Category: Interview

Get to know Creator Kashif Boothe (Kashif Boothe Entertainment)

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Get to know Creator Kashif Boothe (Kashif Boothe Entertainment)

By Patrick Hill @Pathill17 @NeonRenMag

 

I would like for you to introduce yourself by telling the readers where you from and what you do.

My name is Kashif Boothe; I’m from London, UK and I am a freelance development assistant within factual and scripted TV and an independent filmmaker.

Did you attend filming school? If so, how long did it take you to complete filming school

I attended a sixth form college (which is apart high school education) and studied Media, Film & TV and music production. I studied Film at Roehampton University and graduated in 2013.

What is your profession?

I am a freelance development within factual and scripted TV and an independent filmmaker.

When did you fell in love with art?

I fell in love in with art when I was 13

What made you fall in love with art?

I fell in love in art when I saw how people could relate to what is happening with a painting, a picture or in a movie

Why is art important to you?

Art is important to me because I am able to express myself. I’m able to create to content that is important to me and tell stories I want through comedy or drama.

Who inspires you as a child and now?

As a child, my Grandmother inspired me and now the people who inspire me are Mara Brock Akil, Kenya Barris, and Issa Rae

How important is art in today’s society? 

Art, it is very important in today’s society as it is the main source of expression, if we couldn’t express ourselves what would we do?

 

Explain to me the absence of art would do to you and society?

If there was an absence of art I wouldn’t know what to do, my life is art, it is what I do every day and I’m not exaggerating, I work in the media industry Monday – Friday and on the weekend I focus on my independent projects. If there weren’t any art in today’s society, there wouldn’t be a platform for people to express themselves or be able to watch TV or play game consoles. If there weren’t art it would have a massive impact on the world we live in today.

How long have you been filming?

I’ve been filming for 6 years

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Take me through the process of writing a short film or web series. Nate & Jamie web series for example. What was the process like when you were creating Nate & Jamie and how difficult was it making this web series?

The way I came up with Nate & Jamie was not done in a conventional way. The pilot episode was originally a one-off comedy sketch which was based on a story by Joshua Samuels who plays Jamie in Nate & Jamie. When I released the comedy sketch the reaction was positive and people wanted to see more, I wanted to take advantage of the success and decided to turn it into a web series. The process of writing Nate & Jamie was pretty easy I spent two weeks writing and re-drafting the script. I came up with the idea of the first season in less than a day, once you’ve come up with the idea it’s about filling up the gaps in between the beginning and the end of the story.

How long does it take to for you to complete a script?

It takes me probably 3-4 hours to write a script, depending on how long I want the film or episode of a web series to be and that all depends if I don’t get writer’s block.

 

Is there a preparation difference between writing a short and web series? If so explain?

For me there isn’t any difference, I usually come up with an idea, I will write a quick summary of the idea on my phone or on a piece of paper. I will then create a step outline, which is an outline of how the story will be told and then I write the script.

What does the director do? (for those who do not know about the director position)

A Director is a creative force in a film’s production – visualizing and defining the style and structure of the film, then bringing it to life. I will cast actors, edit the script ( the majority of the time on set) choose shot selection and editing.

How challenging is it to be a director?

The most challenging thing about being a director is when your team doesn’t understand your vision

What is your view on the filming industry today?

The film industry today is stuck, I think it’s lacking originality, there are too many reboots it’s all about making money and not good films. I think that’s why producers and directors are moving to TV with shows like Empire, Insecure, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. The TV industry is taking more risks, showing the diversity and it’s paying off.

What are some things you like or don’t like about the filming industry today?

What I like about the filming industry are meeting writers, directors, camera crew and actors who have the same passion for filmmaking as you do. What I don’t like about the filming industry is the lack of diversity on and off the screen, it’s been proven with shows like Insecure and Chewing Gum that shows written and produced by black writers/directors are successful because they are authentic. I would like to see an Asian/Latin version of Sex and The City or Friends, there is a huge gap in the market and it is frustrating that film industry hasn’t taken advantage of it.

A production in Hollywood contacts you for one of your scripts. You take a flight to L.A. to meet with the production company. They offer you a six-figure deal which is $200,000 for your work. As part of the deal, you have to give up all rights to the script, and extra incentives. You also lose creator control. Would you take the money or would you negotiate for control including incentives?

I would negotiate for control and incentives as I could not imagine one of my scripts being made and I wasn’t apart of it.

 

How important is creator control from your opinion?

I think it’s important because you if have a vision you should make sure you execute it. But on the other hand, I think it’s good to collaborate and get someone else’s perspective as it could make the project even better.

Is it better to be an independent filmmaker or do you think it is better to be in an established production?

