Rebecca Knox “Orange Is the New Black”
Founder Michael Neely CEO Rasheed J. Neely Aaliyah Neely Editors Aidem Media Group Jimmy Star Eileen Shapiro
Contributing Writers Martha Samasoni Misty White David R. Navarro Trey Willis Jimmy Star Eileen Shapiro Graphics design&print
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Table of Contents Page 3-4 Rebecca Knox
Page 17-19 JMorr
Page 35-37 Desmond
Page 6-8 YK.Major
Page 20-22 Eileen Shapiro
Page 38 Tenia Renee Nelson
Page 8-10 FM
Page 23-25 WOULF
Page 10-12 Riley Sawyer
Page 26-28 Yhakavich
Page 12-14 The Pondhawks
Page 28-32 Ian Guerin
Page 14-16 Aye B
Page 33-34 Regina Bonelli
How did you prepare for your role in “Orange is the New Black? I researched what it means to be an oxy addict as well as what it means to be in prison. I read, watched videos- anything I could get my hands on. And of course, caught myself up on the show! How would you describe Tina Swope? Evil minion that you still love. Are there similarities between you and Tina? We are both tough women! She has a bit of an attitude and knows what she wants. I am not nearly as aggressive or violent as she is, but I relate to her drive. What experiences where challenging, fun, and memorable while doing OITNB? Working with live rats and learning how to shiv someone (stunt coordination) in season 6 and doing a pat-down on Laura Pepron in season 7. Do you feel that that fact that you speak several languages helps you with your acting career? 100%, the fact that I am bilingual has definitely opened up audition opportunities. People wouldn’t guess that I am half Latinx and speak fluent spanish- but it definitely is a plus. People are pleasantly surprised! Taking strong female roles seems to follow you around, is that on purpose? Well, not really. I am a strong woman, so I think it also happens that those are the roles I am called in for. That doesn’t mean I won’t want to step into many other shoes other than “tough girl”, but hey, being type cast is not a bad thing in my opinion. What inspired you to become an actor? It was a gut instinct. I’ve always loved watching movies, and the feelings I would get. I always gravitated towards more devastating dramatic movies and the actors who inhabited those roles. Performances done by Charlize Theron in ‘Monster’ and Cate Blanchett in ‘Blue Jasmine’ are just two examples of the kind of work I fully admire and wish to portray as an actor. How do you feel about the fact that there will not be another season of “Orange is the New Black”, and do you have another project to focus on? All good things come to an end. But, I am excited for what the future holds! I plan to write more of my own
What do you concentrate on when your not involved with an acting project? I continue my studies- and for me that means watching as many films as I can, catching up on shows, going to see live theatre, reading plays, taking classes, reading and writing screenplays. There is always more to be done! I understand you are involved with a screenplay that you’ve created, can you tell us the premise? It is a story about a young woman living in New York struggling with addiction and abuse. It’s a dark piece inspired by experiences I have had in my life. I am hoping to make a feature length and get it shot in a year or two. These things take time! The soundtrack of your life has just been recorded, what songs are included on it and why? I’m only gonna put one song here- and that’s because I love so many different kinds of music and would never be able to make the “right” playlist (I’m somewhat of a perfectionist). So, this is the one song for now-- (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction- The Rolling Stones (because in life, I don’t know if I ever will) If you could star with any actor on the planet, who would it be and why? This answer changes constantly. As of now, I would say, Adam Driver or Willem Dafoe. Instagram @therebeccaknox Twitter @therebeccaknox Photos on the left from “Orange Is the New Black”, @therebeccaknox on Instagram. Photo below sourced from the internet.
YK Major What’s your stage name ? YK ! The one and ONLY YK Major.
Who were your first musical influences that you can remember? 50 Cent, Nelly, Fat Joe, & Fabolous Which artists are you currently listening to? And is there anyone of these that you’d like to collaborate with? I listen to them all! Since I see them all as being my competition! My dream is to collab with Drake he’s my all time favorite of this generation along with j Cole and Kendrick Lamar, and Chris Brown is a MUST! Have you suffered any ‘resistance’ or skepticism from within the industry and fellow artists, and if so how have you handled that? Nah never that! For the most part I just stay in my lane and continue to adapt as an artist. If people in the industry place judgements I’ll find it to be an honor that I’ve gotten far enough to where they’ve acknowledging my existence Do you consider video an important part in promoting and marketing your music? Where can we find your latest video? Absolutely! I think once people hear your music they instantly have connected with your persona and your Ora enough to say whether or not you’re talented enough to be in their daily playlists but visuals kind of take that and expand the thought times a thousand because in videos we all are playing a role ! It’s like a tv show or movie! Once they get to see the character in action they can have the full effect. Studio recordings or performing live in front of an audience, which of these do you prefer most and why? Both! I’m an actor as well, so I feel like in the booth I try to bring the persona and the character to life and just give as much energy as humanly possible. On stage im also super hype and feed of energy! So, I couldn’t really pick one over the other. Tell us something about the beats and music production on your releases. Do you write and compose them or do you work with other writers and Producers? As far as the Beats, my manager/producer/engineer/Label CEO does it all. As an artist he understands me and my style! Sometimes I’ll give suggestions on what I need for certain songs but for the most part he nails it! As far as writers I don’t believe in that. Every artist is a character just like in a movie. And if u need someone else to develop your character then u just weren’t meant to play that role so I don’t use writers. Every lyric out of me is a true story I came up with myself.
On which of your songs do you think you delivered your personal best performance so far, from an emotional and technical point of view? I would say my unreleased song “Stay” which will be on my album “Late Arrival” releasing later this year. But also my most recent release “Really Wild’n” out now On All streaming Platforms & Music video out now on YouTube and VEVO. Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in a genre overflowing with new faces and ideas? Just the fact that I’m not afraid to standout and I’m so outspoken and just different to the point that I don’t care how anyone thinks of me. You have to be a certain kind of open to accept my personality. What you see is what you get and with me you can get A LOT ! U just gotta see to understand. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to stay in this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why? Hunger. So I guess you can say desire but I lean more towards hunger. When you want something so bad to the point where you’d be willing to die open casket with a smile on your face knowing that it just won’t happen then I’d call it hunger. This is literally all I have. Entertaining is what I do and I’m not with the whole back up plan thing. I don’t do the whole 9-5 plus overtime thing. I entertain. And with the right people backing which I have, I will be a global phenomenon just as great as my idol Will Smith. All I need is that one person to put me in that first movie tv show or co-sign my single then it’s over Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most? Well I’m not independent I am signed to 4.0 World Records which I guess is an independent label! For now at least. I love it! Since I’ve been signed I’ve definitely made some noise going #1 in Asia at one point, got my music video for “Really Wild’n” on VEVO and having my music video for “Really Wild’n” premier on BET Jams for #FreshFaceFriday, performing a bunch of shows in ATL, GA. Some slight blessings. Tell us something about your songwriting process. What usually comes first the lyrics or the beats? Normally it’s the Beats. Certain beats will put me in a certain place. And this place reminds me of a time where I was in a certain situation and then I tell the story from there. Sometimes I’ll tell stories of people I know. How involved are you in any or all of the recording, producing, mastering, and marketing processes of your music. Do you outsource any of these processes? My manager and CEO does the producing and mastering ! As far as marketing we all promote and push the track! We all have a job and we all don’t mind making our contributions because at the end of the day we are a team and a family. We succeed together so we make moves together. It’s like a well oiled machine! Someone ends up lobbing up a move and the next guy usually makes that dunk for the win! The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have? Stay consistent! Once I started doing that I got a lot further. At this point, as an independent artist, which is the one factor you desire most, and feel will undeniably benefit your future (for example increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, bigger live gigs etc…)? Engaging with fans because they’re really the ones that take your career to the next level. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge? Yes internet/social media definitely is a fundamental. It got to a point where I got very addicted and still am. Mostly to Instagram since that’s where most of the followers and fans come from, along with SoundCloud. I think when you have a nice amount of people following and supporting, it drives you even more because you now have this thought in your mind like “wow ! I’m doing what I love and people are loving it !! I gotta keep it going”. Could you tell us something about your latest music releases and where fans can find them? Yes, my latest track “Really Wild’n” is available on every platform imaginable in every state, country and continent ! With that song you will really be able to get to know a little more about my journey and my desire to be one of the greats soon along with some of the obstacles I had to face in order to keep the dream alive!
