Page 1


Natum vere numenis simus, od qui beribus siti con plautem

From the Editor 3


Soul Fusion




elcome to SoulFusionTM Magazine! As publisher and editor-in-chief, I am excited to Tip! present the first edition of our magazine. It is my passion to see all artists, especially independent artists, live out their dreams. A culmination of years of performing and working with some of the most talented artists around and recognizing their challenges, through SoulFusionTM, my aim is to provide information on the ‘Indie’ world, encourage those who are interested in starting their projects and keep you abreast of the latest and greatest our DMV indie community has to offer!

You will find intriguing interviews, useful tips on starting your own indie project, my selections on “Artists to Watch,” motivation to empower and keep you moving forward, and so much more! SoulFusionTM is not just my voice, but your voice as well! Tell me what you would like to read about in this quarterly magazine. I predict amazing things in our future…let’s make it happen! Happy 2014, everybody!





Interview with

Gwendolyn Collins

by Wendy Hicks


(Wendy) If you weren’t singing, what would you be

his issue features Ms. Gwendolyn

(Wendy) Who have your musical influences been?

(Wendy) What’s your favorite genre of music?

(Gwennie) Collins.

Her personality

(Gwennie) ‘Wow! I was influenced by so many be-

(Gwennie) ‘Oh boy, to sing or write? To sing, neo-

and charm is as big as her talent! I

cause I write for many different genres like Jill Scott

soul infused w/ funk; to write, EVERYTHING (just

(Gwennie) ‘Dying…gasp!

doing? Can’t imagine…hard to

was fortunate enough to have her as

and Ledisi. (Musical influence) goes way back to my

wrote spiritual song yesterday) - best at writing Pop

think about removing music from my life!

my very first guest for the Soul’s

parents’ basement where I listened to and loved Gladys

(comes easiest for me)’!

imagine singing not being a part of daily routine, i.e.,

Journey: Series I showcase where she featured her

Knight (unique vocal sound, very different). Was also

(Wendy) Who do you listen to?

new hit single, “Take a Walk” which is climbing the UK

influenced by Annie Lennox (Eurythmics) and Tracy

charts! Our phone interview starts…


(Gwennie) chuckling, ‘I’m wearing a black wife beat-

(Wendy) Do you remember the first song you ever

Tamika Love Jones, and Brian Christopher. I don’t

er and blue jeans’!


listen much to radio, but am a big Ledisi fan, Rachell

(Gwennie) ‘Everything and anything…music that I

(Wendy) When and why did you decide to become a

(Gwennie) ‘I am always singing walking around the

Farrell, and Rashaan Patterson.

hear, something I see when driving….once I was at a


house. My parents showcased (me) all the time…at par-

(Wendy) What was it like being the inaugural artist

(Gwennie) ’Umm, honestly, really don’t feel like ‘I’

ties I was always singing/dancing for parent’s friends.

on the Soul’s Journey showcase?

decided, (music) decided for me. My first memory of

My first audience was Cherub Choir at home church in

singing was @ 5/6 years of age singing around the


house. My biological mother was also a singer’.

(Wendy) Do you recall when we first met?

real concert venue, it definitely made me a very com-

{side bar} Gwennie was adopted. Her adoptive par-

(Gwennie) ‘The Black Fox, supporting another indie

fortable vocalist. Had a lot of fun, great experience’!

ents informed her of what they knew of her mother.

artist, Brian Christopher. I remember your big smile!

(Wendy) If you had one wish to come true about

Once Gwennie met her mother she discovered that

We met again supporting Linda Stanton’s event, (we)

the music business, what would that wish be?

her mother was also a singer.

exchanged numbers and share love of music. The rest is history!’

(Gwennie) ‘Right now, listening to and supporting indie artists, i.e., Wendy Hicks, Nia Simmons,

(Gwennie) ‘Awesome, great experience to have an amazing back drop, band, lights, etc. Felt like in a

(Gwennie) ‘Oh boy, it would really be a true market for grass root independent artists and indie labels associated w/ the big 4 and subsidiaries, awards, etc.’!

I can’t

shower, car, day-to-day. I do enjoy travelling as spare activity’. (Wendy) Where does your inspiration to write come from?

hole in the wall restaurant and saw somebody eating fries and gravy. I went home and wrote a song, cute, will probably never put it out, but wanting to slop someone up like fries and gravy. Another time a friend was talking about fine men in DC, and I wrote a song called, “Gonna Get You’. (Wendy) What is your best advice to someone aspiring to be an Indie Artist? (Gwennie) ‘Network, network, network and be accountable. Do what you say you’re gonna do and be serious about craft’. For future performance dates go to



What is Soul Fusion?





oulFusion™ is a new brand of music that fuses various genres that ignites, inspires and touches the soul. Music is the universal language, which transcends the mind and speaks to the soul, and SoulFusion™ is Wendy’s concept of music combining a variety of sounds and styles to bring together the best of all genres. After hearing the sounds of SoulFusion™, you will also agree that your heart and mind has been touched and changed for the better. “My initial goal was not to create a new genre of music but to reach beyond a typical audience”. “My musical interest varies, and I do not want to limit my musical expression or message to a certain genre. I recognize the universality of music and I want to have a limitless sound. With SoulFusion™, we will bring together the best of all sounds and a “group of people” that would not have otherwise gotten together.” 6


Henry David Thoreau once wrote – “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” It’s true that confidence plays a major role in fulfilling your dreams. In fact, it is the cornerstone that dreams are built upon. Without confidence or faith, the invisible will remain invisible. However, with confidence and faith the unseen can be experienced.

