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Dec 2016

The Voice Beyond Indie Music

2016 Year In Review

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When we started our first issue of Musiek Magazine, we had know idea that it would be so well received. What we did know was the amount of amazing talent that surrounded us needed a voice to represent them. And not only the indie artists, but the venues, the Djs, the people that interview and critique the artists, and those that represent them. As we finish out 2016, we wanted to do a recap with some of those just mentioned. The Trendsetters and the industry shakers. The BuzzWorthy and the Voices that Speak. We hope that you enjoy this issue, and it prepares you for all that we are about to bring you in the 2017 year! Musiek is more than just a magazine. It’s the voice beyond indie music. Thank you for making our first year spectacular!


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contents Articles Voices Hey DJ BuzzWorthy Artists Musiek International Features Industry Trendsetters

Angela P Moore

J aka Julio

Teka Rose

Write for Musiek Mag!


Email us at

Elise Yeung Musiek 5

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Music Chronicles

The Afropunk Festival 2016 A Party with a Purpose By Angela P. Moore Photos by Angela P. Moore Photography

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I attended the Afropunk Festival in Atlanta in October. So, what exactly is the Afropunk Festival? The festival is a multicultural "Carnival of Consciousness" that my soul had the pleasure of experiencing firsthand. Honestly, I was not quite sure what to expect, but me being a music lover, I knew I had to step out of my comfort zone and experience it for myself. Gifted with a 3-day pass to the event, my niece and I embarked on a new journey, and we had a great time. We arrived at 8 p.m. and seven hours later, we were still standing and enjoying the last artist of the evening. You really have to attend and indulge in this movement for yourself to understand the magnitude of the Afropunk Fest... The music, art, food, vendors, lounges, and festivalgoer's were all on point. In addition, you must come ready to party. Yes, it's that kind of party... The 3-day festival encompasses music, art, socio-cultural politics and cool kaleidoscopically fashion with a purpose. This diverse melting pot of rebellious diversity is an experience that you have to free your mind and think outside the box to enjoy. An inclusive space to be yourself, a large banner greets you on location bearing the list of rules: No Sexism, No Racism, No Ableism, No Ageism, No Homophobia, No Fatphobia, No Transphobia, and finally, No Hatefulness. In addition, thousands of people from different backgrounds made themselves at home at the event in Atlanta. The Afropunk Festival was also held in New York, Paris and London during different weekends this year. Afropunk's website states: "Afro: as in, born of African spirit and heritage; see also black (not always), see also rhythm and color, see also other, see also underdog." "Punk: as in, rebel, opposing the simple route, imbued with a DIY ethic, looking forward with simplicity, rawness and open curiosity; see also other, see also underdog." "AFROPUNK is defining culture by the collective creative actions of the individual and the group. It is a safe place, a blank space to freak out in, to construct a new reality, to live your life as you see fit, while making sense of the world around you." Musiek 9

So, why so much power to the party aspect? According to Afropunk, "POWER, it’s a feeling, it’s an energy, it’s the undisputed connection between cause and effect — the best of us give it away, the worst usurp it, but living modern life to the fullest, means either mastering your relationship to it or walking in its shadow. We are not blind." "PARTY, is an oxymoron, it’s a gathering of many for a shared purpose and it’s also an outcast individual, it’s a lively social occasion as well as a gang — and the story of any party is never over, because like naked cities and the metaphysical “I”, there’s always another take."

Gallant, Sza, Kelela, Saul Williams, Tyler the Creator, Young Paris, Maluca, Earl Sweatshirt, Big Freedia, Baby Baby, Cakes da Killa, Abra, Sir the Baptist, St. Beauty, Florista and Sasha Marie are just a few of the artists that performed at the 3-day festival in Atlanta. I had the opportunity to experience the amazing Alternative Soul artist Sza (pronounced (/'sizә/ siz-ә), the First Lady of Top Dawg Entertainment (home to Kendrick Lamar). Sza's music is often described as Alternative R&B, laced with elements of soul and hip-hop. Her lyrics stop you in your track, addressing topics such as sexuality, relationships and abandonment. I also had the opportunity to see Gallant, Keela, and many other artists perform. Talking about talented, Gallant is in a class all by himself. He sells out shows across the world. Many of the talents were up and coming artist, but they did not disappoint. They understood the magnitude of performing before thousands and came ready to slay...

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A Genre on the Verge of Extinction Musiek 12

Band’s “Early in the Morning” and right away, everyone was jamming in their Growing up, in the 70’s all I seats. You could tell that everyone wanted to get up heard were the O’Jays, Harold Melvin and the Blue and dance. We soon had our chance as one of the Notes, The Jackson 5 and band members got us out of Aretha Franklin to name a the dance floor to do the few. As time went on, my “Electric Slide.” ears were graced with the sounds of the 80’s from Rick The audience had a ball as the band covered Southern James and Teena Marie, Soul songs such as “Fire” Michael Jackson, Prince, “Hole in the Wall” and “Got New Edition and Keith My Whiskey”. The lead singSweat. The 90’s kept R&B alive by gracing us with the ers set each of these songs on fire. The background sounds of Mary J. Blige, singers were amazing and Silk, Shai, SWV, XScape, sang their hearts out. They TLC, EnVogue and Jodeci. gave us that 70’s nostalgia by covering soulful melodies And let’s not forget the such as Marvin Gaye’s group where each band “Let’s Get IT On” The member played an instrument and had a soulful Spinners “I’ll be there”, The O’Jays “Love Train”, The sounding lead singer who Commodores “Brick House” also played the drums. I’m talking about the group that and Earth Wind & Fire’s made us fall in love with the “September”. song “Pretty Brown Eyes” While the band covered known as Mint Condition. these tunes, I couldn’t help Somewhere between the but wonder what happened very late 90’s and the mid to this genre that spoke to 2000’s, R&B faded out and music hasn’t been the same your soul and made you want to sing along or someever since. I remember no matter what city you were in, times even cry along. What happened to the Blue Lights each station played just in the basement parties about every R&B song, old and new. Rap of course was where every song played, huge but most of the songs made you want to get up carried an R&B hook which and groove or just hold that special someone real close? made the Rap song a hit. R&B music is music that speaks to the audience with Last weekend, I had the pleasure of having my R&B melodies, harmonies and lyrics that we all could relate Love Jones rekindled by going to see the band F.Y.E to no matter where we were perform live in Rock Hill and in our lives. I was literally amazed. The band started off the jam Music is always changing. In an industry where everyone session with The Gap

Nayomi Charnelle

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is looking for the next big thing, R&B has been the BIG THING since the beginning of time. I will always be loyal to my rhythm and Blues. We definitely have a special relationship. This genre has been there all my life singing to me about a new love, a lost love, a good feeling or a bad feeling. It has been there while I drank a glass of wine contemplating my next move and giving me time to think about how I would make it through whatever situation I was facing. I’m not giving up hope on this genre and I truly believe that history will repeat itself and bring back all those soulful sounds that we all have been longing to hear. For example, Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” touched on the political consciousness of America back in the 70’s and unfortunately, the same situations our dearly departed Mr. Gaye sang about in this song back then, are the same things that are facing America presently. I refuse to believe R&B is dead It may be asleep right now. I will not fear because I know there are some super talented song writers, producers, musicians and singers that have everything it would take to wake this sleeping giant. Until then, I will continue to thank God for YouTube and all the radio stations that refuse to let this genre die.

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Royalties Artists in the music industry rely on royalties generated by the licensing of copyrighted songs and recordings as a primary form of payment for musicians. Intellectual property law and licensing systems have gone through significant adjustments over recent years as a result of the rise of digital music, but much of the industry's historic legal framework remains. Music in legal terms... it's important to realize that there are two types of musicians: songwriters and performing artists. These hold two distinct copyrights: songwriters hold the rights to the lyrics and melody of a piece of music, while performing artists hold the rights to a particular recording of a song, which is called a master recording. Songwriters may only seek copyright for a full song, and cannot divide lyrics and melody into separate rights. Both songwriters and recording artists typically assign their rights to a third party for management, instead of attempting to track a song’s use and seek payment independently. Song copyrights are typically assigned to music publishers, while master recording copyrights are typically assigned to a record label. In the United States, the royalties are based on a "statutory rate" set by the U.S. Congress. This rate is increased to follow changes in the Musiek 15

economy, usually based on the Consumer Price Index. Currently, the statutory rate is $.08 for songs five minutes or less in length or $.0155 per minute for songs that are over five minutes long. So, for example, a song that is eight minutes long would earn $.124 for each recording sold.

Performance Royalties

The fees music users pay when music is performed publicly. The use of music over the radio, in a restaurant or bar, or over a service like Spotify or Pandora is considered a public performance.

Mechanical Royalties

Mechanical royalties paid to songwriters and artists when music is licensed (think CD or vinyl) but also when music is streamed (streaming mechanicals) “on-demand” (like Spotify). Songwriting mechanical royalties are set by government through what’s called a compulsory license, which right now is set to about 9.1 cents per copy.

So do your homework, and understand the levels. This will determine how you live now, and retire later! (Source, American Songwriter)

Did You Know?

An electronic press kit is a necessity for any artist that wants to get their name, brand and music heard. With and EPK, you can send it to music industry professionals, clubs, media or anybody who might be interested in your work. So basically, the EPK is your calling card or your professional resume to the world.

sure the recordings are clear and presentable. No bathroom recordings! This is a valuable investment you are making in your craft, so give them your best. Contact information, which will give potentials where can you be reached via your phone numbers, emails, postal address and l always include your website and any social media you may have.

With an EPK the basic is the better. Meaning when developing your EPK, keep it sim- For sources to create your EPK, there are many online that will offer your the flexibility ple: and ease to create them. On popular music Your contact information, a short biography, sites such as Reverbnation, Sonicbids and variety of pictures of you and/or your group Artistcard, artists can create them there in various locations (performances, a photo with their already established accounts. shoot, etc) and then positive reviews from Some sources online charge a fee, while your fans and previous media mentions or there are some that are free that are articles about your performances/work. very professional looking. Snippets of your music is a must. This gives the promoters or media the ability to gauge where and when to place you. Make

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Did You Know?

