DEMETRIA MCKINNEY BARES IT ALL ABOUT HER MUSIC, RELATIONSHIPS AND THE REAL REALITY
WET OBSESSION COVET THIS YEAR’S HOTEST SWIM & RESORT COLLECTION PLUS
ARE YOU A “SINGLEHOLIC?”
LEARN THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
STRIPPED SUMMER 2015 ISSUE
National Black Arts Festival continues its 27-year tradition of offering stellar artistic and educational programs in music, dance, film, visual arts, theater and literary arts! DON’T MISS THESE JULY EVENTS... SaTUrDaY, JULY 11, 7PM
SaTUrDaY, JULY 18, 8PM-10PM
NBaF Gala “For the L ove of Dance!” — The NBAF Gala is the premier event of the summer social season...and the spotlight is on DANCE! Tickets: Start at $500 Location: InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta
Youth Empowerment Series (YES!): Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival Grand Slam Finals — Convening more than 500 top young poets, spoken word artists and teen poetry slam champions. Tickets: $5 Youth, $15 Adults Location: Atlanta Symphony Hall
FrIDaY, JULY 17, 6PM Visual arts Program: Gallery Hop I “Intersecting Disciplines: Visual/art/Dance” — Guests enjoy visual art and dance on this guided tour to Bill Lowe Gallery, Alan Avery Art Company and ZuCot Gallery. Tickets: $30 ($25 if purchased before July 6)
SaTUrDaY, JULY 18, 9aM-5PM Symposium: “Dance across the Diaspora: a Historical Lens on a Black Cultural Movement” — Learn, listen and participate while exploring the impact and history of dance across the African Diaspora. Presented in Partnership with the High Museum of Art. Tickets: $75 (includes free admission to the High Museum and master class with Savion Glover), $20 Students. Space is limited! Location: High Museum of Art
SaTUrDaY, JULY 18, 12PM
SUNDaY, JULY 19, 6PM Spotlight Series Performance: Performance and Conversation with Savion Glover – “SoLe Sanctuary” Celebrated tap master Savion Glover offers an astounding tribute to his mentors! Tickets: $30 and up ($20 students) Location: Rialto Center for the Arts
SUNDaY, JULY 26, 3PM Film Program: Film Screenings and Conversations “representing Us: Black Dance in Film” Screening of “Stormy Weather” (1943) — This film series focuses a critical and historical lens on dance through films and honors the rich contribution of black dance performers in film. Tickets: Free Location: Center for Civil and Human Rights
Master class with Savion Glover — NBAF offers a special and rare opportunity to see, participate, learn from and be engaged with the master tap artist. Tickets: $20 (Free for registered symposium participants) Location: High Museum of Art
For full 2015 Season Schedule and Tickets go to NBAF.org NBAF is supported by the City of Atlanta, the Fulton County Arts Council and by local and national government funders, corporations, foundations, businesses and individuals.
Lentheus Chaney EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Clorissa X. Wright MANAGING EDITOR Dennis Malcolm Byron LIFESTYLE EDITOR Clyde Anderson FINANCE FEATURES EDITOR Brice Esso STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Ish Holmes STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Carlton Powell DIVERSITY FEATURES EDITOR Dr. Rondrick Williamson HEALTH & WELLNESS EDITOR
FOLLOW US EVERYWHERE! @urbanluxmag ÂŠ Urban Luxury Media, LLC 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher Urban Luxury Media. The views expressed in Urban Lux Magazine are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the magazine or its staff. The registered office of Urban Luxury Media is 6040 Dawson Blvd., Suite F, Norcross, GA 30093. All information contained in the magazine is for information only and is as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Urban Luxury Media cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such format. Readers are advised to contact manufactures and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this magazine. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Urban Luxury Media a license to publish your submission in whole, or in part, in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Urban Luxury Media nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage. Published four times a year by Urban Luxury Media, LLC 4565 Kent Road Atlanta, GA 30337
A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR Summer in the City
or your summer LUX installment, the beautiful Demetria McKinney bends our ears as she bares it all about her journey from “there to here” and shuts down the rumor mill.
We share the naked truth about life’s art and awareness with international artist Jerome Soimaud. You’ll also hear from fashion designer Sabre Mochachino about his unique beginnings before fashion took hold. We suggest you pack your bags as you are pointed in the direction of your next great Georgia vacation spot and we urge you to get the coals hot on the grill for our top-secret summer cuisine Photography by LEE JONES
and cocktail ideas to debut at your next BBQ. And because we’ve got your back, we let you in on our editor’s
marriage. Whether you choose to agree or disagree, such a ruling
picks of summer must-haves and where to purchase them.
on a civil rights issue is historic.
To stimulate your intellect, our diversity article weighs in on the
So, kick your feet up or dig your toes into the sand and enjoy our
recent Supreme Court ruling surrounding gay rights and same-sex
hot, wet and sexy summer issue!
1: DEMARCO MORGAN
4: HILLARY DUNSON
2: NICKI SALCEDO
5: DIRK DURAN SMITH
3: AMELIA PAVLIK
6: FAITH CARMICHAEL
DeMarco Morgan is a celebrated news anchor for Atlanta’s 11 Alive station. Every weeknight, this cutting-edge journalist delivers the evening news at 6pm followed by the nightly news at 11pm. With a personality diverse enough to manage stories filled with controversy (Trayvon Martin’s shooting) and others that tug at the heartstrings (public calls to action for HIV/AIDS), Mr. Morgan continues to raise the bar on newsworthy causes. @DeMarcoReports Nicki Salcedo is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in English and creative writing. She is a two-time recipient of the Maggie Award of Excellence and a Golden Heart© Finalist. Her debut novel, ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS, is set in Atlanta, and she writes a weekly column called Intersections for Decaturish.com. She lives nearby with her four children, husband, and a cat. @NickiSalcedo As a freelance writer and editor, Amelia has a weakness for all things fitness and wellness. Her “spare” time is spent writing about a range of lifestyle topics for regional and national magazines, teaching everything from cycling to resistance training classes, and trying out the latest spa treatments and boutique fitness classes for her weekly blog. Learn more about her editorial and fitness experience at @fitbelleatl.
