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In memory of Kandi Dales, a good hearted friend.
Page 28 Cover Feature:
Table of Contents Page 4 Camilla Susser
Page 22 Jerry Dean
Page 38 Mandy Savage
Page 7 Kid Astronaut
Page 25 BISCAY
Page 40 Dean Piper
Page 10 Spencer Hill
Page 28 Jody Watley
Page 43 Kid Nebraska
Page 14 Tamara Georgievna Abrosimova
Page 32 Alexis Berent
Page 46 TAâ€™J
Page 17 John Lodge
Page 34 Ajda Stina Turek
Bailey Elora @baileyeloramusic // @baileyelora Photo by @urbanimpressions
CAMILLA SUSSER Role Playing & Fashion When did you first get involved in acting? Modeling? In early 2001, which was a crazy year to make a career change and when I look back, I think about what a terrible and tragic year that was for all of us, however it was a transformative one for me because I realized that I no longer wanted to pursue a corporate career, rather I wanted to put all of my attention and focus on acting and modeling. What or Who inspired you to pursue acting and modeling as a career? I think I always knew I wanted to act. I used to put on plays for my relatives or sometimes just my cat in my living room, basement and backyard with my younger sister and best friends. I was heavily drawn to the costume element of the performances, to the aesthetics of it all if you will. I was always so dramatic. Fashion and costumes have been something of a hobby for me since I can remember. What films/tv shows have you been involved in? Do you prefer feature films or TV? I was most recently a guest star on ID Channel’s final season(there were nine seasons total) long running “Homicide Hunter”. It was a meaty role, and I had quite a bit of dialogue with the lead, so that was very exciting. I have done various indie feature
Photo by Patrick Baldonado Designer Gino Velardi
films and am slated to begin filming a SAG project called Skyler in New Mexico once the Pandemic subsides. I have also performed in web series, danced in music videos, and acted and modeled for many commercial productions. I have done national commercial spots for Animal Planet, Food Network, Hewlett Packard, and Vehix.com. I love any and all genres that allow me to stretch in my craft, and to try on characters that I wouldn’t necessarily have thought I could connect to. But almost always, I find a dormant part of of me, story-wise that does indeed connect to the material and truly just wants to come out and play! What notable fashion shows have you been involved in? I performed and walked in 2019’s Denver Fall Fashion Week last November. I helped close out the Week 1 Finale show, and that was truly remarkable and unforgettable. I also danced and walked for an amazing Designer in fall of 2018, Sherry’s Angels, out of Denver, sporting giant red angel wings and lots of tulle. It was quite a feat to walk and then later do pirouettes wearing those! Do you represent any brands? I work as a makeup and skin care education specialist for Josie Maran Cosmetics currently, and this compliments my other work really well, as you can imagine!
Top & Bottom Photos by Michael Lindenberger
I’m sure you have met many talented artists/celebrities along the way. Please share 1 or 2 stories with us? I think studying with what are considered by most, some of the top acting coaches in the country has been a real highlight for me. I study camera and audition technique with Sara Mornell in Atlanta currently, and she is incredible. She coaches on many things, but they all lead toward what it takes to book and perform well in the audition space for film and tv. I also studied the Meisner Technique in NY at the famed Neighborhood Playhouse, and I was awestruck to learn just how many incredibly esteemed and famous film and stage actors came out of that same program – Gregory Peck, Diane Keaton, Robert Duvall, Allison Janney all studied there, just to name but a few! How has your acting evolved since you first became involved in the film industry? When I first moved from performing in theatre to on working on film, I learned very quickly that what was required of me in a closeup was something drastically different than what I had ever experienced. I learned to understand that camera work is much deeper and more internal than it is on stage. There still are specific choices that must be carved out and rehearsed ahead of time, but I have learned to allow my thoughts to do more of the work. I allow the camera to come to me rather than the expending of energy outward that theatre requires. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to stay in this tough business? Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why? That’s an easy one! I would have to say passion because if you don’t have that fire bubbling inside, and the excitement and constant urge to breathe life into a role – to words on a page, than it is going to be an uphill battle. There is already so much competition in this business. If you aren’t excited every day to be able to connect deeply to the material, this career will not be sustainable. Looks or connections alone are not going to be enough. Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in a genre overflowing with new faces and ideas? I do think my ability to shape shift quickly from heart-wrenching dramatic roles to awkward and vulnerable comedic characters is a gift of mine, one that I didn’t initially think came natural for me. I have always been drawn to darker types of characters and roles, but more recently I have been made aware of a natural inclination I have toward comedy. I am learning to embrace it all! What has been your biggest challenge as an actor/ model? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how? I would say fear of the audition space and of “getting
it wrong”. There is no “wrong”, only not present nor prepared. I do my research and prepare as fully as I possibly can and then I give myself permission to “mess it up”. I find just moving myself into that mindset in my audition prep allows for such freedom, and usually that’s when the magic happens. A common phrase in the industry is, “you must suffer for your art”. Do you agree with this statement? If so, how have you suffered for your art? I don’t subscribe to anything that involves the word “suffer” anymore. Art to me is about liberating my true voice and essence, I think if I am in line with that mission, than whatever sacrifices I make in order to get me there are a welcome part of the journey. How do you feel the Internet has impacted the film and modeling industries? I think it has democratized access to platforms and audiences that we would otherwise as performers never have had access to. It is amazing, with platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, just how much instant access an actor or model has to the gatekeepers and decision makers in our respective industries. It’s truly remarkable and exciting. If you could change anything about the film and modeling industry, what would it be? I would like to see a rapid change in how these
industries most unfortunately still default to objectification of women. I know there have been great strides made, since the Me Too movement most notably, but we still have a very long way to go. Women are powerful and strong, and so I hope we continue to see more and more original narratives around that. What is the best advise you have received? To stop explaining myself or apologizing for the things that make me unique. That is where the gold is. How can fans-to-be follow your career? Please follow me on Instagram @thereal_camilla_c and on IMDb for new acting projects at: www.imdb.me/CamillaSusser Thank you so much!
Photo by Patrick Baldonado
KID ASTRONAUT Artist on a Mission! When did you first get into music? I started making music at a very early age, inspired by the greats like Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder and others - I took my influences and started making my own way in the music world and industry. I released my first record at the age of 7 years old and been going ever since. Who or What inspired you to pursue a career in music? At the moment my biggest inspiration is my kids. I just want them to believe they can do anything and everything they set their minds to. I think also I’m inspired to keep going by my internal calling. Just wanting to follow my passions and see where it takes me. How has your music evolved since you first began performing? Damn...that’s a great question. Music, like learning through life is a never-ending process. I constantly feel like I’m starting over. I guess the biggest thing that’s evolved is the risks I’ve taken. I was in a band called Air Dubai before my solo project Kid Astronaut and in that band, I had a lot of help. Kinda crutches on my creativity to be honest cause there were a lot of hands to do things. Since then, with starting my solo project, I still have help from my manager who’s amazing - but a lot of the drive and vision has to come from me first. I really like that. I’ve started producing, playing more instruments, just really trying and forcing myself to grow as an artist and individual.
I’m sure you have shared the stage with a lot of talented artists/celebrities along the way. Would you share 1 or 2 of your favorite stories with us? My favorite shows were Vans Warped Tour and opening for Lupe Fiasco as a member of Air Dubai. Vans Warped Tour because I was into punk music and that genre but had never gone to a show. I loved how raw and “leave it all on the stage” some of the bands I watched were. I definitely began to add that into my performance style as Kid Astronaut. Also the Lupe Fiasco show cause to this day he’s one of my favorite artists. Being able to open the stage for him and his band was an amazing opportunity. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to stay in this tough business? Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why? Revenge. Have to get back at my haters!!! Nah just kidding, it’s definitely love. I love what I do and I love that I have the opportunity to do it. I don’t take the gift for granted and I try to push myself as much as possible to not get stuck in a habit or rut with it. Just endless creativity. It’s nice. What has been your biggest challenge as a singer-songwriter/musician? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how? I think the biggest challenge is just that phrase. Sometimes I don’t wanna do vocal stuff that I CAN do on a song because it’s just natural for me, I try
and consider myself an artist. Like a painter. I love how artists later in their lives will just change up their art style because they wanna step out of their conditioned boxes. It’s a challenge in the studio sometimes cause my manager will suggest like, “Bro, you should kill the vocals here” and I’m just like, “I kinda wanna lay back take this section in a new direction”. I guess that’s been a challenge lately, Not following the “standard”.
still a ma jority of one type of face at the top, in ownership. I want to change that. Specifically for people of color because like it or not, we are such a ma jor influence on music. We need to have more equity in the industry overall.
A common phrase in the industry is, “you must suffer for your art.” Do you agree with this statement? If so, how have you suffered for your art? I think my biggest phase of suffering has come from needing to be patient. It takes time, years, to grow as an artist. That feeling of wanting to be on tour but being home instead, or that uncertainty of whether or not your music is going anywhere before a ma jor breakthrough comes. Nowadays I’m a lot more allowing of those moments of silence because I know something is building. I now work to fill that time with educating myself, like I said, learning production or reading up on how I can be a better business/musician. I suppose another suffering is when you’re in between big payments. I think that’s for any entrepreneur though - we’re gonna go through hills and valleys when chasing our goals.
1. Michael Jackson - Thriller: This album because to this day Michaels’ production and artistry are largely unmatched. I think this album is timeless not just because of the music but also because in the 80s when the album dropped no one sounded like that project. Sonically, artistically or otherwise. I think it’s just a legendary project that deserves to be at the top of my list.
How do you feel the internet has impacted the music business? In my opinion, it’s made music a lot easier. I realized I have an entire Kid Astronaut Channel that people can choose to tune in to. Now it’s just about fine tuning that content and really becoming a content creator that not only creates things of value, but also can reach as many people as possible. I’ve never shied away from wanting to be a ma jor artist, It’s always just been about me doing it in a way that feels true to me and not compromising myself in the process. Have you done or plan on doing any Live-stream Concerts? If you have, how has the response been from your fans? We just did an amazing full band live stream show hosted at Dog House Music Studios here in Colorado. My band The Nebula and I were really looking forward to this year but when Covid hit the plans kinda got put on hold. That was disappointing but one of the things we like to say is “run the audible” like a football play. We tried to make the experience as close to a real concert as possible with lights, graphics and of course just rocking songs. If you could change anything about the music industry. What would it be? Diversity and access. There’s still a ma jor limit on what artists can do within the INDUSTRY. There’s
What are the 5 albums that have helped make you the person you are today? And why? Another great question.
2. Common - One Day It’ll All Make Sense: I didn’t start listening to Hip Hop until about High School. Sometimes I think because of that, I’m not allowed to appreciate it cause I was “late’ (or maybe that’s just the Hip Hop snobbery). Anyways, a collection of Jazz, Rhymes, Beats, Storytelling - I love the dynamics of this record and I also think it shaped some formative years for me musically so within that and also expanding my knowledge of what was possible with music - I think this is definitely in my top five.
