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INDIE INCOGNITO September 2020 | Issue 2

TINA BATTEN The Story of Sister Batten. Tina shares her encouraging messages of inspiration, hope and encouragement. Page 12

Hill St Soul Hil talks about life and music in the UK. Page 18

Michael A Smith Veteran Artist Manager Unplugged. Page 38


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“Sacred Money” Page 30-31 Sept / 2020


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Adai Lamar




Kamala Harris

Indie Incognito Salutes You




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Gordon Parks Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks was Parks was an American photographer, musician, writer and film director, who became prominent in U.S. documentary photojournalism in the 1940s through 1970s— particularly in issues of civil rights, poverty and African-Americans photography. Wikipedia


Vision to Reality. Getting to know Tina Batten An in depth conversation with Sister D Tina Batten. Story by Tony Smith, Indie Incognito Magazine

Tina Batten is founder and president of

the faith-based organization Sister Batten Productions. She is a writer for hire. A gifted and anointed woman of God spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ with each project. She is a visual storyteller, independent Christian filmmaker, and most recently best-selling author. She is passionate about bringing encouraging messages of inspiration, hope and encouragement to every project she's involved with. Tina Batten is an innovator of many original gospel productions, dinner shows, stage plays, and any other assignment the Lord gives to her. TS. Why do think the LORD gives you these amazing works of arts? TB. Paraphrasing “to whom much is given, much is required.” The Lord knows that I will start each project with integrity and complete it with the upmost excellence and translate His Love into every project. In short, the same way the Lord gives me inspirational visions for the project is the same way I give these amazing projects to the world. I’m unapologetically bold. I can’t be, won’t be converted into anything or anyone else.


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TS. Have you always been raw and edgy? TB. Most will say absolutely, and I would have to agree with them. Yes. LOL! As I said, the way the Lord gives me the projects is the way I interpret it to the people. I’ve always been unusual, peculiar, head strong and at times a little stubborn. I use my gifts for the greater good. With live productions such as: A Night of Intimacy with the Lord, Reflections of a Journal and my personal favorite monologue Spiritual Parole where I step out on stage dressed like an inmate in an orange colored jumpsuit, I guess I am kind of raw and edgy for the kingdom. When friends who know me best say I’m a thug, I immediately correct them and say I’m a rehabilitated thug. I believe that is why HE trust me so much. The Lord hired me, and I sure do love my job!

TS. What’s on your mind?

TB. During these unprecedented times of Covid-19, most of us wear masks to do our part of protecting others when we are unable to physically distance ourselves. We do this in hopes of helping to flatten the curve and slow down the spread of the disease. When wearing the mask, most of the face is covered. It’s impossible to see the person behind the mask, except for the eyes. In addition to discernment, a person’s thoughts otherwise can be ascertained by looking into their eyes. It is said “the eyes are the window to the soul.” In normal times dating back before Covid-19, you were able to see a person’s face, their friendly smile that would light up a room. Now, one must look for clues in body language and gestures as to whether the person is happy, sad, or mad. But with only a quick glimpse of a person behind the mask, it is difficult to detect at first glance. I’ve been told on numerous occasions that my face doesn’t lie. My facial expressions tell on me. Some of your readers might relate to this ;-) Without saying a word, most will have a pretty good idea of what I’m feeling in that moment. Sometimes this can be a good thing while other times, not so much.

For instance, I recall a time when I was holding down a full-time job while attending night school for my bachelor’s degree. I received a call from my son’s school. It was an emergency and they needed me to come to the school as soon as possible. After hanging up the phone, I immediately went to search for my department manager. I found him in the company breakroom. He was standing in front of the ice and water dispenser alone. Great, I thought to myself. We have a private moment so I can quietly inform him that I was leaving work early. I did this as a professional courtesy to him because my children have and will always come first before any job. He started to tell me that I couldn’t leave. Before I realized, my facial expression changed on him so fast. He didn’t get a chance to finish his sentence before I gave him such a look, then turned and walked out of the breakroom. I found out the next day when I returned back to work from a coworker that in that quick moment, the manager feared for his life. He actually shared with my coworker, who was also in the breakroom, how he literally thought I was going to kill him where he stood because he started to explain why it wasn’t a good time for me to leave the job. He said my to coworker, “Did you see her face and how she looked at me?” Needless to say, that was definitely a time when my face told how I was really feeling at that moment.