Could you tell us something about your latest music releases and where fans can find them? Yes, my latest track “Really Wild’n” is available on every platform imaginable in every state, country and continent ! With that song you will really be able to get to know a little more about my journey and my desire to be one of the greats soon along with some of the obstacles I had to face in order to keep the dream alive! What do you think is the biggest barrier you have to face and overcome as an indie artist, in your quest to achieve your goals and wider spread success? The bigger barrier is having people out their pride aside and realize that you’re not some punk kid looking for a little loot off a hot single and then falling off the face of the earth. I think I’m This industry you have people that get famous but do it for the wrong reasons and never end up sticking to the surface so I’m just trying to show that this is my life forever and I’m not some random with some hype music to get people grooving! I’m here for life! What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career? Work with people I don’t like as a genuine person. Some people do things because it’s good for business. I like with my label I have a lot of flexibility so I can say no to anything I’m not comfortable with. For the most part I don’t have to say no because my label and I are such a cohesive unit so they wouldn’t bring anything wild to my attention so it works out!! Do you have social media or a website? Yes of corse you can follow me on IG @yk_major Twitter @yk_major SoundCloud @ YK Major Spotify/Apple/Tidal/etc @ YK Major Snapchat @ MuzicAddiction
Who are The FMs?
The FMs (femmes, female to males, fuck me sillies), are a gender-bending faction evoking a logical insanity and a contemporary nihilist take on the 1970’s glam antics. Appearing in the showtime film “Fluidity” with their new single, “Change Your Men Up”, The FMs are at their moment of awesome. Above all they just want to save the world without being dicks about it...
You’ve had a huge year musically, tell us about some of your triumphs? We’ve been working on our sophomore album for the past two and half years, I’ve probably spent over 1000 hours working on it myself. This year we finally finished the tracking for it and I’m so excited to release it in 2020. Additionally, we were listed in Buzzfeed’s 20 artists to look out for in 2020 which was terrifically exciting. The FMs are a very unique band, what is it that sets you apart from the rest? We don’t try and follow a formula at all. We sound like what sounds best to us, we dress how we want and we say what we want. So many people asked us how it made sense that we dressed in gender fluid clothing in our video for “Implosion Model” which was about the history, creation and ramifications of the atomic bomb. Well as it turns out dressing like that is what makes us feel good all of the time, not just the times we are directly addressing issues of gender roles or fluidity. What influences your songs, especially the lyrics? Ever since I started writing songs, I felt a need to use that platform to advocate for a better world in a sense. Many of our lyrics revolve around societal issues, observations or movements. As a general rule though they’re about whats in our heart so they don’t ultimately follow any specific policy. I’ve written songs recently about love, depression and spirituality for instance.
What drives you forward? As difficult as it is to be a musician, the times when total strangers come up to you with a look of genuine giddy telling you how much they love your music it does make it all feel worth it. Who is your greatest influence and why? This is a tough question because I want to pick a lot of people though I’d say honestly Trent Reznor overall has probably been the musician that’s most inspired me. His career has ranged from being an innovative producer, trailblazing performer, a sought after film scorer and a whole bunch more. Matt as leader of the band you seem to have an overwhelmingly creative thought process, how has that either helped or hindered you in the music business? Thanks for saying that. I really don’t have a clue as to whats “trendy” these days. I just try to create whats in my head. My only role really is to be the road that brings the ideas that come from within me to the outside world. Where these ideas come from no one really knows, right? Knowing what you know now what advice would you give to baby Matt? Working together and having a community is perhaps the most important thing one needs in the music business, I keep saying this over and over again. Its something that has really sank in for me recently although I’m still working on putting that into practice. What is the most important thing that you’ve ever learned? Whoops, I think I answered that question in the one before. I can’t over emphasize how important it is to have the right people around you. Always work on fostering your community and network.
What new projects are you working on? I haven’t had much time for it, but I started working on a new project called “Bad Mirror” thats kind of a gender fluid cowboy goth rock thang. Where will we find you in 5 years? In Japan playing a show to thousands of screaming Japanese fans in a city I haven’t heard of yet. Any final words? Do something good for humanity today you’ve been putting off. Think I’ll go take that advice now. Follow The FMs on the web: https://thefmsmusic.com https://facebook.com/thefmsmusic https://soundcloud.com/thefms https://twitter.com/thefmsmusic https://thefms.bandcamp.com
Super model, Influencer, Actress and Media Personality Riley Sawyer holds the key to a beautiful and successful future. Desiring originally to become a figure skater, injuries she sustained caused her to change gears. Orange Magazine spoke to Riley about her challenges and triumphs in her career thus far.... What motivated you to become a model? What motivated me to become a model was my original interest in trying something new that would take me away from the ice but keep me engaged in something equally as exciting. What publications have you been featured in? I have been featured in around 20 publications but my top two which I thoroughly enjoyed were ... 1. Maxim Magazine 2. Several features with the Toronto Sun You’ve recently become this years SUNshine Girl of the year, what does that mean to you? Being titled this years SUNshine Girl of the year is very flattering and hopefully it means that I can inspire others to be confident enough to put themselves out there and try new things. Potentially exposing themselves to worthwhile, professional opportunities. You are also an actress, please talk about that? Presently as an actress I am using that talent to present myself well in music videos but I am also hoping to do more commercials, television and film work in the future. On top of all that you are an influencer, what kind of responsibility comes with that? Responsibility that comes with being an influencer includes giving direction to the next generation, fuelling their desires to be entrepreneurs, actresses and models and anything that they want to be without apologizing. What is your biggest dream? My biggest dream is to be a successful model/actress/ business woman. To be equally fierce in each category. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In five years from now I see myself dominating as a model, actress and business woman. Leading the industry in achievements and continuing to set the bar for the next Gen. coming up behind me. At one point you were planning on going to the Olympics as an ice skater, how did you get over your disappointment when your injury prevented that? I got over my disappointment by turning that negative into a positive. Focusing all my good energy into modelling, acting and business. Which motivated me to work that much harder towards achieving excellence.
You have been in several music videos, tell us about them? Generally, it’s a great vibe on set, I get to portray different characters and I get to meet a lot of phenomenal talent which usually leads to other opportunities. The most important thing is, I get to be myself and I end up developing meaningful relationships that last a lifetime. Knowing every you know now what advice would you give baby Riley? Knowing everything I know now I would tell my younger self anything is possible, not to be easily influenced, have good people around you that can keep you on the right path and grounded. What can we expect from Riley in 2020 and beyond? 2020 expect, Greatness, Strength, Wisdom & always Hot and Trending!
The PondHawks The Top Of The Indie Music World by Eileen Shapiro
Often recited as being reminiscent of The Beatles, the Chicago based duo, The PondHawks are quickly rising as one of the biggest Indie factions in the world. Their vocals and harmonies continue to bend genres and delight fans. Their newest song, “Afraid of Love” continues to create a buzz and fans are anxiously awaiting to see what’s next. I spoke to Jorie and Mario regarding a psychedelic, fluorescent 50 year anniversary festival celebrating Woodstock as well as exactly what they were up to....Mario is a jokester while Jorie just seems to entertain his comedy. Together they make an incredible sound that touches the hearts of fans and listeners.. So what have you guys been up to since we last spoke? Mario: Just making it happen. We did a radio show this morning. It was called CRIS, and it was interesting because they were blind.
