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The Femi Allen Wasserman Interview

September 4, 2014 Leave a comment

 photo Femi-Wasserman-the-industry-cosign_zps803f3a01.jpgFemi Allen Wasserman is so used to being first that it doesn’t even seem like it’s rare for her to be a pioneer in any position she holds. She is VP of communications of DraftKings Inc., and company spokesperson, as well as the only African American female executive in the daily fantasy sports industry. Being first is not unusual for Wasserman.

If you are involved in fantasy sports, then you’d understand its popularity. If you don’t, then know that with more than a million registered users, DraftKings is on track to distribute more than $200 million in cash prizes in 2014.

So, how does a former director of product development for Capital One Financial get involved in fantasy sports? Well, The Industry Cosign caught up with this busy lady to discuss how she splits work and family and being a one-of-a-kind in a field where she doesn’t see any faces like hers in the ranks.

What drove you to become involved in fantasy sports, something dominated by men?

Well, I’ve always been in industries dominated by men. I was a math major and worked in finance before DraftKings, so being a minority in more ways than one was never a concern for me. However, I’ve also been a sports fan since I was very young. It started with watching NFL football on Sundays with my dad, so when this opportunity presented itself, I was beyond excited.

You are currently the only African American female executive in the daily fantasy sports industry. How do you deal with having that distinction? Read more…

The 5Ws: Mina “SayWhat” Llona

September 3, 2014 Leave a comment

 photo Mina-SayWhat-llona-the-industry-cosign_zps3f0665ee.jpgWho: Mina “SayWhat” Llona

What: Rise & Grind Morning Show (Philly’s Power 99)

Why: Mina “SayWhat” Llona is a renowned media personality currently on the Rise & Grind Morning Show (6a-10a) on Philadelphia’s legendary urban station WUSL-FM aka Power 99.  Mina is the founder, leader, and mentor of “The Power Squad” - an all-female dance team (ages 15-22). She is also the voice of the weather for 103.5 The Beat in Miami and is an ambassador for the Philadelphia 76ers community outreach program “Sixers Strong.

Where: Based in New Jersey & Philadelphia

When: Mina SayWhat is currently on air on Philly’s Power 99 and is a personality on the Rise & Grind Morning Show. Mina is also the Social Media Director for 2 urban stations (Power 99 & WDAS 105.3) and is celebrating her 10 year anniversary since first broadcasting on the radio at the age of 18. Read more…

Miss Info Talks To Raury About Signing His Major Label Deal

August 25, 2014 Leave a comment
Categories: Interviews, Video

John Witherspoon Talks “Black Jesus”, “The Boondocks”, and Memories With Robin Williams

August 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Remy Ma: Nicki Minaj And Iggy Azalea Aren’t The Only Female Rappers

August 21, 2014 Leave a comment
Categories: Interviews, Video

Questlove on Fela Kuti [Extended Interview from Finding Fela]

August 21, 2014 Leave a comment

The Jamie Roberts Interview

August 13, 2014 Leave a comment

 photo Jamie-roberts-the-industry-cosign_zps67ef9e98.jpg

  1. How long have you been doing comedy professionally and how did you get into it?

 

I have been doing comedy professionally since 2004. I pursued comedy after attending a show with my brother and thinking I could do this. I was always the class clown and funny guy in the circles so I gave it a shot. My first time performing I won the Funniest Person From the Suburbs awarded by Standup NY

 

  1. What aspirations do you have as far as taking your comedy to a different level? Are you a writer, do you just do stand up, what is it that makes you happy when you do comedy?

Read more…

VIBE VIXEN Style Profile Fashion Awards: Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Khloe Kardashian & More

August 13, 2014 Leave a comment
Categories: Interviews, Video

Chevy Woods #ByAnyMeansTour Take 2

August 12, 2014 Leave a comment
Categories: Interviews, Video

Fred and Donnie Hangout – Part 1

August 10, 2014 Leave a comment
Categories: Interviews, Video

Annette Davidson Unites Her Passion for Food and Marketing

August 5, 2014 Leave a comment

 photo annette-davidson-the-industry-cosign_zpsc2b4602d.jpgIn an ideal world, were it not for having to pay bills or buy some of the things we need, many of us would work for free at a job we love. Of course, the majority of workers don’t actually have that luxury, especially in these trying economic times. In starting Icon Food Marketing, self-proclaimed foodie Annette Davidson was able to unite her passions for food and marketing.

