Mr Dreamz Mag Moka Blast Spring 15

Page 1


// THE EDITOR MR Dreamz Magazine has established its brand as “The New Era For A New Generation Of Dreamers” wich is available online, on mobiles and in print. The publication aims at giving indie artists & companies a voice that can be heard across all over the globe. Working from Paris to Miami and Montreal, Mr Dreamz showcases tomorrow’s mainstream stars, their arts, image and stories first. Since 2011, The magazine has been reaching more than just readers but a cultural movement of dreamers that change the way we consume music, dress, dream and live. From Paris to Miami, NY to Tokyo, London to L.A, Mr Dreamz captures the urban art in all its forms in order to let the street talk. Dream Kayris


Editor in chief DREAM KAYRIS


Contributing writers Joha Brown , Winnie MC, French Vouvou, BB.Bouk Minino, Trendy Alien, French Cxcaine, Tari Aro


Photographers Christophe Levet Rodney Benjamin Benhur Photography


Cover photography Sunset Aley


Contributing illustrator Kloud9 Agency




PR/ Marketting

Kloud9 Agency Creamsquad

Mr Dreamz magazine 2 Rue Montorge 38000, Grenoble +33658943700









// MSTACKS (@mstacks) What other producers/artists do you see as your primary inspirations? I grew up on Alchemist, DJ Premier, & Just Blaze. How did you first connect with Wiz? I deejayed for Wiz at his album release party for the Deal Or No Deal album in 2009. After that, I connected with his artist Tuki Carter, and we recorded a bunch of songs together. Then in 2012, we recorded Pimpin Aint Dead. That was the first song that I produced that had Wiz on it. What is distinctive about a M.Stacks production? I make soulful, ass-shaking music. Nobody is doing that right now. That’s my style. Is there an artist you want to work with that you have not yet had the opportunity to work with? Marshall Mathers. You’ve also produced several songs for Mac Miller, Juicy J, Curren$y to name a few. Can you talk a bit about what


you’ve learned from those collaborations? I learned how to multitask. Working with all the artists you just mentioned was tough, as far as scheduling goes and meeting deadlines. So, I learned how to multitask. That’s how I got it done lol. What can we expect from M.Stacks in 2015? I have an instrumental mixtape dropping this Summer with the clothing brand MISHKA. Shits gonna be dope! Do you have advice for young people who want to become a music producers? Build good relationships. Do you live from music today? When we look at your credits, it’s impressive! And a lot of beginners think it’s easy & fast to get money once you get good connections in the industry. True or False? What is the reality? Yes, I live from my music and no it didn’t start like that. You must build a foundation first, start from right where you are standing.


Interviews by Winnie M.C

// CASH CAMPAIN (@CashCampain) How old were you when you started to get involved in music? I didn’t seriously get involved with music until I was about 20. Thanks to a friend of mine, some free time, and some handmedown recording equipment, I was able to make my first song. After college, I really began to explore music and get into it full time. Who are the artists that made you want to sing? How did they influence your creations? A lot of wellknown artists made me want to sing. Brian McKnight, Boyz II Men, Usher, Luther Vandross, Donny Hathaway etc. But where I really found my love for music was with the lesser known acts… Sam Salter, Brandon Hines, Frank McComb, etc. I also love the lesserknown songs by big name artists. The less commercial material. If I was to check your ipod right now, which artists/songs would I see in your playlist (5 main ones )? Tank… he’s the king in my opinion. Jagged Edge, Caleborate, Jodeci, and re -cently SWV’s “New Beginning album from 1996. Tell us more about your current projects? I just released my

album “LaFace Era”. I truly think it’s the best project I have ever done. It is a blend of 90’s R&B and the new R&Bass sound that exists today. I feel like people are stepping away from what R&B is really made of. Singers, real singing and music. So I took that, and built on it with todays sound and people are really responding to it. I was able to get my brother, rapper Caleborate, and other great artists like Stina Bates, Janessa Marie and Rymeezee to add various vibes to records that really make the project stand out. Do you prefer to perform ‘live’ or record in studio? Live is awesome if you can get a good band. The studio and live shows are so different that I honestly love them both. For different reasons. You can take your time in the studio and really try a bunch of things. Live, you get to interact with the crowd and exchange vibes. Its really all amazing. Your biggest ‘accomplished’ challenge so far? Getting people to respect r&b again. Usually, you turn a song on, if it doesn’t play bass or snares in the first 15 seconds, people are done listening. So really getting people to respect singing and crooning again has been my biggest challenge.



|BeautyKrush So far, you’ve pursued a successful career representing your country as Miss Finland (2011). How did it change your life? Winning Miss Finland really changed my life. I wasn’t the usual pageant girl who wanted that her whole life- actually quite the opposite. Never even thought about it and then my friends pushed me to send my info to the casting. I ended up winning the whole thing! Also Miss Universe competition was only few months away when I won the crown. I’m always eager to learn new things and I had to learn so much so fast. I’m very grateful for all the experience I got and that whole journey has led me here where I am today. Why did you decide to move to L.A? After Miss Universe competition, I felt like I wanted to do more with my career than what I’d be able to do in Finland. During my first trip to LA, everything seemed to click, I got signed with two agencies, met some really good contacts and most importantly, I loved the city. I felt I belong here so I decided I wanted to give it a try. Otherwise, I’d keep wondering “what if” the rest of my life. It wasn’t easy to leave Finland and move to a new country by myself. But it has been worth it. How did you get involved in acting? I feel that, living in Los Angeles, you can’t avoid getting involved with it. I was curious and took some classes. Loved it! I felt like it was natural thing to do with modeling and being Miss Finland. I find that having all that in my background gives me advantage. I feel like I’m more ready for all the different sides of this business. Miss Universe gave me good experience with all the interviews and appearances, being in front of huge audience

