will learn
and record a song of your choice”. That one was pretty popular, and is the reason we’re currently trying to figure out how to do “Player’s Ball” by Outkast. With that reward also came advanced physical & digital copies of the album, limited edition stickers and more. We have such an incredible web of fans, friends, and family that we were able to reach our goal long before the deadline. Some people now have “lifetime Fruition tickets,” some get a private concert from Jay, others got free subscriptions to a magazine. It was pretty fun to figure out the various incentives. What would you say is the best and worst parts about being an indie band? Doing what we do in the current musical world is a total DIY experience - and this is both the best and the worst part about being an independent band. On the positive side, you have the freedom and control over your art to do with it what you please. You are your own boss, and you fashion your approach exactly how you want to. There’s no higher power (label) telling you how to act, dress, write or perform, and no middle man making way-too-much money off your records and your image. That being said, it also means that you are 100% responsible for tackling every aspect of the business side. Planning tours, dealing with money and venues and promoters, raising funds for recording and pressing albums, staying constantly on top of web promotion and presence, and just, generally, connecting all the dots that might be connected for you if you were on a major label. In these modern times, musicians are forced to be businessmen (and women) along with www.iaemagazine.com
“...anyone can record and put out a great record, but only the business savvy and extremely hard working (bands) will make a blip on the national radar.” - Fruition
Fruition Facts being musicians, and I certainly didn’t go to business school. Thankfully, we’ve been fortunate enough over the past two years to start working with both a booking agency (BMA) and an experienced and knowledgable management team (Josh Nicotra and Kat Bataillon), so the work load is being shared more now. Still, our fate is placed pretty squarely in our hands. The landscape is so much different now than it was even 10 years ago. The playing ground is pretty even for up and coming bands where, anyone can record and put out a great record, but only the business savvy and extremely hard working (bands) will make a blip on the national radar. iae www.iaemagazine.com
Serving Size 5 MUSICIANS Servings per Container YOU DECIDE Hometown(s): Lewiston, ID - Atlanta, GA - Vista, CA Influences: The Beatles, Neil Young, Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Chuck Berry, Townes Van Zandt, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Allman Brothers Gear Layout Gear Layout Guitars Electric Acoustic Mandolin Mandolin Amps E. Guitar Upright Bass
1930’s Archtop with two P-90’s installed 2013 Bowerman Deschutes
A. Guitar Mandolin Bass Upright Drum & Percussion Kit Cymbols Hardware Microphones Vocals Instruments
Custom 2013 Bernabe F-Style 1977 Fender Twin Reverb Gallien-Krueger 1001RB Bass Head through an SWR Goliath III L.R. Baggs Para Acoustic DI L.R. Baggs Venue DI 1996 Eberle Upright 1962 Slingerland Kit Istanbul Agop Tama Audix OM5’s Shure SM 57’s & 58’s
These Fruition Facts were provided by Fruition and prepared by I Am Entertainment Magazine. Get more information on Fruition’s touring and album release schedules at www.fruitionstringband.com
Artists you gotta hear
www.lizlongley.com Hometown: Downingtown, PA Favorite Artist: The Weepies Favorite Movie: Up
“I aim to respond to every tweet and facebook post I get...” - Liz Longley
hoever says that social media isn’t worthwhile clearly doesn’t understand the plethora of opportunities that can come from using these forms of newtorking media. Just ask Liz Longley if it works. We met Liz on Twitter after a post we put up about celebrities and social media. We asked, “If some celebs say that social media is a waste of their time, yet most of their fans use these platforms daily; are they saying that their fans are a waste of time? The post got tons of responses, but Liz who has a “Verified” artist account - replied and shared her thoughts on the issue. Her response drew our interest and we got curious about who Liz is. So, we reached out to her representatives and got to know more about our Twitter friend. Congrats on your recent single release! Great song; beautiful voice. How tough is it to compete these days, as an artist, when so many new releases are coming out each week? Thank you so much! I’ve been anxious to release ‘This is Not the End’ since it was featured on Army Wives. It was great to finally release it into the world and see the reaction. To answer your question, I don’t think of other music as competition. I just hope to reach more listeners with every release. I have a wonderfully supportive and enthusiastic fan base who has helped spread the word about my music. The
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
way I see it, I’m lucky to be able to count myself among the musicians who are able to make music for a living. IAE: How important is it for you, as an artist, to be online connecting with your fans? It’s very important to engage with fans. I love meeting them at shows and I love connecting with them online. I aim to respond to every tweet and facebook post I get, because without their support, I don’t know where I’d be. Sometimes, fans don’t understand the hectic schedules their favorite artists have. What is it like being on tour? Life on the road is hectic and exhilarating...and exhausting, at the same time. It’s all about finding a balance, and I have to admit, I am still trying to find it! At this stage in my career, I basically live out of my mini van when I’m on tour. The moment I get to a new city, I load into the venue for soundcheck, play a show, spend an hour with fans, and then drive into the night until I find a hotel closer to the next show. In all that craziness, I try to eat healthy, stay active and maintain some sort of normality. It’s a crazy ride. :) What’s the one thing you cannot do without on tour? When I hit the road for tour, I bring my favorite pillow from home. That way, no matter where we are, I’m laying my head down in the “same place” every night. www.iaemagazine.com
Artists you gotta hear
www.kristinerrett.com Hometown: Fairfield, Connecticut Favorite Artist: Stevie Nicks Sounds Like: A warm summer’s day.