TS. Who is the person behind the mask? TB. I share that story to say this woman behind the mask chooses to take the time out to really get to know people for who they truly are by their words, actions, and works. Not just their twitter handle, Facebook posts, YouTube likes, and my stories on Instagram. I encourage people to do the same. I’ve been so fortunate to have met some beautiful people throughout my lifetime. Some were in my life for a mere season, while others have been long time friends that I’ve known since elementary and junior high school. I choose to believe that people will pleasantly surprise you. Not everyone in the world is evil. When given the chance, most people will surprise you with their kindness. At least, that is what I choose to believe. TS. How do you continue to stay relevant year after year? TB. I know right. Great question. Especially now during these times of physically distancing, live performances at a halt. Even Broadway has gone dark. But it must be done in order to weather the storms of life such as Covid-19 for instance. As an Indie artist in this everchanging world, you must constantly stay on trend or better yet, originate the trend. In order to survive, you must become current, year after year, after year. Sure , some of you right now may think that can be exhausting and you’re not wrong. It can be at times. In spite of all the challenges, I literally love what I do. I’m so thankful for my long-lasting career in this industry as an indie artist. I’m so proud to call myself an indie artist. I’m also extremely grateful to the Lord my Savior for my God Given Gifts of Creativity. When you have ownership over your creative material, you will find a great sense of freedom. Freedom doesn’t mean I’m doing everything myself. It takes a village to make films and to put on large productions such as concerts, dinner shows and stage plays. I keep a great team of individuals who are gifted and talented in their areas of expertise. From production crew to the marketing team. We all must be with one accord. Once I receive the next creative project in my spirit, I articulate my thoughts and ideas to the team. We work together to make it happen, to bring the words on paper to life and give birth to the project. It truly takes a village. TS. What advice would you like to share for those writers and filmmakers coming after you? TB. When inspiration hits, move on it quickly. I’ve found out the hard way, as swift as inspiration may come, it can also leave that much faster and be gone forever. Trust. I say this from unfortunate past experiences. I’ve had instances where I totally missed the


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opportunity because I didn’t move fast enough to be the first to get my work out into the world. Maintain a group of trustworthy people around you. Having access to a great team means more than you know. It’s so important. Don’t mistake that with telling everyone your ideas. Some thoughts and ideas are meant to be kept inside until prompted to move on it. How do you know when to move or what to share? Utilizing wisdom and discernment is how. I give homage and stand on the shoulders of those that have come before me. In doing so, the cycle of revolution continues on. Become familiar with the pioneers and trailblazers within your discipline. Study and learn your craft. Gain wisdom and always remember to be your Beautiful Authentic self. Do You and Be Unapologetically You! TS. What’s next? What are you working on right now? TB. I’m super excited about the next few solo as well as collaborative projects forthcoming that I will exclusively share with your readers today. One in which is a Christian fiction novel I’m currently working on with an extremely talented writer who is one my most anointed sisters in Christ from San Diego. Her and I have been working on this project “under wraps” off and on for the last two years. The book is entering the final stage of completion. We are hopeful and prayerfully would love to release it this coming winter. I truly believe the book is something special and has great potential of becoming a book to screen or receiving a television series offer. I’m going to speak that into fruition right now ;-) I feel that good about the “hush” project. Inside news, you’ve heard it first. I recently received a call from another gifted and talented sister friend who invited me to work on a screenplay together. She always said we would work together on a project one day and was simply waiting for the right one. That’s another really cool project upcoming sometime in the future. We are only at the infant stage of creation, pre-development stage some might say. It’s too early to have any release dates for you at this time. But I’m more than happy to come back next year with new announcements exclusively for your readers. Hint. Thinking sometime in 2021 perhaps. It depends on our writing schedule.

I also have a few solo projects I need to get started on as well. I’ll have to work simultaneously on those along with the collaborative projects. Needless to say, even in down time, there is always something going on. Really great stuff that I’m honored to be involved with waiting for the right one. That’s another really cool project upcoming sometime in the future. We are only at the infant stage of creation, pre-development stage some might say. It’s too early to have any release dates for you at this time. But I’m more than happy to come back next year with new announcements exclusively for your readers. Hint. Thinking sometime in 2021 perhaps. It depends on our writing schedule. I also have a few solo projects I need to get started on as well. I’ll have to work simultaneously on those along with the collaborative projects. Needless to say, even in down time, there is always something going on. Really great stuff that I’m honored to be involved with. TS. Do you have any final words? TB. With all that I’ve accomplished through the years and all the lives and hearts my projects have touched, I have yet to reach the place or fame status of where I want to be. But with each passing Day I’m surely rising closer. What’s most important is to hear the words from my father in Heaven, Well Done, Thou Good and Faithful Servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. Matthew 25:21 I encourage your readers to keep striving for greatness! In all you do, Work in excellence! Keep the fight! Stay in it to Win it! Never give up on yourself! Always remain hopeful! Utilized your Voice! Participate in the 2020 Census and VOTE! Stay Encouraged and Be Blessed. Love you all, your sister in Christ. Sister Tina B. aka lil sis ;-) To book Tina Batten and or request a Sister Batten production at your venue or church go to:

Tina with our publisher Tony Smith


About GenNext GenNext is a collaboration between The NAMM Foundation and The College Music Society (CMS) that offers students and faculty access to Believe in Music Week.


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Hil St Soul

Hilary Mwelwa was born in Lusaka, Zambia and relocated to London with her family at age five. As a child she adopted her father’s love of music, as their home was immersed with the sounds of traditional Zambian music along with American R&B/ soul icons such as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. As a graduate of London’s Westminster University, Hilary had early ambitions to go into the science field and earned a degree in biological sciences. .


