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Who is Thomas Abban?

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A Look At The Founders...



n December of 2011 entrepreneurs Lydia Marie and Kevin King began a partnership as magazine publishers. That was the year that Tru Entertainment Magazine was born. Since the inception of Tru Entertainment Magazine over 30 issues have been produced and published by the duo and made available to millions of readers internationally. Both Lydia and Kevin had a vision to create something new unique and outstanding in the way of promoting not only those new upand-coming artists hailing from various aspects of the entertainment world, but also honoring those classic artists who have been here and paved way all along. As Chief Editor of the Magazine, with Kevin at her side as Managing Editor they have always endeavored to highlight the best of the best from coast to coast. This all began with highlighting the numerous events and artists that Lydia and Kevin have both known over the years as a result of their prior endeavors in the entertainment industry. Kevin has a background in photography and fashion show production,and Lydia has quite an exstensive background in music and film. So, as you can imagine there was never a shortage of talented artists including their celebrity friends they found to be worthy of notoriety in their publication. Legends like; George Clinton, Chuck D and Public Enemy, Melba Moore, Stevie Wonder, Sounds of Blackness, legendary actor Ernest Thomas, and the list goes on and on of those begining to Rock the cover of each magazine with excellence. And the many more artists who are out there blazing trails were’nt too far behind Now it is time to revamp Tru Entertainment Magazine and introduce you to Artists Who Rock Magazine. This publication will bring many of the exciting elements that Tru Entertainment Magazine has been known and loved for throughout the years. In addition A.W.R. will also highlight the businesses and caring entrepreneurs who give back. Charitable organization, the 1-Love / 1-Mission Movement was founded by Lydia and Kevin in 2011. All of their creative projects have been established in an effort to support and sponsor their organizations’ ambition goal to end homelessness. Going forward Lydia’s band “The Untouchables” will begin to highlight and promote the activities of those who continue to rock the stage with her in an effort to bring awareness to the plight of homelessness, to advocate for change, and to raise funding for resources to hopefully one day end the plague of homelessness first in Minneapolis / St. Paul and then eventually throuought the nation and world. They hope that you will join them on this extraordinary mission. They sincerely believe that if everyone comes together they can work with like-minded individuals to obliterate homelessness all together. All the while providing an inside look into the world of entertainment and all who rock with them for this great cause!

Monte Moir – The Time

By Mike Mauren


hen things started to roll for Prince and The Time there was a buzz in Minneapolis, but Monte said “There wasn’t much radio airplay of their music in their hometown”. The real excitement and attention came in places like Detroit, Los Angeles and New York City. All the adulation and attention was very exciting for this new funky group. Eventually Minneapolis caught up, but the rest of the nation was hip to the band early on. During one tour Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis stopped over in Atlanta to produce some music for the band SOS. A snow storm hits and Jam and Lewis miss the next concert. At the end of the tour Prince fired the producing team. About a month later Monte Moir left the band. What people don’t realize is that none of the three appeared in the movie “Purple Rain”. They all had been replaced prior to the filming of the movie. It’s well known now that Jam and Lewis went on to become very successful and busy producers. They were so busy in fact that they reached out to Monte Moir to lend a hand and Monte joined Flyte Time Productions. He was only with the company for about a year but was very productive. He wrote and produced “Pleasure Principal” from Janet Jackson’s Control album. Which of course went on to be a hugely successful album on A & M records. He also wrote the hit song “If You Were Here Tonight” for Alexander O’Neal. In addition, he also worked with Patty Austin and Thelma Houston among many others. “The Time” regrouped in 1989 for the album ”Pandemonium” and also appeared in Prince’s movie “Graffiti Bridge”, a sequel to “Purple Rain”. The movie wasn’t well received and “The Time” disbanded afterwards. But it wasn’t over quite yet. The group came back together in 1995 and have been touring ever since. The current version of “The Time” includes three original members. Morris Day, Monte Moir and Jellybean Johnson. They are still cool and still putting on an amazing show. Upon Prince’s death there has been a revitalization in the interest in the group. People consider them the closest thing to Prince that still remains. Recent concert dates include Dubai and London. Like the rest of the world Monte was shocked to hear the news of Prince’s passing. He said “we believed that he would live to be 100” He said “I knew he was in some pain but nothing like it was and we didn’t know anything about him taking medication.” Over the years Monte Moir has proven to be an extraordinarily talented writer and producer. Most recently Monte was given writing credit on the song “Werk” by Rhianna which happens to have been the biggest hit of 2016. It came from what they call an interpolation from Monte’s hit “If You Were Here Tonight”. He and his management expect this should open some doors in the continuation of his songwriting career. Monte said “that was a blessing and I hope to make the most of it” He also said the he has some new found street cred with his Millennial daughter and her friends.

Singer and Teacher Mari Harris Uses Her Beautiful voice to Help Others Find Theirs