Tell us about your current project. Are you working on new music? An EP or Album? We’re in the studio creating about 6 projects right now. I have 2 albums, 3 EPs, a music video, and something else (top secret) in the works. Quarantine has been a blessing in a lot of ways creatively. A lot of space to think, create, and grow. What is the best advice you have received? If you’re gonna go down, go down as yourself. Which means to me don’t compromise your vision for anyone. What’s next for you? Our music video should be out soon, maybe next month! Not letting people know what song it’s for yet but we’re really stoked about all the footage we captured. We’re in the editing process now. How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? www.kidastronautuniverse.com should be the onestop shop, if it’s not, my bad, hit me up and let me know! I’m also mostly on IG: @kidastronavt
3. Cocaine 80s - The Pursuit EP: Before listening to Cocaine 80s I wouldn’t have considered myself a lyricist. James Fauntleroy (Cocaine 80s lead singer) helped open my mind to what was possible as a singer and a writer. The Cocaine 80s EP’s by James and Producer NO ID are intricate, layered, and poetic. They taught me a ton about songwriting that I definitely utilize today. 4. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix: I loved this record already but when I saw the band live, Thomas Mars (Phoenix’s lead Singer) moved across the stage like he owned it, climbing up the rafters with his red mic cable, the band was tight and LOUD and there was this low drone note they played for like 5 minutes before dropping into their next song. It made me want to take my writing, performing and everything to the next level plus rockstars are just cool but I thought Phoenix did it in a way where it was about adding to the culture not just being obnoxious. Groundbreaking stuff really. 5. Kid Astronaut - Alchemy EP: Is it wrong to add myself to this list? My latest EP covered all of my genre loves (Hip Hop, Soul, Punk and more) and fit it all in on each track sometimes switching genres even on an individual song. After a really difficult 2019 - creating the Alchemy EP was a culmination of all those feelings, love, pain and turning it into something beautiful. I can’t wait to take those songs on the road (hopefully???) and see how they reach new audiences.
SPENCER HILL Life On and Off the Track Drivers only, What is your name? Spencer Hill How long have you been driving and why so long? This year completed my 14th year as a race car driver, and my 5th year racing Sprint Cars in some capacity whether it be with or without a wing. Who picked your number and why? I’ve had a few different numbers throughout my racing career. My preference would be the number 4, and as I got into Micro Sprint racing years ago, I added an “S” to the 4 so that I would never have to change my number when I traveled. (In case there were any other drivers using the number 4) The number 4s has been with me since 2011, and I still sport it on my family-owned micro sprint to this day. Oddly enough, the 4s is not the number that adorned the tail tank of my car for most of 2020. I have been racing a non-winged sprint car the last few years for SEH Motorsports and have run under their longtime number 11W. What’s your favorite track you’ve ever run at? I feel like when I am asked to pick a favorite racetrack,
that might just be the most difficult question that people ask me. I am a little unique as I have run quite a bit on both dirt and asphalt tracks, so I usually answer with my favorite on each surface. On asphalt my favorite track that I competed on was New Stockton 99 Speedway in Stockton, CA. This was a fun bullring that acted a lot like dirt, with the dominant line being up high in turns 3&4. I think this helped with my comfortability on asphalt right away. On dirt, my favorite track is one that is non-permanent. It is the only track that operates the first week of January every year because it is within the confines of the largest freestanding building in North America. Located in Tulsa, OK the Tulsa Expo Raceway hosts the largest Micro Sprint race in the world and I am happy to say that we will be going back in a few months to fight for one of their prestigious golden driller trophies. At what age did you first wheel any automobile by yourself? I was 8 years old when I first got behind the wheel of a dirt oval speedway kart. Although that might seem like an early age to begin a career, I felt like I was
always behind the 8 ball because many of my competitors had been racing since the age of four and five years old. Which driver in your respective division gave you the best race you can remember? By best I mean cleanest, funnest and/or most memorable. Just name the driver. Michael Fanelli and Travis Oldfield were a pair of drivers that gave me a very memorable race that was clean and fun. In 2019 my car owner had just passed away and my local track held a memorial event for him. I wanted this win more than any other because I knew how much it meant for the family. I started on the pole and fended off multiple slides from both Fanelli and Oldfield, who were also ex-drivers of SEH Motorsports. Unfortunately I ended up clipping a tractor tire while battling for the lead, and did not finish the main event but it was still a lot of fun and I know that Truman was looking down smiling while watching his boys battle.
Who will win the Cup Series championship this year? If you would have asked me earlier, I would have easily said Kevin Harvick. Obviously that isn’t going to happen in 2020 so I would lean towards Chase Elliott. He is consistently good at Phoenix and has momentum coming into the weekend. Do you have any pre-race rituals that you perform before getting strapped in for a race? I wouldn’t say there are any specific rituals that I perform before strapping in the car, but I do not normally eat before a race. I used to get really nervous when I was younger to the point where I would get sick if I ate before one of my races. What is the best part of racing on dirt as opposed to asphalt? Dirt racing really allows fans to see a driver’s skills behind the wheel. In asphalt racing their parameters
In your own opinion, what do you think is THE MOST badass thing about your car? Is it the paint job? Is it the motor? Is it the chassis? Is it the driver? The builder? The owner? What makes your ride stand apart from the rest? That is a great question. I take a lot of pride in the cars that I drive. The Sprint Car that I drive, owned by Pat West, is one of the coolest looking cars that I have ever had the privilege of wheeling. The J&J Auto Racing chassis is a beautiful turquoise color and “Grammy” quickly dubbed it her “show car” that we just happen to race. The car that we are working on putting together for 2021 is just as pretty, with the base color as Crown Royal Purple. Have you ever sneezed during green flag conditions? If so, how did that turn out? I don’t think that our bodies would let us sneeze during green flag conditions because of how focused we are. I have done this plenty of times under caution and in staging though, and man it is not very comfortable. LOL Do you have a favorite NASCAR Cup Series Driver? My favorite Cup Series driver that is actively driving is Kurt Busch. He is a really good example of someone that had a troubled past but was able to work on himself and it ultimately made him a better driver as well as a person. I can really respect the way that he carries himself today, and he is very talented behind the wheel, especially on restarts. Do you have a favorite Cup Series track? It would be hard to not pick Bristol here, but I have always had a love for Phoenix Raceway. It has been my home track since it’s the closest one to Albuquerque, and my favorite childhood memories were made at the campgrounds of the facility.
and ultimately brings forth cleaner racing because you don’t get the blatant blocks as often. (They still do though but we call it chopping). How is your 2020 season going so far? Sum it up in three words or less. Too short! I had a solid 2020 season, even though it was at a very condensed rate. I was very close to my first nonwinged sprint car feature win and I was able to win my only Micro Sprint start this year at the Sprint Car Stampede in October.
with setups are so close because their track doesn’t make drastic changes. This makes it to where your setup really defines how far you can take a car on asphalt. Now, don’t get me wrong, setup is very important in dirt racing as well. The difference, however, is that in dirt track racing the track makes drastic changes nearly every lap so you have to keep that in mind when setting a car up and make an attempt to make it the best it can be for the longest amount of time. Where the car might be lacking is where a driver must adjust their driving style to make up for any lost speed. This is what many dirt track racing fans find the most exciting. I also would note that dirt races are almost always shorter, with drivers driving as hard as they possibly can every single lap. There is no riding around. How fast have you ever driven any vehicle in your life? The short answer here is I have no clue! My daily is a 1996 Ford Bronco - which if you’ve ever been in those they are not fast at all. Then my racecars don’t have speedometers so it isn’t easy to calculate. With as short as the tracks I race are, my best bet is somewhere around 115-120 right before hooking a sharp left. Do you ever get claustrophobic inside the helmet? We work really hard when putting the cars together to make sure this doesn’t happen so luckily it is a rarity. The exception for this is when we get upside down and are trapped inside the car. Then it gets very claustrophobic. On any given day, how often do you think about racing? Minutes? Hours? Up all night? Another great question. I think about racing almost every minute that I am awake and often racing scenes show up in dreams too. My life truly revolves around it. If they were allowed would you ever want a rearview mirror? If they were allowed, every driver that wanted to win would install one. However, I like the unpredictability that no mirrors or radio communication brings. I think that it puts more responsibility in our hands
Have you got a speeding ticket within the last three years? Never had a speeding ticket before (knock on wood)! Lucky for me, I typically get my need for speed taken care of on the track, so I never really speed while in my passenger vehicles. Has a flagman ever just completely confused the heck out of you during a race? No names or details… just a yes or no. Yes. Sometimes the calls that they make are very questionable. If you had to choose one driver who raced exclusively on dirt as your idol, who you look up to and have the utmost respect for, who would that be? Any series or division as long as they’re exclusively a “dirt” driver. Exclusively on dirt, my idol would be Kevin Olson. He is one of the pioneers of midget racing, and one of the funniest people I can think of. Any interview that you can come across of his is guaranteed to give you a laugh. Other notables would be Jack Hewitt, Ken Schrader, and Jac Haudenschild. When you are finished racing and you run your final lap and your fellow competitors, promoters, writers and the fans had to describe you in ONE word…what word would it be? Old! Do you have any social media or a website? Facebook - @ SpencerHillRacing Instagram - @Spencer_Hill4 Twitter - @Spencer_Hill4 Website is under construction and will be back in Jan 2021!
TAMARA GEORGIEVNA ABROSIMOVA Actress on the Rise When did you first get involved as an actress? I got involved with acting when I was twelve and my mom took me to a local theatre to see a play. I loved the world of make-believe and since then started participating in school plays, and when I moved to the US I began working as an extra. What or Who inspired you to pursue such a competitive career? My mom Aida Welch and my friend William Mark McCullough. They both have been supporting me in my career path. My mom always pushed me to get on every show, every school play, how I should not give a crap what everyone else thinks or how people perceive me while Mark has been more of my spiritual guide. He supported me whenever I had questions and concerns about the film industry, what kind of equipment I should get for the auditions, the ways of how to get the attention of casting directors and the importance of networking.