Hillary is a Co-Founder of the Atlanta Olive Oil Co. along with her business partner Verna Cleveland. They opened their gourmet olive oil and balsamic vinegar shop and tasting room in November 2014. They carry over 60 kinds of oils and vinegars that are flavored and bottled in a certified organic and kosher environment. @Atlantaoliveoil
Dirk’s life’s purpose is to coach business professionals in all aspects of managing their career. As a Professional Career Coach & Registered Corporate Coach for 15-years, he understands the recruiting and hiring process from the decision maker’s perspective which results in offering guidance looking through the lens of the decision-makers versus the individual. @AGentleman955 Faith Carmichael is a musician, writer, PR strategist and arts activist. She is the co-founder and Executive Director of NEXT (nextAtlanta.com) and principal of its parent company Mustard Seed Communications. A member of the NBAF board, she was recently selected to the Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta Class of 2014. A jazz musician, she also provides lead vocals for local Atlanta group, the Faith Carmichael 5. @PFaith1
CONTENTS LUX APPROVED
Summer Grilling Made Easy
14 FIND YOUR INSPIRATION Your Summer Career Search
15 LUX MARKET WATCH Editor’s Summer Must Haves
STYLE The Face of Mochachino
28 CULTURE The Naked Truth
30 COMMUNITY swing! a summer cocktail party
32 FEATURE Demetria McKinney Bares it All
38 LUX DESTINATIONS The Brice - Savannah
40 LUX LOVE Are you a ”Singleholic?”
41 DIVERSITY CORNER Love Wins?
42 PULSE Skin Cancer Prevention
ON THE COVER: DEMETRIA MCKINNEY
DEMETRIA MCKINNEY BARES IT ALL ABOUT HER MUSIC, RELATIONSHIPS AND THE REAL REALITY
WET OBSESSION COVET THIS YEAR’S HOTEST SWIM & RESORT COLLECTION PLUS
ARE YOU A “SINGLEHOLIC?”
LEARN THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
STRIPPED SUMMER 2015 ISSUE
Photo: Allen Cooley
Summer Grilling Made Easy
arm weather and BBQ’s go hand in hand and coming up with easy yet unique meals for a nice summer dinner when entertaining guests or even a simple dinner for the family can be tough.
Story by HILLARY DUNSON
To help you achieve a spectacular meal, we are letting you in on some SECRET INDREDIENTS that will leave your guests and family in awe of your creativity. To begin, you must have “Guiltless Cocktails” on hand to enhance the grilling experience. Our “Guiltless Cocktail,” simply called Atlanta Lemonade has less than 105 calories per serving and is mixed with the SECRET INGREDIENT Pineapple Balsamic Vinegar. Next, create Glazed Japanese Turkey Meatballs using SECRET INGREDIENTS Sweet Basil extra virgin olive oil and Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar, served over rice. Accompany the meal with a Kale salad drizzled with SECRET INGREDIENTS Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar and Lemon Zest extra virgin olive oil. Close out the meal with the sweet sensation of ice cream and fresh strawberries topped with SECRET INGREDIENT Chocolate Truffle Balsamic Vinegar. All of the secret ingredients mentioned can be found exclusively at AtlantaOliveOilCo.com. Bon Appétit!
atlanta lemonade ingredients: (Serves 1) 2 - oz. Bacardi Limon Fresh mint and lemon for garnish
mixing instructions: Combine all ingredients, except mint and lemon, in a shaker over ice. Shake well and serve immediately in a chilled glass with mint and lemon garnish.
SECRET INGREDIENT: 1 - tablespoon Atlanta Olive Oil Coâ€™s Pineapple balsamic vinegar
glazed japanese turkey meatballs
ingredients: Makes 16 meatballs on 8 skewers (serves 4) 1 ½ - pound ground turkey 1 - tablespoon minced shallot 1 - tablespoon minced ginger 1 - teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove) 1 - teaspoon kosher salt
SECRET INGREDIENT: 1 teaspoon - Atlanta Olive Oil Co’s Sweet Basil extra virgin olive oil
SECRET INGREDIENT: ¼ cup - Atlanta Olive Oil Co’s Honey
cooking instructions: Preheat the grill for 10 minutes, preparing to grill over moderately high heat, and soak skewers in water. In a bowl, use your hands to mix together all of the ingredients except for Honey Ginger balsamic vinegar, the sesame seeds, scallions, and rice. Form the meat mixture into 16 meatballs. Thread the meatballs onto the skewers, leaving just a little space in between and flatten slightly.
Ginger Balsamic Vinegar
Oil the grates well and grill the meatball skewers until light
grill marks form, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and grill for 2 minutes
8 - Bamboo skewers
longer, until outside of meatballs looks cooked.
Brush the Honey Ginger balsamic vinegar over the meatballs,
flip, and brush the other side. Flip them and brush them with the
Steamed rice (white or brown)
Honey Ginger balsamic vinegar for about 1 minute, until glazed and cooked through. If the glaze darkens too quickly, reduce the heat or move the skewers to a cooler part of the grill.
ingredients: (Serves 4) 1 - large head of kale, stemmed and leaves cut into bite size pieces ¼ - cup raw sunflower seeds ¼ - cup dried cranberries
cooking instructions: Place kale in a large bowl. Drizzle Pomegranate balsamic vinegar and Lemon Zest extra virgin olive oil over kale, toss to coat. Add sunflower seeds and cranberries. Toss to combine. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until flavors combine, 15 to 30 minutes.