Begun in 1995, the National Association of Independent Artists (NAIA) is a membersh ip-based 501c6 nonprofit trade organization that serves to enhance the economic well-being of people who exhibit their artwork at quality outdoor and indoor art and/or fine craft shows, encourage creative expression and artistic excellence, and expand public awareness, appreciation and acquisition of fine art and fine craft. Further, the organization serves as an advocate for artists. It is committed, by positive and cooperative means, to promote improvement throughout the industry. The NAIA has become the artists’ collective and most effective voice as it continues to grow and gain recognition. The organization is led by a dedicated volunteer board of directors, volunteers and advocates. The NAIA actively works to be a valuable resource for not only artists, but also the organizers and directors of art shows. What does the NAIA Do? The NAIA provides a forum for artists to communicate with one another and other people in the arts community. We support existing community-based shows to make/keep them a viable market for selling art and crafts. In addition, we work with select communities to establish high quality new shows. We work toward developing educational programs for artists as well as Musiek 17

alternative markets for members providing support for artists in whatever stage of their career. Who is the NAIA? The NAIA is YOU! The NAIA is primarily a volunteer-based organization of artists just like yourself. The board directs the efforts through input from the membership while many other volunteers assist in providing the people power to accomplish those goals. Mission The mission of the National Association of Independent Artists is to strengthen, improve and promote the artistic, professional and economic success of artists who exhibit in art shows. We are committed to integrity, creativity, and the pursuit of excellence and we advocate for the highest ideals and practices within all aspects of the art show environment. 10-15 Year Vision Statement The National Association of Independent Artists is THE resource for all things related to artists who show at art shows. It is the nationally respected organization with professional staff that represents and is governed by artists and networks with show directors and communities that support art show events.

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The Real Word With

elebrity DAME

Written by Teka Rose

If you were ever under the impression that you knew exactly what Celebrity Dame is capable of, you’d still be off by a major margin. The full time celebrity blogger, lifestyle conveyor and journalist has more than enough pounds of sound to hold him down. A product of the Carolinas; before he was introduced to the world as Celebrity Dame, he was Damian Richardson of small town Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Dame’s affinity for hip hop came home honestly and he began his career as an independent hip hop artist. It was there working in the studio, Dame discovered his passion ran a bit deeper for the culture and he became a producer. Navigating effortlessly through his creative capacities; Dame moved from the booth, to the boards and turned his talents behind the camera. He was soon the top videographer in Musiek 21

Eastern North Carolina, coveted by many for his discerning eye. Success did not satisfy Dame’s appetite for what he knew he was destined for. He left it all to chase his dreams and decided to share his passion with the world. It wasn’t long before he began the renowned urban video sharing and news website Pounds of Sound. Teaming up with partner Shannon “Beast” Simmons in 2014, they designed and built the popular site from the ground up. Their online presence took off under the close guidance of its creators and is currently a National brand that has worldwide recognition. Nationwide, artists from multiple genres endeavor to become a part of the Pounds of Sound collective of online submissions. Soon following its launch, Dame’s, opinions, insight and seal of approval also became highly sought after by entertainers nationally. If one received

If you were ever under the impression that you knew exactly what Celebrity Dame is capable of, you’d still be off by a major margin. The full time celebrity blogger, lifestyle conveyor and journalist has more than enough pounds of sound to hold him down. A product of the Carolinas; before he was introduced to the world as Celebrity Dame, he was Damian Richardson of small town Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Dame’s affinity for hip hop came home honestly and he began his career as an independent hip hop artist. It was there working in the studio, Dame discovered his passion ran a bit deeper for the culture and he became a producer. Navigating effortlessly through his creative capacities; Dame moved from the booth, to the boards and turned his talents behind the camera. He was soon the top videographer in Eastern North Carolina, coveted by many for his discerning eye.

A leader of the New School brand of hip hop, Celebrity Dame granted interviews to artists up and down the Eastern seaboard and, now nationally, you can “select-your-state” to see the latest tastemakers in the game on the Pounds of Sound website which also gives viewers up-to-date intel on all things hip hop and celebrity news. Dame’s social media presence is unprecedented; his fans and followers are loyal to a fault, hanging on to every informative word that flows from Dame’s mouth. On Fleet DJ’s Radio, with the founders of the Fleet DJs; Celebrity Dame co-hosts “Pound or Drown” where artists are welcomed to submit music for all to hear and hope for a positive critique from Celebrity Dame.

Dame actively collaborates with Def Jam, Future Star DJs and has most recently begun working with the Fleet DJs brand in August 2016. With numerous artist, entertainer and celebrity interviews under his belt, it would appear that Celebrity Dame’s plate is full. However, he finds time to host shows, events and takes time out to give back to the commuSuccess did not satisfy Dame’s appetite for what he knew he was destined for. He left it all nity by volunteering. A leader in the Indepento chase his dreams and decided to share his dent hip hop industry and fast becoming the face behind it as well. passion with the world. It wasn’t long before he began the renowned urban video sharing and news website Pounds of Sound. Teaming Celebrity Dame has zero filters for the thin up with partner Shannon “Beast” Simmons in skinned and will not mince words for the faint 2014, they designed and built the popular site of heart. He holds no punches and his candid approach (which garnered a direct response from the ground up. Their online presence from The Teacher himself, KRS-One) has only took off under the close guidance of its creators and is currently a National brand that contributed to his popularity amongst artists has worldwide recognition. Nationwide, artists seeking his approval. Coming up through the trenches, Celebrity Dame has cultivated a crefrom multiple genres endeavor to become a ative, journalistic force that has shaped the part of the Pounds of Sound collective of views of Independent Hip Hop and is running online submissions. Soon following its launch, Dame’s, opinions, insight and seal of the gambit on the industry, holding it down with Pounds of Sound. approval also became highly sought after by entertainers nationally. If one received Celebrity Dame’s co-sign that meant you’ve made a name for yourself; as so began the Celebrity Dame brand.

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Photography by: J AKA Julio

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Meeting Mia Love at the trendy 7th District Restaurant led to more than good food and friends. An introduction to this sister resulted in finding a kindred spirit when it comes to loving music. As she talked to others at the event, one could tell that she easily flows and engages her audience with charm and knowledge…. Fast forward several weeks at BluNotes and the Rare Soul event held every 4th Saturday by Eliah…we chatted again about events, her vision, and her passion to share with the world that universal medium we call music. Check out her melody……. Mia….let’s share. What prompted you to create such a platform…..Background Music? I created the podcast, "BackGround Music", because the people wanna know! I have a great and passionate love for music and I know that a lot of times, I wonder what music or artist or album inspires musicians, singers, rappers. etc, to do what they do. Not only do what they do, but to put down all of their other talents and decide that MUSIC is what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Come to find out, there are a lot of other people who want to know the same thing. In fact, there are a lot of musicians who want to know what inspires and influences OTHER musicians. So I set out to find the answers and find out the album that influenced their decision to make a career out of music. One of my guests actually thanked me for getting the background to different musicians and sharing it; because it's something that A

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LOT of people want to know about and never really find out about. Knowing a musicians "why" is kind of inspiring within itself. you receive a phone call. Publicist states they have a well known artist that want to interview with Mia. Who is that artist Mia? -Oooooooooo! This is tricky! I wanna talk to a lot of artists and musicians specifically about what album influences them. I'm gonna say that the artist would be Jill Scott. I LOVE that woman. I've seen her live and actually had the chance to meet her backstage after the concert. I've been a fan of her since my Dad introduced me to her when I was in the 5th grade lol and I think that she is a PURE GENIUS. From her music, to her shows, to her poetry, ALL of it. I NEED to sit down with this woman one day and find out what album fueled that genius and made her decide to "do music" over anything else. Yea, It'd be Jilly from Philly on the line! lol. I have to figure out one of these days what influenced her.

Finish this statement……music is…… Music"is my heart and soul' more precious than gold"! That's actually a line from Marvin Gaye's song 'I've Got My Music/Turn on Some Music" and I think it's the most accurate way to describe what music is. The heart, the soul and gold, are all very important lol and to compare music to all three just kind of lets you see how important it is and just how much it means. Music is absolutely MY heart and soul; positively more precious than gold.

“Music is absolutely MY heart and soul�

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BC MG When you meet Bianca and Chris you never know what to expect. One thing’s for sure, once you meet them, you feel as if you have known them your entire life. With multimedia journalism, radio, and television experience under their belts; their skills, chemistry, and cultural impact makes them a phenomenal duo. Collectively, the two have contributed content for Worldstar Hiphop, CBS Sports, Def Jam, The CIAA,The Konnected Magazine, various newspapers spanning the East Coast, and FTC Publications just to name a few. Together they formed BCMG (Bianca Chris Media Group) where they team up with networks like The Konnected Enterprise to promote the independent music scene, direct and host the Konnected Experience TV show, assist artists across the US and Africa with their brand management, and work with small businesses to develop their marketing and promotion efforts. IG: @herimperialmagesty “The Newest Rising Star of the Contemporary African Artists”

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and @Flygerian5

So tell us…who is Kareesh Forreal? In your own words. A multifaceted entertainer & business woman. I am down to earth and caring individual who has been through so much & captivate each experience and tell the story through my music or whatever I can use to connect with my fans. I love sports, to travel, & take advantage of any opportunity to be a positive impact. I love all forms of art. I love to learn new things. Well we know that you are a competitor, with a long standing history in Track and Field, has that drive, that desire to win, carried over into your work as an artist? Yes, it has. It is symbolic to me... discipline, drive, to be dogmatic, aware of the competition, yet be the best ME, IN MY OWN LANE. Consistency will allow me to cross the finish line and be at the top with a medal. Along the way, I continue to gain fans, momentum and victory. I’m always prepared no matter what the obstacles of the unknown may be. We had the opportunity to hear some of your work, such as Naked Kisses, Ain’t Built for You, and of course Life of the Party, which is banging! Seems to have that club hit mixed with anthem type vibe…. You gotta tell us what the inspiration behind it was! THANK YOU! I wanted to

make my own sound. It’s an infusion of me, my experiences...something for everything. I'm an international artist and I fell in love with the elements of old school hip-hop, studying, working, and/or meetings with pioneers of the industry. I also wanted to have a lighter note of having a good time vs the music glorifying death, sex, & drugs.