What have been your biggest achievements been in TV and Film? I was in a mockumentary alongside Sacha Baron
Photo by Valeria Tannuzzi
Cohen in Georgia before Covid started, and I got very lucky and very blessed to be a part of that production. Whenever I don’t have auditions, I write and direct my own short films. I have a drama thriller coming up “Ride or Die With me” and I am very excited to work with lots of good friends who I’ve met through networking. I’m sure you have met a lot of talented individuals and/or celebrities along the way. Would you share 1 or 2 of your favorite stories with us? I met Danny McBride when I was coming from one of my shoots in Savannah to Charleston. I desperately needed gas and decided to stop at a nearby gas station. I pull up to one of the tanks and see a very familiar-looking car that I saw on the set of “The Righteous Gemstones”. I took a closer look and it was Danny McBride. I met him a couple of times on the set, but not outside in real life. I quickly introduced myself, we chatted about sets and he was happy to take a photo with me when I asked. He is a very hardworking and nice guy, very down-to-earth. The other celebrity I met was Harry Treadaway, he
was the main protagonist in the first two seasons in the show “Mr. Mercedes”. I met him on my very first day as an extra. I was outside the courthouse where everything took place, and while a 2nd AD was telling everyone what to do I saw a young man looking at me through one of the doors of the courthouse. I waved to him, he waved back and then he communicated with me by mimicking that he liked my shirt that said “I stand with Brady”. Few hours later I was taking a little break and out of the corner of the building I saw Harry. I stood a few meters away from him and he was the first one to come and talk to me. At that time I had absolutely no idea who he was and what he did. We chatted for a bit, he mostly asked about me and he was the nicest guy. His British accent got me completely charmed and since then I became one of his fans. What has been your ideal character, so far? And why? My ideal character was the one that I wrote for myself for “Ride or Die”, because I can be the crazy version of myself, and that character gets to be a badass and kill a bunch of bad guys. How has your acting evolved since you first became involved in the film industry? I moved to a bigger city, gained a big fan base, I started my own photography and self-taping business. In addition I networked my way into this industry and met a lot of wonderful, amazing people who support me every day. Since pursuing acting professionally I did things I haven’t thought of doing before like fire breathing and doing people’s headshots. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to stay in this tough business? Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why? I would choose anger. This emotion drives me to be better. Whenever I get audition where I get to be angry, all of my insecurities and inner demons get to come out and it feels great afterwards. I ended up scaring few guy friends during my weekly audition practice, where I had an angry burst. Lots of laughter followed after. Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in an industry overflowing with new faces and ideas? My accent and my looks. I know there aren’t enough Eastern-Europeans in the film industry, especially who look intimidating and mysterious which is part of my brand. I think it’s very important to hire Russians and other Slavic people to play characters who are from those countries instead of hiring Americans who can’t quite pull off that unique accent. What has been your biggest challenge as an actor? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how? Getting booked is a challenge for every actor. The
Photo by Valeria Tannuzzi
way to overcome it is to keep practicing your craft, put yourself out there and make people notice you, remember you. Keep taking classes from working actors, research shows that are filming in your market and meditating, relaxing is a big thing as well. A common phrase in the industry is, “you must suffer for your art”. Do you agree with this statement? If so, how have you suffered for your art? I agree with it 110%. Being an actor is not always having a consistent paycheck and stable way of life, it can get very lonely very fast. When you start to accomplish things, that’s when you start getting stalkers and haters, and it takes guts to go through that and move on. It’s worth mentioning that you get rejected many times by not booking your ideal job. Yes, we suffer and if an actor will keep on working hard and smart, she or he will get awarded with the job that was meant to be. How do you feel the Internet has impacted the film business? The Internet has greatly impacted the film. You can check out latest news about the industry, find out casting calls, submit self-tapes from anywhere in the country, watch your favorite movies and shows and learn how to direct and produce films. Internet gets people jobs.
If you could change anything about the film industry, what would it be? Hire actors for the jobs that were written for them. For example: I’m Russian and I get very disappointed when someone hires an American actress to play a Russian in a famous franchise or a TV show. This actress ends up having a very cringy accent, doesn’t have the basic facial features of a Slavic person, and a lot of people would bring up stereotypes that are not true. I would also hire more female actors, because it seems that there’s more male actors. There has to be an equality. What is the best advise you have received? Best advice I received was that you have to look at an actor’s life, being an actor as a business. You are the CEO of your own company named you.
Photo by Matt LeGault
What projects are you currently working on... that you can talk about? Currently, I am working on my short films “Affair with Mr. Poe” and “The way society is” where I get to direct my actor friends and be on the other side of the screen. What’s next for you? I will be portraying a young mother in a feature film “Milala” and a villain in another feature “Beowulf”. Both are horror films and it’s something that’s exciting for me to be a part of and I would get to see a lot of people I worked with before. How can fans-to-be follow your career? They can follow me on IMDb, Instagram and Facebook. If they have any questions about film, I am always available to help out and answer all the questions.
Bottom Left: Photo by Ezra Munchinson
JOHN LODGE “The Soul of a Bass Phenomena” by Eileen Shapiro “The base is the link between harmony and rhythm. It is the foundation of a band. It is what all the other instruments stand upon, but it is rarely recognized as that”....Victor Wooden “The bass, no matter what kind of music you’re playing, it just enhances the sound and makes everything sound more beautiful and full. When the base stops, the bottom kind of drops out of everything”... Charlie Haden John Lodge is the bass master from the legendary faction “The Moody Blues.” The band defined art and progressive rock and reigned during the 60’s and 70’s with hits including “Nights In White Satin”, and “Tuesday Afternoon.” They were inducted into The Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, and John Lodge is their bass guru. John Lodge also wrote many of their songs, and has been performing with them for 5 decades. Voted one of the 10 most influential bass players on the planet, Lodge has been the recipient of a slew of awards including ASCAP, and the Ivor Novello Award for “Outstanding Contribution to Music.” Lodge was also given the Lifetime Achievement Award from Prog,
and is the proud owner of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Aside from the 15 studio albums The Moody Blues have released, Lodge has released 4 solo records and in 2017 The Moody Blues saw their 50th Anniversary. Charity is very important to John and he can be seen on November 24th on the Let Me Help INC virtual benefit concert which is striving to bring awareness to bullying through #IAMNOJOKE (via Creative Visions Foundation), those shattered by COVID and those affected by prostate cancer. He will be performing with some of the most illuminating and vibrant stars on the planet including: Rick Wakeman, Sir Patrick Stewart, Slash, Fred Schneider, Julian Lennon, Jane Lynch, Howard Bloom, Stephen Perkins, Scott Page, Kenny Aronoff and about 60 other very well-known artists How is it over there in the U.K.? I’m trying to understand what on earth is going on because I know that Covid is dangerous and everything else, but I think that with all the other things happening in the world....I’m not too sure to be honest. They announced yesterday I think that influenza was down by 90%. It’s very strange. You keep hearing about the vaccines, but nothing has been proven yet. I’m just a musician and I just keep writing my songs.
I speak to many musicians and a lot of them feel that this is actually one on the most creative times in history... I’ve been a musician since I was 15, and this is the longest period in my life where I’ve not performed live. It’s just a really strange feeling. Fortunately, I have the creative pot with songwriting and everything else but what I’ve loved from day one is actually performing on stage. That’s where you get the contact with the audience, so that’s where hopefully we all come together. We’re all just singers in a rock ‘n’ roll band as far as I’m concerned. Yes! So, when you first recorded your music if they had had the technology they do today would you have done anything different? I think it would have taken a lot longer. Everything today takes so long it’s unbelievable. I think what was really good about the lack of technology in the 60s was that the fact that you had to make decisions. We did our first album, “Days of Future Passed” on two four track machines. What we would do is record on four tracks and then mix the four tracks down to two, but as we passed over onto the next four track machine, we added another couple of instruments. Of course, once you’ve recorded them you can’t go back in and over dub them again because they are already committed. So, you had to commit to the sound and everything at the time. We recorded “Days of Future Passed” in a week, that’s including the orchestra. It would be absolutely impossible today. And also, I remember we did song called “Isn’t Life Strange.” We were doing the vocals on a Friday night. We finished the vocals and we mixed the track and took the track with us to America for our tour the following day, and the record was released within two weeks. When you’re talking today about releasing something you are talking months. Yes, and you’re not releasing it the same way. Also, to be honest I think any songwriter or musician, when you recorded your song and you’re excited about it, you want everybody else to be able to hear it right away. Instead it sits on the back burner for months and it’s really frustrating. If it ever gets heard. Well that’s the problem. Today, with the lack of record companies that are promoting artists that are Heritage artists as they are called now, or new artists you just don’t know anymore how this works, because of Spotify and everything that’s programmed in all the algorithms. But who writes the algorithms? Exactly. Now you have been performing for a while. Have you had your ultimate stage fantasy yet? I’ve been really lucky over the years because they seemed to have all happened for me. I think that when you’re really young and you’re playing your first
you could fill Madison Square Garden. It’s something you could never, ever comprehend. The only time you actually know you’ve done it is when you’ve actually done the concert. I didn’t get into rock and roll for fantasy or money gain, I just love rock ‘n’ roll, and everything else has happened because of that. Can you recall a single moment that changed the entire tra jectory of your life? Yes, “Days of Future Passed” as in music, but it’s got to be before that. There were two things that really, really inspired me. MUSIC really didn’t come into my life at all. I was born in Birmingham to a working- class family, in a small house, on a street where there were hundreds of houses all looking the same. The war in England was finished and Birmingham was pretty bombed out the years growing up. It was a strange time, but of course it was the only time I knew. I had nothing to compare that with. I remember seeing the movie, “Rock Around the Clock”, and that was it!!! I was probably 11 or 12 and thought “what in the world was this?” But when I went to school they had a jukebox in the café. Every lunchtime I went to this café and instead of having school lunches I used what little money I had to buy a cup of coffee, probably a sandwich and then drop the coin in the slots and listen to the latest Jerry Lee Lewis or Fats Domino or Gene Vincent record on the jukebox. It was that jukebox I think that really hit me. It was the energy and I thought “what is it about rock and roll that I really like?” I realized it was something on the left of the piano, the base part. There were no electric basses in England at the time so I didn’t
know about electric bass, but the left-hand side of the piano and all the boogie playing was just amazing. That was the first thing that hit me. That’s when I knew I wanted to be part of music and rock ‘n’ roll. I didn’t know really how to do it, but Buddy Holly released the record called “That’ll Be the Day” and that was the pivotal moment really for me. I suddenly realized that before that all of the rock ‘n’ roll heroes were really iconic, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Gene Vincent.... they were larger than life. But he was the guy called Buddy Holly in a black evening suit with a black bowtie and wearing glasses, and singing and writing the most remarkable song. That changed me because then I learned every single Buddy Holly song I could listen to and I was very fortunate because Buddy Holly toured England and I actually saw him on stage. That moment just lasted forever for me. So much so that a couple of years ago I did an English tour and I made sure that the last concert was at Birmingham Townhall where I saw Buddy Holly. When I was standing on stage I was looking around and thinking, “only if there was another young Johnny Lodge looking at me on stage like I looked at Buddy Holly. That you stayed with me, it was a pivotal moment. I love that story. Do you remember your reaction to the first time you ever heard your music on the radio? The biggest change was in England needle time when the unions wouldn’t allow the radio stations to play records all the while. You can only play a certain
amount of records every hour. So, what the BBC in England did is they made the bands come into the studio if they wanted to get their record played and re-record their record in their studio, on a two-track machine.. can you believe it? I remember when we rehearsed “Nights In White Satin” before we recorded it obviously, but you have to remember as a bass player the prominent part for me is the bass. And the same for the drummer and the guitar. So, you only really hear your own part of that song. So, we went to the BBC studio and recorded “Nights In White Satin” and up till then I had never heard the song as a song. I just heard my bass part and the harmonies I was doing. Then we went into the control room in the studio to listen to the song for the first time and it actually did blow me away. I thought, “this is something different.” And don’t forget it was 4 1/2 minutes long as well, which was so different than anybody else at that time. It was the first time I heard the Moody Blues as a band. I heard the whole band playing “Nights In White Satin” I knew we had something different here. Still one of my favorite songs forever. What was the most trouble that you got in? I don’t think we really did. We all seemed to get out of it whatever it was. The Moody Blues were never really a band to go wrecking hotel rooms and everything like that for the simple reason if I threw a television out of the window there would be nothing to do when I came back from the gig. I think our extravagancies if we did have any as the way we wanted to tour. We wanted to tour properly. I think we were one of the first bands ever to start chartering big jet planes. At the beginning of the 70s, which I did a Boeing 707 called Starship. It was just the five of us and a road manager and probably that was it. There were seven people on these planes. I know we had a butler on the plane and a couple of stewardesses. They were bedrooms on this plane and sitting rooms on the plane. We try to make our touring as easy as possible and as enjoyable as possible. Touring in those early days was not enjoyable. The hotels were really scary. A lot of times when they saw a rock band with long hair they would close the doors. Out of all the song you’ve recorded do you have a favorite one or one you like to perform more than any other? Yes, “Isn’t Life Strange?” It’s a full-on song. Just having dinner with my wife and a couple of friends I had just bought this new baby grand piano. I suddenly heard this piano playing basically in my head. I said to my wife and my friends “excuse me I just have to go play something.” Then I went back to see everyone after about 20 minutes and I said to my wife, “I think I’ve written a new song, but I’ll have to tell you in the morning in case it’s the wine that makes me think I’ve written it.” In the morning I sat at the piano
and said, “Isn’t Life Strange?” I only had one lyric at that time. Then I just wrote the lyrics straight away. I love performing this on stage because one part of the song is just me and the cello, and then another part of this song it’s full on with everything you can think of, the kitchen sink everything, guitars, bass, drums, melatrons, choirs, everything. It’s an interesting song to perform live on stage. If you could play the soundtrack of your life what songs would be on it? “That’ll Be the Day”, “Imagine”, about 200 Bob Dylan songs, “I Saw A Shooting Star Tonight”, I love that song, “Positively 4th Street”, “If I Could Stand in Your Shoes”, ..... Bob Dylan had some great lines. I love music, I have a 1945 Wurlitzer 78 jukebox here, so I could actually name all the songs in the jukebox. Knowing what you know now. what advice would you give baby John? If you love music and you love your instrument just keep practicing, keep playing. That’s what I’ve done. Obviously over the years I might’ve gone through a bit of time where I haven’t kept playing and I always wonder “what am I doing wrong?” Then I realize
that I’m not playing. For the last 20 years I’ve taken the guitar everywhere and I play every day. That’s what I would’ve said to young Johnny. My grandson is learning guitar and clarinet and I keep saying keep practicing, and he does. I remember when I got my first guitar, I had no idea what to do as there was no rock ‘n’ roll in England and no one to teach you. You have to find out yourself. I would take that guitar to my bedroom and I would be in my bedroom every minute of the day trying to work out how to play this damn guitar. I know that you probably don’t stay up nights thinking about questions that you have never been asked and would like to be asked, but what question would you like me to ask you if you could have me ask you anything? When am I going to do my next gig? Thank you for being part of SohoJohnny Presents, the “LetMe Help Virtual Benefit Concert” on November 24th. It was a blast! I am thankful for being involved as a performer.