SECRET INGREDIENT: ½ - cup Atlanta Olive Oil Co’s Pomegranate balsamic vinegar
SECRET INGREDIENT: 1/3 - cup Atlanta Olive Oil Co’s Lemon Zest extra virgin olive oil
and the dessert!
ingredients: Your favorite ice cream topped with strawberries and drizzled with SECRET INGREDIENT, Atlanta Olive Oil Coâ€™s chocolate truffle balsamic vinegar. Chocolate Truffle balsamic vinegar has 1/3 the calories and a lot less sugar than your typical chocolate syrup. Taste it for yourself, it wonâ€™t disappoint!
too busy to run out for food? trying tolose weight? tired of costly fast food?
HOW LUNCHBOX WORKS & HOW TO PLACE YOUR ORDER On a weekly basis the Chef creates four (4) meal options. You select three (3) items from the menu, and then we double your order for a total of six (6) meals. Menu items are published every Thursday. Orders should be placed by Saturday afternoon for Sunday and Monday delivery. Place orders at ndlegroup.com under the menu tab or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
HEALTHY, DELICIOUS, PREPARED FRESH & DELIVERED TO YOU ATLANTA, GEORGIA | Tel 770.354.7263 | NDLEGROUP.COM URBANLUX
FIND YOUR INSPIRATION
Change your mindset. Looking for a job is a job and having a positive attitude is critical. The process is often stressful, daunting, and emotional. If you need to take a short break, by all means, take it! Lean on your positive supporters if necessary.
Focus. Knowing the specific type of
work you’re looking for is extremely important. Every job has core knowledge, skills, and abilities (aka KSAs) that are related to that particular position. This information helps you to communicate your value verbally. The worst thing a job seeker can do is tell someone, “I’m looking for a job. Let me know if you hear of anything.” This vague statement doesn’t provide any identifying information necessary to aide you. Be specific and detailed.
Develop an elevator pitch. This is your
TURN UP THE HEAT
on your summer career search Story by DIRK DURAN SMITH | Professional Career Coach
I LOVE SUMMER and everything about it! The days seem as long as the ocean is wide. Beaches are filled with parents enjoying the sunshine and the calm waves splashing ashore while their children compete to build the most elaborate sandcastles.
Moreover, job seekers take a step back in their job search because employers seem to do less hiring during this time of the year but we’ve got some helpful tips to get employment hunters out of a slump. Contrary to popular belief, summer is actually a good time to rev up your job search! Like any other time of year, your search should begin with a strategy if you want to increase your possibilities of landing employment.
30 second “commercial” that tells prospective employers about your areas of expertise, knowledge, and experience. It should be engaging, concise, and specific. A traditional pitch is informational and includes your knowledge and skills in the delivery. A non-traditional pitch tells a story. For example, when I’m asked what I do for a living, I tell people, metaphorically speaking that I’m a career medic. When someone’s career is in cardiac arrest, I’m the person standing at the end of the hall rubbing the paddles together to revive that person’s career. In other words, I’m a professional career coach who helps professionals manage their career. Oftentimes, using a catchy metaphor will encourage more interest in you and help you to easily build your network.
Increase your network. Moving forward in
today’s job market is about who you know, who knows you, and how well you position yourself to compete. How others view you is also important. Remember that no one in business or in job search mode is successful on his or her own. Networking and relationship building are easily two of the most effective actions a job seeker must take. Find local business mixers and free networking events in your area. Effective networking has proven to be a great tool to widen ones reach. Another thing to keep in mind when seeking employment is to help others without expecting anything in return. Pay it forward. With that said, enjoy your summer and most importantly, make your summer activities work for you!
LUX MARKET WATCH
EDITOR’S SUMMER MUST-HAVES Story by LENTHEUS CHANEY
We can’t be the only ones thinking that a GPS enabled drone camera is the best toy an adult could buy for themselves, right? Nor do we need to tell you that great skincare and celeb-worthy cosmetics are necessary for every woman on the planet—or that the the latest fragrances and a good cup of joe are essential for the fellas.
The sunshine is here to stay..for a few months anyway— and we should look good, have fun and feel awesome as we enjoy it. Check out our list of LUX things we can’t live without this summer:
(1) LILY CAMERA Lily is the world’s first throw-and-shoot camera. All you have to do is throw it in the air to start shooting. Lily flies itself and uses GPS and computer vision to follow you around. Lily is waterproof, ultracompact, and shoots HD pictures and videos. Pre-order: $599. After pre-sales: $999. - lily.camera (2) CLARISONIC Clarisonic offers the best in Sonic skin-care systems treat conditions such as dull skin, acne, enlarged pores and wrinkles. $201 - macys.com
(3) iCOFFEE OPUS This summer, iCoffee Opus puts an ice-cold twist on it’s smooth, signature brew thanks to it’s Dial-A-Brew™ feature. The dial allows customizable beverage sizing and adjustable coffee strength, resulting in a rich, quality brew without the diluted iced coffee taste. $139.99 - bedbathandbeyond.com
(4) SEAN JOHN 3AM 3Am is the perfect fragrance to complete your summer wardrobe. It’s an unstoppable force and a dangerous blend that takes you higher, faster! $70 - macys.com (5) TARTE CLAY EYE & CHEEK PALETTE Ladies, do the bright thing this summer with this next-generation collector’s eye & cheek palette. $38 - macys.com
The Face of Mochachino
Story by NICKI SALCEDO
he story of fashion designer Sabre Mochachino unfolds in unexpected ways. Unlikely as it seems from looking at his collection, his first career was one of rigid structure and discipline in the navy. Though his time in uniform had nothing to do with creating designs, selecting fabrics or preparing for fashion week, it afforded him the opportunity to travel abroad and be exposed to international culture. It was in places like Egypt and Spain he gained invaluable skills that would last a lifetime. Soon his real passion would become reality and designing high-fashion would be the start of his personal revolution. Beaming with genuine happiness, the successful fashion designer admits, “I’m still a sailor at heart.”
publicist, clients, and even the models wearing his clothes on runways. Purposely building relationships with everyone he meets, he shares that “it’s not just design. It’s not just fabric draped across someone’s back. It’s about relationships.” The Mochachino brand was built around relationships, experiences, personality and music. Pieces from his latest collection highlight military precision and fearless freedom and if you look closely at the collection, you’ll also hear the music. The sound is upbeat and bluesy, with a lot of funk. Every garment has a hint of grace and the whisper of a song. Music is in the fabric of his collection.
