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Chantel Sawyer (Atkins) (CEO/Owner) I started The Rhythmic Lounge in December 2010. At its start, it was a fairly simple website with the purpose of giving people a place to promote their talents and network. I had no idea that less than two years later it would transform into something much bigger. The website then underwent a complete revamp in July 2011, with a brand new look and the addition of many new features, including the creation of The Rhythmic Lounge Radio. Following suit, the radio started out as merely a 24/7 stream of hand-picked music submitted by talented musicians from the website but is now an integral part of the company. Listeners from all over the world tune in regularly to hear the wide variety of music, as well as the educational, musical and talk-radio shows that we now host. The radio’s success has only made me realize The Rhythmic Lounge could take me in new directions everyday rather than the other way around, which is why a digital magazine seemed like the next step. I’m incredibly proud to present to you hardworking artists and entertainers in this magazine and on the site, so enjoy! Be sure to go to www.therhythm iclounge.com to see the profiles for the great talent displayed in this issue and take a look at our new magazine site at http://w w w .trlm agazine.com Thanks for the support, and happy reading!

Contributors Special thanks to the individuals who have contributed to this issue of The Rhythmic Lounge Magazine! dB Hear d w ww .n o ton lystre et.com


n oto nlystr eet ar@ g m ail.co m Am anda Craig, W riter http://w w w .snappycopyw riting.com http://w w w .m urderandintrigue.com

Ross Guity, W riter Blog: www.LockerRoom zRedCarpetEtc.blogspot.com

Aaron W ilson, W riter !!!!!!http://aaron+wilson.strikingly.com

• •

W illiam Kryjak, W riter, Reviewer www.film -book.com

Patrick Ross, W riter! www.reverbnation.com /m cbigrub m cbigrub.hubpages.com

Essince, Interviewer http://w w w .Essince.com http://w w w .RoyalHeirEnt.com !


August 2016 magazine cover photo taken by Rubenjaman Fraklan August 2016 magazine cover Graphic Designer: Everett Z. Sanders II

The Rhythmic Lounge company is always looking to promote new talent, so don’t forget to join at www.therhythmiclounge.com and take a look at our magazine site at www.TRLmagazine.com

If you would like to be in the magazine, contact the email below.


The Rhythmic Lounge Magazine




Michael Egleton


Crystall Babii


DJ Chemo


Vanessa Werts






Smooth P Productions

Crystall Babii Brooklyn, NY

I was born and raised in Brooklyn NY and was always very active. I did tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop and karate. At the age of 7, I started getting into a lot of pageants and during my second year doing it, I was first runner up in the national America miss competition out of 900 girls. At the Age of 10, my family and I moved out to Hagerstown, Md. It was very different from what I was used to but I tried to get adjust to it. I started to cheer for Platinum Elite! I cheered for about a year and then got into the sport of basketball. After my middle school years I took basketball more seriously when I got to high school and I was one of the best. I got first all-team player and 3rd for most points scored in the tri-state area. Coming up to my senior year, I got very close to my music and started pushing for my music to be bigger than what I really thought it would be. Now music is going to be a career that I make sure I continue to pursue! http://ateamrecords.weebly.com/! https://www.facebook.com/crystallbabii/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel



The Rhythmic Lounge: Please introduce yourself and give the readers a brief background for those who aren’t familiar with you! Crystall Babii: Hello everyone it's Crystal McLeod my artist name is "Crystall Babii" For those who don't know me my turn up day is August 17 1996. I was born and raised in Brooklyn NY and relocated from Brooklyn to Maryland at the age of 10. TRL: Who are your biggest musical influences? CB: Nobody would ever guess but Michael Jackson is a big inspiration when it comes to my music when I had talent shows I would always perform a song of his he was different. TRL: Brooklyn is such a music mecca, especially when it comes to hip-hop. How did growing up there influence your love for music, and was there an instant effect on you when you left and moved to Maryland? CB: Growing up in Brooklyn didn't really influence my music career. It was where I'm from you know, I was always active participating in jazz, ballet, tap, hip-hop and modeling dancing. I was first runner up in the Miss National American pageant. I was placed second out of 90 some girls. I got into music when i moved to Maryland. That's what influenced my music career, there weren’t much dance classes and if there were it didn't fit what I was looking for. So I started writing my music in high school when I realized that I could actually sing Maryland brought out a side of me I didn't know I really had. I will always rep the BK but i got made love for the DMV. TRL: Have you considered expanding your talent into other areas of music, such as songwriting or producing? CB: Yes I do plan on expanding my music in other areas when it comes to songwriting I would definitely love to make hits for other music artist. TRL: Are there any upcoming events or projects that you’d like to mention? CB: Right now I’m working on the release of my mixtape. It’s really different from other artist mixtape. I told Songs that i like and did a remix. So many people like the songs so much i had to give my fans something to listen to. The next big project is my album i can't wait..It’s going to be fire. A lot of people know who i am but a lot don't. When this album drop i feel like everyone will know who's Crystall Babii is. I'm doing a show in Florida in Orlando area it's on the 18th of November it a celebrity basketball game for the Classic FAMU. !



Get Your Copy Today! A Novel

by Vanessa D. Werts www.VanessaWerts.com “Sometimes getting hurt can be the very thing that opens the heart to love.” Lies is a bold, poignant story about an ambitious publicist who falls for her NFL client. When passion takes over and they cross the line, things get way out of hand, especially when his fiancée finds out. In a tangled web of unchecked hurt and selfish gain, who’s right and who’s wrong when the baller wants them both.

Vanessa D. Werts is a native of Birmingham, Alabama and currently resides in a suburb of Washington, DC. She’s a military veteran, an author, and a mother.