hen people ask the question, “What do you do for a living?” most of us answer it with a few short words—usually including a company name and a job title. But for St. Louis Park’s Mari Harris, the answer is a little bit longer. Harris is a singer, songwriter, actress, vocal coach, life coach and certified reflexologist—and she doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon. “In this lifetime, it’s been like, ‘What do I do with myself?’ ” she says. “I think the world isn’t necessarily designed for you to be multitalented or multidimensional or multifaceted.” But that’s exactly what Harris is. Growing up in Illinois, Harris and her siblings sang together as an a cappella group, creating their own arrangements of popular songs. “I didn’t realize until years later that singing a cappella is an art form,” she says with a smile, “and that’s what we grew up doing.” Her first solo came at age 9, when she sang the Christmas tune “Little Drummer Boy” at church; her first time acting was in junior high, starring in the play Up the Down Staircase. Harris had caught the performing-arts bug, and she continued on stage throughout college at Northern Illinois University, where she traveled with the black choir and black theater student groups. Since then, her resume has gotten longer and longer. Entries include acting in a commercial for Minneapolis’ KSTC-TV and in several films by local film students, and singing the national anthem at Timberwolves and Lynx basketball games, and at one Twins game. “It was Joe Mauer bobble-head night, and there were 24,000 people there,” Harris remembers, adding with a laugh that she credits her great performance for the Twins’ win that night. In 1994, Harris was working at an environmental agency and wrote a song for the state of Minnesota called “Putting the House in Order,” about making homes more eco-friendly and sustainably built. She performed the song on the floor of the House of Representatives, which she says is incredibly noisy. “People were talk, talk, talk,” she says. “But I opened my mouth and started singing—and you could hear a pin drop.” Harris received a standing ovation after her performance. Her work doesn’t only involve performing for others. She’s been a vocal coach since the 1980s and is part of a program called Project DIVA: dignity, integrity, virtue and availability. The program helps empower young girls to follow their dreams. Harris is a Project DIVA career coach for young women who are hoping to work in the music industry, and she says the experience is extremely rewarding. In a recent session, Harris was working with two girls, one of whom was very shy. “I got her to be in her body, and she heard her voice. She was startled,” Harris says. “One of the biggest things I do is assist people in [finding] who they are through their voice.” Its arts-friendly culture has made St. Louis Park a great fit for Harris. “It’s cold here, but it’s an extraordinary community for the arts,” she says. Upcoming projects include work on the play As Black as I Am, by Bernard Turner, and organizing a concert. While the world might not be designed for those with multiple dreams and multiple avenues, Harris makes it work: “I’m living the life I created.”


Cinemat Falguni Thakkar F

alguni Thakkar feels drawn to making films that have the naturalistic outlook and affects the normal fabric of human society. With a Diploma in Cinematography from New York’s prestigious institute ‘New York Film Academy’, Falguni Thakkar is Director of Photography and Digital Colorist lensing Hollywood. Moving her base to Los Angeles in early 2016 and in a short working professionally, Falguni has gone on to work on several projects which have been nationally and internationally accepted. Concerned over the trend of social impact of the proliferation of drugs she was the Director of Photography for the film ‘You Use, You Lose’ which is a story that revolves around teenage drug abuse and the vicious downward spiral of self consumption. The film has been nominated and screened at Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival, Pembroke Taparelli Arts and Film Festival and Oasis Short Film Screening Series. The film has won Award of Recognition at the Accolade Global Film Competition and The Best Shorts Competition. Furthermore, it has also have been the Finalist at the Filmmatic Filmmaker Awards in thriller/horror category. Harnessing the power of the moving visual image to educate, inspire and empower, Falguni uses film to help achieve her goals. She was the Director of Photography for the documentary ‘Non-staurant of Water Street’ filmed in New York that reflects the life of an individual on a bigger global issue. Its an opportunity to follow his day’s journey and understand that common face we see on many streets of New York. Falguni’s another unique short film ‘Lotus’, as a Director of Photography and Digital Colorist, is based on the journey of a teenage mother and how she grows into a woman. She decided to use her skills as a filmmaker, to explore this emotional and psychological

ography impact on not only the sufferer’s lives, but also on their loved ones. Yet another film by Falguni as Director of Photography and Digital Colorist, ‘A New Leaf ’, highlights the complex perspective of dealing with the subject of homophobia and LGBT issues prevalent within the Indian diaspora. Falguni’s project as a Digital Colorist ‘Link St.’ directed by Rachel Meguerdijian was nominated and screened at the Los Angeles IFS Film Festival. It also Won Awards of Recognition at the Accolade Global Film Competition and The IndieFEST Film Awards. Looking into the future, Falguni Thakkar is already booked as a Lead Director of Photography and Digital Colorist to lens an impressive list of features such as Last Page, Where all roads lead, Rent of A Lifetime, reality TV Show Plastics of Hollywood and movies in the US, Europe and Africa even till 2020, and hopefully beyond. She believes that art follows passion and precision, so take from whatever truth you are moved to explore and go for it as best you can.

Aakshay Parab Raised in the city of dreams Mumbai in India, Los Angeles based Director of Photography Aakshay Parab is one such bohemian filmmaker who staunchly believes in living his dreams and humbly striving for them. “My dream, which is my art, is an expression of the reality of objectified minorities.” The young award-winning DP, who is also an exemplary Digital Colprojects propelled him to enter, survive, and orist, renders his art-house style thrive in the competitive world of indepenapproach in an organic ensemble of dent films. realism and dramatic illusion. Out of the subjects that interest Aakshay, He created ripples with his first issues concerning women play a major role. edgy and gritty documentary He firmly states, “Objectification and gradProjekt Tyler, that earned him the ual degradation of women has been an issue 2014 nomination at the Mumbai in human society for long and in many International Film Festival for Best forms. It’s usually one of those countless International Documentary Under situations where a woman is left with no Forty Minutes and National Acade- choice but to be with the extreme or be the my of Cinema & Television, Banga- extreme. As being part of this field, I feel lore for Best International Docdriven and responsible towards making the umentary. It is based on a graffiti slightest possible difference for them and artist ‘Tyler’ who paints Mumbai like them.” Among these films, The Derelict in the canvas of mindful graffiti of was offically selected and screened at the social relevance, trying to awaken New York Short Film Festival in 2016 and the common from their slumber. was also an Official Selection for the AuThe success of Aakshay’s initial tumn 2016 Creation International Film Fes-

tival. The Moment was yet another one that went on to win the Award of Recognition for Film Short at The Accolade Global Film Competition in 2016. Both these are based on motherhood in strife and fight for survival. His achievements as a Digital Colorist are at par with those as a Director of Photography. As the lead Digital Colorist, he color graded 1 Chance which was directed by Joseph Austin II, was an official selection and screened at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood at the Indie Night Fest 2017. The short is inspired by the life of the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. Furthermore, he is the Director of Photography and Digital Colorist for the upcoming web series Gangsters which is directed by Frederick Basnight and had its opening teaser released in the Chinese Theatre at the Indie Night Fest as well. His upcoming projects as a lead Director of Photography include web series Terms & Conditons, scripted TV show In The Shadows and features The Secret Lives of Me, Sacral Bliss, Six Colors Free and D-Day. Aakshay wants to continue his work towards the cause of de-objectifying women and other minorities like the LGBT.

AWR. TALKS TO FALGUNI & AAKSHAY What made you a Director of Photography and who inspired you to chose this career?