“I’m competitive but not with others artists, just myself.” - Kristin Errett
t just 23 years old Kristin Errett has already captured the hearts and ears of so many music fans. Drawing comparisons to such superstars as, Sara Bareilles, Stevie Nicks, and Carole King, this young singersongwriter has been honing her skills since she was just a teenager. A talented piano player, Kristin writes songs that capture the essence of the human soul, and exude girl power. We caught up with Kristin to learn more about her May 21st debut album, and to find out what she’s learned about the business of music as an indie artist. Welcome Kristin! What’s your new album called and what can we expect to hear? My new album is called, “Confessions of a Songbird”. It’s a compilation of ten piano-driven original songs. What’s the biggest lesson you learned about the business of music? That there is no right or wrong way to do anything. The business keeps changing and what works for one artist is not necessarily a formula for success. With everything changing constantly, from social media networks to the way we consume music now, it’s important to do what works for you and create your own path for success.
Do you find it tough to compete for attention, as an indie in this oversaturated iTunes driven market? I’m competitive but not with others artists, just myself. If people like you then they like you. They won’t decide not to put your song on their ipod because they like another artist more than you. I think most people enjoy finding new artists and telling their friends of their discovery. If, as an artist you feel like your always competing with other artists, it might mean your product may not be as great as you think it is. I’ve found that when you ask for something, people usually will do it. If you post something on a social network and at the end say, “please share this with your friends”, if your product is good, a lot of them will. We live in a world of comparisons and you’ve had a lot of people compare you to Sara Bareilles. But, what would you say sets you apart from other singer-songwriters in music today? Being compared to her is the best thing that’s happened to me so far in my career. Her fan club actually reached out to me about a year ago and made me a fan club as well. They’ve helped me in so many ways by spreading the word about my music. I’m certainly not running from that comparison. I’m very honored. I do think, as a singer/songwriter my music is unique though. I’ve been told my style is very 70s inspired, like Carole King or Stevie Nicks.
MAY-JUN ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
A LETTER FROM NETWORK FREQUENCY
ntertainment comes in all forms and fashions, experienced and enjoyed by everyone in every day life. Network Frequency, LLC prides ourselves on providing quality featured content and videos through our multi-camera and playlist platform that is our website, NETFREQ.TV. For the past few years, NETFREQ.TV has been through interface changes, creative development and a part of some incredible events. Now with the release of the May/June issue of “I AM ENTERTAINMENT” Magazine, NETFREQ.TV is proud to announce the BEST version and interface yet of the website available now online! Network Frequency, LLC and NETFREQ.TV have partnered with IAE Magazine to provide video content plus live entertainment and festival coverage for the digital and print publications! Now with NETFREQ.TV’s new interface, FREQs and visitors alike will enjoy a much more familiar and commonplace concept to watching, queuing and searching video content. The more condense top tool bar boasts a “Frequency” drop down that opens each page into relevant videos, while also hosting a new “Playlists” button and our must recent feature, the “FREQ’n Blog.” Over the next few months, Network Frequency, LLC is proud to announce that together, NETFREQ.TV and “I AM ENTERTAINMENT” Magazine will be producing joint events, live-streams as well as new original video content! Adding to the movement, Network Frequency, LLC has also launched our latest project, GreekGig.com, as a new effort on the front of Greek Life entertainment! Fraternities, sororities and other Greek organizations alike, prepare for a new era on campus! Perfect for philanthropy, rush, or socials, “Greek Gig” provides quality live entertainment for any event on campus! With spring in bloom, summer right around the corner, and “Festival Season” in full swing; Network Frequency, LLC is beyond excited for our FREQs and fans to experience the NETFREQ.TV world and everything included! The partnership between “I AM ENTERTAINMENT” Magazine and NETFREQ.TV has already began to turn heads, now everyone will tune in!