The Mochachino collections span from ready-to-wear to couture, featuring men’s and women’s clothing and accessories.
As if his creativity doesn’t already captivate us, Mochachino has literally created a soundtrack to enhance the brand—with original music created by Sabre Mochachino himself. He originally used music as background noise to help him create and in 2007 he decided to put together a soundtrack for a show in Los Angeles. To his delight it had a positive impact on the design process and grew into a independent music label producing “High Fashion Music.” If you’re a creative in need of inspiration, be sure to check out the Mochachino catalog on iTunes, Vevo and Vimeo.
“Clothing should be sexually appealing. It’s almost like armor. You have to be ready to do battle.” He takes a different approach for his women’s line, professing, “I want to showcase the layers of being a woman. Being a woman is vast and complex and that’s a good thing.”
With all good art, there are many layers, lots of personality and stories behind the “story.” Sabre Mochachino is the face of the designs and the voice behind the music. This summer he will release a new resort collection and line of t-shirts posing the question, “Why not be fabulous?”
The designer is surrounded by people who inspire him. He makes reference to his mother, sister, business partner,
View his work on pages 18-27 and find out more about his collections at mochachinolany.com.
As a child, Mochachino watched his mother create outfits and designs quickly and without using patterns as guides. Tapping into his maternal DNA, he spent months teaching himself how to sew and his inherent instinct for designing became apparent.
Photography by KYLE D. JOHNSON
WET OBSESSIONS Creative Direction & Photography by SABRE MOCHACHINO Models: KHESA DENNARD, KRYSTAL LYNN HEDRICK and NIKOLA MASONICIC
Sub-Mariner: Blue Paisley Aqua Brief w/ Metallic “M” Posterior Detail - $105 mochachinolany.com
FASHION Beach Blanket Bingo: Sport Striped Mesh Detail (Phoenix Inspired Aqua Suit) - $165 mochachinolany.com
21 Samuraiâ€™s Lair: Crimson Red Chinese Brocade Samurai Robe - $425 Red Rayon Jersey Sport Stripe Cozy Pants - $45 mochachinolany.com
FASHION Beachside Sun-Blossom: Sunflower Print / White Matte Jersey Dress - $177 mochachinolany.com
23 SOBE Track Meet: Tri-Blend Ribbed Trimmed “M” Tee Shirt & Jersey Fleece Striped Fitted Track Pant. - $135 mochachinolany.com
FASHION Siren Of The Sea: Emerald Silk Chiffon Cover-Up - $105 Two Piece Paisley Print Spandex Aqua Suit - $75 mochachinolany.com
25 Marrakech in Miami: White & Navy Paisley Print Caftan Top - $115 Paisley Aqua Briefs - $85 mochachinolany.com
Aqua Deco: Banana & Licorice Art Deco Print Aqua Boxer - $69 mochachinolany.com
THE NAKED TRUTH
one artist’s journey to spirit
Story by FAITH CARMICHAEL
enowned Miami-based French artist Jerome Soimaud has dwelled at the intersection of art and spirituality for as long as he can remember.
“At three years old, my eyes were like a camera. I would create images out of wood or out of shadows on the wall,” he explains. “This, in a strange way, was my spirituality. At this early age, you are your own Internet, you develop and carry your own spirituality or imagination, and this is what you bring to the art.”
SOIMAUD was born into a world of creativity. His father was a Parisian
designer who owned a boutique on the Champs Elysee, and his stepmother was an Editor-in-Chief of French edition of Elle magazine. As a young child, he spent much of his time in the studio, surrounded by fashion and art that would inspire his own creative process. Largely self-taught, a teenage Soimaud graduated from Lycee Racine in Paris and apprenticed for a time at the Ecole Superieure d’Architecture de la Ville de Paris as well as the Academie de la Grand Chaumiere where he briefly received his only formal art training. He soon decided art school offered little to enhance his artistic skills and left. “Yes, yes – of course - it was a conscious choice to leave art school, completely.” he says, “When you go to school for art, you have to give up your craft. I was very spiritual in my work and I refused to be institutionalized.” So, the world became his classroom. He traveled to Asia, Africa, and South America, living among the indigenous people to better understand them. Using paint, charcoal or his camera lens, he began what would become a lifelong journey of documenting the lives and struggles of those living in marginalized communities, be it a small village in Columbia or the impoverished streets of the African Diaspora around the world.
Shadow, Jerome Soimaud, charcoal & graphite on canvas
That Soimaud himself is white and European and that his work tends to focus primarily on people of color has, at times, been cause for controversy. One he has little time for. “If I look like a gringo with blue eyes and blond hair, people say I don’t look the part. This is the problem. We see humanity as like this or like that. We shoot a kid at 12 years old that is playing with a toy because we do not see his humanity. I am happy to look the way I look but even more happy to be accepted by people who should not accept me. Therefore, there must be something else there. It’s our shared humanity and that’s the message I’ve been working on for 30 years.” His latest project, a series of large-scale charcoal drawings chronicling the forgotten corridors of Miami and featuring aspects of Haitian culture, was launched to great fanfare of art critics and media alike. In 2009, he was named a Knight Art Challenge Finalist by the John and James L. Knight Foundation. In 2012, his artistic work on the Haitian Diaspora was recognized by University of Florida and Duke University (where his works are housed with their digital collections). His exhibit, “Genesis” was among the major attractions of the 2013 Art Basel show in Miami and a “must see” event according to the renowned art magazine, Blouin ArtInfo.