Available at Amazon and Barnes&Noble in print. Ebook available at iBooks, Barnes&Noble, Smashwords, Kobo and more. Twitter @VanessaWerts



Vanessa Werts

by Ross Guity (www.facebook.com/Ross.Guity21)

Talented scribe Vanessa Werts recently released her intoxicatingly dramatic second novel titled 'Lies: Even Love Has Its Casualties,' and we at TRL magazine caught up with Vanessa to discuss her new literary creation, why the world should give her amazing, on-the-rise brand a try and a little more. The Rhythmic Lounge (Ross Guity): You proudly served our country as a soldier in the past. Which branch of the Armed Forces were you enlisted in, and what was your MOS (Military Occupational Specialty)? Vanessa Werts: I was enlisted in the United States Air Force on Active Duty for 13 years, and my MOS was Logistics Officer.

TRL (Ross Guity): What makes you uniquely stand out from the pack as an author/novelist in your humble opinion? VW: I don't know that I stand out much as an author, however, my purpose for writing is to impact lives for the better - which is probably an unusual goal for a novelist. I like to write about strong female protagonists who are flawed, and take them on a healing journey of self-love. In my humble opinion, this makes my work stand out because you don't expect to get a life-changing message when you pick up a story about ambitious, successful business owners and NFL ballers who cheat.

TRL (Ross Guity): Why should avid novel readers purchase and eventually enjoy your recent release 'Lies: Even Love Has Its Casualties?' VW: 'Lies' is full of drama and realistic relationship issues that any single woman or man for that matter can relate to - especially if they are still looking for love. 21st Century singles will definitely relate to the story in some way. I believe readers will experience a range of emotions as they enter into Bobbi's world (the protagonist), where she gives up on finding love and settles for casual relations with men. I've been told by readers that 'Lies' is a page-turner (I get excited when I hear that!) and a quick read, so I believe readers of Contemporary Fiction will get a kick out of it, and want more.

TRL (Ross Guity): I can envision 'Lies' being translated visually on to the big screen as a fascinating, riveting, successful motion picture. Maybe a possibility down the road? VW: Absolutely! I see 'Lies' on the big screen every day in my head. (Laughs)....There is a theme of love and forgiveness in the story, and I want to take this message to every media outlet possible with the highest goal being a motion picture.

TRL (Ross Guity): Which authors/novelists are you a fan of? VW: Wow....There are so many. Probably too many to name here. I'm a huge fan of Nikki Turner. She can tell a story like no other. I feel like I'm standing next to her characters when I read her work. I also like Wahida Clark and Eric Jerome Dickey, and my all-time favorite is Connie Briscoe. I actually study her writing style throughout the course of a project as needed to jump-start my creativity.

TRL (Ross Guity): What can we anticipate from the brilliant Vanessa D. Werts in the near future? VW: Good question. Well, I've started making notes for my next novel - which will be a follow-on to 'Lies.' Readers have said they want to know what happened to a couple of the characters, and to be honest, so would I! (Laughs)....So, readers can look out for my next novel in the spring of 2017. Oh - and I hope to make progress toward getting 'Lies' on the big screen.

TRL (Ross Guity): Define the art of RHYTHM from your perspective! VW: Hmmmm....To me, the art of RHYTHM is like riding the waves of the highs and lows of a 'sick' beat and flowing with it in perfect unison. The flow is unbreakable - even if the beat stops.


Raleigh native “She Rex Mykes” regional rise in popularity is slowly causing her to become one of the new faces of North Carolina hip hop. Many states have a definitive sound that they associate with but NC doesn't appear to have any one particular choice; North Carolina residents adopt whatever sound suits them at the time day. With North Carolina's hip hop scene cultivating a melting pot of sound She Rex Mykes is making waves on the underground radar highlights with such mixtapes as Crowned Royal and Hood Super Hero now considered a large contributor to the Underground Mixtape Scene. Sheila Moore aka She Rex Mykes was born and raised in Creedmoor, North Carolina now residing in Raleigh has been rapping since nine years of age and producing since fifteen.

Currently a Coast2Coast and NerveDJ and produces beats as well has be a force to be reckoned with by several other artists and producers in her regional area. She Rex Mykes has been involved with music throughout her life as her first memory of music her uncle buying her a guitar for Christmas at the age of three. SRM's uncle had a music studio in his home and taught her quite a bit from watching him and others in her area enabling her to learn how to play the guitar and the piano by ear later throughout the years She Rex started playing the trumpet for her middle school band around the age of eleven and by the time she ended high school she had mastered the trumpet, baritone and drums. One of the A list female artists of North, Carolina’s female rappers and virtually known for her skills on the mic has since the early days of hip-hop, taken a part in crafting her overall tone and sound with misogynist lyrics and street camaraderie; she has taking part of as well. She Rex Mykes has put aside all the sex and glamour that we regularly see and hear from female hip hop artists. "That's not what's at the core of me" "I'm not the average female rapper and first and foremost I'm a rapper”. “I can only rap about my reality and what I see going on around me” she states!

Her goal is not only to entertain the streets but to educate the streets as well." Early 2014 She Rex Mykes released Crowned Royal Vol 1, and then on released Crowned Royal 2 on December 31 2014 and currently working on the her next installment of the Crowned Royal Series which will feature Crowned Royal 3.

She Rex Mykes stands out above the crowd with her gritty lyrics and rhythmic metaphor's while catching you off guard with her punchlines.

The complete Crowed Royal Series is diary or a journal like illuminating the idea that she is no better than anyone else but life happens, stay true to yourself, know yourself and recognize North Carolina Hip-hop at one time not long ago was only performed in the parks or in the school lunch room cafeterias but now She Rex Mykes is becoming the royalty within in a prolific female artist who represents the Carolinas by adding a virtual shock to you.

The city of Raleigh believes She Rex Mykes is going to be one to watch as time goes on and has been putting it down for a long time so DJ's, emcees and Hip-Hop artist out there stay up as She Rex Mykes rocks the stage one show at a time.

the Hip Hop game.