Simple Essentials to Maintain Your Body During this Time of Crisis As we all know, the face and characteristics of the COVID-19 is changing everyday. If you are taking a direct focus to the media, this is because there are still a lot of questions about the virus. I would like to share some essentials that could help to prevent illness before they would have a chance to manifest or become full blown. First, I must say I am not here to diagnose or treat. I am only making suggestions. If you would like to change anything with your physical or mental health, always consult your own Medical Practitioner.
Physical Health is simply connected to emotional and mental health. It is a known fact, that taking good
care of yourself is considered to be a powerful way to get a hold on your emotional and mental health your body and mind are linked together. This is one of the reason why when you develop your physical health, you will automatically experience greater emotional and mental well being. It will not just strengthen your lungs and heart, it also has the potential to release endorphins within your body. I guess, you say what are endorphins, Doc? Endorphins are powerful chemicals that are responsible for energizing the body as well as lifting the mood of people. Daily choices as well as the activities that you engage in can greatly affect the way you feel emotionally and physically. Exercise also helps to relieve stress.
Rest having enough rest and getting adequate hours of sleep is highly recommended. We need 7-8 hours of sleep every night to function optimally. Normally our bodies secrete healing hormones between the hours of 10pm and 2am while sleeping to help your body recover for the next day to run at its optimum level.
Learning Good Nutrition is important to have a well balanced diet. A lot of people are unaware of how large of a role nutrition actually plays in our mental and physical health. Just take one day at a time with it and make healthy lifestyle choices.
Sunlight get a small dose of sunlight each day. Sunlight has the ability to lift your mood. Our bodies also need the natural vitamin D that is produced by the sun.
Water is essential. Without water your body breaks down really fast. Water is responsible for maintaining skin health. Water is responsible for maintaining body balance, flushing toxins and keeping moisture in the skin. The body excretes about 2 to 3 quarts of water a day and you have to definitely replace the water that your body loses so you wont get dehydrated. But, there is a difference between dehydration from water verses electrolytes, which is very important to your body as well. So, if feel like your body has been depleted of electrolytes, you have to replace them and you can normally do that with a sport drink if the case is mild, but if you feel that it is severe, consult your doctor immediately.
Vitamins and Minerals Multivitamins provide hormone balance and strength in the immune system
to enhance healthy skin and supply energy. You can get the vitamins that you need in your dark leafy and root vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds. Minerals have many key roles that are responsible for our health. Fiber is very important for preventing constipation, which is important for maintaining intestinal health. Remember that your body is equipped to make most of the minerals that it needs, but you have to feed it great nutritional food and make healthy choices.
In closing, is the key to a Healthy Lifestyle change.
Doc Honeycutt, CTN, ND#08620, LMBT#3154, EMT, P064717 lulu.com/spotlight/DocHoneycutt1213 dochoneycutt.wix.com/mysite
JERRY DEAN A Family’s Legacy When did you first get into music? I was born in to music being from a musical family. My dad was Al Hurricane which is an icon in the New Mexico music industry. I started actually playing trumpet and guitar in his band at the age of 13 and sang a few songs here and there. Who or What inspired you to pursue a career in music? I was inspired by my family (Al Hurricane, Al Hurricane Jr., Tiny Morrie, Baby Gaby, Lorenzo Antonio) to pursue music. I also got to see (sitting 2nd row), Elvis perform in Albuquerque, NM when I was 6 years old. How has your music evolved since you first began performing/writing music? Music has evolved in itself over the past 40 years. My “roots” music (New Mexico style) doesn’t change much but other music I write has become morphed into all the musical influences through out these 40 years which include country (George Strait, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Justin Moore, etc... ), rock (Foreigner, Journey, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, etc...), pop (Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, etc...) and many other styles and artists.
I’m sure you have shared the stage with a lot of talented artists/celebrities along the way. Would you share 1 or 2 of your favorite stories with us? The most nerve racking time was when we did the “Al Hurricane Tribute” show in 2007. Sharing the stage with the artists I grew up with and my dad and grandmother sitting watching the performance
of us have to do to. I am one of those persons that really has to put in that time and work to be able to succeed the way I have for this long. How do you feel the internet has impacted the music business? The internet may have killed the CD sales, but it opened up so that all artists can get there music out there for people to see and listen to. The artists no longer have to just depend on the radio stations to get their songs heard. Now they can be heard throughout the world with the help of social media and such.
made me more nervous. I must say it was not my best performance because my voice was shaking on both songs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep0_DpaCI0w
Have you done or plan on doing any Live-stream Concerts? If you have, how has the response been from your fans? All I’ve done is a little bit of live-streaming on Facebook, no actual performances.
If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to stay in this tough business? Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why? I would have to say passion and desire drives my to stay in this business because it does not feel like work to me. It feels more like a hobby and I enjoy music and videos for the love of them
If you could change anything about the music industry. What would it be? I don’t think I would change anything.
Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in an industry overflowing with new faces and ideas? In the New Mexico music scene, I have always tried to explore newthings and was one of the first ones here to really start using YouTube, Spotify, and all these amazing musical outlets to be able to express my music as well as others to the world.
Grease - Soundtrack - One of the 1st albums I bought myself and I loved the music and movie.
What has been your biggest challenge as a musician/producer? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how? The biggest challenge I face as an artist/producer would have to be time. There is never enough time to produce and record all the music I would like to. The way I have to deal with it is sit down and tell myself to get “this” one project done. If I run into a snag (I need someone to come in and record a part, etc...), I try to finish the next song. In the end, it is a job and you have to get product out there... which is what I continue to try to do everyday. A common phrase in the industry is, “you must suffer for your art.” Do you agree with this statement? If so, how have you suffered for your art? I am not sure I would call it suffering or agree with this statement, but I would say you have to sacrifice and put in lots of time in to what you love to make it work. There are a few people that are naturally blessed with so much talent that don’t have to put in the time and work like I think most
What are the 5 albums that have helped make you the person you are today? And why? Tiny Morrie - “Lonely Letters” - I listened to this album so much as a little kid and he is my Uncle.
Elvis - “Number One’s” - The king of rock... ‘nuff said. Journey - “Escape” - The songwriting, the voice, the production... wow! Def Leppard - “Pyromania” - Mutt Lang producer, the energy, the rock out! I still have the actual albums! What is the best advise you have received? Simply believing is not enough, you have to put your beliefs into action. Tell us about your current project. Are you working on new music? An EP or Album? With the way music is working now, you don’t actually have to put out a whole album, you can put out songs one at a time now which is what I am now doing as I work on full projects. I am also working with both my sons who are recording new music. Christian Sanchez is my youngest son (17 years) and has been recording and performing since he was 6. He is now working on his 4th and 5th CD simultaneously with me producing. My oldest son Jeremy is 27 years old and just started singing and recording last December. He is also working on his 1st album and will continue to release singles till the album is done.
What’s next for you? When COVID is done, we hope to perform again at shows around New Mexico and Colorado. As well as to definitely keep putting out music and music videos. How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? https://www.facebook.com/jerrydeanonline https://www.youtube.com/user/binkmon https://twitter.com/jerrydeanonline https://music.apple.com/us/album/sentimiento/1381511088 https://www.amazon.com/Sentimiento-Jerry-Dean/ dp/B07CX4PN2Z/ref=tmm_msc_swatch_0?_ encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= https://play.google.com/store/music/album/ Jerry_Dean_Sentimiento?id=Bkp5uee5qcd5deay rmnue3k3jce https://open.spotify.com/artist/3RYey13GSv3iZv2s WNUKTL www.atlantiscds.com
Jerry Dean with his father, Al Hurricane.
Thank you and God bless you, Jerry Dean. Jerry Dean with his brother, Al Hurricane, Jr. performing together again at the big Christmas show at Sandia Resort & Casino in 2018.
BISCAY A UK Band’s Path to Success We caught up with Biscay, a 5-piece band playing a groovy hybrid of original funk/acid-jazz/soul coupled with deep/dark lyrics - in these increasingly strange times….one source of catharsis for Biscay has been this single they launched on November 1st. ‘Blame Game’ is, rather obviously, about everything that’s going on right now – a protest song about how no-one seems to be taking responsibility for anything, least of all our leaders. When did you first get into music? As if often the case, a musical family – my father and his father were both ‘good amateur’ piano players, and consequently me & my two brothers all learned instruments and sang. Music was also heavily encouraged in my schools – free instruments and 1 to 1 lessons were available (sadly no longer) along with multiple school bands. They sounded horrendous, but gave us our first opportunities. In short, both Nature and Nurture! Who or What inspired you to pursue a career in music? Burning out in Advertising helped!! As Bowie said, the great thing about aging is you eventually become the person you were always meant to be. I quit a big job at 36 and went to study at Berklee School of Music, then latterly Trinity College of Music in London, and have been on the path ever since.