Jorie: They are in Chicago and it’s with Lighthouse for the Blind. They are really into PondHawks music. We had to bring all of our albums in, they wanted to be able to hear all of our music. Mario: Spectacular. What did you talk about? Jorie: Basically, what we went over with you, the beginnings of the band, and about our music, and songs that they talked about, were they hard to do or easy.... Mario: Our favorite amphibians and reptiles....the usual, you know... You just came off doing a festival of some sort? Jorie: We did the Woodstock tour. That was actually pretty good. Everyone was dressed up like hippies..... Mario: They told me to come dressed the way I always do...the thing is Eileen, I pick a decade and I stick to it. Well you picked a pretty cool decade. Jorie: Oh yeah he did. Are you writing or recording anything new? Mario: Oh yeah! We were on our way to the interview this morning and I was playing our new demo for Jorie. Our new song. We’ve got about 25 songs in the queue. So it’s like “what do we want to do next?” I’ve been reading your reviews, and the consensus is thinking you sound like The Beatles. Mario: It’s A misnomer but God bless him for that. We’re into the John and Paul formula, but that’s what it is. Jorie: I love it, but nobody can beat The Beatles. I think it’s doing the more pure harmonies stuff where you’re not using all these effects to make your voice sound better or to have some sort of weirdness to it, auto tune and stuff like that. Mario: I’ve got enough weirdness. Jorie: He’s weird altogether. ....But I don’t think you need all that gimmicky stuff if you can sing. Mario: Just a paisley tie and that’s good enough. Well you two can sing! Mario: I make dogs cringe. Jorie: Yeah they howl. Do you you do covers or only your own originals? Mario: We do covers, yeah. The last show we did was almost a five hour show, so you know we’re doing at least 3 1/2 hours of covers. We were doing our originals at the end for the people that were fortunate enough, wait I mean unfortunate enough to miss our first set. That was a long day. It’s was a groovy thing. Jorie: We had like six encores or something. They just wanted more. It was like a marathon. Mario: Picture this, it was outside Chicago....have you ever seen Billy Madison? Remember every time he graduated kindergarten his dad would throw him this huge elaborate party. That’s what it was like except the pinada didn’t have any Rolexes in them. They didn’t give out any bad antacid. Jorie: It was Woodstock alright. People really got into it. They had wigs on, all the tie-dye. That’s it 50 years later.
Mario: They had all the psychedelic lights and they tried to make it as groovy as they could, within the realm of legality. They called it Woodstock Festival 2019. Jorie: It was A private party with only invited guests, but a lot of invited guests. It was on this Estate. There was a sound system and everything. There was food and you could just walk around, that’s how big it was. Mario: I hit the piñada, but I didn’t get a Rolex. We were rolling with the punches. We thrive on the humor of the situation. Because you know that’s what life is all about anyway. If you don’t have humor in life you’re just missing the boat. Jorie: The audience was entertaining for us to watch while we were singing. Mario: Life in general they are going to be thunderstorms and lightning but you got to laugh in between.... Follow The PondHawks on the web: https://www.thepondhawks.com https://www.pondhawksmusic.com https://www.facebook.com/thepondhawks https://www.reverbnation.com/thepondhawks https://www.twitter.com/ThePondHawks https://www.instagram.com/ThePondHawks https://youtube.com/user/jpondhawk/videos | https://soundcloud.com/the-pondhawks/ https://open.spotify.com/artist/2nmP1PiRxJ8uPqp2sdZQU5 The PondHawks All Songs playlist: https://www.reverbnation.com/thepondhawks/playlist/-4 EPK: https://www.reverbnation.com/rpk/download_bio/1241547
What’s Next for Aye B
Ashley Brinton aka Aye B, a young successful female rap artist has just released her newest single “Wednesday Thought”, produced by KP DID IT and recorded at EMG STUDIOS in Los Angeles, CA. Aye B is a talented writer as well and co- wrote her current track “Wednesday Thought”. Did the rhyme come natural or did you have to learn and practice it? Rhythm has definitely always been in my bones and in my blood. I’ve felt music and dance all my life even though I definitely have to practice choreography. Do you recall the days of Yo! MTV Rap with Doctor Dre and Ed Lover? How do you feel hip-hop has changed? Honestly, I am way too young to even remember what MTV Rhapsody is! But I definitely feel hip-hop has changed during my lifetime and I believe it’s the core of music today. Rap has a violent history, it seems to be calming itself down and being written for the good of the world, what’s your viewpoint? I wouldn’t necessarily always describe Rap music as violent, I would say it’s filled with passion and most often depicts the artists view of the times. There will always be both good and the bad in the world and Artists feel very passionate about expressing that through their music. What inspires the rhyme for you? Honestly, my everyday life inspires my music it can be the most random thing like hanging with friends on the strip, even that inspires my music. Is there someone you wish to collaborate with? I love Lil Uzi Vert, his flow and style of music is amazing, his words are also really good too. Do you have a quote or theme that you live by? I would say that I always follow my dreams and I don’t take no for an answer. There will always be people who doubt you, or want to tear you down and attempt to make you not believe in yourself. I basically just say f*ck them all, because I believe in myself and I know I’m gonna win.
Who most influenced you while growing up? Will.i.am was a big big big influence for me growing up because I truly respect how he helped Fergie in the industry. She has always been a favorite of mine and what he did for her rubbed off on me. Do you have a specific challenge that you had to overcome, and how did you accomplish that? Every day is a challenge. I will go through ups and downs and negativity on a daily basis. The way I overcome that negativity is by staying positive and keeping the right mindset What thrills you about playing live? Performing live is one of the most exciting and fun times ever! When I first go on stage I’m so so so nervous but the energy of the crowd immediately hits me and I’m just so excited to give my all every night. I feel so blessed every time I perform. What new projects are you involved in? I just dropped my single ‘Wednesday Thought’ I have another single dropping in January that is fire Lake Straight fire and I’m going on a major tour for two months this year. I am really excited. If you could tour with anyone on the universe who would it be? I would really want to tour with Bad Bunny because his concerts are so incredible! Another artist would be Travis Scott just because of the same reason, his concerts are so lit. Do you have any advice for the planet? My advice for the planet is, to do you better, be kinder to others, because sadly lately I feel the world is thriving off of negativity these days and it needs to stop. We need to get back to a place of happiness and positivity and wishing each other the best instead of the worst. Any advice for the future hip-hop artist? Just get ready for a lot of negativity thrown at you, and also work on your craft every single day. It’s important that you should constantly be learning and bettering your music. There should never be a day where you’re not writing or focusing on the art because that’s what it all comes down to, creating great music. You’re on the front page of the newspaper, what is the title of the article and why? Aye B Number #1streamed rapper! It’s important to me to have opportunities like this because I’m a female and that can be difficult in the industry. I just want to show everyone that I can do it and won’t take no for an answer! What bridges are you glad you burned? The only bridges that I have burned are those that needed to be in order to have a healthy positive career and life. I cut ties with people who didn’t support me and want me to succeed. Now that I am older, I know who my friends are and surround myself with only real people that have goals and want to make this world a better place.
R&B Soul Artist: JMorr What’s your name? or stage name? Jmorr, my real name however, my Government Name is Justin Morrison (I know, super normal).