She Rex Mykes has interviewed with Fattrack.com, Fusionz Magazine, KJag Radio, KVHT- Hit XM Radio Las Vegas, and KSun Radio and looks forward to more interviews and features as time progresses. In the year 2K15 She Rex Mykes teamed up with DJ Kansas of the Hysteria Mixtape Series and DJ Skroog Mkduk to put out both the Dope Souf and Certified Dope Mixtape Series which have been featured on Datpiff, WorldstarPromo.com, CarolinaOnTherise.com, HipHopOnDeck.com, and FoMerlot.com just to name a few. She Rex Mykes is now working on her debut album to be released by Not Only Street Records May 19th, 2K16 entitled Lessons From the Nine. As for Lessons From the Nine the album will tell a story as she wants her fans to feel as if they watched a movie once they hear it from beginning to end. Keep your eyes open for She Rex Mykes debut album “Lessons From The 9� dropping on May 19th. Www.NotOnlyStreet.Com/She-Rex-Mykes.Html


! ! ! ! Chief69! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

! ! ! Born in Brooklyn currently in the south Bronx Nelson "Chief69" Seda is an up and coming emcee extraordinaire. He loves Hip Hop culture so much that besides creating music he also is a full time Bboy/Artist/Poet/Actor. Chief has been doing what he does for the past 2 years and has thus far reached a lot of early success in his endeavors ... Chief also is founder and leading member of Hip Hop Organization known as Floor Royalty Crew which is a group of like minded individuals who have a strong passion for Bboying..Graffiti..Emceeing..Beat-boxing..DJ-ing.....etc... if you would like to hire chief for any artwork..Bboying..Poetry reading..Acting or collaborate with him on a song please feel free to email Chief69@mail.com Also, check out his blog at www.chief69frc.blogspot.com www.youtube.com/chief69oner www.soundcloud.com/chief69 https://twitter.com/chief69HipHop https://www.facebook.com/Chief69-149187658475594/?ref=hl

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !



! ! The Rhythmic Lounge: Please introduce yourself and give the readers a brief background for those who aren’t familiar with you! Chief69: I am Chief69 a south Bronx based Nuyorican who is a practitioner and student of HIP HOP. I am a Bboy/Emcee/Writer and community educator and I use the resources of HIP HOP to help my people. TRL: What effect did being born and raised in Brooklyn/Bronx New York have on the creative path that you chose? Chief69: I was born in Brooklyn and I spent the first few years of my life there but actually don’t remember it much I moved around and eventually over they ears ended up living in the south Bronx . By the time I reached High school I started to already Emcee and do basic Bboying and even writing and I would frequently go to Brooklyn to visit friends and that is what reformed my connection to the borough - at heart I am a Brooklyn boy in all reality even though I live in the Bronx and in the context of HIP HOP I personally feel there was always a connection with the two places and to maybe just me but the realest people come from BK or the BX TRL: Floor Royalty Crew is an Organization you founded! What is the overall idea behind it and what was your purpose for creating it? Chief69: I founded FRC with a few friends in high school and currently the only founding members still involved are me and King Jamrock. its quite common for most Bboys and Bgirls to only rock a few years and most people grow up or grow out of it but for myself its deeper than just dance and its deeper than just HIP HOP its a discipline and way of life. the idea of the crew started out as a group of young men who wanted to dance and represent HIP HOP and it developed into us as grown men wanting to still represent HIP HOP as well as keep it rooted in its NYC and Black/Latino revolutionary essence...I feel the essence has over the years dwindled into but a memory or even myth to some people and I find that to be a big problem and cause to a lot of the misrepresentation of HIP HOP in every element and every aspect on creative and business levels. TRL: Are there any upcoming events or projects that you’d like to mention? Chief69: I am always into something but in the very near future I am to release 2 music projects, first is the 3rd installment of my ongoing mixtape series "All City Bboy" and this vol.3 features a track with the likes of HIP HOP pioneer Grandmaster Caz and Queens NYC emcee legend Tragedy Khadafi among other talented friends of mine whom which I am very proud to create beautiful music with my other project is my second album "Buckwild" Produced fully by DJ Charlie Hustle who also represents TBB (The Bronx Boys Rocking Crew) with myself and this second album has been a project I have put a lot of myself into spiritually , I am excited to release these two projects and I cant wait to hear the reviews I get , I am hoping these two projects can put me on a bigger and better platform for others to hear, see and feel my presence in the industry...till then of course see me in the streets of NYC and possibly in a city near you...!