How has your music evolved since you first began performing/songwriting? The big change was songwriting – up until I left Trinity everything had focused on instrumental skills and playing the ‘jazz repertoire’, I then wrote my first song in 2008 and when the guys in the then band (which was purely covers) played it, they said “we must record this”…..from that moment everything changed and the covers were steadily dropped….. I’m sure you have shared the stage with a lot of talented artists/celebrities along the way. Would you share 1 or 2 of your favorite stories with us? Certainly the scariest moment for me was debuting at Ronnie Scott’s in London 2 years back when the
singer Lianne Carroll asked me to guest with her on one night of her Xmas residency. Being aware of all the jazz greats who played there (and whose photos cover the walls) was the most intimidating experience ever…it didn’t help that as I walked on the stage I saw photos of Jeff Beck, Mike Stern and Joe Pass. Pretty scary as a guitarist - I didn’t exactly feel worthy! Given I then had to accompany Lianne solo meant mistakes were not an option. I survived. One other celeb moment was when Tim Minchin actually came to watch us at the 100 Club in London. He stayed for whole gig and insisted on buying a CD!!! If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to stay in this tough business? Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why? Passion carries you through everything – every disappointment, all the uncertainty (especially now) and all the setbacks. Passion fuels hope, the desire to improve and also means you never have to get attached to an outcome as feeling the passion is always enough. Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as an artist in an industry overflowing with new talent and ideas? The fact that our songs balance a reverence for past genres/styles whilst commenting on the human condition as it is right now is a unique dynamic. Couple this with a truly distinctive French lead singer, we are demonstrating what can happen when Europeans come together rather than separate (as you can imagine we’re passionately anti-Brexit!). What has been your biggest challenge as a performing artist? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how? The biggest challenge is undoubtedly getting exposure, especially as an unsigned artist. Standing out is not easy with minimal marketing budget, but given we’ve won the UK Songwriting Competition twice (in 2013 and 2017), we know our material is strong and getting better. Like all bands we need a bit of luck to secure a wider audience, and whilst there’s no guarantee that luck will come, we are certainly ready for it. A common phrase in the industry is, “you must suffer for your art.” Do you agree with this statement? If so, how have you suffered for your art? Of course, the hours spent practicing, writing, rehearsing, recording and accepting that in all those scenarios a lot of work HAS to go in the bin, it’s not an easy path. However, like all the good things in this world, they are worth working for – nothing good comes easy. You have to recognize that sometimes the obstacle is the way…..as Wendell Phillips said “What is defeat? Nothing but education; nothing
but the first steps to something better.” In this sense, suffering in art is essential. How do you feel the internet has impacted the music business? There’s two directly opposing sides to this – the an easy path. However, like all the good things in this world, they are worth working for – nothing good comes easy. You have to recognize that sometimes the obstacle is the way…..as Wendell Phillips said “What is defeat? Nothing but education; nothing but the first steps to something better.” In this sense, suffering in art is essential. internet has liberated millions of musicians in providing a platform for their creative output. Our music now has the potential to be heard by anyone, anywhere, anytime. Counter to this, streaming services have massively reduced the demand side of the business as supply grows exponentially. Whilst music lovers have more access than ever before and probably listen to far more, what they pay for it is now minimal. This leaves the vast ma jority of musicians left fighting over fewer crumbs, and being way more vulnerable to exploitation by a music industry that promises them the world but can (and will) take them for everything they have. A pretty challenging dilemma!! Here are the main streaming links: Spotify - http://open.spotify.com/track/3iLOVgyxmhof1JjJRQIXGs Apple Music - http://itunes.apple.com/album/ id/1536884221 iTunes – http://itunes.apple.com/album/ id1536884221?ls=1&app=itunes We’ve also produced a provocative little video, featuring your favourite fascists from yesteryear and today….find it here: https://youtu.be/XNLjzEGMFvQ Do share it, if you dig it!! 4 more singles are on their way….the next one we’ll release around Xmas 2020. Keep well all!!
We caught up with...
Jody Watley 28
Singer-Songwriter + Producer + Businesswoman One of the Architects of 21st Century Pop Music
Jody Watley, Singer-Songwriter/Producer/Businesswoman, is one of the architects of 21st century pop. From her groundbreaking marriage of rap & R&B (1987’s “Friends,” a collaboration with hip-hop legends Eric B. & Rakim) to her vision-forward marriage of high fashion, street fashion and music in the ‘80s (long before it became the norm), to her fusion of jazz and underground club culture with keen pop instincts, and the ease with which she crossed and still crosses genre, Jody Watley forged the template that is now everybody’s playbook. How did you choose the songs you write? I generally have a concept or topic I’d like to express. How has this pandemic affected you? I’ve had to face reality concerts that may not return in a longtime, so I’ve started to take this as if I’ve been forced into early retirement causing me to revise my business outlook and plans. It’s also made me want to inspire others to not give up and make the best of now moving forward despite how challenging it is. Bills don’t stop - so we can’t. Tell us about doing advocacy work for musicians and artists impacted by the pandemic? As a member of the Recording Academy I’ve been a part of being a District Advocate working with local politicians with a presence in Congress and the Senate on initiatives that are beneficial to our industry - the vast majority are self employed. It’s an ongoing process of outreach and trying to get bills passed to help.
compilations, exclusive brand partnerships. It’s fairly common now in 2020 ..it wasn’t back then in the mid 90’s. about artistry and growth - more about stock holders bottom line.. so, that was the birth of Avitone. My entertainment company is Avid Music Inc..and as an extension I came up with Avitone -- I kept thinking about fuel and energy. This thought process led to ‘Avitone Recordings’ with a mantra of ‘Fueling Quality Of Music’ - I’ve been doing that since 1995, ownership with global licensing deals ranging from exclusive releases. video games, compilations, exclusive brand partnerships. It’s fairly common now in 2020.. it wasn’t back then in the mid 90’s. Is there a difference for women today in the music business vs. when you started? Oh gosh yes. You couldn’t even be pregnant publicly then. Did you have music in your house as a kid? Yes, music has always been a staple, from Jazz to Motown, Pop Music,Folk, Funk, all of it. I understand you went to school for dance and started out as an actress. Can you tell us about the moment you realized that you wanted to do music? I actually never went to school for dance. I went to regular public school. As a child I had many dreams - to be an entertainer, design clothes, be a writer, have my own business.. I get to do all those things.
Tell us about the Jody Watley Boutique? I’ve had an online boutique for nearly two decades offering music related limited edition items. The pandemic has finally given me time to start to expand into other areas such as home and wellness. What’s it like knowing that you coined the pop culture phrase “Hasta La Vista Ba-By? It’s awesome to not just have signature hits but to be a part of pop culture like that...npt every artist can say that. You created your own label which is pretty impressive. What led you to start your own company? I was inspired by Prince when he left Warner Brother’s in the 90’s...my contract had expired with MCA, they’d been sold to a beverage company at the time. I even went to the same distributor Bellmark (owned by music legend Al Bell, Stax) as Prince that he’d used for his initial indie offering ‘The Most Beautiful Girl In The World.’ My initial offering was the R&B, Jazz, Funk conceived ‘Affection.’ Tell us about Avitone Recording, how did you come up with the name? And what’s the meaning behind it? Going independent seemed the wise choice because the industry was changing with the ma jors being less
Who are a few of the current artists that you are into now? I love Kaytranada, would love to work with him.. lend backing vocals.. whatever. I’ve done a lot of collaborations - especially by some of my fav contemporary artists, like Dam Funk and The APX. Mega commercially - I love Rihanna. She’s a badass and a fashion icon like me.. she’s been able to take it to higher heights.
What are your plans for the future? I still have so many things I’d love to achieve including a memoir, biopic, coffee table book of some of my iconic images.. expanding my new home line and beyond! I always encourage people to add to new goals and dreams - never stop! Briefly talk about the late Don Cornelius, creator of “Soul Train,” and what he meant to your career? Mr. Cornelius created such an iconic show and it’s such an honor to have been a part of the series as a teen, chosen by him to be in Shalamar and always given a platform on the show as a solo artist one of few he devoted an hour to on the show, so it’s eternal gratitude to him. From your own catalog of work, do you have a favorite album or favorite video(s)? I love and am proud of all my work.. it’s gotten better over time though, the masses tend to still connect with my early solo work when they were in high school or college - it hits differently. That’s often disappointing in a way, because people get stuck and closed off.. missing a continued evolution of an artist, songwriter, producer... but it happens to all artists, especially if you’re fortunate enough to tap into the pop culture zeitgeist. You’ve got your family, Grammys, hit-selling singles and albums, a new record, you’ve got your new single “The Healing” and are respected around the world. What’s left to accomplish? Quite a few things, more to come!
You spent many years in the ma jor label system, so what’s been the benefit of working independently? I’ve always been able to be authentic.. MCA allowed me to do that, going indie is more of that.. it’s just that it’s all investing in myself.. out of pocket, no machine, less commercial radio which is geared to younger artists and hip hop.
What do you think of someone like Rihanna whose music and style is somewhat reminiscent of yours? And do you think she is aware of you? Love love love, Rihanna! I feel like she is me and some of my fans have sent photo sessions imaging that she’s done that appear to be ‘inspired by’. She may not even be aware, but the influence is there, I know I’m studied for reference by quite a few artists and their teams back in the day and today. the public and industry evoled into the times and was ready for in the times.. edgy, fashion forward, every changing, outspoken, couture / street fashion.. and evolved into a mega business entity. Back in the day I was trying to expand into fashion, beauty etc because so many were being influenced by me... it fell upon deaf ears,meetings would fall flat. I love what she’s doing. What are your thoughts on the current rapping phenomenon? And how does your music fit into that musical landscape? My ‘Friends ft. Eric B & Rakim’ was the first Rap Song Collaboration to Crossover Top 10 on Multiple Charts - The First. We helped change the game, my vision helped shape the template in 21st Century Pop Music.. I’m a part of every artist’s playback, whether given credit for the shift or not. Can you share about your new release, ‘The Healing’? The song is very timely, especially in our current climate, what led you to write it? I was working on my ‘Spring’ EP, a follow up to ‘Winter Nights’, which came out in Feb 2020. My plan was to do a seasonal series of EP’s ‘ Winter’, ‘Spring’, ‘Summer’, Fall’ - the pandemic changed my plans of course. ‘The Healing’ is about living in the now, learning the lessons of life, personal growth and self-renewal. The song was for the ‘Spring’ EP, but once the pandemic hit and shutdown I thought this song is so timely for now. I hesitated initially for my label which I’ve had since 1995 to release it.. and then it was like - people need to hear this, even the opening line ‘I don’t know who needs to hear this..’ something often said on social media.. it’s spoken word (my third in that format) which makes it even more poignant and jarring. It’s a dance groove with an inspirational message often lacking in contemporary music. Cover Photo: Albert Sanchez MUA: @billybmakeup Channel Coat: @covetbychristo
ALEXIS BERENT Acting with a Purpose When did you first get involved in acting? I started doing community theatre while I was in elementary school and have been acting ever since. I became interested in film while in high school and began taking video classes where I could create my own short films. This led to my love of filmmaking and is why I ma jored in film studies in college. I acted in quite a few short films during my college career but I have been pursuing bigger projects since graduating this past spring. What or Who inspired you to pursue a career as an actor? From a very young age I had the performing bug. I always loved music classes and putting on little concerts and shows with my friends. My school would take us on field trips to local plays and that led to my curiosity with acting. Acting was very therapeutic and helped me express my emotions in a way that I felt comfortable. As I grew older, acting became one of my main outlets.