Describe your sound? Genre? My sound, I feel like it’s a unique blend of RnB Soul with some Trap Soul along with Hip Hop. I relate it to like 90’s RnB, mixed with the new wave of music. I can actually sing though, haha. What got you into music? To be honest, when I was a kid my Mom would always play stuff like Jodeci, Shai, Boys 2 Men, Tyrese, so loud that I could hear the music all the way on the other side of the apartment complex we lived in. Then, I would start trying to sing like the artists I would hear in an attempt to like make fun of them kind of, but I kind of got really good at impersonating them. Then, when I got to my later years of middle school, the girls always wanted me to sing stuff because I would sound like the artists they loved and started forming from there. What’s your favorite song and why? That’s a really hard question. I mean I love songs from tons of genres. Do you write your own music? Why did you decide to become a songwriter? Yes, I do actually. I started writing because I wanted to see how my voice would sound singing my own stuff since girls liked how I sang other peoples stuff so much. What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? I sing about love and relationships most of the time, but I like to mix it up a lot. I will write songs about everyday situations or even my upbringing and some of the stuff I have been through that were some negative times in my life which is what my album will portray. Do you think these topics will change over time? The topics will change everyday. I will never stay on one specific topic mostly because I have some crazy experiences daily, haha.
What got you into music? To be honest, when I was a kid my Mom would always play stuff like Jodeci, Shai, Boys 2 Men, Tyrese, so loud that I could hear the music all the way on the other side of the apartment complex we lived in. Then, I would start trying to sing like the artists I would hear in an attempt to like make fun of them kind of, but I kind of got really good at impersonating them. Then, when I got to my later years of middle school, the girls always wanted me to sing stuff because I would sound like the artists they loved and started forming from there. What’s your favorite song and why? That’s a really hard question. I mean I love songs from tons of genres. Do you write your own music? Why did you decide to become a songwriter? Yes, I do actually. I started writing because I wanted to see how my voice would sound singing my own stuff since girls liked how I sang other peoples stuff so much. What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? I sing about love and relationships most of the time, but I like to mix it up a lot. I will write songs about everyday situations or even my upbringing and some of the stuff I have been through that were some negative times in my life which is what my album will portray. Do you think these topics will change over time? The topics will change everyday. I will never stay on one specific topic mostly because I have some crazy experiences daily, haha. Do you follow a formula when you write? As a matter of fact I do, when it comes to producing something that I want the world to actually love. There’s a formula to making a hit track and in order to procure the sales in the target demographic I am looking for, I have to make sure my songs meet that specific set of criteria.
Which song did you have the most trouble writing? Actually, it was a recent one that I have been working on for like a year now called “Respect my G” that I only barely finished writing that will also be on my album. Do you ever play any covers or do you only play originals? I will do some covers during my performances to continue engaging my fans while they’re watching my shows. How has your music evolved since you first began playing music? Tremendously, to be honest. I went from really not knowing what I was doing when recording, to now I can record riffs with harmonies that are highly complex and extremely catchy to the ear. What musician would you like to collaborate with and why? I have to, some way some how, do a collaboration with Jay-Z or Timberland. Are you a member of any music organizations? I have a few people I rock with out of my hometown of Denver, such as my company, 3KG. I work with Full Deck Productions, my team at “ i and i “, my brothers with Top Flite Empire and a few more but those are my mains. What has been your biggest challenge as a independent artist? Really the biggest challenge was getting noticed in my state, since RnB at one point was becoming a dying genre. Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how? I kept marketing and branding myself and kept getting out there as far as my face with the voice and eventually I started to become a name that most of my state has heard of or knows. Do you have any upcoming shows? Yes, I will be performing in Denver, CO at Mile High Spirits along with another up and coming singer who is doing pretty well for himself by the name of Napalm. How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Soundcloud: @jmorrmusic Instagram: @therealjmorrmusic_3KG Facebook: @jmorrmusic Snapchat: JmorrMusic
Rockstar journalist and flamboyant public relations leader
Eileen has interviewed the most illuminated artists including: Diana Ross, Emma Stone, Annie Lennox, Boy George, Tiffany Haddish, Pink Floyd, Maroon 5, Brooke Shields, Jennifer Hudson, Billy Porter, Dionne Warwick, Spandau Ballet, Nike Rodgers, Fred Schneider, Adam Ant, Rick Springfield, David Johansen, and many, many others. Orange spoke to her about her interviews, her star elevation methods, and her incredible journey.... What inspired you to become a journalist? It was actually an accident of sorts. While I was attending nursing school I was a huge Star Trek fan. I came across an actual store dedicated to selling Star Trek paraphernalia. The owner of the store became my boyfriend and had already been writing for a Paramount licensed Star Trek Magazine. I began writing articles for that and was later asked to write and edit “The Star Trek Medical Reference Manual” which quickly became a best seller. Two marriages and three children later I resumed my writing career when asked to interview one of RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants for a New York gay entertainment magazine called “Get Out Magazine.” I became a regular contributor with the hopes of eventually interviewing my teenage heart-throb Adam Ant. What publications aside from Get Out Magazine do you write for? I currently write for over 50 publications globally. They include: Louder Than War, (a U.K. publication, which ranks number 41 most influential music/pop culture blog on the planet), Hype Magazine, Huff Post, Music News, PureM, (an Irish publication), Hollywood Digest, Celebrity Zones, FAME Magazine, Top Requested Videos Countdown, Daily Geek Report, Entertainment Eyes, Famous and Made, Vent, Skope, Splash Magazines, and many others, all with high Alexa ratings. Who are some of the celebrities that you’ve interviewed? I’ve been very fortunate to have had conversations with some of the most illuminating celebrities in the world. I’ve also met most if them as well. They include: Emma Stone, Diana Ross, Rachel Weisz, Jennifer Hudson, Boy George, Annie Lennox, Brooke Shields, Rick Springfield, Scott Page (Pink Floyd), Maroon 5, Earth, Wind & Fire, B-52’s, Dionne Warwick, Rosie O’Donnell, Billy Porter, Spandau Ballet, Lizzo, Fran Drescher, Nile Rodgers, Andy Bell, Melissa Etheridge, Cyndi Lauper, Sandra Bernhard, Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction), Slim Jim Phantom, (Stray Cats), Cheap Trick, and I can go on for days. You’re coming out with a new book called “Waiting For Adam”, did you ever get to interview him and is there still someone you’re still hoping to interview? Yes, I did have a very long conversation with Adam Ant. It took me 6 years and traveling to 3 continents, but it was well worth the wait as it is one of my best interviews to this day. I had met Adam several times before the interview, even got a kiss on the lips from him, but interviewing him was much more intimate. I am still hoping to interview Billy Idol. The book contains interviews and backstage stories of all the people I did speak with while waiting for Adam. It will be released sometime this year. Aside from writing what other projects are you involved in? I am co-founder of a public relations company with my partner Jimmy Star called World Star PR. We represent artists including members of Pink Floyd, Jane’s Addiction, CeCe Peniston, Mickey Burns, and many others. We are phenomenally less expensive than most and offer our clients articles in all the publications we write for and a spot on the biggest TV Internet show on the planet, called The Jimmy Star Show with Ron Russell, just to name a few of our services. What’s the biggest challenge you face with everything you do? Time. There isn’t enough of it. How do you find the celebrities that you interview? At the beginning, I would look up the contact for a celebrity that I wanted to speak with or Get Out Magazine would assign me a cover story. Now, I am invited and requested by the celebrities themselves or their PR agents. I have completed many repeat interviews for instance, I’ve interviewed Cyndi Lauper 12 times, Sandra Bernhardt 9 times, Slim Jim Phantom 6 times, Dionne Warwick 4 times, Rick Springfield 2 times, etc.