The Industry Cosign spoke with Davidson, who has worked with brands including Belcour Preserves Ltd., Grana Padano, Cheeses of France, and Thomas’ English Muffin, on her decision to start Icon Food Marketing, how she finds client synergies, and her recent role in helping budding entrepreneurs in the Caribbean.

What is Icon Food Marketing and what prompted your decision to start the company? Read more…

Adenah Bayoh: ‘For me, Passion is a Key Ingredient for Success in Business’

August 4, 2014 Leave a comment

 photo Adenah-bayoh-ihop-the-industry-cosign_zps2fd602b4.jpgWhen you have survived and persevered as a child living through the Liberian Civil War, anything and everything is possible. We tend to use problematic situations as an excuse if we aren’t successful or if we don’t put forth the effort. This isn’t nor will it ever be the case with Adenah Bayoh.

This New Jersey resident has turned her life experience, banking opportunity and entrepreneurial spirit into a winning formula that, no doubt, will increase even more as she continues to build her empire. She was the youngest IHOP franchisee and made that into the fastest-growing IHOP in the northeast. Impressive for a first-time restaurant owner.

Bayoh talks to The Industry Cosign about her reason for getting into real estate, her obligation to own her businesses locally, and her next plan when it comes to revitalizing communities.

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur as opposed to just getting a job and working for someone else? Read more…

TIL EP 30 [Beyonce's "Petition" video, Central Park 5, Mugshot hotties]

July 31, 2014 Leave a comment
Categories: Interviews, Video Tags: ,

Common Visits Torae on #TheTorGuide

July 31, 2014 Leave a comment

Levina Lye

July 30, 2014 Leave a comment

 photo levina-lye-the-industry-cosign_zps70dce74a.jpgBy Bobby J.

As one of the first media outlets to spot Levina Lye’s incomparable talent, we are proud to see how far she has come in a short period of time.  Her  debut project, Pieces of Me, she wrote and executive produced has received acclamations from music critics around the globe with singles charting overseas. Never one to forget those who have supported her career since the beginning, the  remarkable Bronx bred 23 year old  took a break from her #LoveIsSuicide tour to bring us up to date.

 

Now that you EP has received so much praise by so many music execs, how do you feel about the overall perception?

I think my EP has been well received by the people but most importantly it’s relatable. It was created to be real and people like that. I want people to know I’m no gimmick. I’m the real thing.

What is your favorite song off the EP and why?

Abandoned is my favorite song off the EP  because I really felt that way at one point. All the songs are written from the heart but Abandoned is so deep to me. The melody and harmonies make me love it even more.

As the executive producer, you arranged the songs in a specific order to narrate a story.  Please explain why it was important to you?

I always need things to make sense. Everything I do comes from a creative place. Pieces of Me tells my story of past experiences in order. It has its highs and its lows ,just like life.

Having written from personal experience, has completing Pieces of Me been therapeutic? If so, in what ways?

It definitely has helped me to move on and overcome past experiences. Writing Pieces of Me has taught me so many things about myself, most importantly how strong I really am. It’s a message to people that no matter how bad it seems sometimes, there is always a way to find positivity.

You have been performing all over NYC, what has the experience been like for you as an emerging artist?

It’s exciting and it is honestly so humbling. I get to do what I love and share my music with the world. It’s a beautiful thing to get up on a stage and have people appreciate my art.

What has been the biggest disappointment to you since the EP dropped?

I can honestly say there are no disappointments at all. I accomplished what I set out to do as far as completing the EP. I’m currently touring and I love it!  I tend to try and look for the best in every situation. I expect there to be doubters and people too proud to support but at the end of the day I know what it is. My talent and humility will speak for itself. Like my project manager/ partner says, “You have to take the sugar with the sh*t.”

As an acclaimed singer/songwriter, you have turned down several songwriting opportunities.  Can you explain why it so important that you perform your songs exclusively? Has there been any backlash?

My songs are so personal to me that I couldn’t imagine anyone else singing them. I hold my words close to heart and so they are really hard to let go. So far there’s been no negativity, I think my sentiments are appreciated.

You have accomplished so much in such a short period of time, what would you consider the key to your success?

I just stay focused on moving forward. This is my dream, my biggest passion in life, so I’m determined to make it happen.

One of the few independent artists to own their masters independently, what advice do you offer aspiring talent as far as business?

Do as much as you can on your own. Most importantly, invest in your dreams. It’s a beautiful feeling to make things happen. Remain consistent!

Are there plans for a complete project? If so, when?