Vagabond, Jerome Soimaud, charcoal & graphite on canvas
Today, the artist brings his message of art, spirit, truth and shared humanity to the burgeoning Little Haiti cultural district of Miami, where it is resonating like never before. Together, he and his wife Karla Ferguson Soimaud have launched Yeelen Gallery – a 10,000 square foot gallery that represents an international group of pioneering artists committed to the expression of contemporary urban culture. “Yeelen is the story of Karla and I.” The artist explains wistfully. “We got married against all odds—I am French, she’s Jamaican. I am not that attractive, she is very—and yet it happened. Besides the love, the union, and the kids, there is also Yeelen.” The gallery’s website, yeelenart.com, refers to it as a place that gives a voice to the unheard. According to Soimaud, Yeelen is “the manifestation of a vision I had in my heart at maybe 16. Where people can come and just forget and smile,” he says. “A place where art is more than just for entertaining the eye; where art is God.”
I Am A Man, Jerome Soimaud, acrylic and graphite on canvas
Photography by FRANK STEWART for Jazz at Lincoln Center
swing! a summer cocktail party Story by DeMARCO MORGAN
s the sun began to set, an enormous window overlooking New York City’s Central Park provided a breathtaking backdrop of greenery, trees in full bloom, and a street lined with million dollar apartments along Madison Avenue.
event is one of many fundraisers supporting the center’s educational programs impacting nearly 200,000 children nationwide. The honorary chairs for the splendid occasion were Jazz great, Wynton Marsalis and Grammy-winning singer and philanthropist John Legend.
of the guests (all dressed in brightly colored summer chic clothing) to keep from snapping their fingers, patting their feet or spinning in circles to the tunes and rhythms—a scene reminiscent of the New Orleans French Quarters.
And, as far as the eye could see from the iconic Appel room, summer officially kicked off with the much anticipated Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Swing! Summer Cocktail Party. The annual
The evening celebrated Jazz, America’s very own genre, with a dynamic opening performance by Sammy Miller and the Congregation. The band made it hard for any
Bartenders in traditional black and white attire, kept the crowd pleased and humming while sipping the evening’s signature spirit of vodka infused lemonade.
But perhaps the night belonged to three young rising artists in attendance. Melissa Aldana, Ulysses Owens, Jr. and Bria Skonberg were all honored and recognized for their talents and contributions to the world and education of Jazz.
“That night, the tables were turned,” said Owens. “Being a drummer, you’re used to being in the background. But having a moment where the entire room is standing still to hear what you have to say…that to me was truly special.” Owens, is a multi-Grammy award winning drummer and percussionist known for his work with bassist Christian McBride, singer Kurt Elling and Marsalis. “Music is the first language that I learned,” he said. “I’ve been playing music since I was two years old. It is the most comfortable way that I can communicate.” And with every cadence, orchestrated with heart and soul, that communication was well received by the three generations of music enthusiasts in the room. “I get a charge when I sit down and play,” said Owens. “I was on ten doing what I love the most.” The drummer’s excitement, however, goes beyond the bright lights and the stage. His commitment to giving back through the arts afforded him the opportunity to co-start the charity, Don’t Miss A Beat. “Music gives me life,” said Owens. And it also gave life to a night that ended with a packed room of patrons who, for all the right reasons, lost track of time. In the words of Duke Ellington’s 1932 hit record, “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.” The night most certainly delivered.
FEATURE - DEMETRIA MCKINNEY 32
DEMETRIA BARES IT ALL
Story by CLORISSA WRIGHT
he second a new girl hits the scene, everyone’s posture seems to change. Men do double-takes as she walks by, straightening their shirts and licking their lips. Women do doubletakes as well—but for a different reason. Before she even says one word, they decide right then and there if they hate or love her.
ambitious, beautiful and solid. This southern bombshell stands tall and doesn’t rely on an entourage or famous lovers to keep her relevant. Loving God and trusting in her God-given talents, she isn’t seeking anyone’s approval. “I’m managing and doing MY thing, with or without anyone else!” A woman unapologetic for being herself.
Hate her or love her, Demetria Mckinney is unbothered and unmoved. For she is
Amen! ~ continued on page 35
Photography by ALLEN COOLEY | Wardrobe by DALLAS WRIGHT Hair and Makeup by J.DENELLE
FEATURE - DEMETRIA MCKINNEY
“My sexy doesn’t just come from my body. It also comes from my frame of mind; it comes in knowing exactly who I am; it comes from being confident.”
e came to know Demetria through her role as the recovering crack addict, Janine on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. She burst on the scene like an explosion. A starfire of energy who wouldn’t let anyone—or anything dim her light. In 2015 alone we’ve witnessed her dominate roles on the small screen, star on reality television and leave the stage burning for an encore every time she cut a new single. As a teenager, to qualify for a vocal scholarship to college, young Demetria had to audition for 2 different plays—and she would take the stage and audience by storm. Earning the lead in Bus Stop and the coveted witch role in the play “Into The Woods” was the catalyst to a career that most people only accomplish in their dreams. After Tyler Perry took notice of her, she earned roles that helped again to catapult her budding career. Her acting credits also include Meet The Browns, What’s Done in the Dark, Why Did I Get Married and Madea’s Family Reunion. “It ALL began there, it really prepped me. He works fast, and you have to be on it,” she said about working with the world-renowned filmmaker. Fair or not, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. The strength of her onstage performances led to television—and the rest is herstory. This year has been impressive enough for a lifetime resume in the world of entertainment. Nailing an opening spot on R. Kelly’s summer tour is more than just hard and it’s not over once the ink dries on the contracts either. Bringing her A-game is the only option to keep up with Kelly, labeled a perfectionist by many who’ve worked with him. “R. Kelly grabs your attention, puts it in his pocket and takes it home with him.” Not only has she sung the national anthem for the Atlanta Dream, appeared at the Baltimore african film festival, and performed at ATL Live, McKinney is also the only “newbie” allowed to perform at the 2015 Pepsi Funk Festival. Not too
shabby for a girl from Fort Walton Beach, Florida. While known mainly for her acting, she’s also rubbed elbows and created magic with some of the new millennium’s best. Her favorite music collaborations include Jazze Pha, Lyfe Jennings, Anthony David, Musiq Soulchild, and most recently Kandi Burruss—she considers them all geniuses with phenomenal minds, energy and creativity.