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Hilary had early ambitions to go into the science field at London’s Westminster University, where she studied biological sciences. She shares, “While I was in school studying sciences, I started to explore my musical interests and I decided that I wanted to pursue music more seriously. ” She took a year off from school and at that time, recorded her first demo a cover of the Aretha Franklin classic ‘Until you come back to me’ (featured debut album Soul Organic). She says she’s never had formal musical training but was brought up on a diet of soul, R&B, Gospel and pop music from an early age. Luckily for us Hilary Mwelwa’s path has led her to follow her heart and her music. Source

Personally I have been a Hil St Soul fan since her first recording. Of course I, like many others here in the states, had no idea that she was not American until I heard her speak. That heightened my curiosity , much like it did when I first heard AWB live then heard the fellas speak. A definite haha moment. But with Hil I heard a voice that is captivating, one that touches the soul. She has such a vibrant and infectious vibe when performing live. Regrettably I missed her last year when she had a mini east coast US tour. She performed in my home town of Washington DC at Blues Alley. Of course she gave a performance that my homies still talk about to this day. USA Today described Hil St Soul’s vocals as “Always enticing” while The Associated Press declared “Hil St Soul has an organic soulful sound that is all their own.” On behalf of Hil St Soul fans worldwide I say I Concur. Hil understands the importance of remembering one’s roots. When that is applied to her music, you can hear the influences of jazz, soul and R&B. When I asked Hil’s good friend and artist representative Bernard Hill about the idea of interviewing Hil for my magazine, he said it was a great idea. Bernard told me Hil is down to earth, witty and knowledgeable about the music business. As my Music Director, First Lady Of Smooth Jazz, Gail Jhonson prepared for the interview we both realized that Hil and Gail are label mates with Shanachi Records. The ice was broken and I enjoyed recording and just listening to two profession entertainers. The First Lady Of Smooth Jazz and the Queen Of UK Soul.


Gail Jhonson, Indie Incognito Music Editor, speaks one on one with Hil St Soul edited by Tony Smith

G. Hello Hil, it is such a pleasure to speak to you today. Oh, I just realized we are label mates at Shanachie . Wow, what a small but wonderful world.

H. Dad put me up for piano lessons at a very young age. I think I did 3 or 4 lessons and I really didn’t like it. However not sticking with it is one of my regrets.

H. Oh wow. I had no idea either, My new release with Regi Myrix is on Sanachie .

G. Yeah I haven't ran into anybody that says Oh I am so glad I stopped those piano lessons, Oh I am so glad I stopped taking those violin lessons…nobody ever says that ( laughter ). I have given many piano lessons so I am extending an invitation to you if you would like.

G. So Hil tell us, how is the music scene in the UK ? H. The music scene is a mixture, melting pot with the mainstream pop charts and then the underground independent which I guess is a bit like you guys have in the states where a lot of talented singers and artists doing their thing. My thing is the soul scene.

G. Have you ever played any instruments ?


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G (Q). So what’s next…what are you working on ? H. Well everybody is experiencing this crazy time, making it a bit restrictive of what you can do. I am trying to be as creative as possible, writing and recording, working on my next album project. Gail I am trying to stay motivated which is so difficult because of this unprecedented time of Covid 19.

Hil St. Soul Invites Us To Celebrate Life, Get In The Music, Get Lost In The Groove & Remember We Only Have “One Life” (Produced by Regi Myrix For Myrix Media Group) Well fast forward to today, I am now working with the amazing producer Regi Myrix who produced One Life and there is much more to come in the future. So I am excited because my last recording was 2009. G. So who’s in your playlist? G. Yeah I know. As artists we are used to the rehearsals, jam sessions and just kicking it. With this pandemic all of that has come to a halt so we have to be very self motivated. Tell me about the creation of Hil St Soul. Was, is, it an artist, a band or what exactly ? H. Actually it was a band when I first started with producer Victor Montoya, he was part of a UK Hip Hop act over here. He was classically trained and we met and started vibing. I did the singing and writing the songs and he did the producing. Our very first album was kind of like a duo thing but in the same token he didn’t really want to be in the front. He relished being in the background. So as far as promoting the album I was the face of Hil St Soul even though is was actually a duo. As time progressed and the notoriety came, I began to do much more traveling and collaborating with other more prominent artists which is exactly what the labels I was with wanted.. When I started doing that there was external, sort of, productions and songs working with other people and we became less of a duo and became more of a Hil thing. The majority of the work was still produced by Victor but I began to work more and more with other producers and singers.

H. Wo. Gosh, well my playlist is kind of a mish mash of old school soul. G. Just tell me you are going to remake one of the old Lover’s Rock songs ( referring to the legendary music which was the Motown of the UK back in the day music of raggare fused with soul). Oh I really loved that music Hil. H. Gail that would be kind of cool and thanks for suggesting it. Actually the Lover’s Rock music was not your traditional Reggae. There was a definite soul vibe and feel to it. Well that would be an interesting thing to look into and try out. G. Well Hil this has been amazing. Thank you for sharing some time with me today. Be safe, stay blessed and we will get together soon we hope. H. No no, thank you guys for thinking about me. This was amazing. Thank you Tony Smith for making this happen. God Bless you guys.