Who is working with you on these tracks? Tell us your dream team! I'm also a writer, so you get that. I've collaborated with Maximus of Maximus Studios (Life of the Party). We co-wrote that song. The production process of the track was monumental, as we sat there together creating the elements of my homage to old school hip-hop/international & LA flair/Pop.

Kareesh Forreal E.A. of Certified Entertainment VP of Certified Media Group 704.390.3712

Singer Radio Host Actress Businesswoman

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Check QC featured artists such as Elenora Fagan, Shocky Shay, a way of life for PR Newbie, TelMr. 704, American Idol Anoop isha Wheeler; she embraces Desai and many more. Her the mystery behind keeping her popular writing style soon earned “selves” separate at times and her the title of Editor in early 2012 even likes to view the task as that and many more writing opportuniof a superhero. Telisha, the ties at Elevate. Teka soon found Corporate American by day, and herself covering major press Teka Rose, the Writer, Author, releases for Charlotte businessLover of Hip Hop by night. es, Charlotte Hornets player Although the two roles share its interviews, Mid- Atlantic Music main character, they hardly ever Conferences, NoDa Summermeet in the middle, which some- Fests, record label release time proves trying when it comes events, restaurant debuts and to introductions. promotional events throughout the Queen City. While covering Born in Omaha, Nebraska, the Annual Queen City Music Telisha moved to Charlotte at an Awards, Telisha “Teka Rose” met early age and has officially been her point of contact Tangyanika dubbed a Charlottean by the “Tangi” Davis and they instantly locals. A graduate of Garinger hit it off; Telisha soon found herHigh School, Telisha briefly self working under the tutelage of attended Johnson C. Smith Tangyanika Davis University before relocating to working at I’Merge PR. Florida. After a series of moves in and out of the Queen City, Since teaming up with I’Merge in Telisha came back to Charlotte December 2012; Telisha had to and decided to finally settle in. adjust quickly to the faster, higher Now, a wife and mother of two paced, demand in the world of sons, Telisha wears many hats to public relations. She discovered balance her busy lifestyle. Tangi’s reach extended far and Working full time at one of the top beyond Charlotte’s scene and commercial real estate I’Merge PR was more of a nationcompanies, Telisha spends early al brand with a clientele base that mornings, lunches and late nights included not only emerging artwriting, jumping on conference ists, but also corporate agencies calls and planning her next steps and artists known world wide once she “punches out”. which was initially intimidating to Teka Rose. Current clients inA lover of many music genres, clude National Recording Artist Telisha has always had an affinity Calvin Richardson, Radio Perfor hip hop; and sought out every sonality and Author Terri Avery, possible venue in and around Life Coach and Minister Jametta Charlotte for some of the best Chandler Moore, Author Barbara sounds. A writer at heart, Telisha Archer, Big Mike of the group decided that was the best way to Day 26, Celebrity Blogger and share with others her passion for host Celebrity Dame, Hip Hop good music. She began freelance Artists Mason Parker, Facenville, writing and teamed up with Darren Blakeney and Kairo. They Charlotte’s own Elevate Lifestyle also work closely with the nonMagazine in late 2010 and the profit organization Inspire The Teka Rose pseudonym was born. Fire. Not one to shy away from a As Teka Rose, Telisha used her challenge, Telisha threw her inhinew found forum to combine her bitions aside and soon became love of music with writing and more versed in writing and workcovered interviews for musicians ing with multiple clients at a time at the local and national level with and often found herself burning her Mic Check QC editorials. Mic the midnight oil to accomplish

Navigating duality has become

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goals, such as how to write an artist one sheet for Multi Platinum Recording Artists MA$E. Now the Senior Writer and Publicist for I’Merge PR; writing artist biographies and press releases has become second nature to Telisha and clients love how she turns their accomplishments into a story. Somewhere in between the magazine and demanding PR assignments Telisha managed to write a book. “Love Handles” was released October 2013 and discusses how we tend to put on weight once involved in a relationship. With zero time to promote her first published book, “Love Handles” has maintained rave reviews world wide and is currently available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and retailers nationwide. “Love Handles” has been printed in several languages and to even Telisha’s surprise has reached as far as South Africa. Telisha is currently working on the follow up to “Love Handles”, preparing to release “Love Handles: The Journey”, which will follow its Author as she takes on the journey towards incorporating a consistent regimen and maintaining a healthier lifestyle for her and her family. Although she remains sleepless in Charlotte most nights, Telisha “Teka Rose” proudly dons her many hats effortlessly. Immersed in diversity daily, no two days are ever the same for multimonikered mama. She always “puts Jesus first”, as her own mama always told her to, her family comes next and hip hop music and writing are a strong and present third in her life. A Bad mother lover filled with wit, charm and plenty of petty playfulness, Telisha “Teka Rose” Wheeler stands on a foundation of Love, Laughter & Music.

The bring the latest to the masses and keep you moving in their own style and energy!


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Malinda Bell

by Elise Yeung

tress, Malinda has appeared in indie films "YumYum" wears multiple hats as a full fig- and the 2015 Docu- Series: "eMotions" which was featured on the Independent ure model, photographer, and Radio host for WTSX Power 104.9. A former photogra- Film Channel. As a new resident to the Bay Area from phy and wardrobe stylist student at the New York she is excited to meet and colFashion Institute of Technology in NYC, she furthers her dedication to bringing her laborate with talented visionaries who want visual concepts into the greater visual are- to bring life to their creative projects. With her beautiful smile, photogenic features na of print and film media in front of the and bubbly yet grounded personality, camera as a model and behind it as Malinda has a catalog of unheralded work photographer/conceptualist. which makes her a tremendous asset to Malinda's photography has been featured any set as a model or photographer. Stay in XXL, Ebony, Vibe, Black Enterprise as well as independent published magazines. tuned, there's more to come! As a radio and TV host she has interviewed artists such as: Jim Jones, JaRule, SteInstagram: Yumdivayum / phen Marley, R&B singer Joe, Chris Jasper *Contact: Twitter: Yumyumsworld/ Facebook: Malinda Bell Isley, D-Train and many more. As an ac-

Malinda Bell, also adorably known as

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HEYDJ marketing, etc.) that our students use in virtually all aspects of their lives. Many participants eventually run their own small businesses as mobile DJs or music producers. Anyone who has ever been to a great The With These Handz™ Mission is to Teach, Inspire, and Enhance (T.I.E.) the party or event knows the DJ is the one who controls the tempo; ensuring the lives of individuals through engaging crowd stays on the dance floor or the experiences. energy in the room is just right. Now it’s your turn to learn how to master the Through the With These Handz™ DJ “Wheels of Steel” by joining the Award Academy Presented by Sprite®, Winning With These Handz™ Sprite® students learn the different platforms DJ Academy- the premier music profor DJing, the different styles of a DJ, and the necessary equipment to make it duction academy of the Southeast. Our team of expert instructors will all happen. From vinyl records to school you in the time-honored tradition laptops with controllers, certified of cuing up the perfect musical accominstructors show you the “art” and paniment for any occasion and devise “science” behind being a great DJ. skills for your new hobby, part-time job, a career, or just being the “cool one” in Each session includes a “Handz-On” the neighborhood. experience using the latest DJ equipment and software. We teach using a detailed curriculum and SIGN UP TODAY! Register at students learn in a small class setting Contact us for your maximum benefit. Weekday and weekend sessions are available for at or your convenience. Are you between the (704) 625-0411. ages of 10 and 100? Classes are open DJ Academy & Training Facility to everyone with a desire to learn. Address: More than just music- we make 516 E. 15th Street, Suite 12B S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) education FUN Charlotte, NC 28206 as our students work with various E-Mail: software applications, computer platforms, and sound/electronic Office Telephone: (704) 625-0411 equipment. The Award Winning With These Handz DJ Academy™ Presented by Sprite® is A School for Creative Education Through Music.

We also teach entrepreneurial skills (time management, contract negotiation, financial literacy,

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Mailing Address: 10612 - D Providence Rd, Suite 510 Charlotte, NC 28277

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D Law

Derrick Lawson known as DLaw was Born in Queens, NY in an area called Lefrak City. He is the owner of Law, entertainment company based in Charlotte, NC since 2010. DLaw specializes in: Photography, Videography, DJ Service, Booking Agent, Client Management and Promo. Derrick has held many roles but he has held title of photographer since his college days at Morris College in Sumter, SC. I always had a good eye for art and it didn’t hurt that I always had a camera in my hand taking pics. My last year of college I took classes to sharpen my skills. My style and vision makes me unique. I have done photos of President Bill Clinton, David Mann, Arsenio Hall, K. Michele, Young Dro, Mindless Behavior, Chantaul Williams, Zoey Dollaz and list goes on.

I have always been in entertainment starting with the college parties. Back then I was having fun and didn’t know the business. Now I’m wiser, still having fun and making money. I always saw myself being in music entertainment. That was the reason for creating DLaw, which stands for determine leaders always win. Determination and drive is what keeps me relevant. I have built relationships with radio stations Power 98 Charlotte, Streetz1033 Charlotte, 92.7 the Block Charlotte, 102 Jamz Greensboro, Comedy Zone Charlotte, Johnson C. Smith University. Charlotte Greek Picnic and Atlantic Records just to name a few. People always ask how do I get these companies and celebrities to work with me, I tell them I always stay prescient and consistent. Up next for DLaw is to continue the focus on our indie artist college tour to give exposure to different artists. This will be my 2nd year. Starts in October and runs until January. I want it to become big so we can travel to different coasts and have comedians on it also. Right now we are only on east coast. I want DLaw to be remember as your entertainment source. Contact info Social media @DLawevents

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BuzzWorthy Music is passion. Their goal, to grab your attention, and blaze their own path‌ Check out their stories‌.

