LIFE EXPERIENCES inspire me to create music and my love for interacting with people inspires me to perform.
And how is your approach when you’re in creative mode?
I may start with piano or Dana may start with some guitar chords. Other times, the lyrics come first. It really varies.
2. How did you and Dana ‘BigDane’ Johnson connect and when it comes to working together, how important is the chemistry and/or approach you have to the music being created? Read more…
Music is one of the only constants that has and will probably always exist for us as a society. Be it the sounds of nature or the rhythms of early tribes or the nursery rhymes we hear from the lips of our mothers and grandmothers growing up. Whether melodies, the timing of the songs or anything associated with music, it will stay a part of our lives.
The thing that may change is how and/or where we hear it. This is where radio plays an important part in our everyday lives. Radio is still an integral part of the human experience. At one point in time, we’d only have one place to consume it.
Not anymore. With us being able to listen it to it online, on our phone and if we are lying down in bed at home, we can bring it up on the television screen. And for this reason, Helen Little, will always be relevant and have a place where we can hear her voice. On any weekday afternoon, you can turn on New York’s 106.7’s LiteFM or go online, no, scratch that, click on your smartphone app and catch her on iHeartRadio.
Little took a moment to speak to The Industry Cosign about how the landscape of radio has changed, penning her first novel and transitioning between industries. Read more…
1-Who is Peze and what is his Glory?
I can describe myself as a young man who has experienced more than the average person. Since the age of 14, I’ve been a soldier in the streets that is a jungle full of lions and tigers. Poverty and drugs destroyed my life as a kid because I had drug-addict parents and my mother died before I was 1 yrs old. My glory is to heal from my wounds and grow as an artist. I want to share my life through music and invite people to listen to what goes on in the streets and how kids are surviving poverty.
2-What advice would you share with other artists in small towns about creating a buzz?
My advice to other artists is that you need to make sure that everyone in your small town know who you are and grow from there. Get into social networks and use social media to promote your music. Hit the bigger cities and meet people who can share your music and talk about your movement. Try to work with other artists and make great music. Read more…
My biggest accomplishment would have to be my recent project, HSN. I say this because of the backstory behind this project. I met an Italian DJ/producer, who happens to be female, through Facebook. After a few email exchanges, we decided to work together. The result was HSN. Now the story may end there for a lot of female independent artist, but not for me. I believed in this project so much that I went to Italy and recorded a video there with her and Tayma (another Italian artist). Just having to take the initiative, alone, to carry my passion overseas on MY DIME, to me, is a huge accomplishment. Not to mention this is a female led, produced, written, funded and recorded project. That particular combination, Italian/American, Female Producer/Female Songwriter/Female Artist/, Female funded, anyway you slice it up, it is rare and special. This leads me to what I am proud of most days…it would have to be the successful transition to the dance/pop world. It has always been a LOVE of mine and now with genres of music being more blurred than ever, I am more accepted in the EDM world. I can really say I did it MY WAY!
2. Go back 5 years, what did you think you would be doing now when you were planning ahead and did you achieve whatever goals you had or did you surpass them or is this completely different than what you were thinking? Read more…
We all have career goals and dreams that we usually pursue and then try to accomplish. Of course, life throws us curves or we change direction for whatever reason and sometimes, it works out better for us long term when this happens and then we shape our lives in a way that we didn’t imagine or anticipate.
This is where Nicole Chaplin enters. After taking the typical college route and landing a position right away, something happened that changed her career path and it has really taken off for the young personal trainer. She has focused in a different direction and not only does it continue to help her, it essentially helps even more people than herself and it is fulfilling for her.
1. You were once an industry executive at Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam and now you are a celebrity personal fitness trainer. How did you first become involved in the entertainment industry and what made you decide to become a personal trainer?
I graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Marketing and a minor in Music Business and Entertainment. I moved to NYC immediately after graduation and by God’s grace I landed an assistant position within a week at Geffen Records. Shortly after, I was at BMI then Roc-A-Fella came about. I decided to become a personal trainer after Roc-A-Fella because I noticed my lifestyle encompassed more health and wellness then anything else and with ease, personal training became a career and it fits me like a glove. Read more…
One of the things that shape our lives is finance (Or the lack of it) and it seems as if a lot of people don’t have theirs in order. You can have intelligence and talent, yet, still fail in terms of keeping and/or making money. It seems that although Blacks have tremendous spending power, we somehow, don’t manage our money in a way that would be even more beneficial for our community.
Ash Cash is a banking professional who is doing his due diligence to not only educate his community on the benefits of being financially responsible but, he is also doing his best to spread motivational inspiration through quotes and statements. An author as well, he is helping to better situate people financially, emotionally, as well as helping people understand how to make their money work for them.
1. As a banking professional, what are the biggest errors you’ve noticed, specifically in the Black community, that people make when it comes to finances? Read more…
Fear, panic and anxiety affects people in various ways. Some aren’t capable of coming back after experiencing any of those, while some bounce back even better after the emotional turmoil. In 2009, Raychelle LeBlanc contributed to an anthology titled “How The Fierce Handle Fear” which detailed her struggles with fear. She won the battle against severe panic attacks and anxiety attacks in the 90s and her strength had been renewed so much that now she became a certified life and wellness coach, helping others along the way.
The PR/Marketing Executive has added author to her resume as she continues to guide those who need to be guided whether through her marketing prowess or if they need life advice that will help put them on the right track. Either way, the Atlanta resident can help you!
1. You’ve been involved in the entertainment industry for a number of years now. What does it take to have longevity in this fickle industry? Read more…
In this fickle environment that we currently have in the music industry, we are always complaining about hearing ‘real’ music, looking for a different sound, getting back to ‘feeling’ music again. Yes, I hear and say the same things. Why do radio stations play the same artists year in and year out? Why is it that we always have to hear ignorance in music?
Listen…. If I had the answers, then I wouldn’t be able to bring focus to a 3 member group (Actually, 3 individual acts who have banded together to form a unit.), 3D The Boss. Is it true that they really love their art and want to bring awareness with their craft? Can they be compared to anyone currently in the game? And is it true, that, in the near future, that I, will be their biggest fan?
Well, let’s find out…….
By Toni DuBois
Mykelti Williamson, best known for his role as Tom Hank’s army buddy, Bubba in the 1994 film Forrest Gump, sat down with The Industry Cosign to talk about how he throws down in the kitchen, his role in Justified, and what he has in store in the new year.
What was your inspiration in creating the Bubba Style Spices?
Mykelti: I was working on a film for HBO called Buffalo Soldiers- with Danny Glover. We were in the middle of the desert in some little town called Benson, Arizona; there was no place where you could get like this smack down corn bread with the jalapenos in, they didn’t roll like that. I would have dinner at my house everyday, one of the actors came by to work on the scenes for the next days’ work. I said come on man, I have food at the house, so he came with me and the next day he spread the word and was like, I ate at Mykelti house last night and it was crazy and everyone was like, you didn’t tell me to come over, so I started cooking everyday. I would have greens, hot water cornbread with jalapenos in it, I was just throwing down and the word got out that I could cook. The cast was like man I heard you could cook, who made this sauce and I said I make my own sauce and seasoning. Read more…
1. What is the absolute best thing about what you do and what led you down the path to make this a successful career for you?
I think the best thing about what I do has to be the fact that it’s fun, it’s very liberating, and it allows me to be both expressive and creative. Not to mention, I get paid for something that’s a lot of fun! I also love the fact that I am able to meet some amazing people, through my radio show, listeners and celebrities included. It always does my heart well when people tell me that something I’ve said on my show has been a blessing to them. Read more…
1. Traditionally, black kids who have an interest in music, typically tend to gravitate towards R & B, was this the case with you?
I never had an interest in gravitating towards R & B. Although I always enjoyed listening to various genres of music, my focus was always classical music. My parents exposed me to classical music not only by playing albums on the stereo, but with their conversations and when they would ask me about what I thought of certain classical singers. Even though I did not know who they were talking about. My parents would say…”well go look her/him up and let us know”
What steered you towards classical music?