Can you recall some of your funniest or most fun conversations? Aside from Adam, Scott Page is usually filled with humor and lots of information, Rick Springfield was fun, Leslie Jordan was quite funny, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen is a jokester, James Murr and Brian Quinn from The Impractical Jokers were hysterical, Michael Musto is always entertaining....I’ve been fortunate to have spoken to some of the funniest people in the Galaxy. Do you speak with independent artists as well? I do. Everyone deserves the chance to follow Regis dreams and rise. I love indie artists because they are usually very talented and are usually struggling to be known. If I can help someone elevate their situation, I’m there! As an obviously very busy journalist what made you decide to open a PR company? Several reasons. First of all writing for so many publications myself and Jimmy had more contacts to the media, radio shows, red carpet events, venues, etc. than most publicist have. We also know that most PR firms charge astronomical fees for their services whereas we charge a very small fee. The reason for that is as a writer I very rarely get paid, and as a TV host neither does Jimmy. We thought if we charged a small fee to do kind of what we were already doing we’d be able to continue doing what we loved and we would be helping people who otherwise couldn’t afford expensive representation otherwise. Also, because we love the entertainment business, it is easy for us to give our clients double or triple the exposure that they would normally get. If someone locked myself or Jimmy in a room for a week and told us we couldn’t do anything else except work, we would be grateful. We also produce events that we love to get our clients involved in. Lastly, with myself based in New York and traveling to England several times each year and Jimmy based in California we always have access to each coast and everywhere in between. What do you enjoy most about your careers? There is always something new happening and always something exciting to look forward to whether it be a brand new interview or a red carpet event. I love sharing the excitement of my clients when something great happens for them. I love the challenges of seeking out an interview of someone I’ve never spoke to before or the appreciation of those I’ve helped. The entertainment business is forever changing. New opportunities pop up every single day so my career is never stagnant. It’s a constant adventure and a fabulous ride! https://www.eileenshapiro.rocks
How long have you been in the music game and how did you get started in the first place? I’ve been making music since 2013, but I’ve been around creators my whole life. My family has DJs, musical artist, dancers, and poets. So, I had it all in my blood ever since before I was born. I use to burn CDs on a broken screen everyday after school after recording in mixcraft on my moms laptop. She hated when I took her laptop. But I knew it would lead to days like this. My first microphone came from my Casio keyboard I got one year for Christmas and ever since then I use to have everybody from my school record at my house. I started recording at bigger studios in my city such as “Top Of The World Studios”, “Clockwork Studio”, “Bulkley House”, “Kultivation Studios”, and eventually finding my home studio with my dawg Antoine Christopher at “The Arcade” What’s your stage name? My stage name is WOULF. Stands for : Working On Uplifting Life Fully Who were your first musical influences that you can remember? Ever since I could remember I was introduced to jazz music first. Boney James, Rick Braun, Stanley Clarke, Herbie Hancock. Growing up in a Jamaican influenced home I heard a lot of Capelton, and Sizzla growing up also. Which artists are you currently listening to? And is there anyone of these that you’d like to collaborate with? Right now in my playlist I got SiR, 704 Chop, Rod Wave, Brent Faiyaz, Don Toliver, and that new Roddy Ricch. I would love to get a record with Don Toliver and SiR on the same record, Or Roddy Ricch, and Brent Faiyaz. Have you suffered any ‘resistance’ or skepticism from within the industry and fellow artists, and if so how have you handled that? I use to until I stopped letting that get into my head. They could never stop what’s been destined for me. I use to take advice from people...I stopped. I learned to boss up and listen to the ones who have my back and my best interest.
Do you consider video an important part in promoting and marketing your music? Where can we find your latest video? Of course! Music videos bring the audio to life! It brings body to the audio. Shows what the artist wants the world to remember. My latest video for Light Show is out on YouTube and on my website at www.longlivewoulf.com. https://youtu.be/08t9PNOm_cc Studio recordings or performing live in front of an audience, which of these do you prefer most and why? Performing live hands down. Having a live audience and being on stage is where I really shine. That’s my strong point and I love when it’s all eyes on me. I love performing a song and having the crowd interact and engage with me. Tell us something about the beats and music production on your releases. Do you write and compose them or do you work with other writers and Producers? The beats I use and chose for my songs and projects are different and blend with me and my style well. With the latest release Light Show I hooked up with my main producer Menaco for this one. We have a few records out and a whole archive of songs tucked off. I don’t use writers, but when I go to the studio me and Antoine Christopher my Engineer sometimes help channels my energy for the direction of the record. When me and Antoine work on records I get my hands into the production part as well, I’ll come up with melodies and apply to them to chords through the midi keyboard in either logic or FL studio. On which of your songs do you think you delivered your personal best performance so far, from an emotional and technical point of view? Coupe, because it’s a fan favorite. It’s a vibe, a bop, a slide, whatever you want to call it, it gets the people moving. That’s what I love to see. Movement let’s me know I got you emotionally invested, whether you jumping up and down or your swaying left and right, I got you locked in. Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in a genre overflowing with new faces and ideas? I still have fun with my shows. I use to work in retail for a long time so in order to get a sale you have to build trust with your clientele. I translate that to my crowds big or small. I can be WOULF with no buzz and rock a crowd because of how invested I am with them or I can be the popping artist WOULF and lose that connection and have a really bad show. I stay invested with my people because I take em to the moon. I’m the pilot and they are my passengers, I gotta make sure they enjoy their flight and help them defy-GRAVITY. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to stay in this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why? Passion fasho. If I ain’t got passion, a love for what I do, then why the hell am I doing it in the first place. Having passion can and will lead me to my goal. Music saves my life and I could never abuse it. Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most? The formula. Hearing the production and letting my feeling and my stories resonate through the microphone. So you could say the actual recording process.
Tell us something about your songwriting process. What usually comes first the lyrics or the beats? This really depends...sometimes I have words that come to me before a beat because I have stuff I need to get off my chest. Other times I like to hear the production first then ice the record. I usually come up with hooks first, then the verses. Sometimes I’ll record 10 hooks and come back weeks later just to add the verses. I need some breathing time to get my thoughts straight for the records sometimes. How involved are you in any or all of the recording, producing, mastering, and marketing processes of your music. Do you outsource any of these processes? I like to get involved with the recording and producing part, but not to much mastering just because that really takes a certain training of the ear. There are artist I’ve talked to in the industry who will send a record to 3 different engineers just before it reaches the mastering engineer. I’ve also worked on beats with producers in a sort of production ring where one producer works on percussion, another melodies, and so on. So when it comes to the actual track I get all my records tracked out to get the best sound and mix possible. I take care of all my marketing and promo. The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have? The best piece of advice I would say i have followed so far is to bet on yourself. You’re the investment and you’ll only go as far as you let yourself. Advice I wish I had took more of is to never doubt yourself and If you’ve got an idea...run with it. At this point, as an independent artist, which is the one factor you desire most, and feel will undeniably benefit the your future (for example increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, bigger live gigs etc…)? Bigger Gigs. Arenas, Festivals, in-studios. Those would help push me to a whole new level. I’m strong in the live performance area more than anywhere else. I take people to the moon! Increased music distro is always a plus. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge? I would say both honestly. It’s helped my career gain traction and helped me gain an audience quicker by allowing my music to have more exposure. Also putting me in front of the industry right at peoples finger tips. On the other hand it might allow for less originality from others. It’s easy to consume music through social media and easy to become microwavable too. Could you tell us something about your latest music releases and where fans can find them? I wanted to do something different this time. I’m proud of my city and where I come from. This is that hometown city vibe that can go for anybody’s hometown, not just subject to one city. I treat every city I go to like its mine, like I’m back in Cleveland. When it came to the visual, I wanted to highlight Cleveland for those who have never been here, I wanted to show that Cleveland is on the map and we have some heavy hitters out the city; I’m a heavy hitter. Although I’m proud of where I come from, it’s the trenches where I come from but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m broke now, but I’ll be rich soon. “Had a dream I made this song to get my family out the hood”; I said that line because I’m not the only one betting on me. I sat on this beat until I came up with the perfect words because I knew this song was it. I don’t have all of the jewelry and flashy sh*t right now, but my presence shines bright. That’s what Light Show is about’’. You can find Light Show on all streaming platforms and the visual is out on YouTube. What do you think is the biggest barrier you have to face and overcome as an indie artist, in your quest to achieve your goals and wider spread success? The biggest barrier for me has been finances. Being able to invest into your craft, as well as taking care of your own personal needs. Music videos, tours, merch, production, etc and I still would have to find ways to eat, buy clean draws, transportation etc. It’s rough but sometimes you have to take certain risks to see the reward. What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career? Change what I stand for. As a man I have morals that I wouldn’t switch up or change because I would let my fans and most importantly myself down. My fans grew with me and seen my beginnings. That’s like me turning my back on what we created together and I could never break the bond and trust we have.