Ron Handy


Montgomery, AL

The multi-instrumentalist, Ron Handy, was born and reared in Montgomery, Alabama. He began playing guitar in grade school. In junior and senior high school, Ron began to concentrate primarily on Alto Saxophone and he participated in various county and state honor bands. During high school, Ron not only played in the marching, symphonic, and jazz bands, but he also arranged and composed music for these bands. This pivotal period in his life influenced Ron’s decision to pursue a career in music. After high school graduation, Ron enrolled in college at Alabama State University, where he earned a music degree with honors. Presently, Ron is employed at Alabama State University in the Department of Music. Ron has been the recipient of the ASU President’s Excellence Award and he was inducted into the Lanier High School Hall of Fame (his high school alma mater) for creative musicianship and service to the community. He has also received numerous other awards for music and for community service. Throughout his professional career, Ron has performed with or as the opening act for various jazz, pop/R&B and gospel stars including: Grammy Award winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum; Grammy Award winning vocalist Chrisette Michele; Outstanding a cappella group and 10 time Grammy Award winners Take 6;9 time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys; Platinum selling R&B vocalist Avant; jazz group Pieces of a Dream; vibraphonist Roy Ayers; vocalist Phyllis Hyman; trumpeter Tom Browne; saxophonist Najee; 9 time Grammy Award winner and Pulitzer Prize recipient Wynton Marsalis; super producer/keyboardist George Duke; saxophonist George Howard; vocalist Rachelle Ferrell; vocal sensation and 2 time Grammy Award winner Patti Labelle; jazz keyboardist Joe Sample; 5 time Grammy Award winner and pop/rock/country/gospel hit maker B.J. Thomas; producer/drummer Norman Connors; gospel vocalist Lisa McClendon; gospel/jazz guitarist Roland Grissum; smooth jazz violinist Jerald Daemyon; Hit R&B/pop vocalist Peabo Bryson; father/son recording artists Eddie Levert (O’jays) & Gerald Levert and gospel recording star John P. Kee. Ron has also performed with and composed music for actress Bernadette Stanis (formerly known as “Thelma” from the hit TV show Christina Mims! “Good Times”), who is also skilled at writing poetry. A versatile musician with a love for different genres of music, Ron Handy has played gospel, classical, jazz and pop/R&B extensively. He has served as the musical director and/or woodwind/keyboard player for many theatrical productions including: “The Wiz”; “Dreamgirls”; “Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope”; “Purlie”; “Ain’t Misbehavin’; “The Meeting” and many others. Ron has been featured on both local and national television, along with local and international radio. He has been featured on CNN and he was the “Artist of the Week” on the international radio program “Jazz From The City,” hosted by renowned jazz DJ Ken “Spider” Webb. Ron Handy has produced and performed on numerous recordings over the years. He has worked as a studio musician and engineer, as well as producer and arranger for several recording projects, including television theme songs and commercial jingles. Ron has released his own CDs, which include smooth jazz “covers” of the R&B group Jodeci’s “Forever My Lady” and jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves’ “Come In.” He has also recorded smooth jazz versions of other pop/R&B hits, including Brian McKnight’s “The Only One For Me”. Being a spiritual person who loves to give honor and praise to God, Ron released a CD of gospel favorites titled “Sign Me Up,” which has received heavy rotation and acclaim from radio stations and listeners alike. Gospel and “smooth jazz” stations also embraced a CD single titled “He’s Worthy”. Despite maintaining a demanding professional career, Ron enjoys taking the time to visit schools and churches to perform and talk to young people about music, life and career goals. Throughout the years, Ron has been blessed to perform for wide and diverse audiences. His versatility has allowed him to become one of the most sought after musicians in the southeast. Having been given the gift of music, Ron Handy thanks God and considers it a privilege and an honor to be able to share his music with others. !



The Rhythmic Lounge: Was there an "aha" moment that made you say, "I want to be a musician"? Ron Handy: Coming from a musical household where everyone in the house played an instrument and/or sang definitely had an impact on me, but my “aha” moment came when I was in high school. I had a wonderful band director, Farrell Duncombe, who saw some potential in me and allowed me to go as far as I wanted to go under his guidance. I was the saxophone section leader and, as a teenager, was allowed to arrange musical selections and conduct them in rehearsals. The fire within me was raging once I stood in front of the band for the first time to conduct my very first marching band arrangement (laughs). Honestly, it didn’t turn out that great but Mr. Duncombe encouraged me to keep at it. I was so determined to practice that Mr. Duncombe asked the school principal if I could have a key to the band room. I think he was tired of me “bugging” him (laughs). His request was granted and I was able to practice in the band room at any time. I loved it and my desire to be a good musician (along with being a responsible young man) was of “high priority.”

TRL: You play several instruments! How did that come about? RH: Wow! That’s a good question! As I stated earlier, my family had instruments around the house all the time and it sparked my interest to see how each one operated. Several years ago I worked with John Gibbs, a fantastic musician who owns a music store here in Montgomery. Whenever I was in the store I would watch customers come in to purchase different instruments. To my surprise and amazement, John would demonstrate each instrument that was requested. I don’t mean “tinker” with it (smile). He could “really” play every instrument that he put his hands on…WELL (laughs). It was great for me to see a person do that and he was gracious enough to show me some techniques on different instruments. I was getting into multi-track recording at the time and I had to lay all of the tracks myself. Whew! During those days I didn’t have digital recorders to work with, so everything went to tape. It really helped my musicianship because I had to literally “perform” every part in its entirety. I continue to work like that now because I get a better feel for the music by actually “playing” the parts separately.”

TRL: Why was going to college and getting a degree in music important to you? RH: First of all, both of my parents are retired educators and going to college was always stressed to me, along with my siblings, as a way to position ourselves for a better life. I was so into music in high school that my mind was made up about having music as a major. I really wanted to learn everything that I could about music and possibly teach one day. My saxophone instructor in college, Dr. Laurence Hayes, played a major role in convincing me to soak up all of the knowledge that I could from him. Believe me, he had a wealth of knowledge and I was encouraged to go beyond my musical barriers. The music was so difficult that I would spend 4 to 6 hours a day working on various exercises. I once asked, “Why are you giving me such difficult pieces to learn?” I soon found out that he was planning to retire and I am now in his old office at Alabama State University. Talk about irony (smile). Attending college and getting a degree in music has been extremely beneficial to me. I owe a major debt of gratitude to all of my former teachers for the seeds that they’ve sown in me. May God bless them all!

TRL: You've performed numerous times as a solo act. How challenging is that? RH: That’s a great question! The solo act came about as the result of my maturing as a multi-instrumentalist and producer. I owe a lot of my decision to perform solo to Dr. George Shaw, a Long Beach, California based musician/producer/educator whom I met several years ago. He literally took me under his wing and instructed me on the “ins” and “outs” of studio recording. He’s a guru when it comes to studio gear and he’s an awesome trumpet player. Well, I had a performance coming up for a festival and was working so hard that I didn’t have time to pull a band together for rehearsals. I was about to cancel the engagement when Dr. Shaw says, “Do it yourself!” His statement changed everything for me and I began to perform with or without a band. I spent a great deal of time learning several tunes on a variety of instruments to enhance my “live” performances. Performing live with a band is wonderful and I enjoy that aspect tremendously. The challenge of performing “live” on a “track date” concert is that it requires a lot more energy. Since I’m performing the instrumental parts on the tracks, I always think about my energy level and which instrument(s) I will be playing “live” to keep things fresh and interesting. It’s truly a challenge, but I enjoy it!