“First came music, then came theatre, then came the big screen, then came music again. Theatre is where the entertainment bug bit me but my love has always been and still remains music, music, music.” Teaming up with her uber talented RHOA costar and Grammy winning hit-writer Kandi Burruss, she’s putting pen to paper for her untitled fall album. Demetria showcased her vocal skills during her performance in Puerto Rico with her RHOA castmates initially heckling her. She made it clear to them that she can hold a note and carry a tune. Again no stranger to public shade, earlier this year McKinney had to defend herself amidst accusations of stealing a song from the popular gospel rapper Uncle Reece but details around the case remain unclear. Moving full speed ahead, she professes that it would be her dream to join forces with the Canadian-born rapper, Aubrey “Drake” Graham. More than enamored, her voice drops an octave as she spoke, “I’d like to stand in the light of that prism any time, any place. He can sing then move over to rap so effortlessly.” The mature and sexy Demetria took some time to develop. Coming up she had headgear, big feet, and “...before my son I didn’t have any kind of booty. I was shaped like a big L.”
“If I was originally looking for my sexy to come from my body, I would have been screwed up. My sexy doesn’t just come from my body. It also comes from my frame of mind; it comes in knowing exactly who I am; it comes from being confident. That’s where I feel the most sexy.” Loving the skin she’s in, the 35 year old unabashedly embraces all five foot, nine inches of her body. Since the beginning of time, sexy lived in a woman’s smell, walk and touch—and to the entertainer, sexy is a state of mind. She stood as her own entity and never had to prove herself on the popular Bravo TV reality show, The Real Housewives of Atlanta. With no holds barred, McKinney was friendly with everyone but separated herself from the pack early on in the season. Being straight-forward, she admits that it was challenging to see women older than herself just not getting “it” and not seeing that they were being irresponsible with the international platform they were blessed with. She slept well at night after each airing because unlike some of her castmates, she never acted in a way that would embarrass her family, taint her image or ruin her reputation. Demetria came to the highly viewed show with an audience and whether or not she’s brought back for another season, she’ll leave with an even bigger audience. She set out on this journey with a goal of not disappointing disrespecting or misusing her loyal fans and because of that ethic, she has continued to work and elevate her brand. While some of the other women on the show have burned every bridge, all of her relationships are still intact. She repeatedly iterates that she did not and would not ever compromise herself for ratings. “People would be surprised to know that I’m a goofball. The RHOA audience didn’t get to see any of the footage with my son, and together we’re pure comedy.” ~ continued on page 36
FEATURE - DEMETRIA MCKINNEY
“Claudia and I got along really well because we’re both really silly—her a little more,” (as she laughs). Demetria also dispels the myth that celebrities live a glamorous life and haven’t been through anything. She shattered that stereotype with her personal truths of having a child at a young age, living in bad neighborhoods and even a bout with homelessness. Carrying the shame of being molested was another burden that ran the risk of diminishing her self worth. Never titling herself as a victim, she made a choice to be happy and NOT let her past infinitely define her. She did what it took to regain herself and become successful. She says that her strength comes directly from knowing God for herself and that going to church is beautiful and has served as a pillar. Knowing who God is in her life helps to keep her foundation solid. She remains aware that she doesn’t go through things for herself, she goes through things for the people coming behind her. Her sixteen year old son is the joy of her life. When speaking about him, a certain inflection of pride weaves through her voice. Without a doubt, she is sure that she has taught him everything that she feels is important. Even after her “big break” she kept him in public school and on a “regular” kid routine that includes the word “no” and she makes sure that he does not feel exempt from hard work. “He will own a home, his college fund is set, his core is strong. All he has to do is his part.” She holds no punches from him when it comes to the realities of society today. The tragedy of
Trayvon Martin’s death warranted a long, hard conversation on his place in the world. She encourages him to show naysayers a stronger, better and higher standard. She vows that he’ll not be shell-shocked when he leaves the nest. And for those who will ask the inevitable, he’s the first and last child coming from the McKinney baby factory. “I’m very open with my son and we talk about everything from my upcoming roles to finances, to the subject of sex.” Being the opposite of a prudish parent, she embraced the role of being his reliable source for information—and he has matured tremendously as a result of her mothering style. She humorously shares that she will be throwing a full-on party the exact day he turns eighteen. The only requirement is that all party guests bring an empty box—to help him move. She is the longtime girlfriend of Tyler Perry’s former right hand man and president of Bobbcat Films, Roger Bobb. Unknown to most, they started off as platonic friends. Long before romance, they were the “keep it real” type of friends, pointing out each other’s flaws, having hard conversations and being supportive of each other. Their relationship started there and progressed to it’s now exclusive state—one that Demetria refuses to continually validate to others. She adoringly refers to Roger as her fella and states that they’re able to maintain a good relationship because if they are having problems or friction, they sit down, talk and do what it takes get back to the place where they first started. Where they first fell in love.
She is amused by the fact that women approach her and question her relationship. Thinking that he’s never around, they make comments about his whereabouts not knowing that he’s right there.
”When he lifts the brim of his LL Cool J hat, revealing his face, it’s priceless. I don’t have to say one word. I don’t even have to try to throw shade back at them.” The pair then share inside jokes and laughs. Like every other couple, they have on and off days but they’ve proven that they work as a pair in love, life and business as he is also her manager. Dare we call them a power couple? We’ll keep our fingers crossed for wedding bells to ring soon. As if she isn’t every woman already, she welcomes the opportunity of possibly directing in the near future. “I love all of the things I do equally. I do best working on a lot of things at once. It’s really a juggling act and If you love it, you will make it work.” And we believe her! We’ll keep you posted on the release of her untitled fall album. In the meantime, get social with Demetria on Instagram @Demetria4Real and on Twitter @DemiMckinney.