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NessaSary By cwspeaks

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s an artist, the music is what keeps you. It encourages you during the troubling times, it helps you tell your story to the masses. Music for an artist it the total expression of their soul….

significant sacrifice I made early on. As I said it was the worst one but has opened a lot of doors for me. UT: Your decision to move to California was a monumental one. Tell us about it.

NessaSary embodies all these areas, and more. And you’ll hear even more from her NS: At that time, a lot was going on in my mind. I was living in Ft Lauderdale in my words….. homie’s condo trying to get to the next UT: It seems that you’ve made many level in Miami when that fell through. That sacrifices prior to getting to this season of was the #1 thing going on in my mind. The your career. Would you say that it was second thing was, if this is not going to “NessaSary” for that to occur? work then I don’t have a place to stay or go. We had packed up everything and NS: Unfortunately, it was necessary for came to Miami off the pretenses that we me to have to leave my kids the way I did. would be staying there and getting things That was one of the worst decisions I’ve done. When that fell through it was like had to make but probably one of the best. “where are we going to go next?” Also at It allowed me to come out here and not that time, one of my best friends was getonly learn L.A. (Los Angeles), my surting ready to move to Cali. We had visited roundings, my craft and to get out here California before and loved it so, she was and learn how to survive in this planning to return and become a travel business while getting into the groove of nurse. Her original plan was to fly out and the music business & entertainment all later ship her car. That plan fell through together. I also learned more about myself and she decided she was going to drive. by being completely alone. I had my kids Being that she didn’t want to travel alone, when I was 19 during a time when I didn’t she invited me to come to Cali as we both know completely who I was. had the same mindset to go and make moves in the area. At that time, I’m homeGoing from a teen to a completely less with no place to go. My family and I responsible adult wasn’t an issue for me are in two different cars packed up to the but, I never wanted kids, I was more like roof. I’m out here chilling. I was never promiscuous, into super crazy partying or going down a bad road – but, the path I chose led me to having children which in turn helped me to grow a little quicker in the mind and it also hinder me a lot in getting to know who I was and sort out my thoughts. So coming to LA without them, at first, was a huge sacrifice and it wasn’t planned that way. It was an opportunity that I had to hop on at the moment and in the midst of that my child’s father was going through a serious legal battle and come not move. So he was like, I’m going to hold it down with the kids. But after he went “in” – it made it extremely difficult to continue on as it was but I still pushed through and made it work to where it is right now. That would be the most Musiek 42

It was a taxing situation for both, my partner and I because he’s going through a legal case. I was like, you’re staying here for a case but I don’t have to. I could try to venture out like a pioneer and get things done in California. So, after much convincing that’s what I did, although I didn’t want to leave my kids. My son’s father lives in Georgia that was an easy call. He was like “he (the son) could come there while I go do what I had to do. In my mind, it was a swirl of responsibilities, a swirl of “omg this has to work”. I really wanted it to work anyway…I loved Cali, whether I was a regular person or entertainer. The feel and energy out here is very different. So all those things were going through my mind

and I just felt I had to make it. The same as I name or pacific why to describe it other than what I said, I’ll let you know. do now. So back then, my support system really helped encouraged me but not every- UT: So what’s next for NessaSary? one I must say... NS: Right now I’m focused on making some new music. I’ve taken a very long hiatus UT: Your Youtube “Rapisodes” have garnered an amazing following. How would you slash vacation slash stress session of life. I’ve had a lot of up and down in between the put into words, your style or flow of music? ways of trying to create music and it wasn’t NS: It’s really hard to put it into words. That clicking. My grind wasn’t completely there question has actually gotten me into a lot of because there are a billion other things going on. Like I said, I’m a mother. My co-partrouble with myself over the years. I find ent was locked up and he just came out this myself trying to be like a staple sound or past November and we’re trying to adjust style in how I do things but me being me I that situation. While here in LA, I trying to don’t think I have one although everyone else on the outside does. I learned this from find and catch a vibe by meeting new producers and new artists every day, going to someone who was observing my music when we were in the studio. They were like events and trying to stay very relevant. Peo“hey, you have a unique style” they went on ple know who I am in these streets and they are waiting on me to blow just like you’re to say, “every song, if you notice, you start waiting for your favorite artist to blow. So I off going slow and you gradually get faster or you start off fast and gradually get slow- can’t let them down and I can’t let myself er”. And that’s kind of a flow thing I do. I like down so right now I’m just trying to stack my music up. If a project comes out of that, to think outside of the box. Currently, I’m trying to catch a vibe. I'm just trying to catch great. If a mixtape, another EP, album, a vibe in the track and how it makes me feel. single or whatever comes out of that…comes out of that but the number one I want the track to make me feel amazing thing is I got to go make some more music. I and then the words are going to just come. But in other instances, I’m trying to give you need to get these things out of my head that I really want to say to the people that I a crazy and amazing flow. That’s what I haven’t heard. I’ve heard it on another scale. came up listening to and that's what was soothing to me…a dope rapper with a dope Everyone’s ear is not eclectic as mine. I like to listen to all types of [music] from alternaflow it’s like wow, I can listen to whatever tive, poppy to straight up underground to you have to say because you really are “hip pop” as I like to call it. I listen to a very spitting and flowing right now. It’s easy on large range of things and feel like I want to the ears and I can really pay attention you mesh these things with inspirational quotes know what I’m saying? A lot of these musiand ideas that I have in a very dope way. On cians out here now are catching a vibe, it’s the back burner, I’m working on a lot of strictly a vibe. Correct me if I’m wrong but….we don’t really care what they are say- projects and music that will be commercially ing, we’re just vibin. Everybody on drugs or place on TV shows. I just got a couple placement on the Vice channel and also the in whatever spiritual realm they may be in Oxygen network with the Bad Girl’s Club so and feeling at the moment don’t care what listen out for that. In meantime, I’m going to you are saying. We just like the feel of the stay working. This is my livelihood. I’m doing music with your voice and cadence and it just makes a good marriage but for me per- a lot of features, not so many performances as I’m building up my tracks. I know people sonally, I have too many things to be said and have to create a clever way to integrate like to listen to those old tracks and I’m going to get back to it but for me I just want that lyricism with that vibe. That’s what I'm to progress. So I’m working on so new stuff, trying to create right now. When I think of a

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keeping my name hot in these streets and looking for more placements and that’s what’s poppin for Nessasary. http://

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Your music, please describe to our readers your sound. Because as we know everyone has a unique sound, and a lot of influences that are going on, but please, describe your sound. I think my sound has more of an 80’ vibe to it, so this particular album has an eighties vibe with a lot of electronic keyboards, that kind of thing. My sound in general, vocally is more ballads, like I’ve always done a lot of ballads, but also in the past I've been in rock groups. I've done everything from opera to country, to pop, to gospel…you name it. So which genre do you feel more comfortable performing, or heavily influenced you? I remember when you and I talked before, you mentioned your stint in Nashville, so which genre really influenced your album or work today? Probably Pop music. A lot of people hear Pop music and they think bubble gum and that it has no depth to it and I completely disagree. There is bubble gum music for just fun and for kids and whatever, but there is depth to the different Pop music as well especially in the lyrics once you get past the music sometimes. But as far as my influence with it, musically the influence for this album would have to be one of my favorite eighties band which is Duran Duran. My other influences, my whole life has been more Amy Grant. I've always loved her music, loved her writing, her style, her personality, everything. She probably has been one of my biggest influences in writing. Cool! You mentioned lyrics. With your upcoming album, what has caused you to write or form those lyrics? Especially from the single “Swimming in a Sea of Violets.” Talk to us about that! Where has this lyric content come from?

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Jerry Crayton Hart

Wow! So the song talks about swimming in beauty, you've delved into beauty. It can be taken as a love song, or it can be taken as a relationship between, well when I wrote it as a relationship between myself and God. There’ one line in it that says “you speak to me in hushed tones, words my soul can only know,” then there’ a part that says “can you hear me, am I getting through?” So, I think in that phrase, both ways: like when I pray, “God am I getting through to you, are you hearing me? I don’t see the answer to the prayer, yet at the same time , maybe its God saying to me “Are you hearing ME? Are you going in the direction that I want you to go? Are you listening?”Be still, and know, I am God, be still and listen to what I’ saying, stop running around so much, and be Musiek 46

still.” So that’s kinda where that phrase came from. Do you ever look back on your time in music and think that everything that you did accomplish, and I ask this after reading your bio and listening to you, that it’ truly prepared you for what you are doing today? I do...I do because, when people ask me what genre I’ in, I can’t really peg myself into one specific genre, other than inspirational. Because I want my lyrics to be positive, everything I put out, I want it to be positive. Now that doesn't mean that everything in the song is going to be positive, there’ a song that I have on the album called Despair, and it talks about how I was lifted up out of despair, so there's always positive in it, even if it sounds negative in the beginning. Yes, I think all of the things that I've gone through in my past has certainly prepared me for this point, and its the right time for it to be released, with everything going on in the world today. So album release will be....? Right now we are looking at September 17th....Saturday, September 17th. And we are looking to have an album release party as well! Could we see Jerry touring overseas and in metropolitan areas? Yes! I do see it happening, I think the world is wide open and you can do anything! Everyone that hears my stuff says that its a very unique sound, and that's good. How can our readers learn more about you and your music? Follow me on Jerry Crayton(Instagram) jerrycrayton(Twitter) ierrycrayton(Pintrest) and once the music is released in September, I will be on Reverbnation, Soundcloud, iTunes and other music outlets!


Swimming in a Sea of Violets…actually (laughing) You know what, honestly I don’ know remember where that came from. I have a notebook that I keep and when an idea comes to me, or a phrase or word, I jot it down in my notebook and then I'll come back and see that and form a song just around that one phrase. And that’ what happened with Swimming in a Sea of Violets. When we wrote it, I was actually in the studio, just finished a song, and my co-producer Larrin Granderson who owns Soul Jukebox Entertainment group, he played a beat for me and I really liked it. So he asked me “o you have some lyrics for it?”I replied, “well I have this”and I sang that phrase Swimming in a Sea of Violets and he was like “hat’ really interesting, I like that! Do you have anything else?”I was like “o, just that one phrase”and his response was “ut you have a whole book of stuff, do you have any other phrases that would go with it? So I thought..”hmmm, maybe!”So he said “et in the vocal booth!”So I got in the vocal booth and literally I sung that phrase and starting flipping pages and singing phrases that I thought that would tie along with that (phrase) and we did the song in a half an hour.