Festival FREQs can undoubtedly expect a visual and emotional spectacular from industry great Greg Mike of ABV studios with the festival grounds being transformed into a vastly illuminated wonderland. With a general admission price of $185 ($199 last minute) and allinclusive VIP at $480, very few festivals can compete with Camp Bisco in the
area of “most-bang-for-your-buck”. FESTIVAL FREQ “MUST SEE” ARTISTS o Disco Biscuits o Destroid Live o Heroes & Villains o Killer Mike
What’s YOUR Frequency?
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
Festival FREQs PHOTOS COURTESY: NETWORK FREQUENCY LLC
When it comes to descriptions, it’s best to use details. The most important detail of the Magnetic Music Festival is, without a doubt, energy. The intensity of the energy in the air on April 20th in Kennesaw State University’s new Fifth-Third Bank Stadium and Recreation Park is so indescribable, that one must have been in attendance to fully understand the magic of Magnetic. With so many details and specific moments of excitement, enchantment and euphoria that were entailed with the festival, the energy of the people and artists in attendance was the keystone factor to the success of Magnetic. As a Kennesaw State University Alumni, as well as Kennesaw local for most of my younger schooling, it was an absolute thrill and honor to have the NETFREQ. TV team as a part of this event and to experience the next step for the school but also the community of Kennesaw as a whole. With the available resources, market and opportunities of what can be accomplished for quality entertainment in the area; Magnetic was a move in the right direction and had been a long time coming. Liquified and Disco Donnie pulled off an incredible production, everything observed was structurally smooth and the staff was precise with execution of the event. A special thanks is in order to Chad of Caren West PR for his help in the execution of NETFREQ.TV successfully filming the PROJECT: GoPro and “FACES of MAGNETIC” productions. The Enchanted Village Stage hosted a talented roster of local DJs, including NETFREQ.TV featured artist DJ Midnite Panda, who absolutely shut the stage down and currently has a five angle video available via
our website. By the end of Midnite Panda’s performance, Magnetic was moving ahead at full force. With acts like Flosstradamus, Cazzette and Funtcase raiding the airwaves all day, the entire festival grounds sprang to life, giving off a river of neon colors, crazy rave gear and raging festival FREQs under the cool April sun. As the sun set with Adventure Club at the helm on the Digital Distortion stage, the true spectacle of Magnetic emerged with heavy drops and floating synths proudly sending off the daylight, leading to a much different energy with the night. Between names like Zed’s Dead, Flux Pavilion, Dash Berlin and Kid Cudi; the choice for fans festival ending experience was anything but limited. On the Magnetic Force Field, Dash Berlin electrified those in attendance with a vast array of body-moving beats and dance tunes. Sadly, the start of Kid Cudi’s performance was delayed and eventually cut off before it’s full duration due to city ordinances and festival operational time slots. Those disappointed over Cudi’s tardy start to his set really had no worries when it came to being entertained. Bass legends Flux Pavilion led an all out assault for dominance in the memories of those in attendance for Magnetic. The energy of Flux Pavilion’s show thrashed that of any other electronic experience so far in 2013 for the Atlanta market. Magnetic Music Festival, the memories and the experiences of those who were there will never be forgotten. With all sincere thoughts and wishes, NETFREQ.TV hopes for a return of the Magnetic Music Festival in 2014. MAY-JUN ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
All Reviews By Senseitional, Reviews Editor (I Am Entertainment) and musical integrity, Roberta’s album, M-East-Ery Park, teems with soul and funky acoustic jazz that makes me want to go hang out at my nearest Starbuck’s with a Venti coffee. On every song, Roberta sings like a bird dancing from tree limb to tree limb; a beautiful sound that varies in tone and melodic beat. I spent about 2 hours listening to her sing and going through all 12 tracks on the album repeatedly before I decided to write about how it made me feel. Great albums are always consistent, and that’s exactly what I found on M-East-Ery Park. Songs like April’s Smile, SereNdiPiTy, Five Fibs Fire, Camera (Lipstick) Action, and Pitch Patch V1 all showcase the band’s cohesiveness as one unit. Nobody’s trying to outdo anyone else; each musician plays his role, allowing Roberta to com-
plete the expressions in each track. Overall, M-East-Ery Park is a great release that Roberta De Francia and The Band ought to be darn proud of.