There are pros and cons of being an independent filmmaker and an established production. I prefer being an independent filmmaker because I am in control of my projects and do not have to consult any business partners etc. To be an established production would be great, as I would have a budget and the connections to hire a crew, PR and well, known actors.

What is your goal at the end of the day? Where do you see yourself in five years?

My goal is to have an established production company known for creating content that informs, educates, inspires and entertains its audience.

In five years I see myself having produced a few indie feature films, which have got into major film festivals, my production is an established brand and I am in the beginning stages of adapting one of my web series’ for a TV network.

So, what are you doing now, and what can we expect from you that we should be on the lookout?

I’m currently in pre-production of a new web series, Nate & Jamie Season 2 and 2 short films

Where can readers find your production and work?

Readers can find my work at youtube.com/c/KashifBoothe

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Get to know “A Fashion” creator Anna Davidsson

 

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Get to know “A Fashion” creator Anna Davidsson

By Patrick Hill @Pathill17 @NeonRenMag

 

Anna Davidsson a fashionista and a stylist. Her love and devotion to fashion go beyond measures. Anna Davidsson sense of fashion can be seen on her YouTube channel. Her videos are insightful and educational. They can be tutorials as of helping those who are inspired by the latest trends to do their own. Her YouTube channel A Fashion (which is also her brand) has over 17,431 subscribers and has been viewed 4,549,751 times.

Which begs the question to our readers, who is Anna Davidsson, and why she will be an artist to look out for down the road.

When did you fell in love with art?

I fell in love with art at a very young age, I’ve always loved to create, whether it’s about writing, editing or painting. I think I’ve always had it inside me. As a child, I made my own fashion magazines and gave them to my friends and my family.

What made you fall in love with art?

In some way, art gives me a rush. It’s fantastic to see a creative idea come to life. It’s a way of expressing yourself, your feelings and thoughts.

Why is art important to you?

For me art is a way of life, it’s also a big part of life. Everywhere you look, there is art. The buildings around you, the car you drive, the clothes you wear. I think people tend to forget that they are surrounded by art all the time.

Who inspires you as a child and now?

I remember that I started to read fashion magazines at a very young age, I wasn’t even a teenager at that point. I got so inspired by all the editorials, the models, and fashion shows. Today I find inspiration everywhere, it’s hard to point out something specific, but of course, I find much of it from fashion shows and magazines.

How important is art in today’s society? 

I feel like it is more important than ever. Through art, we can send out messages to the world. The way we are treating the earth these days are horrifying and I hope that through art and solidarity we can make a good change in the right direction.

Explain to me the absence of art would do to you and society?

If art was absent, I don’t think our society would exist. We are living art in my opinion.

Give us a little background history about you and your brand?

I was born and raised in a little town called Varberg located on the Swedish west coast. I’ve had a normal and safe childhood. But I have always felt different and a little bit of an outsider. But I don’t feel like that is something bad today, actually I think it has given me strength and the ability to be understanding with others. A FASHION started out as a hobby when I was in college. I discovered how fun it was to edit videos, and since fashion is my biggest passion, the combination of these two things was perfect. And since then my channel has grown so much, I never thought A FASHION would become so popular and appreciated by so many people from all over the world.

Have you had any experience in the fashion industry?

No, not really. My biggest dream is to attend the big fashion shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris.

When I saw your videos on the latest trends, I decided to post them up to our blog because they were insightful, and well put together. I posted up your latest video which is “Hair & Makeup Trends” and it got almost 12 likes on the blog the moment it was posted.  I am sure you got a boost of viewers as well. Explain to me how you can come up with the videos you make and how much time do you have to devote to make sure that the information you gather into the clips is accurate?

Thank you, it means so much to me when people appreciate my work. I come up with my videos ideas when I feel inspired, like sometimes when I hear a song I can picture a video in front of me. When I make the trends videos I look at all the fashion shows I like and it doesn’t take long before I see the what’s going to be popular for the upcoming season. And sometimes I go through magazines and blogs as well to see what kind of trends they have noticed.

In your opinion, where do you see fashion heading to in five years?

I really hope for more diversity within the fashion industry, both when it comes to size and color. I definitely see more environmentally conscious fashion.

Do you have any concerns about the fashion industry?

Yes, there are things I’m concerned about. How the industry affects the environment. Also when it comes to models, I’m hoping for harder restrictions when it comes to the model’s health and age.

Do you think designers are losing creativity when it comes to style and looks?

No, I don’t think so. Fashion follows time in my opinion. What seemed out of style before can be in style today.

Are you a designer, if yes, how long have you been designing?

No, I’m not. I’m more into styling.

If no, are you planning on being a designer or a fashion critic?

My dream is to work in the fashion business, I’m not really sure about what I want to do exactly, but I love styling and I love to make videos, so to combine these two would be perfect.