A: The downtrodden are my inspiration. Concerned about the rising number of downtrodden in various walks of life, I felt that my will to reach out to people on their behalf can be best met by being a filmmaker myself. The art of filmmaking is the most powerful medium of visual story-telling. This led me to become a Director of Photography.

F: With VFX as my background, I realized that it was not only frame and colors which enhance the beauty of my visualization but the real binding factor to all this was lights and this

gave rise to a new passion in me, cinematography! This led me to the greatest city of stories and fiction, Los Angeles, as a Director of Photography.

A:Tell us what a Digital Colorist means. Being the guardian of the image, a Digital Colorist basically grades a film. Grading a film means to give it a specific look. This look is based on the thematic requirements of the script and that decided by the Director and Director of Photography mutually during the pre-production and the production phase. From crafting major color treatments to finessing subtleties the role of the colorist varies from film to film and reel to reel. It can be as big as creating the whole look of the film or as small addressing the tiniest detail.

Where would you like to go with your Digital Photography: We would like people to know our work across the globe and want more likeminded people to collaborate with us to make this world a better place.

Tell us about the film “1 Chance”. What is it about and what inspired you to be a part of this project?


The film ‘1 Chance’ is inspired by the story of the legendary boxer Mohammad Ali. This was by far the most challenging project as a Digital Colorist because of the various expectations the thematic mood of the film demanded, and I’m glad I met all of them for my Director.

Tell us what other projects you’ve worked on and are currently working on.

A: As a DP and Digital Colorist I’ve worked on award winning and accolade receiving short films of various genres and also informercials that’ve been broadcasted on national television. I’ve been part of music videos for independent artists and web series also.

F: As a DP and Digital Colorist, I have worked on multiple award-winning short films, reality TV Show, music videos of popular artists from Ecuador & Lebanon and also Aakshay and I are a part of web-series involving Emmy award winning actress.


Where do you see yourselves in five to ten years from now?


I see myself known for my positively thought-provoking documentaries and films that would be screened across the globe as a source of inspiration for people.

F: Passion is my main driving force and with it, I’m confident of reaching my goals of telling naturalistic

and intriguing stories set for the next five to ten years. This also includes being known for my work.

How different is filmmaking in India as compared to filmmaking in the US for the both of you?

A: Filmmaking in India is mostly centered around issues based in Indian subcontinent or on Indians

living across the globe. It mostly is concerned with “larger than life” experience which is also true for the US but here, people do give a lot of support for social cause-based content which I’m rooting for. Hollywood and Bollywood are two words that describe the $80 billion world cinema industry. Hollywood being the largest in terms of revenue with 90% of total industry revenue to its name, while Bollywood being able to capture only 3% of the industry total. Alternatively, Bollywood leads with over 1000 film productions a year catering to a global audience of 3 billion. Hollywood produces more than 500 movies annually and has nearly 2.6 billion viewers.

F: Adding to what Aakshay said, Hollywood movies target one or a few demographics; on the con-

trary Bollywood movies target most of the different audience demographics and also movies have been nicknamed according to their respective plots. Movies such as the American Pie series are known as ‘teen movies’, whereas romantic comedies are known as ‘chick flicks’. On the other hand, genres never attracted real attention in Bollywood. The Indian film industry prospered with a more musical and emotional narrative with a great variety of genres included in a single film

Contact and Links: Website: Email: IMDb: LinkedIn: Facebook: Instagram:



ON BLAST WHO IS THOMAS ABBAN Whoever I am on any given day.

1. What guided you into music? Looking back, I realize that I’ve been in it since the beginning. Music has always had me. 2. What inspires you to create such prolific videos? Experimentation and doing the soul of a song justice. You have to remember that you’re attempting visually to represent an auditory medium. It needs to ring true and hit certain perceptions. It needs to explode the way music does in my head. 3. You have a british accent are you from the United Kingdom, if so where? Yes, I was born and partially raised in Wales. 4. What brought you here to Minneapolis. Opportunity and the great American dream. 5. Describe your music to someone who has never heard it. My music is just an extension of me. It looks, feels, and tastes like me. I think I’m looking for timelessness, but there’s some ancient in there too. 6. Did you develop your brand and do everything by yourself or do you have a manager or artist team in charge of that? I became myself on my own terms, the good and bad both. I like things a particular way, so I couldn’t just give my self over to be branded. I’m fairly self reliant. 7 A Sheik’s Legacy is a very compelling title for a record. What inspired it and what does it mean and represent? This record is the beginning of my journey and trajectory. I’m hoping that later on down the road, I can look back and see that I’ve moved on and forwards. The title is a standard for the songs and me to live up to. The title was supposed to show time from both sides. It’s a beginning and a retrospective view. 8. What lies ahead for Thomas Abban, and what can your fans expect from you in the next 5 years? Change. More music and creation but on a different level. I know the direction I want to head in, I just don’t know what I will find at the end. Maybe a mountain that hasn’t been climbed. /


By: Kevin King


immy Bayard is a premier electric guitarist from Houston, Texas. As a

child he was influenced by several local Houston area guitar heroes and had the opportunity to play on stage in nightclubs around the area with the help of his parents who were also touring musicians. Jimmy picked up the violin around age 12, and just about every other stringed instrument including the cello, viola, double bass, mandolin, dobro, banjo, and steel guitar before finding his home as a guitarist. With no formal instruction on guitar, Jimmy’s mastery of the instrument is a result of purposeful listening to greats like Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Johnson, Allan Holdsworth, Pat Martino, Robben Ford, Danny Gatton, Albert Collins, Freddie King, and countless others, mixed with his knowledge of music theory and dynamic “relative pitch” learned from 12 years of ferociously studying the violin. Jimmy has contributed to numerous records as a session guitarist for Mercury Records and has performed all over the United States. He is also one of the most in-demand guitarists for bands affiliated with the “Minneapolis Sound” and was asked to be the house guitarist for the Official Prince Tribute After Parties by the Prince Family (PRN). Some of the artists Jimmy has recorded, toured, or played with include:

MINNEAPOLIS SOUND Andre Cymone (Prince) New Power Generation (Prince) Judith Hill (Prince) Liv Warfield (Prince) Alexander O’Neal Dez Dickerson (Prince & The Revolution) Apollonia (Prince) Jellybean Johnson (The Time/Janet Jackson/Alexander O’Neil) GSharp & The Bizness (Prince) JayBee & The Routine Sonny Thompson (Prince/New Power Generation) Michael Bland (Prince/New Power Generation) Marvin OneGunn (Mazarati) Craig Screamer (Mazarati) Morris Hayes (New Power Generation/Prince/Mazarati) Donna Grantis (Prince/3rd Eye Girl) TC Ellis (Prince) Willie Walker David Eiland (The Time)

Photo By: Kokkila Photography Minneapolis

ARW.Thank you, Jimmy, for taking time to sit and talk with AWR. JB – It’s my pleasure, man. Happy to talk with y’all.