and interacting with the fans. Knowing how to be on set and getting along with people is also very important. Modeling and acting are similar, I love how in the acting you can really get into your character when modeling is more fast phased. How is it to play in a legendary TV series like SAF3, that is by the people who created Baywatch? I remember how I used to watch Baywatch when I was younger. It’s crazy that now I’m in the new tv series from them! They are great people and I loved working with them. It was amazing experience and learned a lot during the filming process. My character Heather is a lifeguard and my uniform is still the legendary red one piece. I was so excited about it! How did you prepare yourself for your role (Heather)? Heather is a lifeguard so I researched info about that. As a lifeguard, you need to be able to swim and also, for the role I practiced, my technique. It came to me naturally because I used to swim a lot when I was little. Remember how sometimes my lips started turning blue and even still I didn’t want to get out of the water! In which area would you like to improve as an actress? I feel like there is always things you can improve and that’s what fascinates me with it. I love training for fight scenes and want to do more action films in the future. That’s why I have a trainer to do some martial arts training and I go to kickboxing classes regularly. In acting, you also learn from your everyday experiences.

// ANNABELLA GUTMAN (@AnnabellaGutman) You are a model, an actress, a producer and now Miss LA... where do you find enough time to take care of so many things? It’s very difficult and challenging. At times, I wish I could clone myself. I try to budget my time by hygrading and prioritizing all of my projects. I am particularly focused on acting and modeling opportunities, and well as my charity work. Born in Israel, you had the chance to travel a lot. So far, what has been your best trip? I love London, UK. I respect the culture, and admire the manners and fashion sense. I have been fortunate because I have traveled all over the world modeling, and visiting many exotic and interesting countries. On the exotic side, I also loved Brazil, as I am half Brazilian on my mother’s side. You are currently Miss Los Angeles 2015. As a beauty Queen, what is your role? My first role is to properly represent the people of Los Angeles, and promote the city itself. The Miss Los Angeles/Miss World platform has also helped me to promote and work with many worthy charities based in Los Angeles, and inspire others to do the same. I also inspire and advise other women and girls trying to succeed in show business. My reward is the satisfaction of helping others. Are you involved in any charity activities? I am involved in many charities and related causes. I am particularly active in one particular cause, and specific organization near to my heart due to a dear friend. The charity is «The Hearts of Epilepsy», based in Stamford


Connecticut. Also, I have done a lot of events helping the homeless in Los Angeles, the LA Firefighters, among many others. Charitable causes take up a good portion of my time, and I am happy to give back. What was the experience like working on HBO’s series «Entourage”? I had a blast. The cast and crew were so professional and talented, and in general awesome to work with. The production was first class. I am hoping for another opportunity to do so in the near future. What is the role you dream to get in your career? I would very much like to work with a few notable actors and directors, including Steven Spielberg, Edward Norton, Tom Cruise, Judd Apatow, Todd Phillips and Gerard Butler. I would particularly like to play a leading role in an action movie, such as Furious 7 or Mission Impossible. I have been working with a personal trainer in martial arts and stick fighting to prepare for those type of roles. If a role demands frontal nudity, would you be game for it? In the past, I have had numerous offers regarding nudity in film and media, and have declined them all. However, if a project was high end with a great director, and had a relevant and important scene that required nudity such as Halle Berry’s Oscar winning performance in «Monster’s Ball», I would do it. Interviews by French Vouvou


// PIA LAMBERG (@LambergPia)

ÂŤStandup comedy is the hardest thing anyone in entertainment can do, in my opinion. It was my first time. You are up there alone, and the audience reaction is immediate. I have never been nervous in front of a camera, or walking runways. I do have to admit that I was very nervous doing standup at first, but after a few minutes, I settled down and started to be myself, and actually got some laughs. I would totally do it again.Âť



|MOKA BLAST // WE ENTHRONE THE NEW KING OF NEW YORK - by French Cxcaine What is Hip Hop today, in 2015? Hip Hop is a melting pot of different nationalities bringing their flavor to a forever changing genre in 2015. The sound has been altered but the premise and underlying message is still the same. Artists are here to entertain the masses. What is your message for all those people who say that ‘Hip Hop’ is dead? Individuals with certain preferential likings are biased to what they are accustomed to, which makes it difficult to enjoy the new direction Hip Hop is headed. Hip Hop is now universal, as we see many other cultures are embracing it and there has been such an exponential growth in a very short amount of time. Change is important and the state of Hip Hop is evolving as we speak. As Kanye West said “Are Rappers the new Rock stars” now? We are almost there, but to be a rock star, you must be a brand and not only an artist. The perks that come with being a successful artist are rewarding, but your struggle to the top is what makes it much more interesting, your life is telling a story before any one even knows you. Do you listen to other genres of music? I really enjoy music from the ‘50s the best. There is nothing better than listening to some oldies while cruising on the highway with your windows down.

me that got me teary eyed. @Elevate4self is such an amazing artist. The picture was from the shoot I did for this cover but never used, I thought it looked way too gangster. The painting is hung up on my wall as I look forward to waking up, it motivates me to never stop. #ClichésQuestions: Rappers always end a concert with women in their room. True or false? False. I am all about my space, especially after performing my heart out for my supporters, I don’t want to be bothered. It really depends on the type of artist, as I have never had a problem with the opposite sex. The ladies do love Moka! Maybe, just maybe, rappers who weren’t accustomed to getting buns before they made it can justify such outlandish behavior. #ClichéQuestions: You can’t be a real rapper if you don’t come from the street... False. Rap is an art form and telling a story from your point of view is all that matters. Being from the streets is only an advantage if you are running your own show. As an Independent artist, seeing the correlation between the rap game and the streets makes it easier for you to see whom the snakes really are. The sad part is, that being from the streets can really hinder you as labels look at you as a high-risk investment. Either way music is a sport in which creativity trumps fiction and its hats off to the one who tells the better story.