I think it was just being around it so much and having parents that took me to operas and orchestra concerts.
2. You have so many awards and achievements for your musical voice, which awards are you most proud of and why? Read more…
1. What is your biggest accomplishment and/or what are you most proud of these days?
My biggest accomplishment is that I retired my Mom.
2. Go back 5 years, what did you think you would be doing now when you were planning ahead and did you achieve whatever goals you had or did you surpass them or is this completely different than what you were thinking?
5 years ago I thought I was going to own a spa. I went to Massage Therapy School and I have always love the idea of owning a Spa. Obviously I didn’t achieve anything Spa /massage related cause my life took a crazy and wild turn. But I’m in an amazing place in life. Read more…
1. Now that Hip Hop has spread basically everywhere, even worldwide, do you feel you have to have a certain background, albeit street or from the ghetto, in order to be successful and taken seriously? Do you think it makes for a more compelling story to tell if you do have a rags-to-riches story?
You don’t have to necessarily be “street” or “ghetto” in today’s hip hop landscape. If you pay attention, now you have artists that represent all walks of life, from ex drug dealers to skateboarders. From convicted felons to nerds, all are represented and all are accepted. It’s all about expression now and no matter what you live, go thru or represent, there’s an artist whose music is the soundtrack to your life. Years ago it was like you had to be on some tough guy shit, or have a gangsta persona, but now it’s cool to just be you. As far as a rags to riches story, that’s always cool because people like the whole under dog story, and like to see niggas come from nothing, or come from circumstances similar to theirs, and become successful. It gives them hope that they can do it too. Read more…
1. After being in the game for a couple of years, how is your outlook on the Hip-Hop scene from a musical point of view? And what will you do to make it what you feel it needs to be?
The hip-hop scene is in 2 places in my opinion. The indie scene & the mainstream scene. I think the indie scene is thriving right now. There are a lot of dope artists dropping quality material. The mainstream scene is ok, but the fact that there’s no diversity makes it stagnant. People are tired of hearing the same songs in rotation with the same subject matter all the time. As for what I’m doing, I’m making quality music I feel will be viewed as timeless in years to come.
2. If you could do anything over again, what would it be and why? Read more…
1. Now that you are working a project with former A Tribe Called Quest member, Jarobi, called EvitaN, could you explain how this collaboration came about and what should we expect from the group? Read more…
1. How has the internet changed the thinking of companies, artists and just the world in general?
The internet hasn’t changed the thinking of companies or artists.
Companies still want to make money off consumers and the internet gives companies access to learning what people want in their deepest dreams.
Artists still want to present their art to the most people who might find a connection (relationship) with the content the artists create and the internet gives these artists a more focused reach to the world.
The end result for companies and artists remains the same. Artists still create. Companies still exploit.
2. What prompted you to take your talents to the internets when you did so? And also tell us how long you’ve been in this space as well. Read more…
1. What are your thoughts about the current state of Hip-Hop (As far as music, artists, content, etc.)?
HipHop is at a crossroads. Commercially viable music has morphed into a combination of R&B and Techno. As dance music Is becoming the new pop music, artists will feel pressure to either go further in that direction or fight against that trend and keep a more traditional sound. Im not sure what today’s commercial artists will decide to do but it will shape the landscape for the next decade.
2. Tell us about how the collaboration, MA_Doom- Son of Yvonne, between you and MF Doom, come about and what should we expect from the album. Read more…
|1. What can people look forward to when they see the name International 5 and if you could describe your sound, what would it be?|
People can look for great music, A super talented musician that express music from the soul. Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Scarface, all in one. I believe that if given the chance I will be a key player in the game
2. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, do you feel any pressure that comes with knowing that some of the best lyricists in Hip-Hop have come from Brooklyn?