Follow Hil at


TRAVEL WITH CARLA Of course, we all know the Caribbean is the perfect place to vacation for sun, sea and sand. Vacationing to Caribbean destinations isn’t just about sinking your toes in the white sands of the plethora of wondrous beaches abound, relaxing at the resort or eating authentic foods undiscoverable back home. For music lovers, it’s more than that - it’s about traveling to the Caribbean Islands for music festivals featuring many of their favorite artists. If you are looking for the perfect music lover getaway then look no farther. Check out these amazing festivals taking place in the Caribbean during the summer of 2021. Saint Lucia has been hosting an annual jazz festival for the past 27 years. Its island is known for its miles of pristine beachfront, sapphire-blue waters, luxury resorts, fine dinning and breathtaking mountains. The island of Saint Lucia is one of the best-kept secrets in the Caribbean. Building on the success of the 2019 Saint Lucia Jazz Festival, organizers have planned another spectacular collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center which will take place

Aruba is known for its all-inclusive packages and

in 2021- dates are being finalized. The jazz festival

European plan resort accommodations. It has some-

feature performances by world-renowned and local art-

thing for every festival goer. Come find your place in

ists in intimate venues and public setting along the length

the sun and soak up the vibes at the 20th Anniversary

and breadth of Saint Lucia’s breathtaking landscape. Saint Lucia offers a full range of all inclusive accommodations to suite any taste, desire or budget. If you’re looking to get away Memorial Day Weekend, Aruba’s

of the Soul Beach Music Festival that will be held May 26-31, 2021. The event already features a stacked line-up with more to be announced. Prepare

Soul Beach Music Festival should be on your list. Only

yourself for five days full of events, such as: beach

19.6 miles long and six miles across, Aruba beautiful

parties, comedy shows, pool parties, block parties

powdery-white sand is a paradise shaped by the blue sea.

and of course

To the south and west, Aruba is alive with resorts, shop-

the big music

ping, and nightlife. To the north, waves and wind sculpt


rugged coastline and limestone heart.

featuring world class artists.

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It’s located along the northwestern coast of the island and host lots of all inclusive resorts with amazing views.

What better place to host a Raggae Festival than the very place the genre was born in? Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer, songwriter and musician who was considered one of the pioneers of Reggae is considered a global symbol of Jamaican music and culture.

The Raggae Sumfest had its humble beginnings back in 1993. The Jamaica’s biggest summer festivals will be The 25th annual St. Kitts Music Festival is set to feature

held July 18 - 24, 2021. It’s organizers intended for Reg-

some of the hottest names in Reggae, Rhythm & Blues

gae Sumfest to be a testament to Jamaica’s indelible im-

and Hip Hop. In addition to the music, festival-goers can

pact on music in international genres like R & B, Hip-

enjoy dozens of bonus events and activities; including

Hop, Soka, and Reggaeton.

lunchtime concerts featuring local musicians, Caribbean beach parties, boat rides and after parties. St. Kitts is

Carla Vault-Scott is the travel columnist for Indie Incog-

known for its rain forest mountains and beaches of

nito, providing her travel expertise.

white, gray and black sand. Organizers have already set

If you need a personal Travel Advisor for your upcom-

a tentative date for June 24 -26, 2021, which will show-

ing travel accommodation.

case a star studding line-up of internationally acclaimed

Contact: Kingdom Travel at

musicians, as well as talented up and coming artists over or

the span of five days. The Curacao North Sea Jazz is

now in its ninth year, taking place in the capital city of Willemstad from July 9-11, 2021. The island offers festival-goers exclusive beaches, spectacular dive sites, distinctive architecture, activities and adventures for everyone. Curacao North Sea offers great music in sultry temperatures on a tropical island for jazz lovers. The country’s most popular event attracts some of the largest names in the music industry. Past festivals have included Jazz, R & B, Raggae and Pop Stars who have shutdown the beautiful island during the famous festival. There are gorgeous hotels accommodations near all the action, situated on six stunning oceanfront acres on Piscadera Bay. If you love Reggae, you’re going to love Raggae Sumfest Festival hosted in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Montego Bay, which is affectionally called Mobay is one of the premier vacation destinations in Jamaica.