You have been acting since you were young. Would you share 1 of your favorite stories of being on set? My best friend Talona and I produced a few short films during our college career and some of my best memories were on those sets. The last thing we worked on was a project for one of her classes, she
wrote and directed a comedy. The character she wrote for me was very air-headed and she gave me a lot of room to improvise while filming. It was really fun to have so much freedom with a character, I usually play more serious parts so I’m not used to being so silly on camera. It was a lot of fun, there is nothing better than getting to work with people you care about. What has been your ideal character, so far? And why? My favorite character I have ever portrayed was Agnes in the play, The Shadow Box. This is an extremely emotion packed show and I often cried either during or after every performance. I love dramatic roles, I feel like those are what I do best. How has your acting evolved since you first became involved in the film industry? I’ve been acting for most of my life, but it has always been more of a hobby consisting of theatre and indie films. A few months ago I made the decision to pursue acting full time and I have zero regrets. I moved from Michigan to New Mexico because the film industry is thriving here and over the past two months I’ve had a lot of auditions and worked on multiple feature films. I’ve very quickly gone from living in a small city working on short
films to a full time actress working on something new every few weeks. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to stay in this tough business? Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why? Pride is definitely what keeps me focused. I am working in the field I have wanted to be in since I was 8 years old, not a lot of people can say that. I refuse to give up on my dreams just because they are hard to reach. Over the years I’ve had a lot of people make me feel like I am pursuing something unattainable and I owe it to myself to prove them wrong. I have worked too hard to give up on myself. Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in an industry overflowing with new faces and ideas? I think I bring a certain charisma to set that makes me stand out. I’m enthusiastic and passionate about all areas of filmmaking, which I have been told is refreshing by a lot of people I have worked with in the past. I care about the creative process and do my best to make sure everyone on set is comfortable and having fun. What has been your biggest challenge as an actor? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how? I have anxiety, which has caused a lot of problems for me as an actress. I get panic attacks that come suddenly and can be very hard to control, so stressful situations such as auditions and callbacks can occasionally freeze me up. Over the years, I have learned how to control my anxiety as best as I can. While I still struggle from time-to-time, I am getting better at coping with it. A common phrase in the industry is, “you must suffer for your art”. Do you agree with this statement? If so, how have you suffered for your art? I definitely agree, nothing made with passion comes easily. I have suffered emotionally and physically while acting. Fifteen to twenty-hour work days are not for the light hearted. There is so much happening behind the scenes that most audience members would never think of, life on set is not nearly as glamorous as some would imagine.
What is the best advice you have received? The absolute best advice I’ve ever gotten is “fake it ‘till you make it.” This is an extremely hard industry to break into, and it is very easy to get discouraged. The worst thing you can do is give up when times get tough. Confidence is everything, and it is critical to walk into every audition at your best. No matter what is currently going on in your life you need to ignore outside factors and focus on the moment your character is in, nothing else matters in that moment. What projects are you currently working on... that you can talk about? My boyfriend and I have gotten very lucky and have had the chance to work on a lot of sets together. Over the past few weeks we’ve worked as PA’s on some feature films being filmed in New Mexico. I have a small role I’m currently preparing for but I don’t think I can talk about any details until it’s out. The main thing I’m working on right now is myself and getting established in a new city 1,600 miles from where I grew up. What’s next for you? I recently signed with Mitchell & Associates Talent, so I am hoping to start auditioning for bigger roles in the near future. There are a lot of big projects coming to the area so I am hoping to get the opportunity to work on some of those. How can fans-to-be follow your career? I am fairly active on social media so the best way to keep up with what I am working on would be to follow me on Instagram @alexisberent or to keep up with my IMDB page. I try to keep both updated as much as possible. I appreciate all of the love that I have received from people in the local industry and I’m hoping to keep making new connections.
If you could change anything about the film industry, what would it be? There is a lot I would like to see changed. I would love to see diversity on screen keep expanding, more films with minorities that aren’t being stereotyped and more female lead films that can pass the Bechdel test. More diversity behind the scenes is extremely important as well, in order to keep growing the film industry, we need to hire filmmakers with differing backgrounds and life experiences.
AJDA STINA TUREK Artist on the Rise How long have you been singing and doing jazz and blues? Everything started in 2010, when I enrolled in a Conservatory of music and ballet in Ljubljana, Slovenia. I was studying Jazz singing for four years. At that time, I started exploring a lot of jazz and blues music. In the beginning, I listened, of course, to a lot of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Kurt Elling, Betty Carter, Bill Evans, and Chet Baker. One of my favourite singers/artists then and now are still Eva Cassidy and Ray Charles because of the soul in their singing. You can feel every single note they sing. What got you to write songs? (childhood trauma, happiness, money? Rarely happiness got me to write the songs. When I moved to America to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2014, it was the first time I was alone somewhere and far away from home. I was 20 years old and everything was so new to me. I needed to become an adult from overnight. I missed home and I felt lonely, though I had friends there. It was also very hard financially since I did not get the job for at least a year. Because of the way I felt, I started writing lyrics and then full songs. It helped me to feel better.
Later, I also got inspired by the different life stories that people I met told me or by the current events like the start of a Black Lives Matter movement and the European Immigration Crisis.
Well, your positive mindset and voice shine brighter than the sun in my eyes! Another single I was curious about was “Sonder,” where did you come up with that name. Thank you so much! In 2018, I released my debut EP “Sonder”, a set of original compositions featuring 30 musicians from all over the world. This EP describes the 4 years of my life in Boston. It was a rollercoaster of emotions and I sometimes felt like I was the only person who had problems and was sad until I started to talk to my friends about it and I noticed we were all going through some issues in life and nobody’s life is perfect. The meaning of the word “Sonder” is “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” That just felt like a perfect title for my EP. Can you give a behind the scenes perspective on the overall experience of making the song? Sometimes it is hard to write, and then sometimes it feels so easy and natural. How I do it is I sit in a coffee shop with my computer and I start writing the lyrics. I sit there until I finish and that sometimes means a few hours. At least 3-5. Then I would go home and sit behind the piano and play different chords and try to sing the lyrics over, try to find the melody to the song. That would take a few days. I would get back to the song every few days to find fresh ideas or to play with something I am not satisfied with. It is a long process to get to the final version of the song, but when you do it is a good
Professional songwriters spend years on their craft. Why not use their songs? I actually love to sing songs from other artists. As a jazz vocalist you start by learning houndreds of Jazz standards, so all you do for a couple of years is studying other artists’ songs and trying to make them a little yours too by changing few notes or tempo or few chords etc... What is better about a song that is sung by the writer? If you are singing your lyrics, you know exactly why you wrote them and how you felt when you did. You know the back-story so the emotions can be very strong and the audience can feel the strong energy when you perform the song. In addition, you can sing it freely, changing the melody anytime you want because it is your song. You can do whatever you feel with it. feeling, you feel accomplished. Then sometimes I start writing the song and I never finish it just because it does not work. The fun part then is to record the song and collaborate with different artists who also bring some fresh ideas to your song, so the song at the end sounds great! That is my favorite part - when I hear the song produced.
Are you more of a singer or more of a songwriter? I am more of a singer, but I also do like to write songs, maybe not as often as I like to sing. You can wake me up in the middle of the night and ask me to sing, I will do it, which I cannot say for the songwriting. I do not practice writing every day but only write when I feel it.
Describe to us the first time you wrote a song? I was sitting on my bed in Boston. I remember I was feeling very lonely; I missed my home in Slovenia so much. It was in December, so the Christmas lights were on and it was cold and snowy outside. I was sitting in the dark, looking through the window, and there it was in my thought, the first line of the song: “It’s winter outside and inside of me”. I got inspired in a second, so I took my notebook and wrote the lyrics with the melody. The title of the song is “Such Long Time Ago” and you can find it on my EP “Sonder”.
Singing in different languages may sound easy, but that’s not a feat everyone can achieve. How did you get to this point in your career? I love languages! The sound of them. I speak Slovene, English, and Spanish, and I used to understand Italian and knew some Portuguese words, just because I have friends from all over the world. Since I have been studying jazz singing, I needed to study many Brazilian songs from Tom Jobim, Djavan, Gilberto Gil, etc… and whenever I was doing classical repertoire; I was learning Italian, German and French. I think I just have an ear for languages and being exposed to so many international friends and listening to them speaking their native language helped me.
Who gave you the support to keep writing in the beginning? Who did you play the early songs for? I think I got the support from my roommates, whom I would show the songs to and they would give me advice and suggestions on how to make it sound better. I also think my harmony teacher at that time had a lot to do with it because he would give us monthly writing assignments, where we would need to compose a melody with cool chord progressions and different forms. What do you feel like when you play one of your songs and people applaud? Is it an affirmation or an irritation? It is scary to perform your songs sometimes because, of course, you want people to love it and accept it and it might not happen that way, but I am grateful that my songs were and that people find themselves in the lyrics too. For me, it is an affirmation and it pushes me to write more.
Timing is everything! What was the feeling like when you performed these songs for the first time?. The feeling was magical when you get the applause of course but before that, it is kind of scary, haha. You do your best but cannot escape the thought that people might not like it. You’ve been doing this independent thing for some time now, and the music business has changed a lot since you came out. How do you continue to adapt to this changing culture, especially in this digital-driven world? Well for me, it was hard since I am not a person who would want to spend a lot of time on social media promoting myself and my music but I am working on it because I know that now this is the only way to get your music out there and to stay connected to
people. Especially now during COVID, I am trying to post cover songs every single day. It is good to keep myself busy since there are no concerts now, to keep practicing the styles I usually do not sing and to broaden my repertoire.
What other artists do you love in your musical space? I listen to many different artists and do not have a favorite one. Some of the artists I like to listen to now are Gregory Porter, Daniel Caesar, Beyonce, Erykah Badu, Ricky Dillard & New G.
From a marketing standpoint, what are you doing differently today than you weren’t doing five years ago? The only thing I am doing differently is that I’m being more daring and confident as I was before and try not to care as much as what people think of me but believing in myself and pushing forward no matter what.
Your music is similar to a lot of these artists: What keeps you motivated in this soul genre? I would love to know if you find any similarities to other artists. I was figuring that out already. You know I heard one of the important questions an artist should know how to answer is also which artist is similar to you, and I do not know the answer to that question. Since I have listened to a lot of different music, when I write, I write very diverse. That is why my EP is not just jazz, but it is also blues/rock’n roll, Latin, soul, and RnB.