Break down your own style as of professional, special occasion, or going out?

I dress very minimalistic, I think I have the typical “Scandinavian style”, very clean, tailored and a lot of black and white.

What are the do’s and don’ts when it comes to men fashion or women fashion?

That’s a tough question. I guess it depends on the occasion and situation.

What are the do’s and don’ts when it comes to makeup and accessories?

I love natural makeup, I don’t use that many products. Sometimes I see girls with too dark or light foundation, the colors are not matching etc. I could never go out like that. When it comes to accessories I feel more experimental, because I usually dress very clean and then it’s fun to be more creative with jewelry. I don’t like too much bling though. But this is just my opinion.

If I show up to a cocktail party with a SpongeBob shirt and sweatpants; have I violated the fashion code?

It depends, maybe the party did have a cartoon theme. I’ve seen Jeremy Scott use a lot of cartoons in his designs that can be used on a lot of occasions.

What would you recommend for a woman to wear who are going out for an interview or date?

Not too much, not too little. But most importantly, something you feel comfortable in!

What is your ultimate goal personal and professional?

My ultimate goal is to pursue my dreams, at least try my best to reach them. Personally, I want to live a life where I can feel peace within myself. I’ve been struggling a lot with myself for many years, today I’m starting to feel good about myself and I have more confidence in what I do.

Is there a chance you made launch your brand of clothing or is that something to think about?

I have been thinking about it. It would be an interesting project for the future. But at the moment my focus is on my youtube channel.

Are you currently working on a project that you wish to tell the readers about?

Yes, after the fashion weeks I always get a lot of inspiration so there will be a lot of new trends videos for spring and summer 2018.

Where can readers find your business?

You can find my youtube channel here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/StylebyAnna

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Bianca Phipps a rising star

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Bianca Phipps a rising star

By Patrick Hill @Pathill17

 

 

 

Bianca Phipps, a young Colorado spoken word poet, and actor. Bianca Phipps has performed countless plays from her child hood to her adulthood including “Hamlet.”  She’s been part of the  SOAPBox Production Slam CUPSI team from 2014 to 2015. For those who are not familiar with SOAPBox. It consists of undergraduate students of UNCO’s College of Performance and Visual arts with the shared goal of producing artistic projects and developments. Students would explore contemporary social and cultural issues through a theatrical medium. As Bianca Phipps enters her final year at University of North Colorado, she is prepared to tackle art outside of college.  An art student with compassion and vision. Let’s not forget a poet. A very great poet might I say.  She has written several poems including two most notable poems “The Heartbreaker” and her recent poem “Stay with me.”  Both poems have push her to new heights. There is no bound what she can do. Her poet performance of “Stay with me” at the Button Poetry Slam night has garnish a lot of attention.

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Her performance can be seen on video which you can find it on Button Poetry YouTube Channel. The video has over 65,075 views and has 5,564 likes. In the comment section of the video, you can see audiences rave about her performance. People quoting her words from her poem to compliments. One fan said her poem was “Amazing.” Another fan said, “let’s just appreciate how much talent this took to write.” While the other fan said, “Ever since I watched “Almosts”, I loved Bianca. Her choice of words is methodical, her voice tone alterations are opportune, her body language is demonstrative, and everything she does during her three-minute bits from pouring her feelings, to transitioning between intensities, to simply leaving the podium is perfect. Though I do appreciate impulsiveness in spoken word shows, I find myself fond of aptitude more… Bianca has both.”

Bianca Phipps “Stay with me” performance was powerful and touching. I manage to get in touch with her. I ask her questions about acting, art, performance, poetry, and future.

 

When did you fell in love with art?

I fell in love with art at a young age. I was always reading books: picture books, Nancy Drew, even my mom’s Reader’s Digests, anything I could get my hands on. It really opened up my eyes to the magic of storytelling and how many lives a person gets to live through stories.

What made you fall in love with art?

The moment I knew I was irrevocably in love with art was when I was nine. My mom took me to go see a live performance of Beauty and the Beast, and I spent the whole show on the edge of my seat. I had no idea that it was even an option to be a performer, and I knew from that moment on that I wanted to be able to bring stories to life.

Why is art important to you?

Art is important to me because it provides me with a platform to express parts of myself that I struggle to vocalize. Art is a universal language. I can show my vulnerabilities and my strengths. I can watch or read someone else’s work and find mirrors in the lines that reveal parts about me that I didn’t even know existed.

Who inspire you as a child and now?