We caught up with an artist that goes by the name of Yhakavich. Tell us a little bit about yourself? What’s up it’s Yhaki but I go by Yhakavich and I’m a rap artist out of Ocala, Florida . How long have you been in the industry? I’ve been involved in the industry for more than half of my life because I had family who were pretty big artists in my city when I was younger called the “The Strangers”, and my Mom use to sing as well. Around the time I turned 12 or 13, they took me under their wing and I was able to get a good idea of how the music industry works locally. What age was you when your got started and why? I had to start actually making music when I was around 9. I always had a love for music, but I never really knew I had a talent until I actually started making my own and the reactions I would get. I use to rap over beats on my sisters laptop, and I would use the built in recorder, so I would have to rap the whole song all the way through and get it right with one take. Year you started your career in music? Really taking it seriously I would say around 2012. I was 20 at the time. Who are some of your mentors? I never really had a father figure, so I never really had anyone to look up to. I’ve always had to figure things out for myself. But, I did have my Mom though and she did the best she could and I love her for that. What made you decide to get into the business of music? When I realized how dope I was and opportunities just kept coming my way, like it was God telling me that this is what I’m supposed to be doing. What style or genre of music are you best at? I love to rap. I love switching flows and playing with the beat and making people nod their head to music and seeing their reaction when they hear me spit. I can sing too, but I’m not really a sentimental guy like that to be doing R&B, so I stick to rap. Why did you pick rap as your choice of music? Because it’s so much fun and it’s a real rush to put all these words together and making them rhyme in the most unorthodox ways. I love it! Do you feel that music is a very competitive market for you? Of course it is. Especially in this era where EVERYONE is a rapper. But what separates me from the rest, is not everyone wants to be the best. But, I want to be the BEST and that pushes me to go harder.
What is your feed back on mumble rappers? I won’t knock any ones hustle, if it works for them I don’t see why not. What your opinion on the way rap has changed lyrically? I believe that rap lyrics these days have lost a lot of substance but they’ve gained something else. Something a little more exciting with their wordplay. I would say they’re wack, their approach is just different. Like I said, who am I to judge? What do you think about hiphop and politics? With hip hop being the biggest platform in the world , it should be used to discuss the problems going on in politics but they don’t always mix and the wrong words could mean bad business for the artist. What is your reason why you are in the music industry? I’m in the industry because I love music and this is all I ever wanted to do. You can’t teach a fish how to climb a tree. This is all I know, and I want to be apart of the inspiration that music has on the world. What are some of your goals? My goals are to be one of biggest influential artists and entrepreneur of my era, and I will be, and inspire young people like me, to leave the streets alone and become an influence on the young ones watching them. Reach one to teach one I always say. What advice can you give other coming into the rap game? To make sure this is what you really want and not what others want for you because at the end of the day, you have to put in all the work and it’s A LOT of work. But, if you really want it, it’ll all be worth it in the end. You just have to keep pushing and never forget the ones who helped you when you had nothing. Do you have social media? Yes, you can find me on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube @Yhakavich. You can also find me on all media streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, and Google Play @Yhakavich.
Ian Guerin-Rising R&B recording star
Rising R&B recording star Ian Guerin is quickly making his mark in the world of music. With the release of his latest album, “Irreplaceable” he has plummeted head first into an unapologetic industry with a bang. The Orange spoke with Ian regarding his inspirations and his song. “Feel good and timeless, “Irreplaceable” is The perfect spirit lifter, relatable in words and relaxing in music. Irreplaceable is for everyone who wants not only to escape their troubles in the tribulations, but to find comfort in the knowledge that they can be overcome.” When and why did you decide to dedicate your life to the music industry? It really came natural for me. I remember being almost 10 when I was first taken into a recording booth by my aunt Mitzi Bennett; I was mesmerized by the experience. I felt right at home. I was shy back then, but I remember feeling an urge to explode into freedom. I thought to myself “I want to be here always.” I don’t think I had to adapt, I felt like I had been put in the place I belonged. The why came a few years later. I tried other things (including college) & I always came running back to music. I couldn’t find anything else that made me feel so at ease, effortless & natural. When I write, record, perform or interview my real pours out. It’s a strange feeling. Nothing else I do feels 100% true, plus I learned early on that 98% of people don’t do what they love for a living & I couldn’t stand the thought or understand (still can’t) why or how they can go through life like that. I wanted my life to count & figured if I was going to be successful I might as well try to be so at something I truly love. Here I am years later doing it & trying to encourage others to follow their dreams. You are an artist from Mexico who sings R&B, what’s up with that? Music is a universal language. You don’t have to understand the words or the background to be moved by it. I remember hearing a lot of different types of music from a very young age; my father is a rock fan, my family is more traditional, yet I was never really driven to local sounds or rock; I was driven by snaps, smooth feels, Jazz, Big Band & R&B. I tried pop for a minute there with my debut album ‘MADSEXY’ but I felt myself in the old fashion arena. I felt alive when I discovered you can mix those sounds with some R&B flavor; I had to cross over. For me it was never about race, upbringings, or location, it was about what made me feel alive so I went for it in the knowledge that souls know no bounds, so there would be people out there that would hear my music & feel connected regardless of their walks of life, age, looks or location. Your songs seem to be influenced by love and relationships, are they specific to a special someone? I’d love to say no, because that would mean I didn’t go through all that heartache, but there’s no good songs without.