«The first time I saw my face on MTV, all I could do was cheese. I was in my room and heard my growl (#Urrrggghhh) then, “It’s Blast The Beautiful” tag and I almost lost it. To know I never gave up on a dream that I thought I would never achieve due to my involvement in the streets, is priceless. I just couldn’t believe that I was watching myself.»

«It is crazy to look at a magazine and see your image on the front; people are going to take 5 to 10 minutes out of their lives to know who you are on an intimate level. This is my 8th cover and being on an Internationally renowned magazine like “Mr Dreamz” is one of my greatest career achievements.» - After a (2014) promising year, what is your biggest challenge for 2015? Branding myself is the key and trying to decipher which direction is next will be difficult. Trying to out do what I did is going to be an arduous task but that’s what I live for – challenges. Tell us the craziest thing a fan/groupie has done for you? Now in the Ladies Man rulebook, Chapter 4, Code 11, Line 2, it states that in no way, shape, or form, am I allowed to divulge any information about what happens between a woman who is attracted to Moka and will do anything for me without me even having to ask. But seriously, a fan of mine was congratulating me on my MTV Jams debut and had an amazing artist draw a really great picture for


#ClichéQuestions: If you check out a rapper’s bag, you will find some weed, a bottle of Ciroc & a porno magazine #Joke So what woud we find in Moka’s bag? I find that really funny, as I don’t drink or smoke and I truly thought that porno mags were outdated due to an exponential growth of Internet sites. LOL. In my bag you will find, Ladies Love Moka Vol. 3 hosted by DJ Superstar Jay, some recording headphones, my promo flyers, business cards and a lot of money in either rubber bands or just strewn around.


Twitter @MokaBlast More seriously, how can you explain the fact that so many people still have stupid pictures in their mind about rappers? No one is to blame for the views of narrow-minded individuals but themselves; I think people should always expand their horizons.People are quick to say blame the media, but society doesn’t control that outlet. The powers that be are responsible for the stereotypical views of usually, African American males, and never show the good they have done, only the negative. What do you feel the first time you see your face on the cover of a magazine? Disbelief is the best way to sum it all up. It is crazy to look at a magazine and see your image on the front; people are going to take 5 to 10 minutes out of their lives to dedicate getting to know who you are on an intimate level. This is my 8th cover and being on an Internationally renowned magazine like “Mr Dreamz” is my one of my greatest career achievements. When I heard it would be published in French as well, I literally lost it. I am looking forward too see how I sound in French. “Je pense que je pourrais être intéressant”!

We heard somewhere that you went on tour with Coast2Coast? Yeah, this was my second tour with Coast2Coast and I was super excited as touring for me is what I live for. We hit New Orleans, Austin, Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Miami, Boston and New York City. How did you hook up with SXSW as well? Well Nick Heirsche and I have a great working relationship and he told me that SXSW would be a great venue for me to get even more exposure that I needed. We tried to do it last year but I decided to go with a March tour instead. When I found out how big it was, I told him to make sure and book me. I was so excited to network with every one and be around people who do what I do on a daily basis. We recently listened to your feature on Dream Kayris’ new single «Mueve» ft. Natalia Damini, Kanary Diamonds and Pepe Gero. Was it the first time you threw bars on a dance tropical song? I guess 2015 is the first for a lot of things. LOL. It wasn’t my first but it was my first that I ac-

-tually released. I have always toyed with the idea to follow in a Flo Rida/Pitbull type route and this was the eye opener. The song as a whole is amazing and I am honored to be a part of it. The fact that I was moved up from the end of the track to the beginning also made me feel great. This is definitely a smash as I was excited to work with so many super talented artists from different genres as well. Much love to Pepe, Kanary and Natalia as well as Mr Mueve himself in Dream Kayris. People who I hadn’t spoken with in years reached out and told me this should be my new lane. I take advice really well and I’m ready to do more tracks like these as they are what sells and are undeniable. Can you also talk about your next video «My Windows Down»? Windows Down will be released on the LadiesLoveMokaVevo channel in May as the weather gets nice. It features my right hand, Sunset Aley, we have been working on a lot of tracks together. “My Windows Down” is more of a feel good type track that institutes rhythms from the 50’s, that is my favorite genre of music. So get ready for the track/video that is going to make me a household name.