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THE BRICE a bit of sass and class in Savannah
Story by AMELIA PAVLIK
f your ideal place to rest your head would be a cross between a chic South Beach hotel and a charming Southern B&B, Savannah’s newest lodging boutique is for you.
Welcome to The Brice, a Kimpton Hotel, which opened last summer on Washington Square (only a few blocks away from the River District). As soon as I drove up to the clean, white facade of the hotel, I knew this wasn’t your typical Savannah property. To name a few of the many welcoming amenities, The Brice hosts a nightly happy hour with complimentary wine, yoga mats in every room (with Pilates and meditation channels on every in-room flat screen) and even more, it’s an overall pet-friendly environment. All of the lodge’s rooms are infused with a taste of Southern beauty with a dash of modern flair. The Brice’s 145 guest rooms, including 26 stylish suites, are home to edgy versions of classic four-poster beds covered in Italian linens, pops of fuchsia, honor bars stocked with organic goodies, and C.O. Bigelow bath products. If you think this place sounds great now, beginning spring 2016, guests will be able to enjoy the state-of-the-art pool. Thanks to Savannah’s subtropical latitude, you can take a dip most months of the year. You don’t like swimming. If you’re the outdoorsy type, you can take a spin one of the complimentary public bikes the hotel provides to take an adventure exploring the city and it’s 22 squares.
Feeling hungry? Pacci Italian Kitchen & Bar has you covered for breakfast, lunch (weekend brunch), and dinner. For breakfast, try their Crepes Florentine: a succulent combination of spinach, ricotta cheese, and tomato sauce. At dinner, be sure to save room for a variety of seasonal tastes that can include everything from fresh pasta, Coca-Cola short ribs to flatbreads. Whatâ€™s not to love? Take our word and experience this amazing getaway for yourself! Visit bricehotel.com for more information.
RECOGNIZE YOUR OWN CRAZY - It’s easy to criticize others for their craziness but if you look back on failed relationships, you may find that you tend to date the same types of crazy. Where many of us go wrong is not owning up to the issues we bring to the table. Depression, low self-esteem, lack of or over confidence, control, and daddy/momma issues may be reasons you are attracting that not-so-perfect match. Whatever your issues are, be completely honest with yourself, work through those issues, and don’t be afraid to seek professional help. BEWARE OF THE INFLUENCE OF FRIENDS - In life, there will always be a friend or two who may not care for your potential partner. Don’t be so quick to base your reasons for dating or not dating someone solely on what your friend’s opinions. Your true friends will understand that YOU need to decide for yourself if the relationship is going to work. If it doesn’t, they’ll be there to help you recover. IS IT JUST THE LONELY TALKING, AGAIN? – During those moments of feeling the need for a sexual connection, it’s conceivable to mistake loneliness for horniness. This is another time to be 100% honest with yourself to determine if you are really just feeling a little lonely. Having sex to cure loneliness can end up in a dangerous emotional cycle. After the sex is over, you may find that the loneliness is still present and in fact has increased. Instead of casual sex, opt to call a close friend or even your mom!
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT are you a “Singleholic?” Story by LENTHEUS CHANEY
avigating singlehood can be a bit of a struggle for many but there are valuable lessons to uncover as well as a journey worth traveling to get to the ultimate destination of companionship.
I’m no relationship guru, but I have had my fair share of “Living Single.” In fact, writing this article is somewhat cathartic for me and I feel it only befitting to start with a proper introduction. Hello, my name is Lentheus and I am a recovering “Singleholic.” Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve indeed tried my hand at finding that someone special a few times over. Things would get close, but they’d never quite progressed the way either of us had hoped. After each failed attempt, I would find myself reverting to single mode for very long periods of time. To avoid underlying issues that were causing me to be a constant loner; I would fill my schedule with work, hitting the gym, social events, shopping, hookups, and travel. For the record, there is nothing wrong with being single. There are some people who happily choose to live a single life, regardless of what popular culture, media or family members may have to say. For the rest of us who welcome—even desire the company of another, I’ve taken my years of singlehood “research” and came up with a few rules of engagement.
GET YOUR FINANCIAL HOUSE IN ORDER – This one is difficult to speak on because everyone’s situation is different. What I can say is that dating can either be expensive or inexpensive, depending on what you choose to do. It makes dating easier when both parties are self-sufficient. Regardless of who invited the other on the date, always be prepared to take care of your share—not everyone plays by the same rules. SPEAK YOUR WANTS TO THE UNIVERSE - Negativity begets negativity. Change your thinking and speak aloud what you want instead of what you don’t want. If you choose a dating app or site as a means to find a mate, be careful of the message you send with the words you write on your profile. Having a negative attitude and stating NO THIS and NO THAT, only creates an atmosphere for you to attract everything except what you really want. DISCOVER YOUR LOVE LANGUAGE – Everyone receives and gives love in different ways. Words of affirmation, acts of service, giving gifts, spending quality time, and personal touch. Understanding your love language as well as your potential partner’s love language opens the door to extraordinary verbal and nonverbal communication. It’s as simple as tapping into what makes one another tick. Learn more about The 5 Love Languages at 5lovelanguages.com. PICK YOUR BATTLES – Not every issue is indeed an issue. We all have our quirks and that is what makes each of us unique. If everyone you met were exactly like you, imagine how boring that would be? Be open to listen, be accepting and try dating outside your norm. There is no better feeling than being sure of whom you are, happy with whom you are and secure in what you bring to the relationship table. This is what prepares you most in being ready for your potential mate. Just think, these may be the qualities most adored by the future love of your life.