AWR. Tell us Jimmy how long have you been in the industry and what got you started first off? JB – I’ve been playing guitar for about 25 years and it got started playing as my parents were both professional musicians. I’ve been playing live ever since the beginning.

ARW. Now Jimmy being from Houston, TX, how has the Minneapolis sound influenced you? JB – It’s been a huge influence. Growing up in Texas and playing guitar in night clubs down South, it’s a pretty heavy blues and soul scene down there. When I moved to New York in 2001 I really started to expand my horizons and started listening to a lot of different types of music. That’s really when I started digging deep into Prince, The Time, Alexander O’Neal, Jesse Johnson, and Andre Cymone. It’s completely changed the way I approach the role of the guitarist in music. Growing up in Texas playing in power trios, the guitar was always trying to fil up the extra space in the song. But the Minneapolis Sound relies heavily on small parts for the guitar and lets the other instruments fill in the space. It’s really helped me evaluate the role on the guitar in the song. I try to think of guitar greats like Nile Rodgers and Paul Jackson Jr. and how they approach rhythm and the role of the guitar. It’s changed my approach entirely and I’m grateful that I discovered that early on in my career.

ARW. Now Jimmy I hear from the grapevine that you are now an endorsee for Fibenare Guitars, a company based out of Budapest Hungary. Tell us how that came about? JB – Yeah, they are incredible. Fibenare Guitars is a premier guitar builder out of Budapest, Hungary. I was in Los Angeles earlier in 2017 at the NAMM show (National Association of Music Merchants) endorsing another guitar company. I was walking the show floor and I saw a bunch of people crowded up at a booth and I figured “might as well check it out.” People were raving about this company and it was hard to navigate my way through. I ended up meeting

Gabor Goldschmidt, one of the head luthiers at Fibenare. We started talking about their models and music in general. After we talked for a bit he asked me to check out a beautiful guitar called the Basic Jazz. I plugged it in and I was blown away. Everything was perfect, the feel, the sound, the look, the weight, the build quality. I was floored. We exchanged contact information and a few months later we agreed to partner up and build a signature model. Coincidentally, Fibenare also builds bass guitars, and their bass won NAMM’s Best in Show award for 2017. I mean these guys are the real deal.

AWR How is this guitar company, Fibenare different from other guitars you’ve played in the past? JB – There are a lot of guitar companies out there these days, and there is even a lot of boutique guitar builders out there making guitars in their garage. They all have something cool to offer, but rarely do they hit home runs on every aspect of a guitar. Fibenare nails it from the tone of the instrument, the way it plays, the way it feels, all the way to the way it looks. They handmake every piece on every guitar – they don’t outsource parts. All of the hardware, the pickups, the knobs, everything is all made by Fibenare. They even make their own custom cases for their guitars. Every single thing they make is best in class. You just don’t see that level of excellence in a guitar off the shelf at a guitar store anymore. Fibenare proves that it’s possible.

AWR. How does it feel working with a company out of Budapest Hungary? JB – Honestly, its been great. They are super friendly and accommodating – always willing to find a way to say “yes.” It’s a family business, the Benedek brothers, so being a Fibenare artist feels a lot like being a part of the family. They’ve been amazing partners. It’s also cool to see some of the wood they have access to in Eastern Europe. Some really great cuts of hardwood that would be nearly impossible to source here in the States. It’s been a great partnership.

ARW. How was is playing music for the Prince family and what other work have you done for other international artists (if you can name a few)?

JB - The Prince Family (PRN) have been incredible. It’s been an absolute dream come true to partner with them and be the house guitarist for their events. Omarr and Victoria are some of the most giving and caring individuals I’ve worked with. I remember at the last Dance tIll Dawn Party, the show sold out and no tickets were being sold at the door. There was a nice older woman from St. Louis that waited in the line for over an hour to get in only to be told that there were no door tickets for sale. She was crushed. She drove all the way from St. Louis to Minneapolis just to go to the show and it wasn’t going to happen. In walks Omarr and he talks with the woman. Not only did he get her into the show, he gave her money out of his own wallet to pay for her gas to come to the show. He didn’t do it for credit or to seem magnanimous, he did it because he cared and wanted to make her happy. They are just an incredible group of people. As far as playing with other international acts, I’ve been very fortunate to work with some of my heroes in this world. I’m always shy to mention names because these folks are regular people in irregular situations. I appreciate them and their friendship. I’m happy to have worked with many of the founders of the Minneapolis Sound, Alexander O’Neal, The Time, Andre Cymone, New Power Generation, members of the Revolution, Apollonia, and many others. I also work with former winners and contestants of American Idol and The Voice. I do a tour with them every now and then and it’s always fun. Earlier this year I did some shows with VH1’s Sounds of the 90s and got to work with some great R&B acts from the 90s like En Vouge, TLC, Color Me Badd, Vanilla Ice, SWV, and Salt N Pepa. I’ve worked alongside Aaron Neville, and jazz great Ramsey Lewis as well. My first real exposure to working with international artists actually goes back to New York when I did session work for Mercury Records. They had just purchased Island/Def Jam records and I worked on a lot of hip-hop records from Young Jeezy (back then he was Lil-J) to Lil Jon. Imagine a naïve Texan boy filled with pride moving to the big city to show his stuff and getting the culture shock of a lifetime. IT was a learning experience and its helped open doors for me throughout my career.