TRL: Do you remember the first time you heard yourself on the radio? RH: Yes I do remember the first time I heard a selection that I’d recorded in the studio on the radio (laughs). Back in the day, I was always working on stuff (smile). A good friend of mine and music business mentor, Steve Myers, would always ask me… “Are you working on some material?” I would always say “yes” and he would tell me to get it to him as soon as I was done. After several months of asking the same question and getting the same answer from me, I reluctantly gave Steve a tape to check out over the weekend. I didn’t think it was ready, but he took it and returned it to me on the following Monday. He told me he liked it and I said “thanks, but I’ll finish it soon”. To my surprise, I was driving and listening to our campus radio station (WVAS FM 90.7) when I heard one of my selections on the radio. You see, Steve Myers was the station manager at the time and he’d copied the tape and put it on the air. I guess he was tired of “waiting on me” and decided I was ready (Laughs). As I think about it, I’m glad he did that. I would probably still be “getting ready” today (smile)! Thanks, Steve!

TRL: How did the interesting concept of the "Killing Me Softly" video on YouTube come about? RH: The “Killing Me Softly” track and video came about very quickly. The vocalist that I work with, Christina Mims, has always loved that song and wanted to perform it. I laid the instrumental tracks for her to rehearse with. She liked it and went on the computer to make sure she had all of the lyrics correct. We were not really intending to “record” the song at that time. It was really just a “fun” thing. She looked over the lyrics for a few minutes and said…”Hey, I want to lay some vocal tracks over what you’ve done.” She proceeded to lay the lead and the harmony tracks in one take each… top to bottom. Wow! As we were listening back to the performance Darrick Long (an ASU student) walked into my office and said… “I really like that and I have an idea.” Darrick takes his iPhone out of his pocket and says…”let’s make a video”! The footage on the iPhone was shot right then. As we listened to the lyrics of this great Charles Fox – Norman Gimbel composition, Darrick (along with his twin brother Eric) had a concept to convey a unique message through the video. The world recently commemorated the 60th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March and State Senator Quinton Ross played the video for visiting dignitaries during their visit to Montgomery. The video was met with a rousing ovation of approval and we are all very proud to have been a part of it. We’ve received many positive emails and texts from around the world from those who have viewed the video on YouTube! Christina (a gifted vocalist) and Darrick (who also designed my website) are truly talented individuals and I love working with them. Thank you, TRL!

where creativity lives

AUGUST / / 17




! TRL: Please introduce yourself and give the readers a brief background for those who aren’t familiar with you! Rikers: Name is Rikers, born in Brooklyn, New York. Me and my friends founded the first hip-hop Monthly newspaper 4Korners news. We gave Kanye West his first publication cover as well as Joe Buddens, first exclusive interview with Kareem Biggs Burke, co-founder of Rocafella records and others. I was also Music Editor for Beyond Race Magazine where we gave JCole his first cover, also first publication who pegged artist such as Santigold, Drake, JCole, Mike Poster, Mayer Hawthorne as artist to blow. Clothing manufacturer with over 20 years of experience and over two billion in retail sells. Worked for companies such as Apple bottoms, Adidas, Fubu, Reebok and several others. Landed at PNB Nation with a good friend where we developed the science of Guerilla marketing. Doing early product situations with Eminem and the boot camp click, explains how long ago this was...haha. I was then asked to do Marketing for Stall and Dean, which was one of the oldest athletic apparel companies in the United States founded 1898. Within two years I was head of Marketing and controlled the marketing for all of the in-house brands, which also included the Rucker. Within years the company was doing twenty million in yearly sells, topping over $100M by the end of our run, all this with just a High school diploma. Community activist, I speak to young men and women to motivate them to aspire to want more for themselves because it can inspire a whole community. I am currently at Monster products, well known for their creation of the beats by Dre headphones as well as their Monster cables. I went this route because I like new challenges. I see headphones as a fashion accessory, not easy to sell when you see the product for what it is...haha. I do lifestyle marketing working with athletes and events. TRL: When people Google you, they are also likely to see the phrase “Guerrilla Marketing Mastermind” by your name. Explain where that came from? Rikers: I always in my life had to work with a little bit and expected to make basically something from nothing. Football I was undersized, in the streets I was undersized, so I developed a kind of a napoleon complex...lol. Basically you have to utilize all your relationships. Treat people the way you want to be treated and treat all those deserving as equals. No one is better than the next; everyone can get a fat lip. You remember that it allows you to navigate the waters. Now you’re in the water, you bring people on board who can bring ores, help paddle, etc. These are basically like-minded people who you work with daily literally a barter system. I have bread, you have jelly... let's eat...haha. So at 4Korner and Beyond race, I had publications aka press. They needed press so I would tell the artist I can wardrobe them so they looked great for their photos, videos and I would dress them then in my Rucker; Stall and Dean clothing. It was a win win because I let them keep the clothing. I had the hottest clothing line out and they were getting for free as well as they getting press, product and saving a lot of money out of their budgets. This worked great early when early 2000s 50 Cent and Sha Money came into my office. My office was next door to Funk Master Flex and upstairs from Justin's. 50 was being black balled by Murder Inc., but sometimes you just know when something magical is about to happen. He needed clothing for his DVD and video, I needed a fantastic model. I said let's do it, this is why when you see 50s early videos, shoots he's in baseball and basketball jerseys. It was a jersey market then. Taking a little bit, turning it to a lot using unorthodox measures is the key to Guerilla Marketing.