Always remember it is our unique dream, so don’t depend on others to validate your dream. They will never see your dream the way you do. However, once that dream is a reality, they can live in the benefit of it. Many will caution you not to pursue your dream, but believe in yourself and continue to move forward. Like Walt Disney said, “Anything your heart desires will come to you.”


We have all been given a magnificent opportunity by our Creator to express the unique images, dreams, ideas, and purpose that we possess. This purpose not only benefits us as individuals, but also can affect our communities, cities, and our world. However, without moving confidently toward our dreams, it will never happen.

Be strong with courage and confidence, WenStars*! You have what it takes to live your destiny. From The Soul’s Journey Inspirational Corner!

*WenStars are those who support The W.E.N.D.Y. Project


Concert Review Ethan Sparks

The W.E.N.D.Y Project performs on her Soul’s Journey series at The Hampton Conference Center, Capital Heights, Maryland and the Navy Memorial’s Burke Theater As The W.E.N.D.Y Project performed to perfection songs like, “Inseparable” by Natalie Cole and her version of “You Know How to Love Me” by Phyllis Hyman. Wendy set a romantic mood and quickly took everyone on a journey that included romance, party and reminiscing. Whatever is next for the W.E.N.D.Y. Project is certainly worth the experience!


he W.E.N.D.Y Project performs on her Soul’s Journey series at The Hampton Conference Center, Capital Heights, Maryland and the Navy Memorial’s Burke Theater. The energy of the crowd mounted as the time grew closer for Wendy to grace the stage. It had been three months since Wendy’s debuted of her new band and show,


The W.E.N.D.Y. Project, and now it was time to debut her new single, “The Mask.” From the moment she appeared center stage, the electricity filled the building and it became abundantly clear why Wendy is such a sought after performer. Moments before appearing on stage, singing Jill Scott’s “Shame,” the crowd was treated

to a rousing performance by independent artist Gwendolyn Collins, whose performance aroused the crowd with her seductive style and in-your-face message of love and relationships. When Wendy dove straight into her well-thoughtthrough music set, the seasoned, musical veteran made everyone in the near-capacity-filled facility feel like love was good, hope was true,

and just about anything was possible in the next ninety minutes. Every sultry look, hip shake, and sensual tone was a statement of precision and power, and visual presentation was impressive, from the stage design to the provocative all white dress, showing a little leg onstage, draped in silver, which is quickly becoming Wendy’s signature color.

Her respect for her idols were apparent as she performed to perfection songs like, “Inseparable” by Natalie Cole and her version of “You Know How to Love Me” by Phyllis Hyman. Wendy set a romantic mood and quickly took everyone on a journey that included romance, party and reminiscing.



s Wendy performed her new single, “The Mask,” the crowd roared with excitement and every man felt the need to come out of hiding and put the mask down to be the man she was looking for. She also had a wonderful intimate moment as she shared the stage in spirit with Nina Simone as she sang her rendition of “Come Ye.” The song left the audience inspired to move beyond the things that would hold them back from making significant contributions in their world. The Journey continued as The W.E.N.D.Y. Project performed a holiday show: A Chocolate and White Christmas. This performance featured Nia Simmons, an independent artist with extensive musical accomplishment. Nia recently released her first single, “Living for Today” and performed it for a receptive audience. Nia’s single is climbing the UK charts daily. Her upcoming project is due for release in spring 2014. Be 10

on the lookout for Ms. Nia “the Songbird” Simmons! This show was special in many ways and one of the highlights was Wendy’s introduction of an eleven-year-old musical prodigy, Leilani McAdams, performing the Beatles song, “Michelle,” and a sing along, crowd-pleasing rendition of “Silent Night.” As The W.E.N.D.Y Project performed classic holiday songs such as, “This Christmas” and Sydni Marie singing the bluesy, “Merry Christmas, Baby,” the visual, musical and theatrical display energized the audience. Whatever is next for the W.E.N.D.Y. Project is certainly worth the experience! For Nia’s future performance dates go to

Entrepreneur Extraordinaire by Joshua Dannie Miles


rom the time Wendy could dream, she The goal is to change the way people think was looking for the next great venabout independent artists, creating more enture. Wendy always enjoyed the spotlight, deavors that are profitable for the indie artist. singing when and wherever she could.