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BuzzWorthy I had the opportunity to listen to this artist some time ago at the RareSoul monthly event hosted by R&B artist Eliah. He (Eliah) had already prepared me for that evening’s affair, stating there was a sister that was coming to perform that as he put it “will blow you away with her voice.” As she came to the stage, she was positive, prepared and passionate (yes the three P’s fam) simply because I was not prepared for the music that she shared with all of us that evening. Her song You are the One featuring Tice tells a story of this beautiful sister eagerly anticipating and meeting that special man, declaring that he is the one. Let Love defines how one should enjoy the feeling of love and all it encompasses. Blanche J is no stranger to that thing called music, her family are vocalists and musicians out of Wildwood, FL, and at a young age she learned to play several brass instruments. Blanche started to sing with her family choir at age of 3, and gravitated to lead singer of the family choir, as well as her church choir. From Florida A&M University as a member of the Concert Choir and Gospel Choir to singing alongside or accompanying artists such as Kim Burrell, Kelly Price, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, and Blanche McAllister-Dykes. By taking each genre she’s immersed into over the years, the result is a uniquely blended sound and feeling that is well, Blanche J! Learn more about this multi-talented sister, and follow her at:

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Steve Dalton &


Leviticus Singers of Charlotte

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hen I spoke with Steve Dalton, member of award-winning ensemble, Steve Dalton & The Leviticus Singers of Charlotte, I was amazed with the connection that we have. We both attended the same school back in the day, and even then I knew this young brother had a talent within. His energy and pleasant spirit was always apparent when seeing and talking to him. This same positive flow and energy that permeates in the music of The Leviticus Singers! Let the praise begin!

temple. We consider ourselves modern day Levites,”

As impressive it is that Steve plays various instruments, all before the age of 11, what really touches ones spirit is how he remedied and fulfilled his healing spiritually during a retreat. From this life changing experience, blessings flowed abundantly in the way of him ministering to other men with this issue, and the creation of this group, who primary goal is to minister to those that are hurting. “Experience the singing, the We learned a lot about the North Caroli- sound and our hearts to worship Him” says Dalton. “It’s not a show but a true na-based Gospel group, as they have worship experience”. already opened for artists such as Marvin Sapp, John P. Kee, Jonathan And the music of The Leviticus Singers Nelson, DeWayne Woods, Micah Stampley, and Lexi. When they released of Charlotte is just that, a worship experience. The harmonious blending their single “I Win” December 2014, that single alone inspired many listeners of the group coupled with the strong and rose up the charts. Now, their new beats and powerful message in the remix “I Win” is constant. The energy in single, “I WIN, The Remix” features this project is infectious,after listening to Stellar Award Nominee, Dove Award Nominee and lead singer for the award- the first minute led to feet tapping, followed by head bouncing and leading winning Donald Lawrence & Tri City into momentous praise shortly afterSingers, LeJuene Thompson & Multiwards. If this is the first single from their Stellar Award Nominee Uncle Reece. project, one can only anticipate what the The group’s name was actually chosen album will be like! by Mr. Dalton, who states “I believe your To learn more about Steve, Dalton & destiny is tied to your name. So I was The Leviticus Singers of Charlotte, committed to choosing a name that refollow them on Facebook and Twitter flected the purpose of the group and was rooted in scripture. I was led to (@LSOCharlotte). name the group after the book of Leviticus because that’s the first book where we are introduced to the Levites, those people that God called to maintain the

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IWe don’t just feature music here in the states‌ We search the globe for those representing that unique sound as well!

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Before recording his deb poetry EP, Sabelo Soko had spent more than a decade performing on various stages that propelled the spoken word movement closer to the mainstream. 2380, which is the postal code of his Piet Retief home town happens to be the title of this poet’s offering. The usage of mainstream, hip hopinfluenced sound as the background music for his poetry is something new and fresh, and a formula that is rare, if not non-existent. His choice of the kind of sound was a well calculated risk that may be perceived by avantgarde/underground die hard poetry lovers as a sanitization of “real� poetry, but the masses find it engaging, entertaining, and worth listening to. This was proven by his recent performance in his hometown, where poetry is not popular but the masses ate it up and even asked for more.

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The entire disk is a virtual journey through the post apartheid South Africa, seen from the eyes of a young black man struggling to make sense of his country’s internationally celebrated democracy. His poetic social commentary, amplified by his powerful and husky voice basically gives the listener an opportunity to travel through South Africa, a beautiful country made up of rainbow colours, and decide whether it’s worth celebrating. The intro aptly opens with a line; “word world , welcome to my world”. And from that moment, one gets hooked as you get a glimpse of the world that has shaped him, his art, what he has witnessed, and experienced, which makes sense why most his content is so dense. The track that comes after the intro, “Corridors of History”, explores the merits of the current state of affairs in the land of Mandela. The piece is lamentation triggered by “stolen dre

about the kind of entrapments that many young women face, in their quest to get education. From the preying BEE (black economic empowerment) beneficiaries to many other unsavory characters, the poet gives a useful guide to the naïve and gullible girls who come to this city (Joburg) in search of gold. This chilling track is bound to get anyone with a heart “How Could I” delves further into issues of child abuse, women abuse, patriarchy, home economics, power struggles, and uses an empathetic tone, as opposed to patronizing, but inspiring take on the struggles that women face on a daily. “How Could I” is a story about a girl who is still recovering from childhood wounds inflicted to her by an evil stepfather who abused her, from a very young age. The girl’s mother had to make a hard choice to keep quite, fearing to lose the household’s breadwinner, the

Sabelo Soko ams and broken screams”, which Sabelo claims are echoing in the corridors of power. He goes deeper into that narrative, by generously speaking truth to power in track 4, titled “Confusion.” On this one, he literally pisses on the rainbow nation idea, the status quo, and his country’s democracy, which he suggests to be a farce. Confusion takes the listener to the side of life that most dread to talk about. The old survival complications that black still face in their home country, long after apartheid ended. This sentiment is expressed throughout the CD, as other songs/poems/tracks delve into various aspects of the South African socio-economic landscape, which are expressions of those echoes in the corridors of power he speaks of. Another interesting factor that comes out when one listens to the CD is that the guy is not shy to embrace his softer side. His spirit of solidarity, love and appreciation of female members of the South African population, who occupy different social positions, is felt on a few women-inspired tracks. Uzibheke, which means “be on a look out” in his mother tongue, isiZulu is a brotherly warning to a little sister coming to study in the boogie city known as Joburg. The poem talks Musiek 54

perpetrator of this sordid crime. From the young students he is talking to in Uzibheke, to the eerie narrative of “How Could I”, one gets a sense that this dude is concerned with the vulnerability of women and girl children in the hands of man. The artist’s view of women is also expressed in two other tracks that celebrate the greatness of women as. “Feels Right” and Eduze Kwami (Close To Me). Feels right is the first ever romantic poetry-ballad duet I’ve heard, is a greatly executed experiment. In this piece he features Vangi Gantsho, a very soft-spoken and yet powerful poet with whom Sabelo has a hardto-miss chemistry. The contrast in their voices makes this poetic ballad over a laid back sounds gives the listener an opportunity to hear of the poet’s softer side. The track is reminiscent of two classic Eryka Badu duets, One, featuring Busta Rhymes, and “Love of My Life”, featuring Common. In this track, the poet gives praises to historic African powerful figures such as Nefertiti (Great Royal Wife of Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharaoh) and M’kabayi (King Shaka’s aunt) in a way that can make any man want to fall in love with a black woman.

Mic G (Sboniso Ngubane) is a solo Hip hop artist from Durban SA, currently based in (PMB) Pietermaritzburg. “Basically he's style is strictly street with a bit of that raw lyricism.� He has worked with alot of talented artists and producers around South Africa. This includes Liquid K-ZN, Golden Shovel, Skye Wanda, Shon Musiek 55

G, Deep Soweto and Siyamatic Zakwe and Zulu boy. Worked on compilations and mix tapes like The Given Mixtape, Graveyard Mixtape, Chain of Command Mixtape, Timezone Mixtape and Fresh book,Muff Town Producers Spikeyboi and Blazing Jams and now working with PMB's fresh producer Kurt (New Age Records)

Real name: Amogelang Alphonce Selotlego, Bathobatho Motshegare Moniker(s) Mahenza – Producer, Creator/DJ#Sgerezi Mahenza was born in Mahikeng in Northwest, The self-taught Producer – DJ and Dancer is what some might call the freshest House Tune MUSICIAN, DJ/PRODUCER to come out from Mahikeng Mahenza was spotted in 1996 by an artist developmental company called SHELL ROAD TO FAME and TOP OF THE POPS, which gave performance platform to upcoming musician, In 2005 He had the opportunity to work on the Legendary Rex Rabanye (May his soul rest in peace), and Teenage Lovers Music on a Project which is unreleased. Mahenza has a clothing- line by the name Sgerezi and has worked with different Artists/Producers from Mahikeng, In North West Province, Including Jerah Mothusi (IDELA ENTERTAINMENT), Katlego SpikeyBuoy Dikokwe, Mogomotsi Morolong Ramakwati, Lemao, Molebatsi, Busi Koata, Molefi Toxic Beatz Mmatli (STREETHOP RECORD) and Tshepiso Blazin Jamz Semino BLAZINHENDZ ENTERTAINMENT (PTY) LTD 2011 saw one of his many career highlights when he was chosen as one of the six (6) Finalists to open for Usher Raymond during the Hansa’s 2012 Legends in The Making Tour in South Africa. Mahenza was accompanied by Gaopalelwe ‘Apu’ Sebekedi and Mogomotsi Mo Klaasik Klaas. 2013 was the birth and formation of BlazinHendz Entertainment (Pty) Ltd which render services such as: Artist Management, Publishing, Marketing, and Distribution & All sort of Prints and consist of two talented Music creators, Blaze and Mahenza that where the name came from, to form BlazinHendz Mahenza revealed that his first album was created using very basic music-making software. “I don’t Musiek 56

know how to explain the production stages of my album Village House Session #1 because all I did was put down the basic ideas that I had with the help of my business partner Tshepiso Blazin Jamz Semino, My cousin Gaopalelwe ‘Jerah’ Mothusi and Truscott Toxic Beatz Mmatli, I did use MIDI controllers and everything was played with a computer mouse. He added that the use of live instruments in a song is also very important, giving a track that final magic touch and bringing it to life. Village House Session 2 is ready I'm dropping singles and music video's 2015, Head of Photographer at Village House Sessions (Pty) Ltd based in Northern Cape and Northwest (Mahikeng) Running 24/7 Recording Studio with Katlego SpikeyBuoy Dikokwe, managed to work with Harrison Crump, Otumiseng Tu-Klaps Mogokonyane and DJ Mbuso... Currently running a printing shop in South Africa - we have 3 shops in S.A - Mafikeng - Black Pride (Concept Shop) Pampierstad (Tuck Shop) and Bloemfontein (Stalakis) Our Brand (Sgerezi) means a hustle and (Haobereke) means you don't work and (Kazzz Pampierstad Originator 8566)