|LatinFlavA // SITO ROCKS (@SitoRocks) Recently, I heard your remix «Pakito» feat Yandel on Soundcloud. It really rocks! It’s been a long time since you haven’t released a merengue/mambo track? Why? Glad you guys like the “Plakito” remix. I had blast recording it. (Sito Rocks sitting in a Cuban Café spot in Little Havana, FL while Salsa music plays in the background) haha Good question, I’ve been really focused working on my cross-over project from Latin to Pop. That put a minor delay on the Merengue/Mambo tracks, but don’t worry I have some fire in the vault. A lot of people still don’t know your love for Photography. Tell us more about Benhur Photography? How did the story begin? (Sips on a shot of Cuban Coffee) A lot of people don’t know I have a BFA in Photography. I’m a very visual person. Since I was a kid, I attended pro Art «My Latin single titled “Ella Se Pego” schools and there, I learned Art featuring mulit platinum recording artist & History and how to work with reggae legend “Snow” aka “Informer” has different mediums. I worked for a smooth and sexy reggae vibe. We will the amazing fashion house of Perry Ellis for about 8 years bebe shooting the music video in Jamaica» fore my music career took off. As As a Professional Photographer, I created many recording artist CD Covers and Imaging. Photography got me in the door to professional recording studios. Who was Sito as a kid? How did you get involved into music? I was born in Miami, FL but was raised in Hollywood FL which I like to call HollyHOOD. As a kid, I was very athletic played sports. I was introduced to Break Dancing & Hip Hop through my hood friends and my cousin Dj Fresco. Fresco taught me how to DJ using Technics and classic 12 inch vinyl records. By the way, I still have my collection of vinyls. I guess that was my introduction to Hip Hop, but my passion for music is in my bloodline. My father and all 4 of his brother are musicians. They had a very successful Salsa Band called “Sangre Latina” in the 70’s from Cuba. I grew up around congas, trumpets you name it. You co-founded «Smash Eleven», your Entertainment company based in FL. Who is the team behind your movement? (Taking a second to post on Instagram @sitorocks) Haha yeah, I got to post


something for the fans you know… Yes, I co-founded Smash Eleven about 10 years ago with my boy Mario “Genio” Coto. We felt that being independent would best for us. We have an amazing team. Our company has grown over the years. We signed Latin recording artist “El Chevo” Moombaton & EDM Producer “Dj Maahez”. We have huge relationships & affiliations with major brands now. So I’d have to say… our little company is making noise. Personally, i discovered your music with the smash «Dime Tu Nombre» in France. Was it the first time your music was played in Europe? Eso si… “Dime Tu Nombre” is one of my favorite songs I recorded. Tremenda nota esa noche (I was feeling nice after a few drinks that night at the studio). First of all, I would like to say thank you to all the Club Djs, Radio Djs and fans in France for the love, real talk. Actually, that was not the first time my music was played in France. My first smash played in France was “Party On My Level” featuring international Dj Sak Noel (known for Loca People). It charted #1 in Bacelona, Spain, Mexico and #5 in Costa Rica. Oh yeah and #1 in the Poland digital charts. That song has great energy. Speaking about France, “Avaricious” The Story of Will, a short film I star was nominated for Festival De Cannes. I’m really excited about this… The film is directed by Michael Garcia. You can watch the trailer on Youtube. Is «Party On My Level» your biggest highlight so far? “Party On My Level” definitely made me an International Artist. No Doubt! 5 million views on I’m feeling blessed. My Nasty Rockers are global now… hahah, incase you didn’t know… I call my fans “Nasty Rockers” cause we go hard in the paint. What are the next stops? You know it, gotta keep collecting those stamps for my passport. (Two gorgeous Miami girls walking by & wave hello to Sito Rocks) Haha that’s 1 of the main reasons I love Miami… My next few stops are in U.S.A. I will be at the LMX DJ Choice Awards in San Diego, Ca, then Los Angeles, San Antonio Texas then back to my home town Miami. The summer will be nuts all over South America.


«We will be releasing it Mid May 2015. My English single titled, “Lola”, is high energy and super fun. I was inspired by the classic Big Band feel. This track has live horns arranged by Latin Grammy Award winner Marlow Rosado & produced by my brother from another mother Genio.» - Interview by BB.Bouk



|LatinFlavA // CRUZITO


- Interview by BB.Bouk Born in Honduras, and living in Montréal, how do these two cultures impact on your music? Coming from a Hispanic background and Living in French-Canadian province has been challenging but very rewarding. I would say that Speaking English, French and Spanish have been my most valuable asset. Montreal is a multi-cultural city so I manage to mix all of these roots and blend them into my music. At the end of the day, I always stay 100% authentic. Is your song «Ménage à trois» the best example to illustrate this diversity? The title is in “French” and the song sounds different from my other romantic songs. I guess my ego wants to show that I am able to be “out of the box”... I can sing on different genres like reggaeton, r&b, bachata etc... How is the latin scene in Montréal? Is there a huge active community? Our radio airways are limited. We do not have 24/7 Latin radios like LA MEGA in NY or Miami. Therefore, it’s been difficult to showcase our talent here. There is a large community over here and we have Latin fests during summer ect… It’s better than nothing and things are changing in a positive way for us. How did you hook up with RKM y Ken-Y? Thanks to the internet, today it is easy to drop music and share it with fans. But this story happened 10 years ago... back in the days social media didn’t really exist and I was able to catch someone’s attention. I used to know a friend of Ken-Y who showed him my songs. It went all the way to Raphy Pina, C.E.O of Pina Records. He emailed me and wanted to meet. They came to Toronto for a gig and we had a conversation. The rest is History! The Masterpiece World Tour in Puerto Rico... Definitely your best memory? Of course, it was my very first stage appearance. I’m not talking about clubs or bars... I