So, how do you stay creative without being frustrated in this industry? Well, it is hard! Especially, if you are doing something different and not something that is currently trending. I think the most important thing is the people you surround yourself with, who support you, give you the push to move forward, and do not give up. My parents are my biggest supporters. As an artist, outside of growing your fan base and touching more people, why do you continue to push forward? I think if I did not have music and if I was not able to sing I would not be happy. I cannot imagine myself working in an office every day from 9 am – 5 pm. I experienced it and I was getting very frustrated. I like to have my schedule and create my day, well maybe I do not get a monthly salary, but I am still happy because I love what I do.
So, what’s next for Ajda Stina Turek? In these coming months, I will be recording a duo album with a vibraphone player Vid Jamnik, here in Slovenia. There are going to be both originals and some jazz standards on the album. Plans are also to pursue a Music Master Degree in the following year, do not know where yet, but I am open to many options. WEBSITE: www.a jdastinaturek.com INSTAGRAM: @a jdastinaturek FACEBOOK: @a jdastinaturek SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4lULe2XofpyUMm2zYonXoQ YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmv-BndVbofENZ5Jp0DFPWQ?view_as=subscriber
a.k.a. Jay Elle Music
Jay Elle Music, also known as Mandy Savage, is an American singer/songwriter from New York City. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Jay Elle’s love for music began at the age of 5. She has garnered some attention on social media for her fun, outspoken personality, girl power stance and no-filter attitude. As her namesake, she is a savage; Not just in personality, but as a performer and artist as well.
What are some of the biggest problems you have encountered in this journey of music? Wow. there are so many things that I’ve encountered in the industry, so I don’t think I can pinpoint one thing.
How did you get the name Mandy Savage? I made it up (lol). You know, I’m a savage kinda girl and its a play on the name Randy Savage, like the old school wrestler (lol).
What is the name of your last album and how did you come up with the name? I’ve technically never released an album, but the last project that I released is called, “The Notorious JAY”. The name came basically because I did a mixtape of remixes to all Notorious BIG songs. I’m working on new music now for my EP and my next mixtape Radio 3.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry? I’ve just always loved music and performing and entertaining people. It started from childhood. My parents would always have talent competitions amongst me and my siblings and my cousins, so it just continued from there. The love for performing.
Being a musician, what do you enjoy the most about it? Just creating. That’s definitely the best part. It just feels amazing.
What or who inspires you to write music? Everything inspires me to write. Love, personal
my older sister. So, lots of 90’s R&B, some old, old school stuff like, Marvin Gaye and Hip Hop of course. Who are some of your music influences? Wow, I have so many influences just for artistry alone, not necessarily for my sound, but definitely for artistry I would say, Michael Jackson. Do you have social media? Of course. Everyone can follow me on Instagram: @jayellemusic FOLLOW JAY ELLE WWW.JAYELLEMUSIC.COM WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/JAYELLEMUSIC WWW.SOUNDCLOUD.COM/JAY-ELLE-MUSIC Photos by @williamssophia15 Wardrobe by @laurenthestylist_
experiences, things going on in the world, other people’s experiences, just life in general. Are you planning on any collaboration with any artist and if so who and why? I don’t have any planned right now, but hopefully soon I’ll have some dope collabs to tell everyone about. Which is the best song you have ever released and why? Hmmm, thats a good question. I love all my music (lol). I’m sensitive about my stuff. But, if I had to pick my favorite, I won’t say best, I’d say favorite released to date would be “Commitment Issues”, because of how personal it is. What is the message you want to give your fans and our readers? My message is always be authentically you. Be true to yourself, love yourself and stay savage! How did you learn to sing, write, and play music? I’m self-taught. I like challenging myself, so I put in the work to progress my talents. If it wasn’t for your music career, what would you be doing right now? I would probably be an attorney (lol). What album did you grow up listening to? I listened to whatever my Mom was listening to or
DEAN K. PIPER a.k.a. “The Pipeman™” Dean K. Piper, CST, aka “The Pipeman™” is an International Radio Personality, Marketing Master, Publicist, Promoter, Published Author, Speaker, Coach, and Trainer. Pipeman also travels the world on The Pipeman Radio Tour doing press coverage, red carpets and interviews at concerts, festivals, award shows, premieres, seminars, conferences, and conventions. Pipeman has been coined the King of All Festivals by one of the top publicists in the music industry. Dean is the owner/founder of Talk 4 Media & Pipeman Productions globally recognized as a top ranked full-service ecofriendly multimedia network and marketing firm. I had an opportunity to speak to The Pipeman about his life, career and media empire, here are excerpts from our discussion. What drives you? There are many things that drive me. I have a multifaceted personality with goals in a variety of areas. Drive is just something that is within me. I don’t even try or think about it. It is a part of me. If I was going to answer with actual terms of what drives me it would be a multitude of things such as passion, changing lives, helping others, making a difference, doing for those I love, living life to the fullest, experiencing all I can, knowledge, money, and being #1.
How did you become interested in the entertainment industry? I have always been interested in the Entertainment Industry starting from first grade when I started playing drums and then started writing plays shortly thereafter, as well as performing in school plays with multiple roles. Throughout grammar school and
middle school, I also participated in the school band and orchestra as a percussionist playing a variety of instruments. Then, in 1980, I moved to California and started High School. I switched from Drums to starting to learn guitar. However, as someone who was an overachiever working full-time while going to school there was no time to practice instruments, so I never really was very good. Regardless, music was still a ma jor passion. I met this clerk at a record store called Oz Records in the valley. That clerk was the owner of Metal Blade Records, Brian Slagel. It was from meeting him that I got introduced to the Sunset Strip and the start of the Eighties Metal Scene. Not only did I love the music, but I just immersed myself in the scene. It became a part of me deep in my soul. I have so many experiences and stories from that time that I took with me, but then I took a turn. I moved back to NJ where I came from to attend Rutgers University. It was at that point in my life that my focus turned to education and business. That lead me to being involved in the investment & insurance business. I then got married and had children. However, creativity was still inside of me, so I started attending the Academy of Dramatic Arts in NY while also owning and operating a financial planning business and being very involved in family life. This was also where both worlds tied together to lead me where I am today while bringing me back to my roots. This is because I hosted my own radio show at a large radio station in NY to support my financial business. As years went by my interests started to divert away from investments and into taking the stage as a Speaker both empowering and entertaining people with my self-help philosophies. Radio was also a large part of this as I hosted multiple radio shows to spread my message and help people across the globe. Then I saw the vision of where the media industry was heading at a time which was the infancy of the Internet, cell phones, and Social Media. That vision lead me to launch my first radio station known as W4CY Radio. My radio stations were an extension of the motivational and business part of me focusing on talk and what would today be called podcasting. After a time of building my network and reputation, I started to expand to my true passion of Music & Entertainment and The Pipeman was born. What do you look for in a guest? There are many things I may look for in a guest depending on various needs and desires. I am a chameleon as a show host that looks to inform,
empower, and entertain while also promoting those I believe in. My guests combine the many sides of me from music to business to empowerment to spirituality, with many causes that help the world and humankind. My goals are to help guests with their goals while also helping our listeners. The simple answer is I look for guests who are truly passionate about what they do and have a desire to help and/or entertain others. These guests also must match my passions and be congruent with what I like and believe in. Do you have an ultimate goal? I am a very goal-oriented person. Therefore, I have many goals in a variety of areas. However, the ultimate goal is to dominate the media world with a positive message driven to help all humans globally. My mission is to reach as many people as possible and provide them what they need for success, freedom, and happiness. Additionally, my ultimate goal is to be a household name that leaves a legacy of making a difference through my voice on the radio. Who were your influences growing up and what or who are they now? Well the first funny answer is that my influences as a child were TV shows like Leave it to Beaver and The Brady Bunch. Then as I entered pre-teens my influences were people like Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar which those and many others like them still are to this day. I would also add that my Father was a huge influence when it came to my drive in business and sales. During my teenage years, music had a ma jor influence in my life that is still with me today even in my business life. During my young adult years, I had many mentors in business that influenced me in a multitude of ways. I believe we have
many influencers throughout our life in the various stages and I am no different. Tell us about your empire? Well that would certainly depend on what you wanted to know. The most important thing though is that I had a vision when others didn’t. I saw the future and executed a plan that was ahead of the curve. I am where I am because of being willing to risk it all with nothing to fall back on due to the belief in that vision. I brought something new and fresh to the industry and created opportunities that would not normally appear. Along the path we have helped many people in their journey and my plan is to keep doing that. As much as we have accomplished, there is so much more to do and so many more goals to build on. It is only the beginning. My goal when I started was to be above the rest in every way. There is still a lot more work to do in the mission to use my voice and abilities to create a better world for all of us and future generations through our medium. If I could ask you any question on the planet what would it be and how would you answer? What is something you still believe in and desire yet many you know believe does not exist? Love . . . The fairy tale. Who is on your bucket list to interview? Wow, I have done at least 2000 interviews, there are many bucket lists I have done already and there are still so many more on my list. So, let me give you my top 12 and not necessarily in this order that are left or else we will be here all day. • • • • • • • • • • • •
Ozzy Osbourne Mike Tyson Amy Lee Jessica Alba Sylvester Stallone Oliver Sykes Tony Robbins Will Smith Jennifer Love Hewitt Megan Fox Oprah Winfrey Lady Gaga
What is your advice to the planet if you could get them to listen to you? Let’s all unite together throughout the world to love and help each other to be a better race … the human race. Final comments? Through our differences we can all become more well-rounded human beings learning from each other from the variety of knowledge and experience we have acquired. Through our commonalities we can
join together and achieve greatness. Oh, and make sure to listen to The Adventures of Pipeman plus follow and engage with @pipemanradio on all socials. Together, let’s take a Journey to Success, Freedom, and Happiness! The Adventures of Pipeman Radio Show is broadcast live every day 10am ET- Noon ET on W4CY Radio (https://www.w4cy.com) , W4VET Radio, and K4HD Radio (https://www.k4hd.com) part of Talk 4 Radio on the Talk 4 Media Network (https://www.talk4media.com). This podcast is also available on Talk 4 Podcasting (https://www.talk4podcasting.com).