TRL: You are not an average businessman with 1 or 2 ideas or projects under their belt. You seem to have your hands in a little bit of everything. What gives you the motivation to constantly keep busy and continue to expand? Rikers: I hate to lose. That's basically all it is, I'm a terrible loser. I don't go crying but I'm constantly reinventing myself and not afraid to go for what I want. I recently did a skills test where it finds your attributes; mines came back Futuristic, Command, Achiever, Self- Assurance. I'm not a person who needs someone to say if I'm doing a good job, I'm always thinking three steps ahead, I'm a take charge personality and I always look for the positive in situations regardless of the outcome. Everything is a learning process. I was shot several times, instead of saying I want revenge, I thought of my mother like dang, this is how I repay her? Laying here like a clump of clay? That embarrassment gave me a jolt. She said I wasn't one but I knew this was not all that was in store for me. So I knew I had to have my eggs in many baskets so if I dropped one, I'd still have an omelet on Sunday...haha. But in the end, read... find a mentor and learn. The mentor will show you where you can be if you stay the course. I don't mean the local scam artists, I mean a successful person who can lead you in the right direction. TRL: Are there any upcoming events or projects that you’d like to mention? Rikers: Always something on the horizon, haha. We'll be at the Hampton vs. Howard game working along side RadioOne, bring music to the ears like it suppose to be heard. Not just loud, but clear. We just released our new Monster Elements collection starting with the Rose Gold Elements. Elements taking it back to earth's elements, Gold, Rose Gold, Platinum... a lot of brands allege they are the industry leaders. They are loud, but you cannot hear a thing. Kevin Gates has a funny clip on his Instagram where someone sent him beats. He's like yeah it's loud, but I cannot hear the music. Monster for years have been known for our quality, our headphones offer three-port connection, only one in the market where you can connect blue tooth, audio as well as digital USB (comes in the box). Headphones use a special fiber that allows flexibility as well as DJ Swivel ears. Also touch screen controls on the headphones where you can answer the phone, control your volume as well as skip and replay your music. The elements is something amazing I have to say. That's what actually sold me when they asked me to join the team. We also have the Isports collection for the athletes or people into fitness. Doesn't circle the ear like beats where people complain of cutting and ripping the back of their ears. They slide into the ear and with a soft memory foam, locks into your ear. Again, something special for our consumers. It’s always about bringing and offering more. We have the best quality; best technology and we're in the community. This is the Monster lifestyle. You can see more at www.monsterproducts.com. I'm still working with the Rucker clothing and doing my Koodoo clothing as well. We're sold in Jimmy Jazz; they gave us all their stores as well as another 300 retailers. Always keep your hands in multiple pots I always say. Fashion is my passion, but striving forward is a way of life.

where creativity lives

AUGUST / / 19






is a formally trained, award winning, critically acclaimed trumpet player, skilled keyboardist, composer, arranger, lyricist, engineer and producer and has been featured on close to 45 records. After losing a lifetime of work and memories in a fire, Michael is reestablished in his new Manhattan studio, recording and producing several original projects and playing jazz with the Michael Karrtet™. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, Michael’s debut in music came at age 11, recording his first two albums as a trumpet soloist with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony. In the 9th grade, Michael caught the eye of the great Randy Purcell (lead trombonist with Maynard Ferguson) who assisted Michael is getting a music scholarship for trumpet and piano to Carnegie Mellon University, which he began the following year. He continued his education at Duquesne and Pitt Universities, where he played under the direction of Nathan Davis and his Pitt University Jazz Assemble. After completing two Bachelor Degrees by age 19, Michael left Pittsburgh and went on the road, touring across the United States and in Europe. Michael’s extensive performance experience includes national tours and playing with The Whispers, The O’Jays, Billy Price and the Keystone Rhythm Band, After 7, Billy Joel, The Human League, Jimmy Ponder, The Tommy Dorsey Band, Modern Man, The Jets, The Gap Band, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, The Drifters, George Benson (in the line-up at the Newport Jazz Festival), Houston Person, Roy Buchanan, Maynard Ferguson, Freddie Hubbard, Dennis Williams, B.B. King, Mary Wilson, Stanley Turrentine, Russ Freeman, Alex Blake, Arnie Lawrence, Cecil Brooks III, Dave Budway, Eddie Henderson, Dennis Irwin, Joe Harris, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Eric Lewis, Essiet O. Essiet, Grady Tate, Grover Washington Jr., James Moody, Jay and Marty Ashby, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Joe Cohn, Joe Negri, John Benitez, Kirk Lightsey, Mark Murphy, Marian McPartland, Ned Gold, Seleno Clarke, Randy Johnston, Rodney Jones, Ray Brown, Rhoda Scott, Roger Tucker, Roger Humphries, Ron Affif, Russell George and Victor Jones. Michael is also a veteran session musician, signed under numerous labels, including 3C, Laurie, Antenna Records and Corona Rounder. Michael hit the Top Ten on Billboard’s R&B charts as a producer with the Stanley Fields cover of “You, Me & He” (3C Records). He was the first musician to record live for WDUQ’s Tony Mowad and Chuck Leavens with whom he recorded with for several years. Michael wrote and produced music for the popular radio show Top 30 USA with Donnie Simpson with Sheridan Broadcasting Network WAMO which aired every Saturday on 169 stations and in Europe and Japan. He has worked with many production, mixing, mastering and engineers of note, including the Grammy-winning Phil Nicolo of Studio 4 Recording. Records of note include one of Michael’s CDs featuring the legendary Houston Person and several of Michael’s live CDs featuring Claudio Roditi. Michael’s Karrtet™ features a rotation of top musicians including Ron Affif, Victor Jones, John Benitez, Randy Johnston, Alex Blake and Essiet O. Essiet. As a band leader, Michael is listed as a Jazz Improv Magazine “Noteworthy Performance“. He has held several residencies at notable jazz venues in NYC including St. Nick’s Pub, Cleopatra’s Needle, Arturo’s, Blue Water Grill, the Bell Cafe, De Lounge, and Mannahatta. Michael has performed in almost every club east of the Rockies – he has played in settings from “after-hours” clubs to stadiums, for the former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani to two Presidential Inaugural Balls.