mean 20,000 people singing your songs at every concert so I was very nervous during every performance but it was definitely one of the best experiences in my life. Today, I still watch the DVD and I get emotional just knowing that I was able to meet the challenge at a very young age. I was only 17 and it was truly big break for me. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity. Have you worked with a lot of artists abroad? I have worked with a lot of Reggaeton artists from Puerto Rico & Colombia. I collaborated on songs with Plan B, Tony Dize, Nicky Jam, Randy Nota Loca, J-Quiles, Ronald El Killa. I am working with some french Djs, I went to France 2 years ago and I openned for Daddy Yankee in Lyon, France. I had some gigs in Paris and the feedbackS were amazing. I didn’t know that people verseas would be so supportive! What is the best place for a romantic rendez-vous? There is nothing like walking on the beach at night, listening to the sound of the waves, the water hitting the rocks, talking for hours, looking at the stars. Hahaha it sounds corny i know but HEY you don’t need to make it fancy. The best song to make love on? One of my most recent song is Called “Haciendolo” which means “DOING IT”. it’s a slow tempo song. Perfect to set the mood. The craziest thing a fan have done for you? I met this girl in Puerto Rico once at a performance. She took a picture with me and she wanted to email it to me so I would autograph it and send it back. I made a mistake giving her my personal mail. She used it to send me love letters every month lol…at one point she just stopped. I felt bad for not answering. Am I a bad person? The female celebrity you dream to spend a night with... Katy Perry... No comment! :-)


|5 REASONS TO WATCH #SURRENDER by VOYCE* Shakespeare Words Act As The Key...

“I’ll follow you and make a heaven out of hell, and I’ll die by your hand which I love so well”. When I first came across these Shakespearean words, I instantly knew that I had to embed them as the establishing quote of the Surrender music video. They perfectly foreshadow the events that transpire in the video without necessarily spoiling them. With that being said, I’ll try to explain my reasons without diving too deep into the meaning of the video, from my perspective anyway, because as with Beautiful Pain, I want each viewer to forge their own personal bond with it based on their own experiences. One lyric in the song set the precedence of how I wanted the imagery to be established: “I’ll follow you until the end of the world”. On the surface, the video expands on those words in a singular story, but in reality, it is far more complicated and it really only starts to unravel if you pay close attention to what you are seeing and when they are being seen. Shakespeare’s words act as the key that unlock the true meaning, one that I choose to let people discover by themselves. Then again, each person will derive their own interpretation, and really that’s the beauty of art.

Vulnerable, Haunting, Empty, Cold, Hopeful…

The video was actually shot in surrounding areas around Montreal. The director, Francis Ward, and I had spent many days scouting places looking for the perfect locations. We, at some point, found ourselves walking through treacherous territory high in some mountain. Needless to say that it didn’t work out because of one simple word… SPIDERS!!! You have no idea how much they terrify me. I had this very clear and specific idea of how I wanted the imagery to be, so I wasn’t ready to settle for anything other than that. Truthfully, we only found the right locations for the shots on the days of shooting, in no small part thanks to the actress, Liza-Marrie Charron who just happened to know of some secluded places that perfectly fit the bill. When I first came across Liza, I knew instantly that I wanted her to be in one of my music videos, I just didn’t know which one. There is an innocence about her and at the same time that innocence carries so much expression, she can seem vulnerable and yet haunting. When it came time to shoot Surrender, I knew it had to be with her. How would I describe the video in 5 words? Vulnerable, Haunting, Empty, Cold, Hopeful.

«The album itself isn’t an EP, but a full fledge LP, actually it’s a lot bigger than that. It explores my life from 2010 until now and is in many ways a journey into my mind, one that is both broken and healing, drenched in darkness and hopeful in light. It explores the delicate dual nature of life, my life to be exact.» The END and The Rebirth…

There is such finality in the word END. I wanted that finality to be emphasized, especially when stylized in the word SurrENDer. To surrender to the end is to let go of everything, to accept that at that moment, all you can do is be taken to that final place. It is cold and sad but at the same time it is peaceful. There is a gentle silence in that raging storm; there is hope of a new beginning. Like with the phoenix, every end is a rebirth, a chance to start anew.

I Still Don’t Know How I Survived…

The song Surrender was actually conceived from two tragic moments that happened in my life at around the same time. 2010 was that year, a year that in many ways set me on this path that I am on now. I had just lost my mother and saw the end of a long term relationship. I was shrouded in despair, everything I knew about my world had shattered and there was no light at the end of that darkness. I chose to surrender into that feeling of pain; I wanted to end with it. I was ready to be lost to it; I was haunted by memories. Those are days I still to this day don’t know how I survived.


AiaC x Angels & Demons

I’m not ready just yet to disclose the official release date of the AiaC (Angels & Demons): Angels & Demons album, but I will say this, it is launching this year and very very VERY soon. I will give a hint to those who know me though: The tattoo on my left arm says XXVII:IX. Now before you scream EUREKA, I’ve solved it! No it is not September 27th. The album itself isn’t an EP, but a full fledge LP, actually it’s a lot bigger than that. It explores my life from 2010 until now and is in many ways a journey into my mind, one that is both broken and healing, drenched in darkness and hopeful in light. It explores the delicate dual nature of life, my life to be exact. Will there be more videos and shows planned? Yes indeed, on both accounts, and I’ll be revealing those soon. Interview by Joha Brown