AWR. What do we see coming up for Jimmy Bayard in the near future with your music and your future with Fibenare Guitar Co.? JB – I’ve got a lot of cool stuff going on. I continue to work with JayBee & The Routine, GSharp & The Bizness, a new band called Shade, and my American Idol/Voice alumni friend Mark Andrew. I also continually pickup work from touring artists that need fill in work, and I’ll likely be heading back into the recording studio to cut another solo project funk record. My friends at Fibenare are also building me a new prototype guitar similar to the Basic Jazz Hollow they made for me. I’ve always preferred archtop semi-hollow guitars and they are working on something special for me. I’m hoping to see it soon and use it for my new record. And as always, jobs for the Prince Family will continue to be a part of my future as I now live in Minneapolis and Paisley Park is down the road from my home with my fiancé. I’d say the future looks positive for me and I’m enjoying every day of it.

AWR. Jimmy the music you hear today, and the music you grew up with. How does it differ today? JB – It’s funny you mention it, because I’m starting to hear a lot of the music I grew up with being reinterpreted and produced with modern equipment. Every time I hear a Bruno Mars tune I think of a song from the funk era, or a song from the New Jack Swing era. Bruno’s tune Uptown Funk is a combination reproduction of Gap Band, Zapp & Roger, and The Time. He’s influenced by Boyz to Men on his newest cut, and you can look back at his other hits from the last few years and pull influences rom Sting & The Police, Earth, Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, and Kool & The Gang. He’s not the only one doing it, Pharrell is pulling influences from Marvin Gaye. Daft punk won record of the Year for Random Access Memories and they hired the funkiest rhythm section in the world to be the backing band for the entire record. They had guys like guitarists Nile Rodgers, and Paul Jackson Jr, bassists Nathan East and James Genus, and drummer Omar Hakim. I mean, if you want to be funky, those are the guys to call! I feel that we are in this renaissance of bringing back things that were once considered passé, and now we are appreciating them again. Of course, not everything is this way, there’s plenty of bubble gum out there too, but it’s nice to see that the funky music that I love so dearly is being appreciated again in the mainstream.

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Artist, Activist & outspoken Rebel with a cause, Lydia Marie breaks down her Mission, her Movement and the reason that she feels… By: Billy Soden It’s no easy task to fully describe who and what Lydia Marie is, but she’s the kind of person that will immediately capture your attention for all of the right reasons, and you’ll never forget her. More importantly, perhaps, you’ll never forget what she stands for. Lydia wakes up grateful every morning, smiles, thanks God, meditates, exercises and is deeply grateful for another breath. She stretches and wonders what will it be today? What awaits her and how she can be a light in someone’s life before it’s time to sleep again. She wakes up open to the world every day with her phone ringing, emailing dinging messages chirping and a will to get as much done as she

can, to make a difference in this place that we call the world. As of the writing of this article, I’ve actually never met Lydia in person. Months ago, I happened to click on a Facebook Live video she posted. It was long for my personal average social media attention span, but once I listened to what she was talking about and what she had to say, I couldn’t turn away and I couldn’t stop wanting to hear more. This wasn’t an angry rant about politics or a “look where I am, wish you were here” post. Instead, it was a plea for awareness and a call to action to help the homeless. What this beautiful soul, this stranger on the other side of the screen, had to say to me and anybody else watching was not about herself. No, it was quite the opposite, in fact. It was Lydia ‘s attempt to nurture all who cared to click “play” into an understanding of who these homeless people were and what they were going through. With a cool and charismatic charm infused with an unmistakable commitment and conviction, Lydia reached through our screens with the earnest compassion and wisdom of an experienced ‘mother of all” and whispered in our ear: “Hey – you see’ this? This is real. Do “these people’ remind you of anyone? Go ahead. Take a look. Take a close look using your eyes and your heart. There you go. I knew you’d recognize them…because ‘they’ are you. Now, what are we gonna do about that? You don’t know? That’s ok. Let me show you what we, you and I, can do about that. I’ll go first – watch.” Lydia Marie Moses, or “Momma Moses,” as many of the young millennials she lovingly refers to as the “Brilliant Ones” often refer to her as, didn’t say those exact words but that was her message; look, learn, and love. Once given the opportunity to speak personally with “Momma Moses,” you realize quickly that the love she espouses for the homeless transcends all of humanity. If that sounds grandiose to you, I’d tell you it is. I’d also tell you you’re not thinking big enough because Lydia’s heart is all that and so much more. What makes her message so different from all of the other homeless advocates and humanitarians?” I thought to myself. In my quest to find out and seek some answers to that question, I’ve come to the decisive conclusion that although her message may be one echoed by others, Lydia’s familiar message is different because of who she is and how she delivers it. The message of “help the homeless and love everyone by showing them (like with a sandwich or a pair of warm gloves) is pretty simple. “Momma Moses?”



D Not so simple. You just don’t get the opportunity very often to meet someone that resonates with such purity and genuine concern for humankind like Lydia does, especially via social media. Nonetheless, there she is, doing Lydia like only Lydia can do. As a writer, that’s a green light to “get that story!” Who is this woman and how did she end up where she is? Well, I’ve learned that when you (especially as writer) are at a loss for words to tell a story, you shouldn’t. That doesn’t mean that story can’t or shouldn’t be told. Quite the opposite is true. What it does mean is that you need to step aside and let the story be told by someone else; the main character. In this case, that’s Lydia Marie. Over the span of several interviews, Lydia shared her story gratefully, humbly, and passionately with me so that I can share it with you. This is Lydia’s story...

Billy:​I read your “About” section on your Facebook page for your project entitled, “Can’t Get To Heaven, Without Your Soul.” Do you mind if I read it to you and then ask you to comment on it?