Resolution to End Police Brutality and Systemic Racism Against Black People in America An Emergency Resolution to the 2020 Annual Gathering of the Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Background: When our “Founding Fathers” etched into our Declaration of Independence the selfevident truth that “all men are created equal,” slavery—enslavement of Black lives—was widely accepted and had been a reality here for hundreds of years. Black lives were bought and sold, treated as property, beaten, and killed. Did all lives matter then? Did Black lives matter? Our United States Constitution—which aspires to form a “more perfect union” and to “secure the Blessings of Liberty”—treated Black slaves not as “free Persons” but as “others,” with each slave equal to three-fifths of a person. Did all lives matter then? Did Black lives matter? Slavery and an economy built on slavery continued in our Nation for nearly 100 years more. Did all lives matter then? Did Black lives matter? Even after our ancestors fought a Civil War and slaves were declared free persons, Jim Crow laws maintained a great imbalance. Ingrained societal and systemic prejudices impaired the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for persons based on color. In the last 60 years alone, lynchings, church bombings, and too many atrocities occurred in order to prevent Black lives from enjoying equal rights. Our government agents/officers were slow to protect them and at times were their persecutors. Did Black lives matter? In very recent years, months, and weeks, we have seen time-and-again a representative of government—a police officer charged with a duty to protect such deaths to occur and


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An Emergency Resolution to the 2020 Annual Gathering of the Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ. Randy K Jones, Esq

Did all lives matter then? lives—kill an unarmed Black person. We have seen at times a careless, and at times a malicious, disregard for the value of Black lives. We have seen a system that allows that resists change. Can we truly say that our Nation, our government, has overcome all of its past failings and is now guided by the principle that “all lives matter”? Since Black lives have not mattered to too many for too long, I echo a message that needs repeating: Black Lives Matter.

The body of resolution: Whereas, the vestiges of this country’s harmful and racist legacy of slavery lives on in the police violence inflicted on members of our Black community. Whereas, our faith teaches us that each person is created in the “Imago Dei” (image of God) in Genesis 1:27. Because humanity has been made in the image of the Holy Parent we are therefore full of intrinsic worth, value and deserving of dignity. What is true is that God did not create race, racism, or superior groups of humans. God does not sanction human suffering, but looks upon those who are suffering and intervenes directly to bring about liberation and justice.

Whereas as a Church, we boldly proclaim Black Lives Matter because we are called to witness against white supremacy to support the struggle and build a society that is antiracist and reimagine a world where the public safety of the most vulnerable is centered and prioritized. Whereas the Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ is committed to not only be allies in the fight for justice but will use our privilege in spaces to amplify calls for justice and take actions where we have power and authority to do so, and call on others to use their power to further liberation and justice. Black Lives Matter. THEREFORE, let it be resolved: That the Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ stands in solidarity with the Black community. Be it further resolved that Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ commits to following the lead and listening to not only our God, as well as our Black siblings and activists in this movement to guide our actions. Be it further resolved, that to turn this tide of systemic racism and economic injustice by racism, we call upon our elected leaders to address police brutality and mass incarceration by taking actions to reduce the role of police in our communities by divesting from the police budget into services in the Black community and nonlaw enforcement interventions. Be it finally resolved that we, the Southern Nevada Conference affirm and declare that

Implementation The Officers of the Church, in consultation with appropriate ministries and other entitites of the UCC, will determine the implementing body.

Introduced by: Randy K. Jones, Esq. Moderator, Christian Fellowship Congregational Church UCC The Rev. Dr. J. Lee Hill, Jr Pastor, Christian Fellowship Congregational Church UCC The Rev. Jessica Chapman Pastor, Christian Fellowship Congregational Church UCC The Rev. Mary Brookshire Pastor, Pioneer Oceanview UCC Dr. Frances Foster Christian Fellowship Congregational Church UCC The Rev. Libby Tigner Associate Conference Minister for Central and Northern Associations

Black Lives Matter. Funding The funding for implementation of the Resolution will be made in accordance with the overall mandates of the affected agencies and funds available.


As we all look forward to Post Covid life, it’s time we start planning our Welcome Back Parties! And What is a party without a theme?! Anyone like me loves a reason to dress up in a way you normally wouldn’t. We are quickly approaching Fall, the season of brown, red, and yellow falling leaves, cute, chic layered clothing, and the best part, FALL PARTIES!! So exciting! While you plan and design each facet of your event, one thing that is a MUST is a cocktail bar! That bar should also come with a signature drink that ties your theme together! Since Fall is the next season coming up, let’s look at some cocktails you can serve in the Fall spirit. Happy Mixing!

Naja Eleese


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Toasted Almond: 1. First step is finding a nice sized glass and add ice to about half way! (not too big not too small) 2. Next we’re going to grab our Kahlua and use 1⁄2 ounce 3. Next step is our mixer : Grab that Amaretto and give yourself 1⁄2 ounce

4. Last Ingredient is a little bit of cream to fill 5. Grab another cup and roll contents from glass to glass and enjoy!

Burnt Almond: 1. Grab a Large Rocks Glass (Standard glass for cocktails in any bar) and add ice halfway 2. Grab your Kahlua and add a 1⁄2 ounce 3. Next add 1⁄2 ounce of Amaretto 4. Add a little cream to it next 5. Using another glass, roll contents from glass to glass 6. Top that with a dash of Coca Cola and enjoy!