Interview by French Vouvou

// ALISA SHARP (@alisasharpmusic) You participated in Israeli Idol few years ago. Was it a decisive time for your career? Yeah, it was in 2007. This show helped me realize that not only that I want to do this for the rest of my life but that i actually CAN do it, and not bad at all :) It was a great experience. I learned a lot, especially about how these shows work, and the whole TV production. One advice I’ll give artists who are looking to participate in those shows is to don’t forget that, at the end of the day, the production team, as sweet as they are, have one main interest: the show ratings! You have to find a way to make it work both within their interests as a tv show and your own artistic ones. Who was Alisa, the teenager? Can you explain the word “Chubby”? I was a bit bigger, wasn’t the prettiest girl at school. I was kinda weird when you think about it. But good weird. Artistic weird. I studied fashion design and often made my own clothes to wear them at school and parties. Sometimes, they were a hit and sometimes a miss. But i didn’t care much. I had great friends and there were a lot of laughs at school. I wasn’t an extremely popular girl but not an outcast either. I did always write songs. One time, I even performed a song about my high school crush at school. It became a hit. You can say i did “Taylor Swift” way before she was famous. Were those scars a nightmare for you when you were a kid? There were a few “i feel sorry for myself” moments. From the beginning, i remember my grandparents treating the whole situation as a problem that needs to be fixed. Like it’s something that needs to be treated, and until it is, it needs to be covered. I was always wearing a closed neck shirts even to the beach/pool.It made me question


my looks and think that I’ll never have a boyfriend as a teenager. I’m not mad at them for doing it because they just didn’t know any better. It took me 23 years and a simple moment of clarity to understand there’s nothing wrong with it and i should never cover it again. How did you hook up with Demrick for your single Innocence? I was looking for a rapper for this version of “Innocence”, but stumbled upon Demrick totally by coincidence and glad I did! I met his mixing engineer Alon Aeda at some restaurant in LA and we started talking, It all came down pretty quickly to “you should come check out my studio, come to record… let’s work” so I did. When i came in, Demrick was there and they were working on one of his tracks. Right away, i loved his talent and vibes and just asked him right there if he wants to rap on my song. We played “Innocence”, he went into the booth and in less then 1 hour his part was written and recorded. He’s extremely talented and such a humble person. I love it when artists are like that - no bullshit, straight up “if i like it, i’ll do it” and come through. Can you tell us more about “Heya hands up”. It sounds like a big Summer hit! You know, Heya was like a little colorful bird that came out of nowhere. I was never aiming to write that kind of music but it just happened. I was jamming in the studio in LA over a beat with my super talented producer Gemini (Hagai Mizrahi) which is something i don’t normally do - usually i write a full song at home and then come in to the studio. The whole song just came out of nowhere and was a warm ray of sunshine. I hope people enjoy it :)





Twitter @mindofjE 22



My first performance was when I was 4 years old singing at my pre-school graduation. I also had my own imaginary radio show and would make up the commercials and songs at that age too. I then began writing poetry around 8-9 years old and shortly after that started writing full structured songs with choruses and verse. I had stacks and stacks of cassettes that I would record song drafts on. I just loved writing, singing, and making up songs. It was always in me and I just embraced it. Then I heard and saw Alicia Keys’ “Fallin” and new that’s what I wanted to do. My mom bought me an electric keyboard and I started taking piano lessons. And I’ve been creating, writing, producing and performing ever since.


I performed at this event in Charlotte when I first starting off in my career and 9th Wonder was DJing. He liked my style and was a big supporter of my movement early on. He ended up sending me a handful of beats. I really liked the track to Sell Me a Cloud and wrote the song in less than an hour. I wanted to write something that was different and abstract to catch people’s attention and we ended up releasing it as an underground single.


1/Traveling to Bangladesh as a U.S. Cultural Ambassador for the Next Level program for Hip Hop in 2014 was a mind-blowing experience. We ended up playing to a soldout show in their largest venue in the country there and met so many talented hip hop creators that inspired me in ways indescribable. 2/Opening for Macy Gray in October 2014 in my home state! 3/Having my album “Life Of A Hologram” selected as one of the “top 10 Must-Own albums from Charlotte” by Charlotte Magazine. Everyone involved with LOAH worked so hard on it! So it was awesome to see the Charlotte (where the album was recorded) embrace it on a list with other amazing and legendary musicians.


In Summer/Fall 2015, I plan on dropping an EP entitled “Letters from a God” that will be an evolution of my neonfolk style and will be good, soul-bending high vibration music. I’m also working on releasing a book. The book will hold some of the co-created quotes and inspirational sayings I’ve been collecting over the years and I hope that it can give inspiration to all the dreamers out there to never give up and that dreams can and DO become reality.


I really look forward to co-producing music with Willow Smith. Being engaged in her movement is inspiring and we are both paradigm shifters for our generation for sure. I know once we do meet and open within meditation, the music that will come out will push boundaries far beyond any fathomable dimension. Besides that, personal goals are continue in the Great Work and linking with other intergalactic beings among the Family of Light and existing as free as possible, in all ways.


LOAH is an allegory about a “fictitious time” on Earth where we have a dwindling amount of water and air and what happens to humanity when we are forced to deal with such a problem. It is also a love story between a female hologram and a rebel woman who is against the world dictator “The Overseer.” There is dictatorship, love, war, caste systems, and natural resource depletion woven into the story and music of the album. It’s a wake up call album because the fiction of this story is not far from where we are today and I just wanted to create a project that 100 years from now, people can look back and say, “they saw it. they spoke up. they knew and tried to change the course of history via art.” and I believe this album has and will change the course of our Now.