real experiences. The songs in my album ‘IRREPLACEABLE’ were all made for 3 specific girls that marked pivotal moments in my life. I love them for the lessons & the stories I can now tell — in hopes that others will see the light at the end of the tunnel sooner than I did. I will most likely get over the emotions that still cross me, but I don’t think the soul fully ever recovers from those loses. It’s like a piece of glass that’s chipped & can never be pasted back to normal; wiseness & strength come at a price & that’s ok. I wish them well & thank them for giving me these great songs, I wouldn’t have had them without them, yet they’re most definitely not collecting coin from them, ever. Hahaha. You seem to put all your passion and emotion into all of your songs, where does that come from? I think from the need to express myself. Some people repress their emotions throughout their life; mine feel like a force that can’t be tamed. It comes from within’, I don’t exactly know how it forms, but when something happens to me lines & melodies start pouring out of me uncontrollably. I might sound extra, but it’s true; when I’m hurt or confused or happy songs just seem to write themselves at speed of light. The title track of my ‘IRREPLACEABLE’ album came about in less than 40 minutes. It’s like my heart & mind had already aligned their speech & I was just a vehicle writing & recording their statement. It doesn’t happen always, when that element isn’t there I actually have to go back & remember, structure & piece everything out, but sometimes it comes out so perfectly I’m as amazed as anyone watching. What is the driving force behind your career? My hunger for expression. I want to get my message across & I want it to positively impact as many people as possible so that they know that dark times don’t last forever. I know how hard it is to have an anxious mind & how much hurt is magnified through that lens so I want to bring empathy & strength through my songs. That’s why they have sort of a not so happy story yet an uplifting beat. I want people to know weights can be lifted even when they’re hurting. I want to have a platform to create awareness on environmental issues & I want my parents & my sister to live at ease. Buying my dad his apartment in Vegas while voicing issues that are planet relevant, & healing someone in despair through song, sounds like a perfect example of a driving mix to me. What are the biggest challenges that you’ve faced and how have you overcome them? Exposure & budget are the main ones. I think anyone who at some point has been independent in their career path knows they are the toughest because you’ve got a world of ideas, yet again no money or platforms to expose them & that holds you down. The second one was confidence. I’ve endured so many negatives & so many none call backs that I’m immune now, but there was a time when rejection stung. Specially because I knew I had something special & it was hard for me to understand why the person in front, whoever that was, didn’t see it. There was also a lot of doubting from relatives (not my parents or sister) that didn’t take me very seriously; that hurt because they’re the ones who are supposed to uplift you so that, when things get tough, you can keep going. They also made me doubt my looks, voice & style, so I wasn’t very sure I had what it takes to make it. Sometime later I realized the only thing in that “making it box” you truly need is self-belief. You believe in yourself & nothing can stop you; that’s how I overcame them. I kept going, through fear, sorrow, anxiety, insecurity & ignorance — cause I had to learn by mistake how things are done. I just moved forward. Never letting the chance of not getting to my next stop invade my mind, & so far, looking back, I’ve come far & I continue to move regardless of those feelings. I once read “you haven’t failed till you stop trying” & I took it to heart.
Knowing what you know now would you have done anything differently? For certain. I wouldn’t have waited a whole album to crossover & make the album I wanted. I also wouldn’t have wasted time reminiscing about nonsense & waiting for perfect moments. I should’ve taken what came my way & rode with it. I wasted a lot of time trying to find perfect moves & I let many that could’ve helped pass me by. Still I grew into the man I am by paying the price of my miss outs & by building the mental strength that has so helped me take on my current opportunities so much better than I would’ve. I now allow myself to blossom in front of people & to be who I truly am & I wouldn’t if I had taken these chances without that time wasted, that introspection & that knowledge. So, in a way timing has been perfect, I just wish I had done things a little faster, I wish I had taken more chances to gain more experience. However, I now know not to squander time so that’s a good story on its own. What do you think about while driving alone in your car? I guess it depends on what mood I’m in. If I’m sad, worried or despaired I try to speak to myself out loud to dissect the facts & reach a soothing conclusion. I also introspect a lot on how my actions affect the way events go down & I try to converse with myself about it. My singing coach taught me that speaking your thoughts out loud makes them clearer than just thinking them through & it’s true, so I use that alone time to do so. I spend quality time with myself, laugh matters off, & reassure me that everything will be alright. It sounds crazy, but I’m my most important person & I want to nurture myself & be my friend. I believe that if I achieve that I will be able to handle the toughness of the business better. I also sing of course: to Janet, Mariah, Michael, Tony & whatever my guilty pleasures & favorites. It’s a time for me to get away from all the noise & movement & I make it worth. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I see myself in the entertainment business for sure. Another album out, another tour & of course putting my, by then, household name to good use. Speaking in front of audiences about the importance of environmental balance & serving a bigger purpose than just fame affairs & favors. I see myself trying to make a difference, even if said difference is roughly sketched now.
I see myself with an AMA, a Grammy & writing songs for fellow artists & myself. Performing alongside my favorites & I want to say I see myself in love, but I don’t want to push my luck. I wish I was in love, but it’s ok as long as I’m living my best life; that includes: achievements, recognition, more music, helping others & making sure my family is happy. What is your most triumphant moment thus far? I’d have to say the reception given to my album since it’s release. I love that people love ‘IRREPLACEABLE’ as much as I do. I invested my whole self in this body of work & I wanted all songs to have a soul & count & I think I achieved that. To me ‘IRREPLACEABLE’ is my ‘Off the Wall’. It might seem far-fetched for some to see it that way, but to me it’s the culmination of a spiritual, emotional, physical, mental & musical transition that made me the man I always aspired to be. No song in the album is a filler. They all have a backstory & can stand on their own & I intended them to be that way. During its making some people pressured/asked/mocked me if I was ever going to finish or release it because it took long. I’m glad I didn’t rush it. The end result is — as my sister puts it — timeless. & I was aiming for that. People who take a moment to listen to it while they read the lyrics will find somewhere to insert themselves in it. There is something in there for you, I guarantee it. It’s an album that to me has already succeeded in telling a great story & that ought to prove itself sooner than later; in its era or later. ‘IRREPLACEABLE’ is my pride & joy and & I’m like a father at his kid’s Christmas festival every time I get out there to promote it. If I could ask you any question what would it be and how would you answer it? Where do you dream of performing & why there, & the answer would be the O2 Arena in London. All my favorites have done it at the pinnacle of their careers & to me that would be like having made it to their level. Like being right up there with them — where I as a 9 year old in a booth for the 1st time dreamed of being. That would be it. Ian Guerin Live at the O2! That sounds & feels amazing even in writing. What’s new for Ian in 2020 and beyond? New pair of music videos, new songs for the deluxe edition of ‘IRREPLACEABLE’, new tour, new collaborations, hopefully new songs for fellow artists & hopefully new girl. I really want to fall in love head over heels for real; not as many couples who fall in love to be in love — not with the person. It’s been so long since I did so without having my heart broken that I’m not even sure I can feel that bliss anymore. I’m sure it’s there asleep, somewhere within’ me, but the fact that I can’t remember how it feels saddens me. I want to clear the score, fall in love & make it irreplaceable. Any girl who’s interested can make sure to contact me, haha. Ian Guerin Album “Irreplaceable” Streaming https://songwhip.com/album/ian-guerin/irreplaceable Twitter @IAmIanGuerin Instagram https://instagram.com/IAmIanGuerin Facebook https://www.facebook.com/IAmIanGuerin Reverbnation https://www.reverbnation.com/ianguerin
New York Blues Hall Of Famer Regina Bonelli “Killing Floor” By Eileen Shapiro Hall of Famer, soulful singer Regina Bonelli unveiled her hauntingly mysterious new single and video, “Killing Floor”, following the release of her new album “Love Letter”, via True Groove Records. The album is a kaleidoscope of R&B and soulful sounds. As part of the Global Soul genre, Regina is also a powerful performer receiving a standing ovation at this year’s Gloucester Blues Festival backed by soulful phenomenons The True Groove All-Stars. “This Collection of songs represents empowerment and healing in a world so sorely in need of both. These are tense and trying times we live in today, and I hope that the messages in these songs reach into the souls of the listeners. I truly believe that this is what music can, and should do-especially the Blues”.....Regina Bonelli You’re a Hall of Fame recipient, tell me that story? There as an organization in New York and they approached people who have been around for a while doing their thing. They have one in each of the boroughs and I think one in New Jersey. I was contacted and the Organization wanted to honor me about five years ago. So, it was nice to be honored and I felt recognized for all the tooling around for a bunch of years. How long have you been singing? I’ve been singing since I’m 6 or 7 years old but professionally since I’m about 17 or 18. What inspired you to choose blues? I’ve always been writing my own music. I started playing piano when I was five and then Guitar when I became a teenager. My father was a musician also, so he bought me my first guitar. I was writing music and playing kind of like funk and rock in bands. I always had an original group. I always liked the blues and back then I was into Big Mama Thornton, Sunny Terry, and Brian Magee, and how old the British rock was always mixed up with the classic blues here. I have always been told I have a bluesy voice. I was doing funk and R&B because I loved that music. Then I stopped writing although I never stopped singing. I stopped writing for a minute when I had the kids. I found myself raising