The Separator: 1. This will also go in a Large Rocks glass with ice halfway 2. Grab your best Brandy and give it an ounce! 3. Next we need some Kahlua at a 1⁄2 ounce 4. Last step is a little cream and of course, ENJOY!



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Kevette Minor Kane is a financial liberation expert, an ambassador for

“self-worth and gratitude” and a proponent for women; especially women in business. She educates women to take back their financial power. She supports them in gaining the confidence to fulfill their purpose in life. Essentially, she guides women on their journey to self-sufficiency by teaching them how to manage their money without losing their minds. As CEO & Founder of Marimor Life LLC her mission is to empower women to embrace Financial Intelligence. By merging the principles of emotional intelligence with the fundamentals of financial literacy she connects the dots between how your underlying emotions directly affect your management of money. Education. Guidance. Support 6401 Golden Triangle Drive, Suite 115, Greenbelt MD 20770

Scared Money What are you so afraid of? There is no big bad wolf. Don’t believe me? Look for yourself. Those four lines would be had at one of the scariest times in a kid’s life. Possibly a moment when they are shaking with fear, their eyes are as big as saucers, and their mouth is so dry they could barely get the words out for a reply. Then the most terrifying thing to do is meet that last challenge. Look for yourself. Look for yourself? Your thinking “HELL NO,” right? Maybe you are thinking, “I already know what is around this corner, I’m here, and kind of safe, but take a look around that corner? That could cost me my life, so I am just going to stay safe right here where I am comfortable, in my fear. But what if it were Lara Croft having that conversation with you? Google describes Lara Croft as “the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer…The stakes couldn’t be higher as Lara must rely on her sharp mind, blind faith and stubborn spirit to venture into the unknown.” Taking back your financial power is exactly like that, venturing into the unknown. Now my dad was no eccentric adventurer, but he was a race car driver and an entrepreneur so essentially that makes me the equivalent to Lara Croft in these financial streets. Essentially, I can show you how to take back your financial power and that is exactly what will give you back your confidence. How do you know it’s going to be ok? Well because if I’m ok, then I know you can be ok too. It takes a measure of faith to be able to move forward but fear will keep you stuck forever. Think of it like this, our bad money situations make us feel icky, yes ICKY. What we need to do is clean ourselves up so we can be pristine but many of us were born into icky financial situations so we don’t have the slightest clue what pristine even looks like, except what we’re told and shown by the media. Well, I am here to tell you that what they have been doing for show and tell is not an actual reality. They have a way with smoke and mirrors that would make the greatest magician envious. So how do you know what pristine looks like? And even more importantly, how can you get that look? Well, you have to find your Lara Croft. A woman in this financial world, who is not afraid of adventure, she’s got a sharp solution-oriented mindset, faith that could make Stevie Wonder see, and a stubbornness that just won’t quit. You want a financial advisor who has been through a few things and will not judge you for having an icky financial situation. Sure, you could go for your family financial advisor or you could search to find your personal financial liberator. Now is not the time for you to succumb to your fears but rather it is time for you to face them. Scared money does not make, have, or keep money. However, once you take back your financial power and gain your confidence, you will be empowered to accomplish more than you ever imagined.



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Mural in Crystal Cove Tunnel, Orange County, CA


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MINNI MANCHESTER Shanice Innis known professionally as Minni Manchester aka the Soul flower, is one of the most exciting young upcoming American singer/songwriters of the moment based out of Atlanta GA. Minni’s piercing vocals and vibe gives you a nostalgic feel of Erykah Badu’s signature eccentrism while Minni’s songs, melodies, and instrumentation reflect her major influences ranging from D’Angelo, Raheem Devaughn to Sade, Chrisette Michele to Jhene Aiko.

Minni Manchester is a twenty-three year old neo soul singer from Atlanta, Georgia. She is the eldest of six, born July 12, 1993 as Shanice, named after the famous pop singer of the 1900’s by her mother. Minni’s unique style has every head in the crowd bobbing excitedly to blends hip hop, soul, and R & B music. She describes herself as ambitious, bubbly, hard-working, scatty and talented. She is constantly being inspired by new and old artist.

I was sent her bio info and did my own research after which I agreed with him. We then scheduled a phone interview. It ended up being very engaging, open, revealing and funny conversation. Check it out. TS. Hello Minnie. I hope all is well with you and yours. We appreciate you joining us today. So tell us a little bit about who Minnie Manchester is. MM. Hi Tony, I am doing great and appreciate you including me in your magazine. Well I would say Minnie is a flower child, someone who creates her own path and vision and kind of goes with the flow. More of a Soul Flower. TS. When did you fall in love with music or was it something inside of you from the beginning ?

I recently had a conversation with music industry veteran Bernard Hil, who also arranged our interview with Hil St Soul. At the end of that particular conversation I let Bernard know about our Rising Star segment and he then told me about a dynamic new artist he represents who is Minni Manchester as an option for the segment.


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MM. You hit the nail right on the head. Music has been in me since birth. The funny thing is, my government name is Shanice because my mom named me after the singer. I guess mom knew. My family on my dad’s side had a family church and of course I started singing there. So nearly everything I did as a child had something to do with music.