KID NEBRASKA For the Love of Music How did you get influenced by the music industry in the early days of your life? When I was really young, my dad won tickets to a concert from a local radio station. I think the name of the group was “Reality Check.” They were a hip hop group, and it was the first concert I’d ever attended. They were dancing and rapping and doing backflips off the stage, and it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. I was hooked. From then on, music was a huge part of my life.
lot of self-doubt, there are people telling you you’re wasting your life, there are people telling you you suck (even if you don’t). It’s difficult to filter out the signal from the noise. Pile on the fact that you never make enough money and most music careers die before they ever get started. I sort of gave up after my first serious band broke up. We’d been together
Who inspired you to be apart of the music industry? My biggest inspirations were Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. At the time I was playing guitar, but not all that seriously. Then, one day I heard Jonny Lang on the radio. At first I thought, “Eww, that’s old people’s music,” but then the DJ said he was 15 years old. When I heard that, I immediately went to the record store and bought his album “Lie to Me” and the book of guitar tabs for the album, and I learned it front to back. In that same time frame “Blue on Black” by Kenny Wayne Shepherd started playing on the radio and it was the coolest thing I’d ever heard. After hearing that, I went back to the record store and bought “Trouble Is” and the book of guitar tabs, and that’s where much of my style developed. What are some of the biggest problems you have encountered in this journey of music? Being a musician is not a peaceful journey. There’s a
for 8 years and toured all over the country. If I couldn’t make it with them I didn’t think I could make it with anyone, but the itch never went away. I was still writing and practicing even without a band, and eventually after the sting of the break up subsided, I got serious about making music again. Since then, I’ve been living the dream. Being a musician what you enjoy the most about it? I love making music. For me, there’s not much better than playing a great show. One of my biggest goals in life is to be a great musician and performer, and there’s no better way to do that than to play lots and lots of shows. Even if I never get my picture in the Rolling Stone, if I can keep playing lots of shows and progressing as a guitarist, singer, and songwriter, I’ll be happy. What is the name of your last album and how did you come up with the name? “It’s About Time” is the name of my most recent release. I came up with the title because I’d been playing music professionally for many years, but always as the guitarist for other artists. I knew I was a decent singer and songwriter and I’d wanted to record my own stuff for many years, but never built up the courage to do so. When I finally did, the name just seemed to make sense. It’s also the title of a track on the album I consider one of the most honest songs I’ve ever written, and one I hope will inspire other people to have the courage to follow their own dreams before they run out of time. What or who inspires you to write music? My wife is a big inspiration for a lot of my music. She inspires all of my love songs in some form or another, and she also inspires my angry songs and my drinking songs. When you’re with someone long enough, you’ll run through every range of emotions with them and whether she likes it or not, I write about them all. I’m also very inspired by my audience. I really want to make music people enjoy listening too. Isn’t that kind of the point? When I’m crafting a song, my audience is at the forefront of my mind. I want to invoke as many emotions from them as possible. As long as you can make someone feel something with your music, you’ll continue to have a career. Are you planning on any collaboration with any artist and if so who and why? I love collaborating with other artists and my goal is to bring in guest artists for every project I create. “It’s About Time” is full of collaborations, first and foremost with my band; Travis Muzney on drums, Jon Packard on bass and Todd Laird on guitar, mandolin and cello. These guys are so good I just let them do their thing and the songs are better because of it. Beyond that, I brought in my friend Taylor Madden to direct and produce the music
video for “Go” and he killed it. The video itself stars my friend Becca Daigle, who’s a badass martial artist, as well as several other martial artist friends of mine. For the album artwork I had my buddy Logan Bartels of Bartels Creative do the design and for the track “Don’t Need Much,” I had my friend Elizabeth Becker record some amazing background vocals. For my next album I already have two duets written, one with my buddy Dylan Bloom in mind and another with a fantastic local singer named Sarah Land, and I’m hoping that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Which is the best song you have ever released and why? I would say “Go” really struck a chord with people. I knew it was a good song when I finished it, but the success of the music video far surpassed my expectations. Personally I think the song “It’s About Time” was a big step for me so I’m probably most proud of that one. What is the message you want to give your fans and our readers ? If you like a musician, let them know you support them. Go follow them on Instagram, go like their Facebook page, and go stream their music as much as possible. Even if you never spend a dime on their art, those little steps can help them earn the money they need to keep going. It’s been difficult for musicians to earn a living for quite a while, but 2020 has taken it to another level. Your support means the world.
How did you learn to sing, write, and play music? I’m mostly self-taught with spurts of instruction here and there. I had some voice lessons very early on, but stopped singing for a long time before I started again later in life. For guitar I started learning on my own and took lessons here and there from different instructors. As for songwriting, it’s always been something I’ve enjoyed. My mom has a tape of me from when I was 5 or 6 years old singing a song I wrote called “She’s My Favorite Girl.” I also remember writing a song called “Paper Crane” around the same time. I’d started a “band” with some girls down the street and we called ourselves “The Colorado Rockers” though I’m not sure why, considering we lived in Nebraska. If it wasn’t for your music career, what would you be doing right now ? I’d probably be making a lot more money doing something a lot less fun. I’m currently a Jiu Jitsu and self-defense instructor, so I’d probably.
be doing more of that. What album did you grow up listening to? The first album I ever bought was “Michael Jackson: Bad” and the second and third albums were a Beach Boys Greatest Hits album and a Kenny G album. I was all over the board. It wasn’t until I found the blues that I fell in love with a genre. Who are some of your music influences? I’m influenced by all the great guitarists I grew up listening too. Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd started me on the path. From there I found Stevie Ray Vaughan, one of my biggest influences. After that it was a Native American blues band called “Indigenous” and all the brilliant blues legends like Muddy Waters, BB King, Albert Collins, and Buddy Guy. Do you have social media? Yes. You can find me on Instagram @kid.nebraska and on Facebook.com/kidnebraska
TA’J Taking the Right Foot Forward Who and/or what inspired you to pursue an acting career? I started acting at the age of eight years old. I took acting classes to see if I would like it and I enjoyed it. I said I can do this and went for it. I thought it would be really cool to see myself on tv one day. I really got into it and was inspired when my family saw the potential I had to succeed in this industry. My acting coach would always say to my mom after class, this guy is going to be something.
Now, I see going forward four years later GOD continues to bless my career every year to a different and higher level. I have been able to see myself on many tv shows, commercials, documentaries and movies and I know that is because my mother did not allow us to turn down anything but our collars. God has truly blessed me within a short period of time the opportunity to work on some amazing projects and with amazing productions, cast and crew members. I love the path GOD is leading my career to. No limits.
Do you have a favorite aspect of the various disciplines of acting? If so, what is that and why? My favorite aspect of the various disciplines of acting is preparing to become the character for the role you are betraying because it helps me to have to come out of my comfort zone sometimes which helps to build me for new roles. Another favorite aspect for me is improving because it allows me to speak freely whatever comes to mind but at the same time it needs to flow and make sense with the storyline you are trying to display which helps to keep your brain sharp and on your toes. You have already played many roles throughout your acting career, which one(s) were the most fun for you and why? I would say the most fun role was the Sammy’s fish box commercial because everybody there was so nice, the set was super organized, the food at Sammy’s was delicious and it was a Christmas commercial which is one of my favorite holidays. Other fun
roles for me was the Good Morning America commercial because the staff and crew was super nice, professional and that was also relating to Christmas. The Bic commercial which the staff and crew made it fun and was professional, plus we received a lot of Bic supplies and it educated us on what teachers sometimes have to experience when teaching us which was not easy. My most recent role I really enjoyed was the documentary for Mr. Kai Green which is a professional body builder for those who do not know of him. I really enjoyed working with the cast and crew because they were very professional and have very loving spirits. I really loved and enjoyed the loving knowledge, generosity and support Mr. Green and Miss Pauline poured into me. I am forever grateful for that and thank GOD for placing them in our lives. What is the best piece of advice you have received on set and from whom? Best advice I’ve ever had was from my mom, because my mom always told me, when people see you I want them to see GOD through you to know where your blessings come from. She also says, ”It might take a thousand no’s to get that 1 big yes.”. She always says to me stay focused and remain professional at all times because you never know who is watching. Another piece of advice she gives me is what we put in is what we will get out of it so we are not waiting for anything, we have to go and get it. Her favorite advice is, work hard now so I can play harder later. You recently played a role in the Reebok CROSSED UP, Heart Over Hype commercial with Josh Richardson. What was your reaction when you first saw your promotional picture hanging in Foot Locker? I was excited and overjoyed because whenever I got sneakers from Foot Locker I would always see pictures of other people hung up, and say to myself I would love to walk in Foot Locker one day and see a picture of myself and look what GOD did, he allowed it to happen for me. It was at that moment I felt blessed and highly favored. The staff showed so much love which made it even more special for me. They asked me to autograph my name on the picture which I did. They were even shocked because they said “we thought people in these photos are in California” and my mom said “nope we are right here in our community representing”. How did you feel when you saw that same Reebok promotion playing on the Big Screen in Times Square? I was super excited because it happened unexpectedly. Even the person who hired me for the job had no idea that Footlocker was going to release it on Times Square. I felt like that was a big opportunity for me, And I always say, It feels good to do acting, but it’s gonna feel even better when you see your work come to life. My mom said we have to go to NY just to see it for ourselves. It was then when it really
hit me, standing under the monitor with myself flashing on it that I realized what my mother says all the time is true. What we put in is what we will get out of it and hard work pays off. I thank GOD so much for his blessings. What are the positive affects, if any, has the current situation with the global COVID-19 pandemic had on you as an actor? The only positive affects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on me as an actor is, that it is allowing me to sharpen my skills and keeping my profiles updated to continue to be successful in the entertainment industry. Do you have a producer, director, or actor/actress that you would really love to work with? If so, who and why? I would really love to work with Denzel Washington, because when I am on set sometimes, they call me little Denzel, and I know if we did something together, It would be a great film. My mother and brother often listen to some of his motivational speeches which continues to inspire me. The most inspiring speech for me is when he spoke at the awards and said, without commitment you will never start and without consistency you will never finish, it’s not easy, if it
were easy there would be no Denzel Washington or little Denzel (lol), fall down 7 times and get up 8. My favorite words are when he said “ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship”. It all makes sense because it lines up with the quotes my mother always instills in me. You were most recently nominated for Best Actor in a Short Film Role at the 41st Annual Young Artists Academy Awards and YOU WON. First of all, we would like to offer our sincerest Congratulations and second, how does that make you feel or has it had time to really “sink in” yet? Thank You! It didn’t really sink it yet for me, but the future awaits! I know as I grow in this business I will realize how huge this is. I know it is huge, it just has not sunk in yet like it should, but it will. How do you think winning this Best Actor Award will impact your future in the acting business? I feel like sooner or later, this is gonna have a big impact on my life, and change everything. I do realize this is where stars are made. Actors and actresses such as: Leonardo Dicaprio, Regina King, Scarlett Johansson just to name a few, began here. This will open up many opportunities and doors for me. The Young Artists Awards are the Mini Oscars which is huge. My mother says this speaks volume and carries a lot of weight and we thank GOD for the blessing. What words of encouragement would you offer a young person who is considering becoming an actor or actress? Don’t be scared to fail. It’s ok to fail because you learn from your mistakes and get better! Stay constant, Keep striving, grinding, and hustling. and always stay moving! When starting out, don’t turn down anything but your collar. This is the rule my mother stood by starting out because it is about branding and getting your name out there. She always says it is not about the money because the money will come and we will never sell our souls. Impossible is I’m possible!!!! What quality would you most like to be “know for” and “remembered by” in the field of acting? The 3 qualities I would like to be known for are: personality, character, and confidence. I believe I am being recognized for those qualities already because directors have said they see those qualities right through the photos when submitting for roles. What do you like to do for fun in your spare time? I like going outside, socializing with friends, playing sports, video games, spending time with family .learning how to cook, and traveling. Where can our readers find you on Social Media and other Digital Platforms? You can find me on Instagram and Twitter; @therealta j1 and LinkedIn: ta’j-boyd-blain-906398193
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