them on my own and you’re trying just put one step in front of the other. When they were little my ability to just sit down and decide to write music was hard to get to focus on. But then when I went back doing my own thing, I guess when they started going to school, people always told me I had a bluesy voice. So, when I came back I kind of got into the blues. I started writing things in that genre. That’s what happened. Then after life and doing the single mother thing I had a whole albums worth of materials. Was that “Love Letters?” No that was the one before. That was cathartic and that album got airplay and stuff. Then I met Tomás from True Groove Records and we made “Love Letter.” It’s being played worldwide, and on SiriusXM. It hit Number One of Roots Music Report. That video for your new single “Killing Floor”, is over the top. It’s kind of like a light horror thing. It’s not your usual walking down the street, singing a song video. It’s haunting and spectacular. It must have been? It was. We had the costume thing going on and Dylan is very cool to work with. It’s great working when your passion is the music and then with the video it’s great to do that. The label asked for a video with this song and we did it with Dylan. It was a blast. You have some events coming up soon? We have some gigs coming up. We just finished the Barrier Beach Festival in Long Beach Long Island on June 15th. Then June 29th we are all going up to Rhode Island to this place called “Chan’s Egg Rolls and Jazz.” It has a funny name but it’s really big on the blues circuit. A lot of big blues people play there. I’m excited about that because that’s going to be my first time in there. After that in July they asked me to do the Buck’s County Blues Society R&B picnic, and that’s in Morrisville Pennsylvania. I’m excited to be playing there with The True Groove All-Stars. Watch the “Official” new music video for “Killing Floor” by Regina Bonelli here: https://youtu.be/ChgzXvaEBfk Download “Killing Floor” by Regina Bonelli on iTunes in the United States here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/killing-floor-single/1460020353 The official website for Regina Bonelli may be found at: https://www.reginabonelli.com True Groove Records was founded in 2011 by internationally renowned guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and producer, Tomás Doncker. Referred to as the “fasting rising label in NYC” True Groove boasts a roster of artists spanning across all genres. True Groove believes that MUSIC is truly the universal language and has the power to open minds and hearts around the world. The official website for True Groove Records may be found at: https://www.truegroove.nyc
How long have you been in the music game and how did you get started in the first place? I have been singing professionally since I am 8 years old. I My mother gave me up for adoption at that age and my adoptive parents took me to church. Shortly after a prominent gospel group in Jamaica recruited me to open on their tours. What’s your stage name? Desmond Who were your first musical influences that you can remember? I grew up listening to gospel, classical, jazz, RnB and reggae music. Which artists are you currently listening to? I listen to I am currently listening to H.E.R., Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars, Chronixx, Koffee, and Jonathan McReynolds., And is there anyone of these that you’d like to collaborate with? All of them. Have you suffered any ‘resistance’ or skepticism from within the industry and fellow artists, and if so how have you handled that? I am a mature artist and there is a lot of ageism in the industry. Also, I am not a Rasta, I am a Christian there is a view in the industry that non Rastas should not sing reggae music and Christians should only sing gospel. I focus on my goals.these processes?
Do you consider video an important part in promoting and marketing your music? Yes, where can we find your latest video? https://www.desmondthesongwriter.com/about-desmond Studio recordings or performing live in front of an audience, which of these do you prefer most and why? I prefer performing in front of a live audience because I can respond to the energy of the audience. Tell us something about the beats and music production on your releases. Do you write and compose them or do you work with other writers and Producers? Five of the songs on the new album, “Happiness Is Priceless” were produced with live instruments and 5 were produced with beats produced by others. Four of the latter were bought online and one of them, the beat of the first single “Rise Up”, was commissioned by me and produced by Courick Clarke, a Jamaican musician and producer. I wrote the melody and lyric. On which of your songs do you think you delivered your personal best performance so far, from an emotional and technical point of view? I think I would say “ Laugh About IT”. Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in a genre overflowing with new faces and ideas? My music tells uplifting stories that are inclusive and thought provoking. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to stay in this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why? I would say passion. When I have felt like quitting, passion is the only thing I can think of that makes me want to continue. Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most? I like the fact that I am in control of my career. Lack of capital discourages me the most. Tell us something about your songwriting process. What usually comes first the lyrics or the beats? I tend to work on the lyrics first because melody writing comes easier to me. Also my lyric writing separates me from the field. How involved are you in any or all of the recording, producing, mastering, and marketing processes of your music? I am heavily involved in the recording, producing and marketing. Do you outsource any of these processes? I outsource the mastering. The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have? The best piece of advice I have followed is to be yourself and invest in yourself. The one I did not follow is to produce music that follow trends instead of what is in your heart. My parents discouraged me from pursuing a careeer in music and I spent a number of years pursuing a career in the corporate world instead, to please them. I should have ignored them. At this point, as an independent artist, which is the one factor you desire most, and feel will undeniably benefit the your future (for example increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, bigger live gigs etc…)? The factor I desire most at this point is more media exposure and bigger live gigs.
Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge? I believe the internet and social media are fundamental to my career and indie music in general. It provides access to all talent. . Could you tell us something about your latest music releases and where fans can find them? I just released a new album called “Happiness Is Priceless”. It is a 10 track concept album about money and the choices we make when we have it and when we do not have it. The official realease date is 4/24/2020. It is currently available for pre-order on itunes at https://music.apple. com/us/album/happiness-is-priceless/1484288311 and at Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/b07zg15tmg?&tag=admarketus-20&ref=pd_sl_a537C5EDF2AC5F10A6B8377F87 and signed CDs on my website at https://www.desmondthesongwriter.com/shop. All pre-orders between now and then will count towards my first week sales and will help me to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Reggae Chart on 4/24/2020. What do you think is the biggest barrier you have to face and overcome as an indie artist, in your quest to achieve your goals and wider spread success? The biggest barrier I have to face is lack of media and bookings. What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career? I am not willing to compromise my relationship with God and I am not willing to compromise my health. I am willing to do anything else. Do you have social media or a website? My website is: https://www.desmondthesongwriter.com/about-desmond My social media are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLcxz6g-14Y https://www.instagram.com/desmondthesongwriter/# https://soundcloud.com/desmondthesongwriter https://www.facebook.com/desmondthesong https://twitter.com/desmondthesong
Tenia Renee Nelson What’s your stage name? Tenia Renee Nelson
Describe your sound? Genre? I play all kinds of music, but I am rooted in Jazz. What got you into music? One day my Auntie quit playing the keyboard and gave it to me. That is how I got started in playing. What’s your favorite song and why? To be honest, I really have no faves. Everything floats my boat. Do you write your own music? Why did you decide to become a songwriter? I do write. I write because I love coming up with innovative, challenging, fun and different compositions. It makes my heart happy when I can do this. What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Family and life. Do you think these topics will change over time? Nope. Family and life are my “go tos”. Do you follow a formula when you write? I do not. Sometimes the harmony comes first, sometimes the rhythm comes first and sometimes the melody. It depends on the day..... Which song did you have the most trouble writing? Songs in general are hard to write.....lol! Do you ever play any covers or do you only play originals? I do both. What musician would you like to collaborate with and why? There are so many that I would love to work with. Lizzo, Questlove from the Roots, Esperanza Spaulding, Benny Green, Bruno Mars are just a few that comes to mind. They are fun, innovative, fresh and hella mad talented! Are you a member of any music organizations? BMI What has been your biggest challenge as a independent artist? Balance. Balancing family, teaching music and being an independent artist. It is hard, but it has to be done. Being a musician is who I am. Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how? Still trying. Lol! Everyday struggle! Do you have any upcoming shows? How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? I do. Visit my website at: www.teniareneenelson.com
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