FIONA MISS 2.1 FEATURED REVIEW
Decibals Genre: Pop/Dance Album: Up & Down | Label: 3 Shots Productions Location: Hamburg, Germany Fiona Miss 2.1 has a hit club record on her hands with her latest release, Up & Down. An infectious pop track that fits very well with the best of the best in mainstream dance music today. Up & Down’s catchy hook/chorus will get you rocking and singing along from start to finish. A finely tuned production, the music puts Fiona in the same arena with top line artists like Ke$ha and Katy Perry; a lot of fun and full of energy. This could easily make Miss 2.1 a huge star. From the opening of the song, the funky synth chords and driving drum beat grab your attention, warming you up for a huge explosion on the chorus that reminds of the days when Britney Spears ruled the charts. Fiona’s vocal delivery and melodies bring the lyrics to life, establishing the young artist as quite possibly the next big thing in Pop music. As a record producer who enjoys catching melodies, I really enjoyed listening to Up & Down. The music video also adds a nice visual story to the song and gives a clear view of why I say Fiona’s got the goods to be a superstar. Overall, Up & Down is a great song that will resonate with diehardfans of popular mainstream music. I believe that this song is just the beginning of Fiona’s break for the top of the charts. Speaking of charts, Fiona was ranked #3 on our May Top 25 Indie Songs Chart. Website: www.reverbnation.com/fiona96 Decibals Roberta DeFrancia (Jazz Funk/Folk) Album: M-East-Ery Park Home: London I happen to love Roberta De Francia and The Band because they are so unique and different from all of the commercial music/noise we hear on the radio these days. Maintaining a level of class
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Decibals Darkness Divided (Christ.Metal) Album: Chronicles Home: Texas A massive ball of energy is the only way I can explain Darkness Divided’s release, Chronicles. Don’t dismiss this band as just another fuddy duddy Christian rock group, because you’d be flat out wrong. Darkness Divided rocks! As a musician, I know firsthand just how tough it is to play metal guitar. You have to have serious talent and an exceptional ear. In addition, you have to have strong vocal ability to sing the lyrics. I can’t see how the lead vocalist doesn’t damage his vocal cords from all the screaming and growling; this is one of the primary reasons why I respect the musicians in Darkness Divided. From the incredible guitar chunks and riffs, to the thundering bass and double kicks, Chronicles is a metal masterpiece that serves Christian music well. The messages in the songs are pretty much what you’d expect from a Christian band; that of Jesus dying on the cross...AMEN!!! Yes, I’m a believer, so I love the underlying messages in each song. Admittedly, I don’t listen to a lot of metal, due mostly to the fact that half the time I can’t make out what they’re saying through all the screaming and yelling. But I could, for the most part, make out what was being said in the songs...it’s hard to mistake the words Jesus Christ, crucified, redeemed, etc. Overall, Chronicles is a great release by Darkness Divided. I doubt very seriously if this will be appreciated by fans of Christian Contemporary (CCM) bands like 3rd Day, Casting Crowns, or Newsboys. But if you like Christian metal artists like Brian “Head” Welch (formerly of Korn) and P.O.D., then you’ll like Darkness Divided. www.facebook.com/darknessdivided
Decibals Will.I.Am (HipHop/Pop) Album: #willpower Label: Interscope Multi-Platinum & Grammy Award winner, and Black Eyed Peas co-founder, Will.i.am, returns with his solo release, #willpower. Before I get into the review, I would like to start with a phrase by rapper/actor - Common on his song, ‘The 6th Sense’, “Some of that sh** ya’ll pop to it, I ain’t relating, If I don’t like it, I don’t like it, that don’t mean that I’m hatin’. I just want to innovate, and stimulate minds...” In all honesty, the beats saved his review, because #willpower offers nothing uniquely special, lyrically. This project is equal to cops eating donuts; a massive cliche. I could tell Will was only trying to get radio and club spins, and that nice NBA Playoffs theme song placement for his song “That Power” (feat. Justin Bieber). Lyrically, the album contradicts itself. For example: on “Gettin’ Dumb”, Will talks about getting drunk and going “dumb” in the club, then follows it up by criticizing that sort of behavior on “The World Is Crazy”. Weren’t you just celebrating that on “Gettin’ Dumb”? Here’s where Will really lost me. On “Freshy”, Will puts Juicy J from Three 6 Mafia on the track to talk about popping pills and womanizing; but then, Will ends the album on “Ghetto Ghetto,” complaining that there are no good role models for kids in the ghetto? Overall, #willpower is a wash. I have a hard time believing that a 38 year old, has no real wisdom to share. www.will-i-am.com