A remarkable man and musician, the Jazz sounds from his saxophone sends rhythmic messages to your soul. With every note he entangles your mind into the vibe.....ahhhhh music to my ears. Gifted with talents and sharing his gifts with the world playing unto the Lord, Solanke has

MM: Have you any projects approaching? AS: Yes, we are in the process of finalizing my first solo project "The Journey", scheduled to be released this year. MM: How wonderful has this experience been for you? AS: It has been very exciting. It's like watching a beautiful child grow which in this case it is a "brain-child" with a lot of potentials. We are happy, delighted and can't wait to share this amazing music with the world.


MM: Tell us a little about the project AS: this project was born in the midst of a tough challenge in my life. Everything fell apart and it seems as if the world was going to collapse. I lost my car, had to depend on friends for accommodation, my clothes were getting faded and tore off one by one. In short, it was the lowest time of my life but something told me to make lemonade out of the lemon life threw at me and that was how it all began and today I'm grateful for the gift that has emerged. MM: Who is Ayo Solanke the musician? AS: Ayo is a man of vision. My greatest desire is to be relevant and to touch lives all over the world with my music, inspiring them to be better and to see endless possibilities through the way I live my life, the way I do my work. In short, leading by example.

been compared to American muscian Waymon Tinsdale. He has recorded with the likes of Kirk Whalum, Hugh Masakela and Zahara Solanke climbs the indie charts fast! Urban Times International is excited to have an opportunity to chat with Ayo!

MM: We look forward to following your movements in the industry, congratulations on your success and much success to you. Thank you again for your time.... AS: Thank you for chatting with me. In closing I will like to leave you with this quote "Make it ok to fail, make it ok to lose but make it a point never to give up no matter what." Thank you again, have a great life.

Contact details: MM: Greetings Brother, Thank you for your time! Please introduce yourself to the readers. Twitter: @ayo_solanke AS: my name is Ayo Solanke, I'm a saxophonist Facebook: Ayo Solanke Music based in South Africa and I'm so glad to be talking Soundcloud & Reverbnation: Ayo Solanke to you today. Musiek 57

Sarah Bird (Birdie) hails from the mighty metropolis that is Leicester, UK. The daughter of a Tina Turner tribute artist, high energy showmanship and strong vocals were instilled into her at a young age. Drawing inspiration from some of her favorite artists; Alicia Keys, Nikka Costa & Allen Stone (to mention but a few); she has embarked upon writing an album's worth of catchy pop & soul lil ditties.

Sarah's previous experience includes fronting the band "Sugabeat". De Montfort University's newspaper The Demon, described "Sugabeat" as "a band not to be undermined, with a strong on stage presence which loaded the air with a lively dose of pop with the lead singer's effortless voice piercing the atmosphere. To say that her voice is incredible would be an understatement".

Donning hair that young children have described as 'orange' hasn't even stopped her establishing herself as one of the best vocal talents currently on the music scene in Leicester.

Sarah has recently released an EP of her own material, entitled 'Tattoo' for (hopefully) your listening pleasure! Email:

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FEATURES “Longevity is Key”

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An Interview with…


Robinson Nayomi Charnelle

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Recently I had the pleasure of talking to one of the most talented brothers in the industry today, Keith Robinson. This man is not only an actor, he is a singer, song writer, music producer and entrepreneur. We all know him from the various roles he’s played on the big screen and on television. He is mostly known for playing the role of C.C. White in hit movie Dreamgirls starring Beyoncé, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Hudson. You can currently catch him on the hit series Saints and Sinners and he will be starring in the upcoming movie based on the life and music of rapper Tupac Shakur. He also has a new album in the works so keep an eye out and an ear out for this multi-talented, soul singing phenomenon with skin dipped in chocolate and a voice box wrapped in Gold! (Ladies- You know what I’m saying…) We discussed everything from his childhood to his up and coming projects. Here is how it all went down:

Keith- I guess so. I wouldn’t say I let it influence me either way. I always knew who I was. I had good family around me so it’s just something you just kind of deal with. Nayomi- You stated in a prior interview that you were originally interested in playing ball but you were still performing around your school and doing impromptu singing for your class mates. You realized you weren’t growing anymore in height so you let go of the dream of being a ball player. You eventually formed a group of your own and started performing in local talent shows. You mentioned hearing screams from the audience and decided to stick with singing. What songs were you guys performing that brought about the screaming? Keith- We were doing a lot of Jodeci. Songs like “Stay” and “Come and Talk to Me.” Those were the main songs that we performed that people really loved. Nayomi- So what would you say was your most memorable moment at the time? Was there anything that really stood out that you will never forget? Keith- We did a talent show in Augusta, GA and it was a big city talent show. The radio station had a surprise guest and we came out with hoodies on and started doing Jodeci and the audience thought we were really Jodeci. They rushed the stage and figured out we were just the homies from around the way. For a minute, it was fun!

Nayomi- I did a little research on you and I read you were born in Kentucky but you were raised in South Carolina and Georgia. Was all that moving hard for you to adjust to as a child? Keith- No not really. I mean we were young and it really wasn’t too hard. I was just rolling where my peoples were going. I stayed there in grade school. I would say it was an adjustment but I wouldn’t it was hard, I kind of got used to it and it helped me Nayomi- Most people know you from the various roles you played on the big screen with my acting as I got older. and off. You have played everything from a Nayomi- Growing up in the south, were you Green Power Ranger to an attorney dying of Cancer in the movie CRU which I s faced with any racial issues? Keith- Well of course…. I mean growing up presently on Netflix. Where there any charr in the South. It wasn’t to the extreme that my acters that came closest to you personality or your character as a man and if forefathers, parents or their parents went so, which one and how did it come closest to through but it’s always subliminal for the most part. It was a fairly even keel but every who you are as Keith Robinson? now and then, you would be reminded of the Keith- Well I guess Dreamgirls with playing Cee Cee. He was a songwriter and environment you were in. I’m a song writer. The character I play on Nayomi- So would you say that it made you Saints and Sinners is a musician and I’m a more of a stronger person? Musiek 62

musician as well. Those two characters are pretty close to who I am. Nayomi- Let’s talk about Keith Robinson and the music. You landed a deal with Motown some years ago and unfortunately, it didn’t work out for you. A lot of people would have seen that as a setback or they may have doubted their talent. What kept you going and dedicated to stay focused on your dream? Keith- I mean I really had the desire to do it because I really didn’t have a choice. I wasn’t going back to college and I definitely wasn’t moving back in with my mom and dad so we (the group) just took the jump and traveled out west because we felt we were good enough. Nayomi- Are you presently on an Independent label? Keith- Yes. My own label. Nayomi- How would you compare being an independent artist to being an artist on an actual major record label. Keith- I mean it’s just because you have creative control over everything you do. The drawback is that you just don’t have the financial support as far as marketing to be able to compete with the big machine that the larger labels are able to give you. Nayomi- So were you familiar with Prince’s practices and how he felt about the major record labels? Do you see yourself following in his footsteps as far as promoting yourself as an independent artist? Keith- I mean I would love to, and he was the ultimate independent artist. The key is just being able to go to a fan base and the people who appreciate your work and you know when have that, the sky is the limit. With all the technology, you can really distribute your own product at your own pace.

were your role models growing up? Let’s take it back to the 70’s and 80’s. Who would you compare your sound to? Keith- Thank you. I don’t know if I would compare my sound to anyone but I would definitely say influenced me. Stevie Wonder influenced me, Donnie Hathaway influenced me, James Ingram. I love Seal, I love Sting and I love Sade. It’s a long list of artist who really influenced me. I think Stevie Wonder was probably the best influence as a vocalist. Nayomi- Do you have a favorite Stevie Wonder song? Let’s put it like this, if Stevie Wonder gave you the opportunity to remake one of his songs, which one would you choose? Keith- “Overjoyed”... maybe. Nayomi- Yes! That is definitely one of m favorites. Nayomi- Let’s take a quick trip back to the 90’s where R&B groups were killing it. I know you mentioned Jodeci as one of your favorites and your group performed a lot of Jodeci hits. What were some of your other favorite groups that were out back then or solo singers? Keith- I mean you had BoyzIIMen and of course Tupac. I think that was the 90’s. I mean 90’s to me was the best era of music so I was just a fan of the whole genre. Nayomi- Some are saying R&B is dead. If someone was to say that to you, how would you respond to that? Keith- I mean I don’t think it’s dead to the audience. A woman still loves to be serenaded. With R&B, you can always be on the road and perform your songs forever. It’s only dead to the powers that be. The marketers think they can’t make money off of it but I think if you put it in front of the people, they will come.