where creativity lives

JULY / / 15

Eunique Gaither a.k.a KeepStackZ Is an upcoming Rapper from the Bronx, NY who has been involved in music for six years and has done shows all over NY, ATL & Cali. KeepStackZ now twenty-two years young has been grinding & rising to fame since the age of sixteen working along with his comrades Lil Bibby, Lil Reese while approach the stage to the rap game. KeepStackZ says,”I just want to do what I have to do to be great with the music I give to my fans”

According To KeepStackZ he say’s he’s been with his crew NBL “Natural Born Leaders” Since 2006. His older cousins “William “Scrapp” Cortez & Rodrick “Dolla” Burton had formed the family movement to promote their music & styles. Which was used to represent individuality within the set to explore their talents. Growing up in a one parent home KeepStackZ had five siblings. His mother raised the kids on her own. After everything KeepStackZ has seen and gone through he now has the time and effort to be the man everybody thought he wouldn’t beome.

Some of Keepstackz biggest influences are Dolla, Scrapp, AKON, Te-Money, Lil Bibby, Lil Herb & JAY-Z but compares himself mostly to Lil Bibby because their visions are very similar. KS didn’t take the art of rap seriously until after a few years and just felt like it was time to take it serious. The grind was too hard alone to achieve great numbers, going gold and just maintaining a small level of success so he signed with Not Only Street Records. In Keepstackz spare time he likes to rap, write, read, play sports & shop.


Instagram: jerzeyateam Facebook.com/jerzeyateam Soundcloud.com/jerzeyateam

where creativity lives

AUGUST / / 25



Sophia Daniz Sophia has a vision. She has a voice and natural knack for picking up multiple instruments. I’ve worked with Sophia for nine months and have really gotten to know her as an artist and a person. Yes, she’s talented; yes she can belt as high as Jennifer Hudson or play the guitar as fluidly as Taylor Swift, or perform as captivatingly as Demi Lovato. But, aside from all of those extraordinary gifts and results of hard work, what sets Sophia apart from other young, emerging artists is her drive and her vision. While she’s so young, she understands the importance of finding her own way, her own unique sound and message as a recording artist. It is important for her to be Sophia, the first, not anyone else. I throw a song at her to play on piano and by the next week, not only has she gotten what I taught her down, she’s added her own new notes and rhythms. In the recording studio, she brings her own specific perspective on sounds and feel to the production. Sophia writes naturally catchy hooks on her own and is developing her songwriting skills day by day. She is, in my opinion, someone to watch out for in terms of becoming a creative contributor to the music industry. She’s not afraid of the gigs, the people, the rejection, the time or the work. Music is just who she is, and as life experiences and time will provide her with more material, she is the kind of person who will bring honest individuality to the table. Now, wouldn’t that be such a refreshing thing in today’s music?! Right now, we are recording at Hit Music Studios with producer and engineer, Jimm Mosher to put a strong foot out into the radio waves. It will be a culmination of this talented girl’s vision, unique imagination and the vocal and songwriting chops to match. The songs cover the emotional spectrum, from catchy fun and sticking in your head for days to meaningful, innocent questioning about her current stage in life. She is relatable and stays true to herself. And it’s only the beginning.

The Rhythmic Lounge: Were there people around you who encouraged and influenced you to really pursue your talent? Sophia Daniz: My Mom and Dad, Nana and Papa are who encouraged me! TRL: Not only are you a gifted singer, but you are also a songwriter and you play guitar! Why was it so important for you to be a triple threat, rather than to put all your focus into the craft of singing itself? SD: I play guitar and piano, a little bit on drums and write my on music TRL: What would you say has been your biggest achievement so far in your growing career? SD: My biggest achievement so far has been completing my album, Day Dreaming! TRL: What do we have to look forward to from you in the near future? SD: I hope to be touring! http://www.sophiadaniz.com http://www.mtv.com/artists/sophia-daniz/ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/day-dreaming/id1030646056 http://www.iheart.com/artist/sophia-daniz-30788645/ Twitter: @ssophianichole

Nick Elliott London, UK

Rockin’ The World of Photographic Art We asked world renowned rock photographer, Nick Elliott, about his life in the fast lane producing images of some of the most iconic musical artists and bands. Here’s what he had to say about it all… Tell me a little bit about yourself and your approach, how did it all begin? My career in photography began through a desperate urge to create David Bailey has had a massive influence on me and my work, the music scene, Patrick Lichfield, a mixture of all of this really kicked it off. Photography was always a big part of my childhood. My Dad was a very keen amateur and I remember as a little lad watching him mess about in the darkroom developing film and printing. Photography has always been something that I wanted to do and I am very fortunate to have been given the ability to be good at it. I am not really interested too much in photography, though, but I am in art photography is the medium that I use to create my art. How did your photographic career in the world of music evolve? I had this kind of itchy unhappiness where I was - I had come to a point in my life where I wanted to move the line, I am doing this all the time, moving the boundaries of what I am satisfied with. Not that I am ever satisfied, to be honest, I don't think I ever will be, but that is the art of photography. I was doing a lot of magazine work, freelancing, sports etc. It was towards the end of the 70's, early 80's, that I decided to go it on my own and moved into Creative Advertising.