Wendy has taken on songwriting, singing, Growing up, music was not only a passion producing, promoting, and artist developbut a way of life. Wendy understood early ment as part of her entrepreneurial spirit. A that music was entertainment and could natural people person and marketer, Wendy touch lives, but music was also a busishows people how to stop being ignored, ness. In the DMV, Wendy is known for stop simply dreaming and get out there and her caring ways, bubbly personality and make those dreams come true! profound beauty. However, few are aware of her astute business prowess. That’s What’s the key to being a successful entreabout to change! preneur? According to Wendy, it is to “Find As one who holds a Master’s in Business Administration, Wendy is using her training to develop an information bridge to link artists to the resources needed to succeed. Through the creation of The W.E.N.D.Y. Project, she hopes to revive the love of music and create music that inspires, revives and heals the soul.

the intersection between what you love to do and what other people are desperate to have, and provide them with it. A lot of entrepreneurs, musicians and artists fail because they focus on one or the other.”


Your Voice

The Gift, The Instrument

by Iyona Blake


our voice is unique. It is a gift! Not a gift that has been purchased, but a gift that is priceless. I think of a fourth grader that has signed up to become a part of her school band. Not only is she excited about the opportunity to become a part of something new and exciting, but the highly anticipated moment of purchasing a brand new instrument has finally arrived. She is now proud to carry it everywhere she goes. When she goes to sleep, she neatly places it on the shelf far away from anything that would harm it. She wakes up to polish it each morning and practices daily. She is eager to show others her new gift. Your voice is not only your gift, but it is also your instrument. Unlike this student, you cannot go to the local music store and purchase our instrument. It cannot be mass produced on an assembly line, or handmade by a manufacturer. Your instrument is uniquely designed to sound like, develop like, and be used like no other human being. Therefore, you have been given a wonderful opportunity to develop it, nurture it and protect it.


yona Blake is a singer, actor, songwriter, producer and teacher. A graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts and Shenandoah University Conservatory, where she studied Voice Performance, she also received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Performance.


Most recently, Iyona was seen as Desiree/Celina in Breast in Show, a breast cancer musical; Fats Waller’s Ain’t Misbehavin’ as Armelia McQueen with Washington Savoyards, and Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity with Theatre Alliance. Iyona’s operatic roles include the Countess (The Marriage of Figaro), Magda Sorel (The Consul), Liu (Turandot),

Marie (The Bartered Bride), and Bess (Porgy and Bess). She also placed first in various singing competitions, and made solo appearances performing “Ave Maria” in the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, Washington, DC. She is an expert in the training of vocal technique and passionate about the preservation and care of the voice.

Here are a few ways to protect your instrument: • Learn how to use your voice properly; train with a skilled, professional, vocal instructor • See an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist at least once a year • Get adequate REST, exercise regularly, and eat a balanced diet daily • Maintain body hydration by drinking lots of water • Warm up your voice daily; never sing without proper warm-up exercises • Sing within your vocal range • Avoid dry, artificial interior climates and breathing smoggy, polluted air • Try the natural remedy first; stay away from antihistamines (excessive dryness) days before you sing • Avoid throat sprays that numb the pain (can cause a false sense of wellness and cause future injury); use lozenges carefully • To avoid low screaming or yelling, move closer to those with whom you are speaking • Use amplification, as needed, if possible • Reduce your speaking time in noisy environments, such as in automobiles and airplanes • Learn to use your voice with as little unnecessary effort and tension as possible. So, begin the New Year with a fresh approach to vocal care. Let’s not continue with old vocal habits, but let’s seek new and innovative formulas that are proven to sustain any singer. Once you have totally committed to this new vocal lifestyle, you will soon discover that your instrument can weather any season or challenge. Wouldn’t it be nice to look back in twenty-five years and hear a better tone quality and a more solid consistent vocal range than you hear today? You determine the lifespan of your instrument. Keith Sweat said it best, “Make it Last Forever.” To ask Iyona a vocal question, go to





The W.E.N.D.Y. Project


Art Mosley - MD/Keys Kevin Coates - Keys Kevin Bentley - Bass David Prince - Guitar Jay Waldon - Drums Sydni Marie - Vocal Assistant


Music that ignites the Soul


Available on iTunes Today 15

Around Town Venues that Support Indie Artists

Thank You Editing by TWA Solutions

Photos and Magazine Design by KWPhotography and Graphic Design

Very special thank you to Darryl Green of the Islander Restaurant on U Street for hosting the launch of The W.E.N.D.Y. Project

We welcome feedback, suggestions, information about venues, performances, etc... Facebook: WENDY_Soulfusion Email:

SoulFusion Magazine  

Indie Artist Collaboration Magazine

SoulFusion Magazine  

Indie Artist Collaboration Magazine