I’m always working so new music is definitely on the way soon. I really want the world to hear Pieces of Me so that’s my main focus for now.

 

Shout outs? Shout out to #TeamLevinaLye My supportive family, and Be’n Original for believing in my dream.

DJ Vlad On Jay Electronica’s Diss, Rappers in Sports Management & French Montana W/ Khloe

July 28, 2014 Leave a comment
Categories: Interviews, Video Tags: ,

Malacka Reed: Makeup and Motivation

July 28, 2014 Leave a comment

Malacka-ReedBy BIG CED

Struggles. We all experience them somehow— some of us more often than others. What separates people is whether they can overcome them or allow it to consume them. There are many who use their struggle as a means to fuel their success, or at least they won’t let it overtake and defeat them.

This is the story of motivational speaker, Malacka Reed. To understand that you have a gift is one thing. To understand that you should utilize that gift in order to help others is in itself a different gift.

When you can motivate others who are going through what you went through and make a career out of it and feel good in the process, then you know you’ve chosen the right field.

The Industry Cosign spoke to Reed about what motivates her, her past, present and future journey.

Who is Malacka Reed and why should we know you? Read more…

Angie Martinez – THE TRUTH With Elliott Wilson

July 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Big Tigger: Utilizing That Entrepreneurial Spirit to Strengthen the Brand

July 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Big Tigger

The Bronx, New York: Home of the greatest sports franchise, the New York Yankees and also the place that birthed hip-hop. More than likely, growing up in the ’80s, a New York kid had dreams of being involved in the business of hip-hop and or sports. The environment provided kids with the opportunity to use whatever talents they thought they had and seeing people like Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash succeed in music, and listening to the sounds of KRS-One, gave a lot of kids from the Bronx, the hope to “make it big.”

Darian “Big Tigger” Morgan, Bronx native, Truman High School graduate, was one of those kids. The lure of success in the hip-hop game led him to participating in several aspects of the culture, including rapping, break dancing and, of course, DJing. As an intern at Washington D.C.’s WPCG 95.5, the Big Tigger brand was just formulating, success was within reach. Twenty years later, Big Tigger is STILL here, still building and it may take another 20 years for him to slow down.

The Industry Cosign spoke to the radio personality from Atlanta’s V-103 FM, who can be heard weekdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. EST. He discussed the business of his brand, how he got his start and why he doesn’t “want no issues with the MOUSE!”

You’ve been in the game for a number of years now, being successful in the radio and TV arenas, what prompted you to make this your career? Was this something you set out to do? Read more…

Dana says, Tana says – Season 3 Ep. 1

July 23, 2014 Leave a comment

The Art Behind The Tape x Clark Kent- Park Jam Tape Era

July 21, 2014 Leave a comment

5 Questions With Avery Sunshine

July 21, 2014 1 comment

 photo 5-questions-with-avery-sunshine-the-industry-cosign_zps79aa91b4.jpg1. What gives you inspiration to, not only perform music, but to create it?

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…

The Wayans Brothers Speak on Growing Up Poor & Eating Syrup Sandwiches to Their Own Comedy Show

July 20, 2014 Leave a comment
Categories: Interviews, Video

Total Slaughter Rap Battle, Rihanna Flashes Boobs, Drake ESPYs

July 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Just Blaze Answers The Questions

July 16, 2014 Leave a comment
Categories: Interviews, Video Tags: ,

Before You Start Banking, Ronald Williams Wants to Talk to You

July 15, 2014 Leave a comment

Ronald Williams Before You Start BankingI’m still amazed that finances aren’t taught in elementary school considering that money plays a great role in our adult lives. Maybe if children are taught earlier about money, then the mindset about finances would greatly improve beyond the attitude of just wanting to make a living.

Luckily, there is someone who shares my views on this important issue. But not only does he share my view, he is actually doing something about it. Ronald Williams, author of Before You Start Banking, has taken the necessary steps to educate both youth and adults about the benefits of knowing how to handle their money.

Williams spoke to The Industry Cosign about the reason he chose to teach financial literacy, his thoughts on how banks hire, and he explains how he got into writing a financial crime thriller.

Please briefly tell us a little history about Ronald Williams and why did you decide to make a career in finance? Read more…

Chris Spencer: How a Class Clown Became A Successful Businessman

July 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Comedy is a field where many people come and go, crash and burn, rise and fall. Amidst all that, you do get people who manage to steer clear of the pitfalls and maintain a steady career.