Lydia Marie & Andre’ Cymone in the 80’s

Lydia Marie:​No, not at all. Billy:​ Ok, here’s what it says: “​Right around 1980, Minneapolis hit the music scene hard, building up a furious momentum in the years to come, exploding into the creation of a total genre all its own. Many would argue that the birth of the Minneapolis Sound rocked the entire music industry in a way that it has never been rocked before! Behind the infamous Minneapolis Sound is an incredible untold story. Those artists celebrated, as well as those undiscovered, are at the epicenter. Choices were made and lives were changed almost immediately, but not without untold consequences, pain and heartache. They know and I know what we did and why we did it, and the hell that was unleashed upon us for our actions, leading to the gates of super-stardom opening for some but not for others, not to mention the lives that would be affected nearly three decades later. “Can’t get to Heaven Without Your Soul” takes you beyond the hit songs, beyond the videos and beyond the movies into a deep, dark world of hidden secrets. Unlocking this door will reveal crimes of forbidden sex, lies, betrayal, stolen dreams and even blood-sacrifices. The TRUE story behind it all has never EVER been revealed by any of us for-

-fear of retaliation… or worse. It’s time! Thought you knew the whole story before? This is the story you weren’t meant to be told.” Lydia Marie:​Well, for me a 60’s kid who was born in Queens, NY my mom decided to relocate us back to her hometown Minneapolis, right around 1976, the Minneapolis music scene started growing and things were really starting to take off for many local musicians and artists. bands.





Photographer / Visionary

Minneapolis has a lot of young talent in this city from Music to art to chefs and to Photograhers. That brings me to this young upcoming photograher by the name of Tre’von James. CONTINUE ON PG 50

To the Right : Lydia Marie along with Element Music Group own Lloyd Dodson and Legend Artist and Musican Paul Mezta.



Dj. Mixx Nizzle Shown here with three beautiful artists Jazzlyn Soul, Mari Harris and Lydia Marie at an A.W.R. charity event at the Spring Street Tavern.

To the Left: Musical Sensation and velvet voice to the ladies Johnny Brown with ----------

Lydia Marie spending time with her brother from another mother Terry Jackson

After 37 + years of friendship Lydia Marie invites Andre Cymone to the stage tand they preform together for the first time publicaly

Here we go, we got Musicial talent Mr. Barry Anthony Moore sharing a stage with Minnosota legend Pipi Ardennia at the minnsota Music Cafe.

To the Right: Lydia Marie Andre Cymone and Vernon DeShazer sharing a photo.

Legendary singersongwriter & actress Mari Harris sharesmiles with another legend here in Minneapolis DeMonica Flye at the Minnesota Music cafe

The Untouchables From Left to Right: Bass Guitar Nathan, Singer/ Songwriter Lydia Marie Singer/ Actress Jazzlyn Soul, Tru Magazine/ Photogrpaher Kevin King and One of the baddest bass Guitar player Mr. Jonatham Ross.

To the Right: Lydia Marie along with Mark and Marie Ruffner @ the VFW Uptown.

To The Right: Kevin King and Askari Imani at the Minnesota Music Cafe just goofy around

Lydia Marie along with the young Meddie at the Minnesota MusicCafe.

Above Pic: Kevin and lydia along with friends Kristi Duede , Eboun Sing and Diane Pope Giansanti at the Minnesota Music Cafe.

Above pic: Lydia Sharing a hug and love from long time friend and one of the baddest Drummers in the Industry Victor Reynolds. To The Left : Lydia Marie honoring those who made a huge impact in the music industry and the community with the 1-Love /1-Mission Humanitarian Award to ............




To The Left: AWR Founder Lydia Marie along with TwinCities Radio Host Wes Smooth and De Monica Flye and her granddaugher and Jazzlyn Soul along with some Brillant ones from Texas.

Lydia Marie giving thanks to one of the local Merchant for the donation of hats and gloves for the homeless. Hats off to all those business owner who care about others.

Lydia Marie Shown here with The Lotus Family Lead by Yoom and his lovely Wife Linda along with two other staff members of the Wonderful Giving Resturant. They assisted and open there doors to the homeless on Thankgiving.

AWR: :So tell me Trevon what made you interested in photography and when did you know that this was your passion? TRE: To be honest, I don’t really know what sparked my interest. I always enjoyed taking pictures on my phone. Looking at pictures online and National Geographic pictures really opened my eyes to the beauty of the world around me and I wanted to capture all of favorite places. I learned it was a passion of mine when I captured my first high quality picture on my Canon T6, every since I always carry my camera with me everywhere. AWR: Tell us who Trevon James is and what he accomplish to be in life ? TRE: I came from a small town of Bay City, Michigan where everyone basically knew each other. This is where I started my football career as a wide receiver. When I was 13 our family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota where I continued my football career at Sanford Middle School then eventually to South High School. Where I was a football standout. I received football offers from Augsburg University, South Minnesota State University, Jamestown Uni-

AWR: What kind of photos do you love to take and tell tru. why? portrait pictures of friends and some clients. Just expanding my knowledge and TRE: I consider myself a landscape photographer or an Astro becoming a more social person. photographer. A landscape photographer is someone who takes pictures of buildings and different skylines. An Astro photogra- AWR: When was the first time you picked pher is someone who takes sky pictures. Looking at my artwork, up a camera and knew this is what you it’s very easy to see my artwork reflects my passion as an landwanted to do? scape photographer. TRE: The first time I picked up a camera AWR: Did you go to school to take up this trade and if yes what and knew that this is what I wanted to do school this you go to? was probably about a year ago. When I first picked a camera up I was completely TRE; I go school as an Photographer major and I attend Minfascinated, all the buttons confused the hell out of me. After learning some of the neapolis Community and Technology College. Then I will be buttons and learning what they meant. I transferring to Augsburg University. AWR: As a young and upcoming Photographer, what are some of got immediately attached to cameras, they the things you think you can do better in getting people to notice became a quick obsession for me, which is why I always carry my camera on me now. your work? TRE: As a young photographer who doesn’t know a lot of people, I think just getting to know people and not being afraid to put myself out there on a business level and on a personal level. Expanding my work levels to different categories, like taking versity and some other schools, but I decided to stay local and go to MCTC to rather my career as a photographer and then transfer to Augsburg University to rather my football career. I hope to be a well recognized photographer and someone who can be considered one of the best photographers ever known AWR:There is lot of so called photographer in this industry, What makes you different from just those point and shoot photographers. TRE: I believe what makes me different from “point and shoot” photographers. I see things differently. I try to take shots that I know no one else has, so when someone sees my artwork, people automatically recognize my work. I look for different angles and views that are hard to capture and I set the bar high for myself to try and capture those impossible shots.