I love wearing different hats! And Iook to models like Jay-Z who is one of my biggest inspirations. Jay-Z is an entrepreneur, leader, artist, investor, husband, father and so many other titles. If you can’t wear multiple hats, your lifestyle has no dynamics and no challenges. I love wearing different hats. It keeps me on my toes and keeps my outfits fresh.

jocElyn ELLIS

I like to spell my name “jocElyn ellis” because the lowercase on both names was inspired by bell hooks. she doesn’t capitalize her name because she wants the substance of her expressions to be more important than who she is and I thought it was soooo cool so I wanted to do it too. I capitalize the “E” in my first name because I love my Ellis family and am proud of where I come from so that is just to big up my kinfolk while still keeping everything else humble. Interview by French Vouvou

// jocElyn ELLIS





|SOULKRUSH «We plan to collaborate with the cougar community to get the sexiest cougars to feature in the next video.» Interview by Winnie MC For people who still don’t know you, where do you come from & how did you get into music? I was born in Lagos and came to the US at an early age. I’ve always loved music. It’s always been a part of my life. The local music from back home always used the talking drum but the funny thing is that I wanted more from the music. I would dream of owning my own drum set and imagined the sounds I could create. I never did get that drum set but I did get a taste of singing in my church choir and from there decided to also sing in my high school choir. Then the guys in the neighborhood were rapping, so I got into that, then music production. Eventually I made it back to Houston Texas, got in a group called Poetic Flavor for a short period. We separated and I just got more into the production side of music. Before talking about music, we would like to know what your definition of ART is? Art is an expression of one’s self and you can express it in many different ways, whether through music, painting or by building something. Whatever means to get the point across, sometimes fictional, sometimes non-fictional, it’s a place to escape to, it can be a fantasy . It’s bringing your imagination to life where people can share, enjoy, like or not like it. Art is freeing. There is a lack of «creative concepts» nowadays in black music... What is your opinion about it? I think some people just want to go with the trend rather than working harder to create good concepts that can last. Those who stay true to themselves as artist don’t always have the pathway to get it to the mainstream. Then there are artists who do not have creative control of their product. I think it’s good to stay true to your craft, because you have to live with it. If you plant a seed properly it will keep taking care of you years to come.

Talking about concepts, what is the one behind your video «Cougar Love»? Are you a cougar lover by the way? There are a lot of young guys that fantasize about older women, straight up! I’ve had a few experiences myself with cougars and there’s something very alluring about a strong, sexy, independent woman that draws young men to want to get closer. One day, I was driving in my car and listening to Howard Stern then I heard a commercial about, I thought it was a joke so I pulled over and went to the website and was like, wow. So that’s where the whole concept began, I was already thinking about creating a theme song for the Sexy Mamas and it became Cougar Love. I came up with the track and brought in a fellow musician for the live base. We then released the song mid-2014 and shot a video for it, but the saga will continue.

on Billy Jean and 100’s of other hits. But yes we plan to have acoustic versions of songs, the range is just wide, it’s a combination of years of experience and imagination waiting to make noise in your ear drum.

How did you hook up with Tony Moore (former producer for Destiny’s Child)? I met Tony at Ann Tillman’s House in Houston Texas. Ann Tillman is the original manager for Destiny’s Child and at the time she was putting together a team, although Tony and I did not work together then, we were part of the same family. After Ann passed away back in 1996, I lost contact with a lot of people, Tony being one of them. From one friend to another, we were reconnected and are now working together. It’s been great and I’m looking forward to what’s to come.

What are now your projects for this summer 2015? We have a lot planned, shoot a video for WFY (remix), and drop an EP with all the Cougar Love Mixes (planned title “I LOVE COUGARS”) and shoot a new Cougar Love video. We would also like to set up a Cougar Party Tour where we can incorporate elements like speed dating at the show and ending with a live band. Depending on how those go we will then move on to another single or an EP. We’ll see where the wheel turns.

Yesterday, i was listening to your new single «Waiting for You Remix» and wondered if it was one of your wishes to release something more «acoustic»? Can we expect soon a live version with your musicians? We have a lot in the arsenal. I have some material with the late great David Williams, who is Michael Jackson’s guitar player, and he is the guitarist

Any highlights so far in your career? The situation with Bungalo Universal is a great highlight and working with Oji Pierce was a great experience. Although working with Oji Pierce was short lived, I learned a lot. Of course working with Ann Tillman will always be one of my most cherished memories. She was a force to be reckoned with and passed too soon. I will always have a special place in my heart for her. She knew real talent when she saw and heard it. And I can’t leave out the time I spent working with David Williams and Lenard Jackson.

Who is the team behind your movement? Can you present us 26th ELEMENTS Records? 26th Element is a family team of brother’s, sisters and close friends. We have people in the U.K, Africa and the U.S to promote our agenda, which is to make good music that’s entertaining, funky and fun.