Story by CARLTON POWELL
n June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled that gay marriage is in fact a right protected by the US Constitution in all 50 states—ending a 43-year long battle over marriage equality. Prior to this history making decision, same-sex marriage was legal in 37 states and Washington DC, but still banned in the remaining 13. Proponents of legal gay marriage contend that gay marriage bans are discriminatory and unconstitutional, and that same-sex couples should have access to all the benefits enjoyed by different-sex couples. Opponents contend that marriage has traditionally been defined as being between one man and one woman, and that marriage is primarily for procreation. Why do so many people feel that same gender loving couples who want to marry be recognized legally? Gay and lesbian couples want marriage equality for the same reasons that most straight couples want to get married: love, rite of passage, and celebration of commitment. Moreover, affording them the rights of access to the more than 1,000 legal protections and benefits that come with marriage licenses. Ultimately safeguarding their families and protecting themselves. Some protections of marriage in the U.S.A. (which were denied to married gay couples prior to the ruling) include: hospital visitation, child custody, adoption, parental rights, power of attorney, automatic inheritance, child and spousal support, family insurance policies, spousal immunity in court cases, domestic violence protections, and more.
Now, all of these rights and protections are available to all married couples, regardless of gender. While a large majority of the country celebrated this tremendous civil rights victory, many Americans noted this as one of the darkest days on record. From social media commentary boasting excitement through pictures and quotes to word wars opposing the decision amongst friends and followers across the world wide web. This banter included formal announcements from prominent clergy members, celebrities, and other public figures in support of and against the SCOTUS ruling. Mega church pastor Greg Laurie, known for his Harvest Crusades, encouraged Christians to rely on prayer in the wake of the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision. He also told his congregation to “stand their ground.” “The church is under attack around the world,” he said. ”I’m very disappointed by this decision. It is clearly the wrong decision.” Laurie went on to say, “...even a ruling like this can, in God’s sovereign will, work together for our good and His glory.” He instructed his congregation to, “take steps to show everyone what a biblical marriage actually looks like, show others Jesus’ love, engage people in the gospel and pray.” “America needs a revival like she has never needed it before,” he concluded.
Brenda Wood, a well-known NBC evening news anchor articulated her views in her “Brenda’s Last Words” segment as this, “…I do think we are headed to judgment day and when we get there it’s going to be quite a revelation, cause God’s not gonna be interested in what a nation’s laws did or think. I think he’s gonna be interested in people and their behavior as dictated by their hearts. And right now, while people are quoting parts of the bible to support their position on same sex marriage, it’s probably a good idea not to miss the overarching point of the bible and it’s many lessons on loving others as God loves us. The Supreme Court was not asked to interpret scripture, it interprets the laws of man. So, it’s rulings do not change my faith. Samesex marriage is not a threat to other people’s marriages. So on judgment day it won’t be the Supreme Court, or governments, or businesses that will be asked, but rather individuals like you and me who will be asked, did you love others as I have loved you…yes judgment day is coming, but my Christian faith says there’s only one judge, and it’s not me.” No matter where your heart falls on the spectrum, as citizens of the diverse nation called The United States, shouldn’t we all be interested in finding ways for religious freedom and same-sex marriage to peacefully coexist? According to the laws and liberties under the constitution, which we are governed, we should at least try. This is the country of equal opportunity and fairness, right? The question remains, did love really win or is there more work to be done? The debate continues.
Protect Your Skin From Sun Damage Story by DR. RONDRICK WILLIAMSON
s the days of summer approach, it’s important to keep ourselves healthy as we enjoy fun in the sun. It’s also important to remember that tho the sun beams during these months are beautiful, they can be dangerous. Spending time at the beach, sunbathing, and summer cookouts has it’s benefits. However, too much sun exposure can lead to significant and life altering skin changes. Excessive exposure to the sun can cause precancerous and cancerous skin lesion, fine and coarse wrinkles, freckles, yellow discoloration of the skin, dilation of small blood vessels under the skin and sagging skin. The most severe effect of sun exposure is skin cancer and is the most prevalent form of all cancers in the U.S.
2 Wear sunglasses with total UV protection. 3 Wearing a wide-brimmed hat will provide adequate shade for the face and neck.
Basal cell carcinoma: may appear as a small, smooth, pearly, or waxy bumps on the face, ears, or neck, or as a flat pink, red, or brown lesions on the trunk or arms and legs.
In plain terms, cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. The rapid growth results in tumors, which can be either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Those at greatest risk are individuals with fair skin that burns easily. Darker skinned individuals have a decreased risk, but are still susceptible. Playing an active role in monitoring your skin for changes is essential for combating potential skin issues. Being aware of common warning signs of skin cancer is also important.
Squamous cell carcinoma: can appear as a firm, red nodule, or as a rough, scaly flat lesion that may bleed and become crusty. While both basal and squamous cell cancers mainly occur on areas of the skin frequently exposed to the sun, they can occur anywhere.
Typically, a new mole or skin lesions or a change in an existing mole is pathognomonic (specifically characteristic of a particular disease). There are protective measures that can be exercised to keep our skin healthy. Although sun damage cannot be completely reversed, the skin can somewhat repair itself.
REDUCE YOUR RISK BY ADOPTING THESE FIVE BEHAVIORS: 1 Select cosmetic products, and clothing that offer UV protection.
SKIN CANCERS TO BE AWARE OF:
4 Regularly perform self-skin exams. 5 Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater (for UVB protection) and zinc oxide (for UVA protection) 20 minutes before sun exposure and every 2 hours thereafter—more if you are sweating or swimming.
Melanoma: usually appears as a pigmented patch or bump but can also be red or white. It may resemble a normal mole, but usually has an irregular appearance. If these lesions are noticed or suspected, it’s important to visit your physician as soon as possible.
Published on Jul 6, 2015
For your summer LUX installment, the beautiful Demetria McKinney bends our ears about her journey from “there to here” and shuts down the ru...