TS. Do you remember the first time you held a mic ?

MM. Oh Wow...I would get little karaoke machines with cute little barbie mics and I was singing my heart out all the time. TS. How has growing up in Atlanta’s vibrant music scene been influential in your career ? MM. Atlanta is so unique in it’s own way. Just watching artists like Outcast, who grew up just like I did . There are a lot of poor places in Atlanta but so much talent is there as well. Seeing them and realizing they are just like me and they made it happen. That was major inspiration for me. TS. Ok now I did a little research and let me ask you about moving to Japan and eventually working with the band Groove and Fam. Was that when you got married ? MM. Yes I got married super young, 19 years old. His job relocated us so I made the decision to go with him. The funny thing though Tony is, with the way life works is I was introduced to that band by a friend of my husband, auditioned and the rest was history. I was with Groove and Fam for 2 years and learned a lot about myself and the industry, Being the youngest in the group I was like a sponge. TS. Minnie I have worked on some big tours, behind the scenes and some of the best times are the rehearsals. Some of the best stories are in the rehearsals. Tell us the funniest thing that has happened in one of your rehearsals.

MM. The funniest thing for me, which is funny but maybe wasn’t at the time. My voice went out while rehearsing. It was in the middle of the song. Oh I started off killing it and of course feeling myself but that was reality check. The band was so cool because they laughed so hard it broke the ice for me and we finished the joint strong. TS. How are you and your family managing through this time of Covid 19 and the pandemic ?

MM. Tony it’s been tough but what keeps me going is staying positive. I try to concentrate on the good and not the bad. My mantra is if you can ‘t do anything about it, then why worry. That is my daily affirmation. TS. What have you discovered about yourself during these crazy times Minni ? MM. The biggest thing I realized is that is ok to ask for help. Especially being an Indie artist I do a lot myself. In these times we need one another . Collaborating and thinking outside of the box have become more prominent for me. TS. Whats next for you ? MM. I am working on some projects for 2021 along with some hot collaborations I am excited about. TS. where can people find Minnie Manchester and do you have any shout outs ? MM. I am on all social media platforms and my handle is @ minnimanchester. Yes I want to send a shout out to the awesome Bernard Hill. My family and to Venice Beats a amazing producer based in France. Tony of course the ultimate shout out is to GOD . Thank you so much. This was awesome.


Michael A. Smith

The Epitome Of An Indie Manager In the Music Business and In Life. Story by Gail Jhonson Michael (Mike) Smith has been the Manager for Jazz in Pink for many years. It was great to take some time to sit with him and to hear from him. GJ: What is your background? MS: I was raised by my Grandmother in New York. I wanted to be an airline pilot, which is probably why I love to fly. I’ve always been a go-getter - shining shoes, grocery store worker.... I wanted to have my own money and take care of myself. I missed the Vietnam War because I was the oldest boy. I later discovered my gift of conversations-with everyone, even s rangers. GJ: When did you get involved in the music business? What capacity? MS: Growing up, I wanted to play saxophone, but we couldn’t afford one. So, I ended up playing snare, cymbals, and other percussion instruments. I didn’t like it. I wanted to play sax. I got involved in the music business because of Gail Jhonson. I met you, loved your spirit and your musicianship. You were playing at the Watts Jazz Festival with Grammy-award winning guitarist Norman Brown, and we have been close friends ever since.

GJ: How did you get involved and become manager for Jazz in Pink? MS: You asked me if I would help you break into the local jazz scene in the Bay Area. I booked you at the Oyster Reef, along with your band - pink tablecloths, flowers on each table, personalized menu.... we’ve been rolling ever since-I still have the flyer! I learned from you, Gail. If I had to do it all over again, I know halfway what to do now. We gained traction, people know about us, they know me. I don’t feel like a stranger. I feel like this is where I belong, and I do! GJ: How long have you been working with Jazz in Pink? MS: It’s been 12 years now. Aside from your solo career, I’ve been working with Jazz in Pink as everything from go-for to booking agent to manager. Anything you needed me to do, I was willing to help out.


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Michael A smith Lady Of Smooth

GJ: What is it like to work with female musicians? MS: A little challenging! They are Queens, and I treat them as such. I admire their beauty, talent, and passion for the music. Very unique sound with the core being Violin, Harp, Flute and Piano. Helping them on and off stage, carrying bags, setting call times.... labor of love. GJ: Where have you traveled on the road with Jazz in Pink? MS: All across the country, festivals, colleges, supper clubs-we played them all; big cities, small towns, beautiful places, ocean front....had good food, met all the promoters, facilitated CD sales, and enjoyed the applauses in the golf cart rides through the crowd. GJ: Do you think there’s a gender gap in the music business? MS: Oh definitely. I was glad I could be there as a man to shield and guard them. Sometimes they didn’t like my military style, but I was always organized, with my files, dates, contacts, ground transportation, flights and always collected the well-deserved money bag.