AWR: Tell us where can people find your work and where do you want to take your photography to what level TRE: Most of my artwork is on my Instagram and some on my Facebook page. I want to become a photographer for National Geographic, if that says what level of photographer I want to become. I want to be the greatest.

FROM PG 36 That’s when I was first introduced to the scene. That scene we call ‘music’.

Billy: Who were you? And who were the others?

he had his manager, Owen Husney assign me studio time and my own engineer so that I could begin developing myself as an artist. His artist. That was at American Artists Studios. I was to be one of the three artists that Andre’ would produce via his new Artist/Production deal with CBS Records that Owen negotiated for him after Dre’ split from Prince. That’s a whole different story and perhaps something we’ll talk about at a later time. But anyway, things didn’t quite end up working out that way for various reasons, so I was left to strike out on my own.

Lydia Marie: I guess you could say that we were an eclectic bunch. Some came from broken homes. Some didn’t. “We wrote and played music, lived it, breathed it, loved it and would have killed or died for it (maybe) laughing. Me myself, I wrote and told my stories from pain, some from love, some from discovery, ya know? Like from wherever or whatever I might have been feelin or goin through at the moment” (laughing) “in fact I often wrote by candlelight looking at my shadow against the wall, singing to myself. My only outlet was writing poetry and songs that reflected those chapters in my life.

Life’s a trip. But the good news is that by him taking me into American Artists Studios with him and giving me total freedom to create I started to see that I actually had a gift of my own to share with the world. I wrote my very first song at age 16 and it was all about him. It was called “16”. That song is still one of my ‘favs’ of my unreleased work to this day.

The Minneapolis Sound is unique and a lot of people were at that point, trying to duplicate it. But really, its uniqueness was just a part of anyone who grew up here. It was either a part of you because you grew up with it already a part of your being your DNA, or you were from somewhere else and you were trying to cop it and add it onto your being-ya know? Like, get it into your veins. I first got into the music game as all of that spotlight was beginning to shine upon Minneapolis. We all had our personal reasons for why we wrote, performed and wanted to get a ‘deal’, me I felt the music calling me as early as 9-years old. But, it became all of my being when I hit my teens. That was it!

Billy:​How old were you at that time? Lydia Marie:​ I was like 15 turning 16-years-old, sneaking into the clubs like “The Fox Trap” and “1st Avenue” with the girls in my ‘click’ or my ‘set’, or ‘squad’ ‘crew’ or whatever they call it these days (laughter). Most of the time the bouncers would let me in because they wanted to make a good impression with the older set that I ran with. Lisa, Liz, Angie, Shelly and Kim. They were them “it girls” and yeah, guess I was kinda that ‘it chick’ a lil bit too back then (laughing). Billy:​ Where did you grow up, what part of town? Lydia Marie​: Growing up on the southside of Minneapolis and in Cedar Square West apartments. You know, the tall buildings on the west-bank with multi-colored checkered windows runnin up and down the side. Growing up there you’d be surprised at how many of us spent time up in Cedar Square West. Back in like 1979 I’d started dating Andre’ Cymone. He was playing for Prince at the time and they were about to go out on their European tour. Lots of fond memories from back then. He (Andre’) was my first love and he took me under his wing (so to speak) musically and otherwise (laughing). I’ll always love and appreciate him for that. Sometimes me and Dre’ would write songs together, or about each other, whenever we were together hanging out those late nights. Those were some pretty magical times for us all I think. He saw my potential as an artist so when I wasn’t in there hangin out with him while he worked

Billy:​So did a lot of local musicians hung out at American Artists? Lydia Marie​: Well, yes there and 1st Ave. and “Rudolph’s” and “The Foxtrap” which, was later renamed “The Taste” (laughing) what a sucky name for a club! There were always up and coming musicians who killed it in our city, that when ‘others’ began to hear and dig the sound and decide that this was the true place to be. That was the case then that’s the case now, and I’d venture to say that will always BE the case. Billy:​“Those people – not giving out names?” Lydia​Marie: Well, let me say this, Minneapolis royalty extends far and wide. Much of the world doesn’t know that, or is just finding out. But

there is much that they still don’t know about the who and the what and when. But that’ll all be revealed. I’ve got some creative projects in the works which are intended for good.That will happen in accordance with the Universe. I don’t follow my own plan anymore, and well lets just say that ‘then’ much will be revealed. Billy:​Fair enough. So where did you fit in? Who were you in that chapter of your life? Was there a line drawn between your passion for music and your passion for, well, guys?

Lydia​ Marie: Yes. You could say that I was loyal to a fault, (laughing) rather naive. Early on I was like a love sick puppy. Eventually I/We (me N Dre’) wrote a song where I asked him the question as certain revelations came into being, “What about Love” and his call and response answer to my question was “What about Love”??? (laughing) I’d began to understand that fairy tales and beautiful stories that ended with knights in shining armor rescuing princesses were pure myth, for the most part. At least when it came to my life anyway. So, I dug deep into my craft and started

getting my chops up. I became more concerned with writing from my heart than loving some guy. After Andre’ and I split I became somewhat ‘jaded’ with respect to the whole “love” concept. I’d stopped believing in what is known as ‘real love’ and I built kind of a wall around my heart. I went from being naive and open-hearted to selfish, and even a little arrogant, I’d say. Traits that I’m not very fond of at all. I felt that IF being that way worked for him it