1. Describe the Montreal Hip-Hop scene and how your contribution will make it even bigger than it is.
The Montreal Hip Hop scene is in the process of growth. I can see a huge difference between its current state, and its past. Unfortunately, Hip Hop shows are constantly being banned which makes it harder for people like to me work, however no one said this would be easy. I somewhat prefer it that way. My contribution will not be denied. “All roads lead to home” at the end of the day, it’s just about finding that ulterior route, and hitting them when they least expect it.
2. In this current age of music, it’s now a given to ‘give away’ an album or ‘mixtape’ to the fans when, in the past, artists tried in vain, to stop leaks of their music. Why do you think that has changed and how does it benefit the artists’ bottom line? Read more…
1. What do you feel are the most important qualities and/or qualifications to be a successful producer and/or engineer?
Well,talent helps, but the things beyond that which will help you become successful are drive, focus, work ethic, business ethic, trustworthiness, personality. Rarely do I meet a successful person in the music industry without all of these traits, at least most of them.
2. You’ve worked and work with some heavyweights in the industry (Kanye West, Heavy D, Aaron Hall, Eminem, Rick Ross, Drake, Jay-Z, etc.), how is your approach to work when working with such esteemed artists as opposed to, maybe, lesser known artists? Are there any specific techniques some are required to be done in order to satisfy the overall production of the record and/or project? Read more…
1. After years of not recording, you are back with ‘Rebirth’. Of course, I have to ask, Why the hiatus and why the return?
I guess the easiest way to explain my hiatus is that I got sick of trying to play the music industry game by “their” rules – I’m Black so I can only sing R & B (No), I’m a woman so I have to play the role of the booty-shaking seductress (uhhhh…double no), I’m seen as an attractive woman so I can’t sing about anything of substance (do you really want me to go there…lol?).
I’d debuted at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, started opening for major recording artists like Black Eyed Peas, Sean Paul, Enrique Iglesias in 20,000 seat arenas and was literally walking red carpets with the who’s who of Hollywood based on my artistic merit. But it seemed like the closer I came to fulfilling my dream in the music industry, the deeper the compromise became. No one really talks about it (maybe ‘cause they’re playing the game), but it’s very real. Read more…
1. You did something that is very rare. You did a show in New York City, you’re from North Carolina, and you ROCKED it at Webster Hall, you had the crowd with you! How was that possible, being that you are a new artist AND from out of town and with NY being a very finicky crowd, they eat their own. What did you do to get the response you got? How did it make you feel?
I love New York. I love the fact that New York fans are a tough crowd, and you’ve really got to give them something to get them going. I give credit to my band Untitled, my MD, Gav Beats, and my right hand man, Vocalist Brandon Pierre for helping me put together an experience for the crowd. We put a lot of time and effort into our show, and I believe that is why we have gotten the response we get from audiences across the country, and I think the NYC crowd, that wasn’t familiar with me or my music, could appreciate the effort, the energy, and most importantly, the quality of the music that we play. And the feeling is amazing…I love to perform, and to get that kind of response from doing something you love ,from the toughest place to perform in America!! Man. What could be better than that? Read more…
1. Every new artist claims to be bringing something new or different to the game, how will you get people to take notice of you and your talent? Why will they want to hear your music?
I’m a firm believer of letting your music speak for yourself, and as a new artist, I have a lot to prove. I just try to make the best song possible and have fun while doing it. I want the world to hear my story, the story of Boone. Most of the time when artists tell their story, it’s about struggling, and yes, I struggled, but who didn’t? I just learned that life goes on no matter what your problems is. That’s why most of my music is about partying and relationships, moving beyond the struggle.
2. You’ve been seen and appear in some Palmieri Jeans (Clothing company based in Philly) promotional campaigns, how did this come about and has this been effective for you and your career?
Yes I’m sponsored by Palmieri Jeans. I met the owner of Palmieri Jeans (Victor Sanders) through a friend, He said that he liked the direction that my music was going and that I had a clean image. The relationship works. When you have a clothing line behind you it opens up a lot of doors, other than music. Yes I love making music but I’m a business man at the end of the day. Read more…