Nayomi- You put out some great singles in the past couple of years. My personal favorNayomi- You have a beautiful voice and you ites are “Love Somebody and Same Rules”. sing with so much soul and power. Who Musiek 63

Do you write your own material or do you have a team that writes for you? Keith- I write my own stuff. I mean 98% of the music I put out there is written by me. Nayomi- That’s amazing. Are you open to other people writing for you? Keith- Yeah I’m open....sure. A great song is a great song. Nayomi- What type of material do you look for in a song? How do you select one song over another? Keith- Well it varies. A great lyric, a great concept, that is relevant to what I’m going through and what’s relevant to what’s going on. A great beat, great melody lines, whatever different elements that make a song stand out more than others so it can vary. Nayomi- Are you presently looking for new material? Keith- I am always open to new material for sure. Nayomi- If you could describe your sound in a few words, what words would you choose. Keith- Maybe “Authentic Soul.” Nayomi- I like that. What I found really impressive about you Keith was that when you landed a role or a part in a movie or series, you always want to contribute to the music involved with the project. How difficult was it to do both acting and singing at the same time for the same project? Keith- I think they go hand in hand. Every scene has rhythm to it and every song has some drama to it. But really for me it goes hand in hand. I’ve always done it. Nayomi- I’m curious to know what you were doing when you first heard you landed the part of Cee Cee in Dreamgirls. Keith- I was extremely excited! I was yelling in my apartment so it was a really good day! Nayomi- How do you actually prepare for a live performance? Keith- Well it depends on the venue, the gig. I rehearse and go over material. It’s the same way that I would I would for an acting gig. You just go into character. Musiek 64

Joi Pearson Photography

Nayomi- Are you ever really nervous before singing live? Keith- Well that depends on the gig overall. It’s more energy than nerves I would say. Nayomi- Do you have any crazy fan stories you can share? Has someone tried to pull you off the stage? Keith- I’ve had a couple of garments thrown at me but I have never had anyone pull me off the stage. Nayomi- So is touring a possibility? Keith- Absolutely! We are working on something now. Nayomi- I definitely hope you make Charlotte one of your stops. Keith- For sure!

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Nayomi- What projects are you currently working on? Keith- I’m finishing up an album titled “Love Episodic” and I am about to release a new single called 24K I’m on a new show called Saints and Sinners and we are about to start season 2. These are the main projects and we are about to release Tupac’s movie.

Nayomi- We would love to have you in the Queen City! What female artist would you like to work with and why? Keith- Probably Lalah Hathaway. I love her voice and I’m such a big fan of her dad Donnie. Nayomi- Have you ever covered any of his songs? Particularly the song called “A Song for You”? Keith- Yes I have, in a live show. Nayomi- Well make sure you perform that one when you come to Charlotte. Keith- For sure! Yes!

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Nayomi- Sounds great! Do you care to let your fans know what role you will be playing within the movie? Keith- I play agent Gregory….Tupac’s manager. Nayomi- That’s wonderful! A lot of entertainers are looking to venture outside of their normal talents to build their brand such as owning a clothing line, a shoe line or restaurants. Has any of that ever crossed your mind? Keith- Yeah it has. I don’t know about owning a restaurant but I am definitely an entrepreneur spirit so that’s definitely on the list. Nayomi- Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to talk with Musiek Magazine! You are a great talent and we are very excited to hear your up and coming music. Please let everyone know how they can keep up with you. Keith- Thank you and I’m at @KeithSings for Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.

Jazz Saxophonist

NAJEE Still Going Strong! Celebrates 30 Years in the Music Industry. Story and Photos By Angela P. Moore

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Two-time Grammy-nominated and awardwinning jazz saxophonist and flautist NAJEE, is celebrating 30 years in the music industry. Seventeen albums later (two Platinum and four Gold albums), Najee is still taking the music industry by storm. Since launching his well-received debut album, Najee's Theme" in 1986, he has been greeted both nationally and internationally with stunning reviews, garnering extensive airplay, and consistently climbing Billboard charts. It seems like it was just yesterday when I added his debut album to my growing jazz collection. I caught up with Najee several days before he performed at the Wolf Creek Jazz Festival in Atlanta, GA., and again at the festival. Najee received a Proclamation from the City of Atlanta for his 30th year anniversary in the music industry. This musical giant has collaborated with many notable icons in the music industry. From Prince, Quincy Jones to Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and Herbie Hancock, Najee's passion and genre bending have made him one of the most sought-after musicians in his generation. Inspired to put out beautiful music, Najee pushed musical boundaries early in his career and merged his soulful R&B and Jazz fused sound, creating a brand new genre. Here, in Najee's own words, he talks music, advice and more. Angela: I love your music! I have been listening to it for many years. I was in graduate school when I purchased your first album, 30 years ago. You have been around putting out this beautiful music for a long time. How does it feel to be still putting out beautiful music 30 years later? Najee: I'm feeling very good. I don't feel abused. I still wake up and I'm grateful.

friends would always say everywhere you go, you have your saxophone. I was a kid always carrying a dream on his back. He reminisces about how he loved the tenor saxophone and flute but his brother, Fareed, insisted that he play soprano saxophone. They would often argue about it. Later someone gave him a soprano saxophone and unbeknownst to him, the soprano saxophone would end up being the instrument that made him popular. Angela: What do you think contributes to your longevity? Najee: Honestly, I would say in the initial years, it was the connections I was able to make. A lot of my audience has grown with me over the years. With technology, we were able to grasp another group of people. I would say associations are key. Angela: What do you do when you are not in the studio making music? Najee: I just live life. I spend a lot of time on the road. I had my 12-year-old son on the road with me recently. When I go back home, I am constantly in touch with writers and producers. Angela: What advice would you lend to aspiring artist? Najee: I often try to say, try to create a market and how that's done is by doing something someone else hasn't done. Try to find something original and be true to your identity. The ones that are successful are the ones that sound fresh and share their true identity. Cats aIways say, I want to be like you. I say don't be like me. Be like you. Try to find who you are. You're talented. Find your identity, your voice and if you're original, people will respond to you.

Angela: You put out your 17th album, "You, Me and Forever" last summer. It reached Top 10 on the Contemporary Jazz Albums on Billboard and #1 Most Added Album on the Smooth Jazz charts. How do Angela: What inspires you to put out this you keep your music fresh when you already have a large catalog of work? Some beautiful music? Najee: This has always been my passion. As artist may find it challenging to keep things fresh. a young boy growing up in New York, my Musiek 68

Najee: Part of that is the attempt to keep it fresh. Associate with people. Doing things that are true to your identity. I try not to do covers anymore. I like to create original compositions as much as I can and writing with other people. You're always sharing with younger people. I have four teenagers that I teach privately. One got a full scholarship to Berkley and the other two to colleges in New York. So, three of them have gone on to pursue music. Angela: You have done everything, so what's next for you? Najee: I'm at that stage where I want to experiment. I want to explore different type of music, cultural music. There's a risk in that but I think I can afford to do that now. Najee concludes: Making music at this point in my career is still exciting, and I am always evolving. As a musician, the love of performing for people, whether in studio or live is still a gratifying experience. The best feeling to me is presenting something new to the world! Angela: What can your fans expect at the Wolf Creek Jazz Festival in Atlanta and other performances while celebrating your 30-year anniversary? Najee: We're going to bring not only some of the current things; we're going to bring all the hits I've recorded over the 30 years. Obviously, we cannot do everything in 60 or 90 minutes. We have a great band. We have great music and we're just going to have fun. Angela: Any last words.... Najee: Thank you. I'm grateful of my support. I'm grateful for all the people who supported me over the years. Catch Najee in a city near you and help him celebrate 30 years of excellence. visit

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INDUSTRY Trendsetters They’ve set the bar high in this industry . Their words of wisdom have helped many hone their craft and become aware of how the game really is!

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Tiffany Gaines


hen you read the biography of Tiffany

Gaines, one can see that she is truly a dynamo in so many things, so many facets of the industry. But there is more to her than just the titles and the multitude of celebrities that she’s been fortunate to rub shoulders with and learn from. Besides being multilingual, multifaceted and internationally respected…. When you talk to Tiffany Gaines, you are in the presence of an individual that is passionate in everything that she does. And that the gifts given to her over the years, the knowledge accumulated, is not taken lightly. And her talent knows no limits…… MM: Hello Tiffany!!! How are you? TG: Hello! I’m good, thank you for having me! MM: We appreciate you allowing us this opportunity! Your biography is so expansive, and it shows us an individual who is very passionate about the work that they do in the entertainment industry…share with us your vision, your thoughts behind that. TG: Well, I have a lot of mentors. I started out with some pretty big mentors in the business. I don’t like to drop names but their friends of mine who have taught me that if you chase purpose, then there’s no limit to what you can do for others. So that has always been the main concern as far as for me, so with all these titles, positions and these different things that I take on, it really allows me to expand opportunities for others. So from the distributor side, to the management side, from an international hotel broker with National Hotel Association, there’s so many things that you can get into versus getting tied down to with a 9 to 5 where it just limits you to that check. Once you get limited to that check, you can only spend within those means. But once you say. “hey know what, there’s no limit, I’m going to temporarily dedicate my time to this position, and then get certified for whatever reason, then it just boosts the quality of value of that individual. Yes my resume is pretty expansive! Sometimes when I read it, I tend to have the eyebrows raised and what not, but when you’re just doing it. They say, multimillionaires you want to have at least what 7 to 10 income streams coming in, so that’s what I teach my artists. Musiek 74