Decibals Xcedera (R&B/Rap) Album: Man Down Home: Los Angeles Steeped in talent and a mean Midwest flow, Xcedera are a train that is unstoppable. The St. Louis bred twin brothers, A-L & C are proof that hot R&B is not dead as some might want to believe! On their latest two hit singles, Man Down and Make You My Ex, Xcedera are out to prove that they’ve got the goods to take hip-hop R&B music back to its former glory days. Reminiscent of superstar R&B/HipHop group, Jagged Edge, A-L & C’s music is extremely catchy and very well produced. Getting into Xcedera’s song, Man Down, I immediately started the head nod and couldn’t help but sing the hook. This track has some serious knock to it. With enough energy to give a Monster drink the shakes, this song is a club banger for sure. You should check them out.. www.xcedera.net
Monks of Mellonwah FEATURED REVIEW
Decibals Genre: Cinematic Rock Album: Sky & The Dark Night (EP Trilogy) Location: Australia Monks of Mellonwah have returned with something so creative and unique on their new 8 minute and 15 second long music trilogy EP, Sky and the Dark Night, that I doubt very seriously I’ll hear anything this awesome from another rock band in 2013. The Aussie four-piece band get better with each release, and their growth over the past 3 years as a band is evident on this epic new EP release; which is a prelude to the bands 2013 debut album release. The trilogy starts with “Part 1 - Breakout”, a masterfully composed orchestral arrangement that was put together by the band’s lead guitarist, Joseph de la Hoyde (also a film composer). This introduction to the trilogy emits a Star Wars-like buildup that reels you in and prepares you for the suspense-filled ride the Monks have prepared for you on Parts 2 & 3 of Sky and the Dark Night. As you enter the meat of the EP, “Part 2 - Control”, the song’s core emotion is brought to the surface, instantly preparing you to connect with the song’s deep message. As Vikram Kaushik, the band’s lead singer, begins to narrate the saga with his rich vocal tone we catch a quick does of the cinematic orchestral backdrop and kicking drum beat played by Joshua Baissari. But it only gets better as the beastly lead guitar, played by Joseph de la Hoyde, and the bass of John de la Hoyde take over, bringing the song to its climax. By the time Part 2 ends, you will likely do as I did and hit replay. As the trilogy comes to a close on “Part 3 - Condition”, Monks give a trippy drum - guitar and synth / string outro that will get you excited to hear their upcoming album release. This is well worth buying guys! Don’t miss it... www.monksofmellonwah.com Decibals Lindsey Saunders (Pop-Rock) Album: Nothing Normal Home: Colorado Lindsey Saunders is a freak of nature, wearing a crown labeled ‘exceptional talent’. After listening to her 6 song
EP release, Nothing Normal, you will concur with my claims unless you just can’t hear very well. We found her on Twitter after she responded to one of our free reviews tweets for artists who have great music. Truth-be-told, of the 30-some odd replies, she was the only artist worthy of a free review. Every song Lindsey’s, Nothing Normal, release are well produced, written, arranged, and sang. Lindsey’s voice is flat out beautiful on every single track. Most artists with major record deals in music today use Auto-Tune to sound the way Lindsey does naturally. Of all the songs on the project, my favorite song is “Change My Mind”. This song is a radio hit waiting to happen. It’s sassy, cleverly written, and the music production is Grade A. The melodies, vocals and overall arrangement reminds me of something I would hear from great artists like Stacie Orrico, Natalie Imbruglia, or Christina Aguilera. Lindsey has a bright future in music. www.lindseysaundersmusic.com
Decibals eM (EDM/Pop) Album: Encore Home: Australia Australia’s Queen of EDM is back with another electronic pop mash up in EP form titled, Encore. The video for her EP’s first single, “In Our Thoughts”, garnered 62,000+ YouTube views in its first three weeks, indicating that eM is likely on her way to a successful new indie release. In early 2012, we learned about eM’s progressive electronic sound and sultry vocal talent. After listening to her, we fell in love with eM and told the whole world how awesome an artist she is. On Encore, eM gives us another boost of energy through her trance dance grooves that, just like her previous EP (“DHF”), is unique to only eM. eM’s first single from Encore, “In Our Thoughts” (video above), explores the destructive patterns in which humans express themselves. Set to a thumping dance track, the song’s lyrics paint a vivid depiction of just how devastating it is when we lie and inflict violence upon others. eM reminds us that it only takes one second to