1. How are you handling the pandemic? I’m doing ok. COVID-19 shut it down for a lot of folks, but I’m hanging in there; making my contacts, looking to renew our mission for next year.

1. Anything you want to add? No, I think we covered it all. I just want to emphasize the fact that I love what I do, I love what we do, and I’m looking forward to continuing! 12 years and counting, that makes me feel good.

1. Now that your artists are climbing the charts, what do you think about the record deal with Shanachie Entertainment and radio AirPlay?

h with his long time client, First h Jazz Gail Jhonson

GJ: What do you think about their music? MS: I am in awe of the sound, the image, the stage presence of Jazz in Pink. I love the concept of women supporting women. Good music, great arrangements, and the audience responses. Fans show up in pinkeven me, real men can wear pink!

It’s fantastic! Shanachie is continuing our quest to brand Jazz in Pink. We are an ensemble of moving parts, some go, some stay, some are featured artists, some are side-musicians. Always evolving and advocating for women to get invited on the “big stage” with many of the best in the business; and go on to higher heights in their solo careers.

GJ: What’s the future in smooth jazz? MS: Smooth jazz will be around for years to come and we will be there delivering our presence on stages, wherever they will have us. We are booking for 2021, now that 2020 performances have been halted in California and across the country. We’ve had all of our dates postponed, only to join the pile of cancelled ones. We were especially looking forward to a mini-European Tour while in France for the Women’s Golf Tournament by Evian. GJ: Now that your artists are climbing the charts, what do you think about the record deal with Shanachie Entertainment and Radio AirPlay? MS: It’s fantastic! Shanachie is continuing our quest to brand Jazz in Pink. We are an ensemble of moving parts, some go, some stay, some are featured artists, some are side-musicians. Always evolving and advocating for women to get invited on the “big stage” with many of the best in the business; and go on to higher heights in their solo careers.

Tomoka (Jazz In Pink saxophonist) The pink man and our manager Michael A Smith


Michael and Indie Incognito publisher Tony Smith

GJ: Recall some highlights you’ve experienced with JNP MS: My biggest highlights include performance on The Capital Jazz Cruise and The Hollywood Bowl. I’ve never been more proud, than to see them hold their own in the midst of artists like Brian Culbertson, Sheila E, Kool & the Gang, Stanley Clark, George Duke, Norman Brown, Boney James, Dave Koz, Ledisi, Marcus Miller and so many, many more. GJ: What’s next for you? MS: Well, I will continue to get in where I fit in and to keep pushing for gender equality with Jazz in Pink. We’ve played nearly every major festival including: Long Beach Jazz Festival, Gardena Jazz Fest, Seabreeze Jazz Festival way too many to recall. I was recently doing some spring cleaning and ran across stacks of Jazz in Pink paraphernalia (chuckles...), lots of memories and hard work! Was surely glad to see my partner Tony Smith come through and handle some backstage duties-together we got it done.

Fran Manznao with Michael at Jazz In Pink event.

GJ: How are you handling the pandemic? MS: I’m doing ok. COVID-19 shut it down for a lot of folks, but I’m hanging in there; making my contacts, looking to renew our mission for next year. That makes me feel good.

GJ: Is there anything else you’d want to add? MS: No, I think we covered it all. I just want to emphasize the fact that I love what I do, I love what we do, and I’m looking forward to continuing! 12 years and counting, that makes me feel good. Gail Jhonson is an artist, writer, producer and the Founder of Jazz in Pink, an all-female jazz ensemble. She is a guest writer for Indie Incognito.


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Tony, Brian Culbertson and Michael at Napa Jazz Getaway


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Inside the studio of Tre Major. Stylist to the stars.


“Oaxaca, The Spirit of Mexico” Photographs by Judith Cooper Haden


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S.O.W. The acronym stood for “Serving Other Women.” We began with serving women and their families with premium childcare and quickly grew into residential and commercial cleaning, home organizing, and high-end concierge services. S.O.W. was blessed with a consistent clientele, which eventually required a small staff. Deb was also privileged to SOW the word of God into hearts through Bible studies, speaking at women’s events, and writing. It was a very fruitful season! “ ALL LIFE IS A FIELD...WHAT ARE YOU SOWING ? “

A Little Bit About Deborah. I’m a lover of God, His word, His people, tea and dessert, and jazz… In that order. I have been blessed with many passions and gifts, and though I take no credit for them — as they come from the Lord — I do take seriously the responsibility to steward them well and to His glory.

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"Women in business and ministry, SOW is hosting a powerful virtual symposium "The Soil of 2020" to help equip, empower and encourage women to start that new work or to get to the next level of expansion and growth. Although 2020 has been rocky soil, we think it's also the perfect ground and full of let us help you get good seed in the ground. We want to finish the 4th quarter of 2020 strong and go full steam ahead into 2021! for detials and registration!




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Indie On The Rise


Untitled. Recently completed


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Matsaui. On exhibit Owens Community College



Gazing Into 2021 58

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