MM: Wow, well how did you start? Or better yet what influenced you to become part of this industry or those industries? TG: I started out as a model for Baby Phat…I did not like it at all, but it was an entrance to the entertainment industry. So after being introduced to several people, from Russell Simmons to Kimora Lee, then Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy, then all of the sudden your resume turns into potential let’s just say. Because you know these people, relationships is everything. So actually I did a lot of writing, my background comes from completely opposite from what I do. I have Bachelors in Political Science with Law and Society, so naturally I have a lot of experience when it comes to Law, when it comes to politics, naturally that involves people, relationships, so I can bring a lot to the table. Especially in the entertainment industry, as people are always dealing with contracts, always dealing with business plans and dealing with people in general. I really believe in you’ve got to give before can even think about receiving….does that make sense? So I did a lot, I’ve helped write the business plan for Alonzo Robinson, who was the Senior Director of ASCAP, I got with some heavy hitters and started donating time, and just saying “don’t even worry about it, get me in the future. If I ever need it, you got me.” And that’s how I started building, then all of the sudden I started writing. I’ve always had a passion for singing, me and my sister used to sing in church, so we would perform and it was just always that something in the back of my head, so writing became natural, so poems, spoken poetry and then all of the sudden the right people coming into the picture. That’s the short version of the story (laughing) MM: Well that is impressive, and also what is truly impressive is when individuals such as you hold a high standard in professional areas. How important has that been for you? TG: Well, have you ever dealt with some people that had great ideas, but when you started working with them, all of the sudden you could see that it was just an idea, but then when it comes to the effort and actual commitment they could bring to the table …it turned out to be something you wasn’t looking for? You know, it was either going to be you did it, or they’re gonna sit... and it’s a dream that never happened. Well, that’s

important to me. It’s important to focus on integrity...if you say you’re going to do something you better do it. If you can’t then just say you can’t. That’s something I feel, especially with my artists. When I have these conference calls with them I dedicate an hour of my day, at any given time if they need to talk about strategies or their business in general, or even a personal problem, because if you have a personal problem in your world, you won’t be able to commit to the business. So it’s important to stay professional, and it’s important to stay with professional people. (Side note)During the interview, she shared with us several things that she learned during her tenure in the industry, and webinars/ seminars she’s planned to educate artists and entrepreneurs in general on the business and trappings that occur during the building of your brand. This alone speaks volumes of her belief in mentoring others.

be something and to even possibly try to compare to where your dad is. I mean... come on; his dad is Hip Hop, right? How do you compete with that? So he (Curtis) is the one person that comes to mind if there’s anybody wants to try to learn the process of growth and the process of understanding of what it takes to be successful, it’s him….you have to watch him. He smiles, he greets all of his fans. No matter what he’s going through, he’s always a pleasant individual to speak with, but you know deep down inside there’s hurt, there’s anger. When I met with him and his wife for the first time, they told me the real story of what happened.

It’s just something that you know that is more spiritual, more purpose driven than it is “I’m just a rapper trying to get on.” So he comes to mind…he hasn’t given up, despite how long it takes, because you know we want it now. Everybody wants it now, but it was when he told himself “okay, I see what you’re saying now, all MM: In the entertainment industry, who has been these years,” now we have a board of directors. We had to get through all the drama to get to the individual that’s truly impressed you? where we are today. So that is the perfect depicTG: Curtis Young. tion of what an entrepreneur should be and what you need to look for as far as success. This is MM: Why do you say that? TG: It’s not because of our business relationship, why he is the ambassador for the majority of my stuff. From Underground over Mainstream but if you look at his growth just in the matter of Movement I think of him. From Independent three years. So I started off as his manager and he was representing Curtis Young at that time but Movement, I think of him. prior to that was Hood Surgeon, but I feel like it was a loss of identity, not really knowing who you MM: Wow, that’s impressive, when you can look want to portray publicly. Do you want to impress at an individual like that and know from the the streets? Do you want to impress the industry? struggles to now and they still impress you today. Do you want to impress the ladies? Your father is Wow. TG: And he’s still growing today, we all are! At the Dr. Dre, so that is a really big situation to try to end of the day, that’s what success is. compete with. It’s like that shadow is always going to be there right? There was a lot of discourMM: They say experience is the best agement in just the everyday process of growth. teacher……so what has experience taught You want it to happen as fast as possible, and Tiffany Gaines? then there’s always the media who would come TG: Whew! That’s a good question, because you back, or people would always say “oh, but that’s can’t have growth without experience. So experiDre’s son” so any type of growth pattern that ence has taught me that there is no such thing as would exist in our circle, we would always hear, “ much did your pops give you?” It was failure unless you actually do say “I’m done.” “I like a blessing and a curse in disguise. And right give up.” Despite all of the past, whether it be ups or downs, all that you just throw it all away and now when you look at three years back all the way up until present day, he is an entrepreneur, say “it’s not for me.” Until you decide that is what your choice is going to be, like “I give up, and money is coming in. “experience teaches you that there is no such We recently incorporated the company; he thing as failure. (Curtis) is a businessman now… he’s not a rapper anymore. Every day when you get up and you know you have so much pressure on you to

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As long as you don’t fail and you keep going then you are going to see success. It’s inevitable! And what again is success, growth, because you consistently put forth that effort to grow. MM: It’s important for us to have that perspective form someone such as yourself who is not only in an executive position, but someone who has been in the trenches and sees much of what other individuals don’t see…. I couldn’t think of a better way to end this. TG: Thank you for having me! I loved these questions. Good questions MM: Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to speak to the ever so popular, infamous, talented “T-Dub” Tiffany Gaines Contact: P:626-419-7738 Fax 626-839-2648 | Social Media: /blasia80 80

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“It’s important to me to be that person with integrity business wise”

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ERVIN “EP” POPE Musiek 78

EP, you’ve built your craft on a powerful foundation, basically the music loved by your family and the old piano you talk about in your biography! How has that drive toward perfection you had when playing that old piano, applied to your craft today? I use piano in almost everything that I do. It builds confidence too, because as a kid in the ghetto, you gotta think, there weren’t too many things we were exposed to or too many things that we found out that we were good at early. So that affected learning self-worth. Anytime you’re good at something or you pick up something that everyone can’t do, you kinda have a sense of pride so that played more than one role in my life, picking out on that old piano! Many times I discuss that element with artists, is the versatility. So basically you’re saying that you have to be well rounded as an artist in eveything is important? Completely important. I mean, it’s everything. You have to have the ability. Say for instance, for that latest project, I couldn’t just bring any singer to any song. It had to be one that complemented that song, or the musician. Sometimes a song calls for something different than somebody in your camp. And you to be able to go outside and bring to the table what is necessary and not really be about self. It’s about whatever makes the project a great project.

raised. I still attend that same church today, and that neighborhood is stricken with violence and other things that the ghetto is plagued with, and all the challenges. I know for a fact that it’s not of myself why I made it out of the ghetto, it was a bigger source, God is the reason I made it out. And everybody is not as fortunate to get out, so I think the responsibility is on us. When we experience some sort of success, we ought to give back. I mean it’s only right. If I can help someone avoid a pitfall that I’ve fallen in, or I know about something, then we have that responsibility. Myself and my cousins and my brothers we still give back to that same community, and not for accolades, it’s just what we need to do, because we see the state of the world and the state of these young men out here. With a lot of absentee fathers and no body to give them a positive example, like we’ve got to step up! So I take that very serious and not only that, I do career days at the elementary schools and junior highs, just wherever I can I can lend something. Because I know I have a voice and that’s going to ring different than a police officer telling a kid not to do something. I have a certain influence, and I know it, so I try to use my influence in a way that I can help somebody.

Do you ever regret taking that leap of faith, getting into the music industry? Never, not one day. It’s either sink or We know about your musical background, those you’ve worked with. How swim with me, you know what I you give back to the community. Tell us mean. So have some swimming more about Big Homies. Yeah man, the trunks on right now so just in case I sink, I’ll swim! Big Homies is just, like I grew up in Watts, and I went to church in Watts, What’s next? What will be Ervin “EP” maybe a mile from where I was

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“When we experience some sort of success, we ought to give back.”

EP, you’ve built your craft on a powerful foundation, basically the music loved by your family and the old piano you talk about in your biography! How has that drive toward perfection you had when playing that old piano, applied to your craft today? I use piano in almost everything that I do. It builds confidence too, because as a kid in the ghetto, you gotta think, there weren’t too many things we were exposed to or too many things that we found out

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that we were good at early. So that affected learning self-worth. Anytime you’re good at something or you pick up something that everyone can’t do, you kinda have a sense of pride so that played more than one role in my life, picking out on that old piano! Many times I discuss that element with artists, is the versatility. So basically you’re saying that you have to be well rounded as an artist in eveything

Makeup: Silvio Suarez Hair: Keke Stylz Clothing: IMERGE PR

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Welch West VA native Tanganykia Davis has over the years proven to be more than just a publicist and media strategist. Studying and receiving her degree in Marketing at Bluefield State College, the seasoned publicist has shown over the years the ease and fluidity to work across multiple areas of entertainment within two Nationally recognized firms: Tsunami Group and her own organization I’MERGE PR. In the early beginnings in the industry, Tangi’ was a contracted PR with Arnold Taylor Record Pool. As she birthed her company I’MERGE, her clientele included the Prince of R&B Calvin Richardson, veteran actor and movie director Cuba Gooding Sr, comedienne Kashuna Little, model Cross Thompson, Artist Roman Hill, Celebrity Dame and author Janine A Morris. She took on an active management role with Tsunami Group Inc, owed an operated by PR guru CJ Robinson all the while continuing to run I'MERGE PR and teaming up with consulting firms such as S. Riley and Associates. She has been constantly recognized for her abilities to assess her client's needs, troubleshooting on a campaign, bringing fresh ideas to the table and providing a personalized “hands on” approach with all projects from their inception to the end. Tangi has worked with clients such as Trina, Jody Breeze, various radio personalities, and sports figures such as Ike Taylor (Pittsburgh Steelers), Natasha Hastings (Olympic Gold

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Medalist in Track and Field), and a host of others. While wearing multiple hats within the entertainment industry, she is also a mother of three beautiful children, for whom she has introduced to a brief side of the entertainment realm. Her time with her family consists of various practice times between sports, dance, theater, and church of course. There is no sacrifice too great for her children, and becoming well rounded, productive individuals in life is a must! Now one may ask how does she handle managing multiple firms, working with various celebrities and entertainers, and full time involvement with her family? Her unyielding faith! This has kept her grounded and focused in all she do. Recent projects include supporting Life Coach and Minister Jametta Chandler Moore as she chronicles 365 days of life changing events and goals, the Atlanta Black Family Expo, an upcoming reality TV show, new Jazz/Blues restaurant BluNotes, select events with Def Jam and working with the non- profit organization Inspire The Fire. Facebook: davis

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Musiek December 2016 Recap  

We look back at 2016 and those that graced the pages of the newest, freshest magazine for the indie artists today!

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