build up love and trust, but it also takes just one second to tear it apart. She reminds us that it’s in our thoughts (nature) to be mischievous, but we are still capable of loving one another, despite our differences. This is an awesome message that is set to a great backing track. While Encore is among the shortest of EP releases, offering only 3 songs (4 tracks in all if you include the radio edit of “In Our Thoughts”), I think eM again shows her intelligence as an artist and business person. She seems to understand the importance creating great music, but not over spending on the recording aspect; saving room for marketing - as proven by her aforementioned YouTube video hits. Artists could learn a lot from eM. www.mzzem.com
Decibals Bullbuckers (Reggae/Ska) Album: When Push Comes To Shove Home: Delaw. The Bullbuckers are an incredible band and their latest release, When Push Comes To Shove, is just as amazing. I’ve heard a lot of bootleg reggae/ska bands in the past year, so I knew right away that The Bullbuckers were exactly what people mean when they say that “the cream always rises to the top.” Unlike those aforementioned bootleggers I’ve heard, I didn’t have to skip around to find something that caught my ear; the first song hit me and I simply let it play all the way through on cruise control. I found nothing amiss on this project. I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard the live horn section of Daren’t Polk (Trombone), Rob Barbarita (Sax), Jim Miller (Trumpet), and Zack Scudlark (Sax). Adding to the band’s awesomeness is one of the best lead vocals in reggae/ska music, Kevin Tarzanin, who is also the band’s bassist; and the amazing drum, guitar, and backing vocal section of Steve Politowski (Drums and Vocals), Dave Segal (Guitar and Vocals). The Bullbuckers are a true pleasure to listen to; I encourage you to check this band out. www.bullbuckers.com
Decibals Dina Valenz (Reggae/Ska) Album: Miles & Miles Home: Los Angeles Dina Valenz is a talented young singer-songwriter from San Pedro, California whose latest EP, Miles & Miles, can be described as fun, sincere, and blunt. Miles & Miles is a four song lesson on creative songwriting that exposes the world outside of Los Angeles to Dina’s talents as a singersongwriter. An awesome combination of acoustic driven pop-rock, the project has a great deal of relatable subject matter that is delivered from Dina’s bird-like voice. Songs like “My Favorite Pair of Jeans” make Miles & Miles a great addition to your iTunes and Spotify playlists. With some some help from co-writer Mark Winkler, Dina creatively declares, “You are comfortable, and you are wonderful. They don’t make them like you baby, anymore. We’ve been through 100 washes, and been hung out to dry. Baby you’re the best friend that money can never buy. You’re like my favorite pair of jeans.” Songwriting at this level is an artform that only those with elite talent have mastered, and Miles & Miles is proof that Dina and her co-writers belong in that class. You’ll hear it also on other songs, like the title track Miles and Miles. This album is definitely worth checking out. www.dinavalenz.com MAY-JUN ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
Home Recording BUILDING A STUDIO ON A BUDGET By Senseitional, Reviews Editor (I Am Entertainment)
If you’re like me and you think it’s a waste of money to record your project at a $200/hr. studio just so you can Tweet photos from the session and make yourself feel more connected to the major music industry, then this article is for you.
MICROPHONES Your microphone (mic) is the can make or break your project. Bad vocal takes never sound great, I don’t care how much AutoTune and other effects you put on it. These mic options are perfect for capturing great male & female vocals in the studio.
Putting out a great album and having cool studio pics doesn’t mean you have to break the bank at some swanky recording studio. All you have to do is have the right pieces to record with; this way you have enough to set aside for marketing and advertising that incredible new release (hint, hint...wink, wink). While there is no substitute for talent, a the right studio set up can help your recording sound more professional and help you increase your chances of building a fanbase/draw, get better album reviews, book more gigs/tour dates, and earn a living in music. So, even if you have to buy one or two pieces at a time, consider these components to help you create an awesome album release. Assuming that you have a great computer to plug these pieces up to. SOFTWARE & AUDIO INTERFACE When it comes to recording software and hardware (soundcard), it really boils down to how much money you can afford to spend. These DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) are compatible with both Mac & PC and I use them both on major and indie label productions.