Twitter @ajibademusic 25




Can you tell us one crazy memory from your street life? Something you would never forget! I’ve had so many but i’ll say one when I was real young taught me a lot. I was in Washington Heights, NY, one day walking around back blocks when a dominican man standing in front of a building stopped me. He put his arm around my shoulder and said «Papi, I got something for you, you tell me what you looking for, I show you what I got». Now me being real young, I didn’t catch at first what he was talking about, but as he was basically walking me in the building I remembered what crack spots smelled like from my Aunt’s building in Harlem. So we in the elevator and we get off on some floor and soon as we step off, he goes to an apartment door immediate to the right. He opens the door and from afar, I peeked in and noticed no real furniture or anything, just what appeared to be cocaine on a table. So I thought of the quickest lie I could tell him to avoid going in the house. I said «someone up the block offered me some, let me talk to them first and I come back». Right then he gave me the most strange look as if he wasn’t sure to trust me and let me go or possibly kill me since I just seen his stash house. Thank god for my sake, it worked and I left not looking back, learning that thinking quick in these streets will often save your life. How did you escape from the cycle of negativity? I watched and learned from others mistakes. My half brother faced attempted murder, another friend convicted to 75 yrs, saw three other friends do time and come home. Another close friend shot and almost paralyzed. Even a recent friend’s Gang affiliation got him jammed and facing time right now. I just think the streets will always take more than it will ever give back. We all fall victim to it but remaining in it is when you eventually lose. It comes a point in your life when you either break the cycle or the cycle will break you. I also believe faith in God, my family and way my mother raised me kept me alive.


What do you feel is the most important problem in our society today? It’s actually too many to name but if I could say what is a root for much of it I’d say «People not valuing human life». If you look at Racism, it usually stems from jud-

-ging or disliking someone for their appearance without simply viewing them as another human life. If you look at the wars, it’s never about how many human lives have been or will be lost. It’s usually about greed, power, or old men talking and young men dying. If you look at poverty, that is the wealthy of us not caring about the lives of the less fortunate. Choosing to instead turn a blind eye while throwing thousands of dollars away in a strip club. If you look at the Gang violence, Gun Violence, and Police officers executing human beings with no repercussions, this is all a lack of value for human life. How can an artist change things? In other words, how can music impact positively on our society’s problems? Start telling the TRUTH. Simple as that, you can’t continue to only give one side, there has to be balance. If you choose to rap about the street, how many drugs you sold, how many guns you shot, people you killed. Then also rap about going to jail, consequences of a felony, being shot or shot at, the many funerals of friends, the 45 year old Gang member with nothing to show for it. Stop celebrating hoes and strippers while good women going to college, working two jobs and struggling with bills have no songs to celebrate them. Create songs for the everyday person sometimes. There are more Poor people than Rich people in this world and sometimes that audience wants to dream and live through you, but sometimes they want to relate to you and feel like you understand what they go through. Some artist rap about things and go back to the safety of their mansion while people in real life don’t have that luxury. I think that is why you’ve seen the recent success of kendrick, J-Cole, Chance the rapper, Childish Gambino, and others because they are being themselves. Music has to always reflect real life and have balance or else it loses it’s importance. What is an artist’s role or responsibility for being a vehicle for social change? An artist position is a very tough one to be in. This is the music business where it is 90% business and 10% music. This is a job at the end of the day and if you’re not generating money, you have no value, in other words, if you can’t be used, your useless. Add to it that music is Entertainment and those who are entertaining are usually the most suc-


Twitter @CatalystWasHere «Let people know some of your album or concert proceeds are going to schools that are in need of supplies. Offer to do free shows for kids doing good in school. Speak out in interviews, start the conversations, wear your opinions on clothing while attending the Grammys, Oscars, etc. Use your celebrity when you can’t use your music to bring awareness to the problems.» - Interview by French Cxcaine cessful. So I’d say you can be a vehicle by using your celebrity and fame. Endorse companies and people who are fighting to change society. Donate money to groups who are organizing marches/protest or helping their community. David Banner said: «HipHop is sick, because America is sick» what is your opinion about it? I absolutely agree with him. We as artist are only a reflection. America’s issues are deeply rooted in a lot of things that existed long before HipHop was even a thought. We didn’t create these issues, we are simply the ones who decided to speak about them over music. If we all stopped rapping right now and HipHop as a genre truly died, it would not eliminate the issues from still existing in our country. Who do you think is a real game-changer in today’s music industry? I honestly would say it’s not an artist, label or executive. I think the fans are now the real game-changers. In this digital age and social media, they are the decision makers on who succeeds and who doesn’t. Building a fan base has now become much more personal to where every artist has their own die hard following and that changes the rules. Do you feel TIRED of senseless music? Absolutely, I think whenever you have artist repeating the same subject matter over and over, using the same flow pattern over and over or same types of hooks, it just becomes monotony. It’s the main reason why you see a lot of artist here today, gone tomorrow. There is no longevity in it.

I read somewhere that you are a «Breath of fresh air to a genre on its death bed». Compared to other artists in the industry, and other than your talent, What do you bring to the Table? I’d say I’m extremely unpredictable. I understand this business and that I have to put certain commercial music out for audiences as I did with my #R2L Mixtape, but my follow up «Ready To Live» Ep coming soon is basically the opposite. It’s more songs, concepts and records about things you may have lived through yourself. I’m also very competitive with myself so it causes me to think outside the box of anything I last did. If you can’t do anything worth remembering than you’ve already been forgotten. What is the concept behind the «NAH» Video? Shout out to director Kristian Kruz for that one. The chair in the video is actually from a «Godfather» film and if you remember, it’s always where the head Boss sat similar to a throne. The warehouse look symbolized where work is put in and having me by myself was symbolizing my solo introduction to the world. So after this the question is you either riding with me or Nah? Lol Can you tell us more about your next visual entitled «Errryday» This was directed by Jayonez of MoneyShot Films and because my «#R2L mixtape» and «Ready to Live» Ep are both metaphoric tributes to the Notorious B.I.G. We decided to do «ERRRYDAY» as a 2015 «Flavor In Ya ear» and give viewers familiarity but from a total different sound, style, artist and visual. It will be releasing soon on my CatalystWasHereVEVO page courtesy of VEVO.