As with all of my work, I set my stall very high working with top Advertising Agencies, shooting legendary campaigns for pharmaceutical, cigarette, and car accounts like the Liberal Democrats election campaign in 1992. Creative Advertising gave me a very successful career and during this period I won a lot of awards but many of the campaigns I was working on were starting to cramp my creativity. It was time to move on and the digital era was starting to come in which changed the game plan, big time. Music is my second passion to photography –I had been around music all of my life, I knew a lot about it - it had a big influence on my life, the type of person I am and my creativity. I decided that I wanted to work with people in the music industry who were my heroes and whose influence has made me the person and photographer I am today. I concentrate on the areas of music, where my passion is. I think you have to do that. You have to understand where these guys are at and how they craft their art to allow me to craft mine. I don't go near mainstream. I work predominantly in classic rock, heavy rock, some blues and shoot a lot of CD covers, album covers, promotional stuff, work with bands on tours, and cover a lot of live stuff. I am essentially known for my black & white, it reflects a retro style that replicates the music that I still listen to today. I have worked with legendary performers like Thin Lizzy, Motorhead, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Robert Plant, so many. I consider myself to be a Conceptual Photographer so when artists and bands come to me with, say, a new album and tour, I put together a visual concept for the whole product and we build around that. Lemmy%,%Motorhead

I create a complete branding around that brief.

How did you develop and build your brand? My brand was developed by my life, creating a style that is instantly recognisable to me. I take you on a journey, I base it on the music - my biggest musical influence is albums. The greatest album ever recorded, and still my favourite album, is by Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. In my head it takes me to a different place every time I listen to it. I try to create a similar journey with all the images I shoot. I try and get behind the subject and find the secret inner self, get inside their personality. If you weren't a rock photographer what other area would you be interested in? It wouldn't be entirely different to what I am doing now. I’ve worked in Editorial, Fashion, Advertising, all different sectors of the industry for quite a while so, I think, to answer to your question I would have to say I’d specialise in true Fine Art images. Can I define that? My photography would still be based on conceptual stuff, recreating the ideas that I produce in my head. I get strange concepts that I want to turn into an image, I have a head full of images.


Do you choose the locations or are they part of your brief? Most of the time I have carte blanche to achieve what’s needed for the shoot. In most cases I already have a selection of ideas and depending on the brief depicts whether the location is inside or out.


But, I am not a diva, so do not insist that it is my way or no way, the client always has the final say so. I am a relationship type of person and I prefer to work as a team to create and get the best outcome. I like to build solid relationships so that we understand each other. Without a relationship I can't create. Apart from sheer hard work what is the main ingredient to your success?

Staying power. Sticking to what I believe in and where I started, the concept I had in my head, and that I have never deviated from. Things have sometimes blurred the edges of my vision but I have always known what I have wanted for my career. What would you say has been your career highlight to date? Hopefully the biggest highlight is yet to come. In my life I have always looked forward and not back. I have worked with some of the biggest performers on the planet, they were heroes of mine and they still are. I think that would be the biggest achievement for me. Being recognised for my work and recognition for what I do as a rock photographer. Where next? Well, to be honest, I am working on so many projects at the moment. So, 'where next' doesn't really have a known destination. Wherever my photography and fate allows me, I will go there, given the opportunity. ! Further information about Nick and his work can be found at www.nickelliott.eu


Album Reviews Smooth P Da Bishop - Change Da World by Patrick Ross


★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2

Indiana has been a birthplace of extraordinary musical talent over the years. Gary, Indiana’s Joe and Katherine Jackson produced the Jackson Five in the 1960’s, and now Indianapolis, Indiana’s District Elder and First Lady Paul and Margaret Otis have produced Paul “Smooth P” Otis. By their example, he was raised in the tradition of true dedication & worship lifestyle, the child of a church pastor. He began his musical ministry in the church at a tender age, playing multiple instrumental roles as drummer, saxophonist, and later as keyboardist. At age 17 he began composing and producing music, while remaining a musician in the church. As a senior in high school he began his career as a rapper. Remaining faithful to his ministry as a preacher and leader in his local church’s Outreach program, known as the “Minister of Music” Smooth P has produced music for many local artist and shared the stage with known recording artist as well. Now, four CDs and three labels later, he has released his latest album, “Change Da World,” this 7 song Gospel production blends the elements of Rap, R&B, Hip Hop, with a message of devotion and worship in Christ name. The first cut “Let It Rain” brings Smooth P’s pulpit direct from the streets, then gradually cuts like “Never Leave,” “Use Me,” and “Change Your Ways” builds the momentum of this well produced and musically arranged contemporary message of faith. http://www.reverbnation.com/smoothp70 https://www.facebook.com/paulsmoothp.otis https://twitter.com/smoothp70 https://www.instagram.com/Smoothpproductions/

Marketa Otis - Trust God by Patrick Ross !

Rating: ★


Marketa Otis a Gospel songstress from Indianapolis, IN is also the sister-inlaw of pastor Paul Otis better known as Christian Rapper Smooth P, and the Daughter-in-law of District Elder and First Lady Paul and Margaret Otis. Born January 21, 1978. Marketa has been singing since she was a little girl attending Refuge Temple Revival Center where she is a member of the praise team. The release of her debut CD “Trust God” which was co-written and produced by Paul “Smooth P” Otis, consist of 4 songs that can be listened to on Reverb Nation. The first song “You Gave Me Life” is a very contemporarily stylized gospel. Her voice is melodic and compelling as she delivers a very sincere and impassioned performance. The next song “Dance” takes on a more rhythmic and blues feel, obviously designed to bring the church to its feet in this celebration of faith and devotional praise. “Thank You” the third cut begins with a simple piano and string accompaniment as Marketa voice is featured in a traditional church solo performance. The final cut entitled “God Can” reinforces the theme of worship and praise, as she sings seemingly effortlessly backed by the harmonic accompaniment of the chorus. It is not hard to see why this collaboration of musical talent, faith, and devotional worship makes Marketa a force to be reckoned with, while producer Smooth P delivers the music with his arrangements and touch of traditional and contemporary gospel. https://www.reverbnation.com/marketaotis https://www.facebook.com/marketa.otis


Profile for The Rhythmic Lounge


The Rhythmic Lounge Magazine is the print and digital platform for all creative talents (Musicians, Artists, Entertainers, and more!) From f...


The Rhythmic Lounge Magazine is the print and digital platform for all creative talents (Musicians, Artists, Entertainers, and more!) From f...


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