Avid ProTools MBox Pro Price New: $999 ProTools is the Mac of the recording world. Well worth the money, this workstation will give you great sound at this fairly affordable price. The great thing about this unit is that it also comes with the audio interface so you don’t have to purchase a different piece. Another cool thing about this DAW is the fact that, if your space isn’t big enough to track live drums, the files are compatible with most larger studios who are running the ProTools rig, so you can book studio time to track drums and do everything else at home. For a full list of MBox Pro’s features visit: www.avid.com
Cakewalk Sonar X2 Producer & Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 USB Bundle Price New: $750 Cakewalk Sonar X2 Producer is one of the best DAWs on the market. You get unlimited tracks and tons of great plug-ins. For Sonar’s features visit: www.cakewalk.com Focusrite is one of the leaders in the world of audio interfaces. The Scarlett 8i6 USB interface will help you get great sound from your instruments to your DAW. For a list of the Scarlett’s features visit: www.Focusrite.com
Neumann TLM 102 Price New: $699 Neumann is known for making the best vocal condenser mics on the planet. This is a great, affordable mic that I swear by. www.neumann.com
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
AKG C414 XLS Price New: $709 AKG is also known for making great vocal condenser mics. This too, is a great, affordable mic that I swear by. www.neumann.com
STUDIO MONITORS A great set of studio monitors is essential for hearing the true sound of your audio. Unlike speakers you’d buy at Best Buy, these speakers were created for recording and mixing.
KRK Rokit 5 Powered Price New: $149/ea. Great price, great sound. You can reference mixes well on these bad boys. www.krksys.com
Behringer Truth B2031 Price New: $229/ea. I have a set of these and they are incredible for the price. www.behringer.com
ACCESSORIES You will also need great cables, headphones, vox guard, a pop filter, and a boom mic stand.
XLR & 1/4 Cables Price: $8-$15
Audio Technica AT4040 Price New: $299 If you’re looking for a great mic for under $500, I’ve used this in my home studio for almost 7 years. www.audio-technica.com
Sony MDR V-150s Price: $25
Vox Guard Price: $70
Pop Filter Price: $15-$60
Kids & Teens
Drew Davis Have you taken any acting lessons? If yes, how has that helped you? I take dance classes and I am in a musical theatre program, but I haven’t taken any formal acting lessons. What was the first major role you booked and how did that come about? I booked my first major role at six years old. I played the role of Kobe in the Lifetime Network movie called “Taken From me: The Tiffany Rubin Story.” The film was based on a true story and they were looking all over North America for an actor to play the role. I booked the role after I was asked to put myself on tape with a casting director. The project was filmed in Vancouver.
You’ve worked in Dominican Republic for the movie The Truth. What was it like to work in a different country? It was a lot of fun, especially since I got to work with my younger sister, Millie. I had never been to another country before. We stayed in a hotel. Everyone spoke Spanish there. The weather and the food were great. I liked working in the jungle with the other actors and the crew (although it got pretty muddy). I also got to ride in a jeep for the first time which was cool! You’re also the voice of Max from Max & Ruby. How different is voiceover acting from on-camera acting? It is really different. For voiceovers you need to be more animated because you ony have your voice to get your character across. Most of the time you record on your own in a booth rather than with other actors. I do like that you can wear whatever you want – even pajamas if you want to!
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
What projects have you been working on lately? I have been working on my recurring roles in Rookie Blue and Orphan Black; I was in an episode of the CBC series “Cracked”, and I just finished doing a voiceover for a character on an animated series called “The Doozers” which comes out this Fall. What advice would you like to share with your peers on how to break into the film business? What should they really expect? You have to want to be an actor for other reasons than being on TV. You have to like the way acting makes you feel. Being an actor is a lot of fun but it is also a lot of work. You have to give up important things sometimes like birthday parties, other activities and sometimes even important family events. Acting needs to be your number one! You also have to expect some disappointment when you don’t get a part you really liked! It is all worth it as long as you love it!
PHOTO COURTESY OF: Pierre Gautreau
Where are you from and what was it about acting that drew you to it? I am from Toronto in Canada. I always liked making up stories and characters. My parents run a theatre school so I kind of fell into it naturally. I like feeling how it is to play different characters.