One such person is Chris Spencer, longtime comedian, still in the game, no known deficiencies. He was the first host of VIBE Magazine’s late night talk show, named “VIBE.” You may have seen him in a movie or two or maybe 10. He’s been featured in several TV shows. You may have even seen him on stage around the country, caught him telling jokes on his own comedy specials. But, I bet you didn’t know that he is partly responsible for the BET hit show, The Real Househusbands of Hollywood!

The Industry Cosign caught up with Spencer and tells us why he became a comedian, how The Real Househusbands of Hollywood got started, and what he has planned for the future.

You’ve been “industry-tested” as you’ve been around for a number of years; what gives you the strength to continue working?

My love for entertainment. My love for being creative. My love for paying my mortgage on time.

When did you decide that being a comedian would be a good career choice for you?

I was always the class clown but didn’t know stand-up would be my calling until my junior year in college. I was at UCLA talking with a group of students about our futures. We went around the circle [sharing what we planned to do] and the guy before me said he was gonna be a comedian and all of the women went bananas. They went on about how much they love to laugh and how much they love comedians. So when it came around to me, I too said comedian. Thank God he spoke first because I was gonna say dentist.

A lot of people don’t realize you’re the creator and executive producer of Real Husbands of Hollywood. Outside of the obvious reference to the Real Housewives series, what were you thinking when you decided to go forward with this project? Did the show meet or exceed any expectations you had?

I was the head writer for the BET Awards and Kevin Hart was hosting. He and I both knew we wanted to do something different and unheard of so that he could stand out. We both laughed about how our women loved those housewife shows and we pretended how much we hated them, but really didn’t. We noticed how men acted just as catty and trifling as those women and thought it would be funny if we did a sketch on the awards show depicting men doing so. We wrote it, called up our friends and did it. The sketch was received so well, BET immediately decided it needed to be a TV show. It has definitely met my expectations and beyond.

Some people may remember you from your stand-up days and I know you’ve recently done it for TV. Do you still tour or are there any plans to tour extensively? Do you even want to tour?

I still do dates, but my schedule from all of the writing I’ve been doing doesn’t permit me to do as much. I definitely want to tour again.

Since you’ve produced shows, appeared on stage, written for other comedians and basically run the gamut when it comes to comedy, if you could only do one thing, what would it be and why?

Stand-up, because when I’m being a comedian, I’m also being a writer, a producer and a director of a live show every time I’m on the stage.

You’ve even written a book, 150 Ways To Tell If You’re Ghetto; what spurred you to write a book?

I was on tour with Jeff Foxworthy and he had great success from writing the books, You Know You’re a Redneck If. One day, while reading through one of his many books, I realized that there are definitely many similarities with my people and that I should write a book poking fun at them.

Since comedy is your career, how do you approach the business side of it? How do you separate Chris Spencer the comedian from Chris Spencer the businessman?I don’t separate it. They are one in the same.

When it comes to the business aspect of your career, do you have a credo you live by?

Work hard or go back and live with your momma.

What else is in the works for Chris Spencer? What can we look forward to?

Season three of RHOH will air in October. We are also writing Season four of RHOH. I have a movie with Universal Pictures involving Kevin Hart and Lebron James playing brothers called Ballers. I also have a TV deal with Jamie Foxx and Lionsgate about the life and times of a troubled superstar.

 

Luke James Shares Beyonce’s Advice On Karma

July 2, 2014 Leave a comment
Categories: Interviews, Video

Nate McCray: Sports Agent

July 1, 2014 Leave a comment

 

Nate McCray, DSM IncorporatedEntering a field and/or a position where you are in the minority can be challenging and essentially places you in the spotlight. But it also gives you a chance to shine by becoming the best you can be because you are in the minority and you will be noticed.

In the world of sports, blacks are in abundance on the field and on the court, but when it comes to management, ownership and representation, the numbers fall off drastically. You would think that in this day and age, black players would feel comfortable being represented by other blacks, but sadly, it isn’t so.

Sports agent, Nate McCray, wants to help change the perception that blacks are only good for playing and not successful off the field. This is what makes him work three times harder than his white counterparts to represent his client to the best of his ability to help sustain a successful career on and off the field.

The Industry Cosign got a chance to speak to McCray as he expresses what makes him go and his desire to get his clients to see the big picture and focus on what really matters in terms of life as opposed to bling-bling and purchasing the latest automobile. Read more…

Joell Ortiz Freestyles on Sway in the Morning!

June 30, 2014 Leave a comment
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