I yearned so strongly to be loved, accepted and then loved sum mo! Maxx G, (my ex) was a married to another chick when he and I met. A little secret that he decided to keep from me too. What was up with these dudes obsession with having multiple lovers I’ll never know. It was how I thought that things should be at all. But I kept dating him because he loved him some me, reminded me of Dre’ and was/is probably one of the most talented musicians’ that i’ve ever come across to this day. So I knew that one way or the other it would prove to be worth my time. I have to mention that to me Maxx G is a brilliant creator, and like Andre’, was always way ahead of his time. The two of them were more alike than I think either of them know. I don’t think they liked each other much (laughing). These were the types of guys that I was attracted to and so you can imagine that I lived quite an interesting life in my early years. It was then that I’d started seeing that really the whole love thing was-all just a game. I’d thrown myself into writing music more and more and then got into the production because I had to learn how to be able to do it all on my own. Maxx was seriously into mentoring me in that way as Andre’ had and I’ll always love him for that. Plus, he gave me my first born son at 25 years old. I have three sons and London, is the eldest. He’s my rock.

should work for me too! Real love just kept eluding me over and over and as I got into my 20’s so eventually I just didn’t believe in the probability of it finding ME, or me finding IT anymore. I got married at 21 though, mainly because Dre’ did. He married Jody Watley, lied to me about it, and when I found out I was so pissed (laughing) funny stuff that I can admit now after all these years. It’s funny to me now that I took such a serious step to get back at him what a stupid damn thing to do! (laughing). Fortunately I married a pretty cool guy. I mean like any young girl I wanted MAXX G AND LYDIA MARIE to raise and to be a part of a family. I’d come from a broken one and when my mom left my dad I was only 4 years old. Next thing you know I gave my virginity to the boy of my dreams only to find out that he had a few of us hanging around so I felt that sense of abandonment all over again.


I wrote a ton of music from Minneapolis to L.A. and had started winning awards and that’s when I began writing for major producers like Don Powell, and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, of Flyte Tyme Productions. Female writer/producers around here back then were far and few in between, I wanted to stand out and knew that if I wanted to get it done without relying on any of the guys I have to learn to do all or most of it myself. Eventually I became ‘wanted’ for performances on differant projects. I guess you could say after having been discarded as an artist that felt pretty damn good to me. There is where I found my purpose in music realizing that not only did I have something real to offer, but also something real to say. Many of the most fantastic artists to have hailed from this city I’ve worked with in one capacity or another, I’ve even helped a few get their start here.

Around 1993, I’d become disenchanted with the biz in a lot of ways. That whole ‘casting couch’ crap, the broken promises, in-fighting and rivalry between artists, all of which led to a lot of hurt and pain for so many- I hated the monkey business behind the biz. It had gone as deep as stealing songs from one another and signing slave contracts- ya know? Like that kind of misuse of trust caused many really talented artists to walk away from their careers entirely, without a sound. That was me. I didn’t want to be a part of the circus anymore, so basically I just walked away from it all. I’d spent some years hustlin to make it and making some very unwise choices which would affect the rest of my life and have. I mean, we’ve all got a story and a past, but at some point you have to decide if it’s worth you losing your soul over, or not. So, I disappeared from the music scene back in 1993. And, I’ve only returned to it just now. I’ve put together a band called “The Untouchables” established to rock for the homeless. We do events to raise awareness and funding for the homeless because that’s something that I’m very passionate about and I feel like that is the only reason for me to return to music. To use my gifts and talents for good is all I’m into. Not for personal gain or profit. Whatever it makes it goes to support the homeless. Those actually living on these streets out here, they feel forgotten. I’ve assembled some of the best players out of Minneapolis to join me on this mission. They play from the heart and so do all of my ‘Brilliant Ones’

referred to by the world as millennials. They rock from the heart always and so along with my peers (those of us musicians who are over 40 ‘classics’) I’m introducing the unsung artists, along with those brilliant ones who are undiscovered and ready to help us change the world. They all, each and every one of them do this from the heart and I am so proud of them. There is a project that I’m producing entitled “Can’t Get To Heaven Without Your Soul” It started out as a project that I was writing way back when I first got into the biz at like 16 or 17 years old I went through some more changes in life and decided to

ago but I’m always slow with my moves these days and have not fully established my team of creators so I wait until I am led. Will the project be a book, on the net, on television or the big screen? Who know where it’ll end up. Again, that is something that I will have to be ‘moved’ by my higher power to determine. I don’t know yet what the final end project will be. I just know that in order to move forward in any direction. I need to be sure the real story, my story, is told with honesty and integrity. I have an extremely strong sense of loyalty. And in all honesty that is what has kept me from deciding to release the project even though I wrote and filed it several years ago. Now older and wiser, I see the value in sharing it both for personal healing and for helping others. C.G.T.H.W.Y.S. is; a story of a young girl who got caught up


Where that will lead me, who knows? What I do know is that it will never....EVER, lead me astray! I’m seeking funding to produce three pilots this summer. I have some interest from both the east & west coasts so hopefully once I shoot the pilots and add the pitch package we’ll get it off and running. Also working on the soundtrack. I want to use all Minneapolis talent in every way and ultimately when this is all said and done after paying operating expenses and investors back once this takes off the proceeds will go to continue funding and operating my non profit, the 1-Love / 1-Mission Movement Billy​: How do these two worlds connect? How does the story of the little girl turned musician, disappearing from the music scene entirely, and reappearing in limited fashion using music to help the homeless?

Hmmm.... how do I answer that ? Lydia Marie:

finally do it as a book about 6 years ago. I have a wonderful friend by the name of J.C. Gardner who is a fantastic writer. She’s my co-author on the project. I told her that I wanted to do a project that would be based upon a true story but one which would also leave plenty of room for creative license. I want to tell it like it was, like it is, and like it could be-ya know? Just want to really have a great time with exploring our creativity as writers. I registered it with the Writer’s Guild as a T.V. series about 5 years

in this world called music and what it takes her through and how she survives it – and how many others were affected by it along the journey. Like many of my projects it’s all about the journey. How did we get here, where are we going, why and how does it end. If it ever really does at all. That’s it, and THAT’S Minneapolis. No one has MY story and I have no one else’s. We’ve got to find a way to take where we’ve been and help others to be elevated. My volunteer work to end homelessness and film the journey along the way is a passionate project. It’s one that I am destined and was born to create and to implement in this crazy world of ours.

To Be continued in the next Issue


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Artists Who Rock Magazine  

Music, Entertainment

Artists Who Rock Magazine  

Music, Entertainment