PHOTO COURTESY OF: Nadine Jeter
Tell me a little bit about Grown Ups 2. Are you excited about it? Words can’t even describe how I feel. It’s going to be the biggest summer movie of the year. It comes out July 12th. We added a few new members to the movie like, Shaquille O’Neal and Taylor Lautner. Steve Buscemi is also more involved in this movie than he was in the first Grown Ups. School is getting out for the kids, and the parents have a lot of run-ins with the teenagers. It’s going to be a crazy, hilarious movie; something for all ages to see. Without giving away too much, has your character evolved any? Yes! In the last film you saw my character, Andre, and Adam Sandlers onscreen son, Greg, (played by Jake Goldberg) really checking out the girls toward the end of the movie. Andre has evolved as far as his voice and growth but his characteristics are still the same. He still loves the girls and he’s still getting into trouble all the time. Tell me a little bit about what else you have going on outside of Grown Ups 2? I have a new video game coming out on June 14th called, The Last of Us. I can’t give too much away but this is my first video game ever. The game was developed by Naughty Dog and it’s a survival horror game. You’re still involved with Usher’s New Look Foundation and you’re getting honored this year, right? Yes, and I was so speechless when I found out that I’m being honored. I don’t really feel like I deserve it, but I’m very thankful to Usher and Team New Look. www.iaemagazine.com
Kids & Teens
That’s awesome! Are you involved in any other charities? I’m part of Starlight Foundation. I’ve been really into community outreach and feeding the homeless. What advice would you give other teen actors who are going through that physical transition and their work may be slowing down? I’ve been doing entertainment for 7 years now and I started when I was 6 years old. Never give up, never look back, and keep striving for your dream. If you have that fiery desire for entertainment and you have the support from your family, just go after it. No matter how many times you get rejected. Just keep going and always keep God first. How instrumental has your mom been in your career? She’s my #1 supporter! She got me in front of my agents and managers and she’s also my ride to my auditions. [laughs] My mom has been with me through the whole journey and she’s never discouraged me. She’s also my #1 critic who keeps me grounded. That’s great to hear! I know you have been doing a little bit of screenwriting as well. Tell us about that and how different is it coming from acting into writing? I’ve been studying the guys behind-the-scenes and I see all of the hard work that they put into it. I actually wrote a feature film and I’m trying to pitch it now. The writing experience is pretty amazing and it gives me another opportunity to expand my creative side.
MAY-JUN ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
Kids & Teens
Rising Music Stars Pavlina Talks To IM5 on Their Tour
PHOTO COURTESY OF: Pavlina Osta
What’s the most exciting part of your tour so far? Dana: I would say the times we spend in the hotel! IM5: Oh, yeah! Definitely! (says the whole band) Cole: We also got to spend the day at Disney World What’s the obvious “go to” clothing for you guys? Dalton: Bracelets or a pocket chain which is supposed to attach to a wallet but my wallet doesn’t do that, so... Dana: A hat
Cole: A watch Will: I like black, tight fit clothes. Gabe: Foxtail (has an actual foxtail attached to his jeans) What do you do before going up on stage? Cole: I retie my shoes to make sure they’re tight! Gabe: We pray and listen to IM5 music in our ears. Watch the full interview at: www.iaemagazine.com/kidsandteens
PHOTO COURTESY OF: Mario Munoz, Akin Omotosho, Katie Blanchard
Charlie B. Talks Music Why did you want to be a singer? Charlie: My mother; she had an amazing voice. As a child I would sing together with her throughout the house…our own little concert lol. This connection with her inspired me to join choir. The feeling it gave me to see her happy, while she watched me on stage performing was everything I could ever ask for. What are you plans for 2013? Charlie: I am looking to really bring everything together that I have lost
sleep over. I have put a lot of time & effort into recording my official single “6239” which should release early summer. It’s a recreation/modernized version of Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse rock. It is an incredible record and may be my best creation, yet. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best songs I’ve written. I’m confident it will get you guys out of your seats to dance! You guys will enjoy it. For the rest of the year, I will continue working on completing my debut album and touring. www.twitter.com/TheCharlieB
Pavlina Talks To Gareth Barker PHOTO COURTESY OF: Gareth Barker & Pavlina Osta
When did you say, “This is what I want to do? And how did you make it happen?” Gareth: It sorta happened when we moved to New Zealand. I recorded myself on a little camera, and did just a cover song. I took it into my music teacher at school and with a little note attached that said “please listen”. The next day I came to school he asked me, “Why did you give me a track of just Michael Buble?” That’s when I starting to feel like, ‘this is what I want to do.’
I Am Entertainment | MAY-JUN ‘13
Pavlina: You have a new EP out, what’s that like? Gareth: My first album is out (April 23) which I’m really excited about! It’s been a year in the making. I went to New York to work with some songwriters and all the songs, I co-wrote. It was a crazy experience with the writing and seeing the songs develop. I recorded the album in Canada in Janruary. The last day in the studio, we spent 22 hours to get all the stuff ready! www.garethbarkermusic.com