I absolutely adored fictional characters. Hermione Granger and Nancy Drew were my idols as a child. I wanted to solve mysteries and learn magic. Growing up, I didn’t lose that adoration – but I do think I started to find people who reflected the qualities that I loved. Women who stood up for what they thought was right, not just for them but for everyone around them. Women like Maxine Waters, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ava DuVernay. Poets I look up to are Melissa Lozada-Oliva, Rachel McKibbens, and Raych Jackson – they all have such stunning, honest, and raw work and I hope one day I can be half as good as they are.

How important is art in today’s society? 

Art is one of the most valuable resources we have today. Art elevates voices that are otherwise ignored. Art looks us in the eye and says, “what you’re feeling is not unique, and isn’t that relief?”  It gives us the ability to find solace halfway around the world, and fight for justice in multiple ways.

 

Explain to me the absence of art would do to you and society?

I wouldn’t be alive without art. I don’t think that’s a statement that’s unique only to me. Art is my purpose and my drive. Without it, I wouldn’t be. On a grander scale, if art was removed from society, we would be stripped of our humanity. Art allows us to exist as someone else, and that someone else is always a real person. It humbles us. It connects us. It is what lifts us from the dust and gives language to what always feels unspeakable. Without it, we would be barren, lonely creatures.

When I saw your poet performance of “Stay with me,” I flipped the cup. Like literally flipped the cup. It was beautiful and brilliant. Describe that moment as you are performing that epic poem?

Ah, thank you so much! That poem is one of the most fun – and most difficult – to perform for me. I wrote it at a time where I was struggling to tell someone that I was in love with them – and tell myself that I was in love – and it took me weeks to figure out the line of thought that I wanted to follow through the poem. When I perform that poem, I always take a second to remember the way I felt when I performed it for the first time. And then I clear my head, and I start, and I don’t let up until it’s over.

Take me through the process of performing at a Button Poetry night. What was that experience like when you step on stage and when you step off after performing your poem in front of hundreds of people?

I’ve performed where Button is present a few times – at CUPSI, the collegiate level national poetry slam, and Rustbelt, a regional slam where “Stay With Me” was filmed – but I’ll talk about Rustbelt, specifically. There is no better energy than the energy at a poetry slam. Everyone in the room is cheering for everyone in the room, and they are such a responsive and emotive audience. There’s no shame. There’s no fear. It’s as large as a church service and as intimate as a house reading. Stepping onstage is always more frightening, I think – it’s a long walk from your seat to the stage, and the moment right before performing is so silent. And then you begin, and when it’s over, it’s a raucous celebration. There’s nothing like it.

Is it more difficult to memorize or show emotion?

For me, I think being able to honestly convey the emotion without letting it overwhelm me is the hardest part. I’m an actor, so memorization comes easy to me, but I am an incredibly emotional person, so giving the audience an honest performance without hurting myself is a fine line I am always trying to walk.

I notice you are involve with acting from films to theater.  How long have you been acting?

I’ve been acting since the seventh grade! I’ve always been a very performative person, and when I started taking classes in middle school, I was swept away. Theatre is how I discovered slam poetry – so, it was all meant to be, in the end.

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It almost seems like you can do anything. I mean you are just involving with a lot. What is your goal at the end of the day? Where do you see yourself in five years?

Oh, thanks! I like to keep myself busy. At the end of the day, if I can pay the bills with my acting, I’ll be happy. In five years, I like to see myself as a professional performer, living comfortably with my boyfriend and a cat we rescued. (The cat might not happen, but a girl can dream!)

So, what are you doing now, and what can we expect from you that we should be on the lookout?

I am currently in a production of Romeo & Juliet with Nebraska Shakespeare (so, if you live in Nebraska and want to see a kickass, sixty-five minute production of R&J, let me know). I’m in the works of writing a second chapbook, but writing is a slow process, so that won’t be out for another year or so. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram to know what I’m up to in my daily life!

 

You can order her book “White River Happiness” in the link below and you can follow her as well.

 

 

Follow Bianca Phipps on instagram 

@Biancaphipps

Follow her on twitter 

@biancabeee

Follow her on Tumblr 

http://biancaphipps.tumblr.com

Follow her on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/BiancaPhippsARTS/

 

If you wish to book her at your poetry slam event, email her at

biancaphipps95@gmail.com

 

Order “White River Happiness” book on Amazon.com :

https://www.amazon.com/White-River-Happiness-Bianca-Phipps/dp/1312849339

Interview with creator of “Just Friends” Ally Marshall

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Interview with creator of “Just Friends” Ally Marshall

By Patrick Hill @Pathill17

As we get set for season two of “Just Friends” the web series on YouTube, I sat down with Ally Marshall one of the creator, co/producer, and writer of the series. She teamed up with another great producer and visionary Ian Miles for this project. For those who haven’t seen the series, you can still watch it on allyswayproductions YouTube channel before season two premieres this fall. The story is about Amanda (Sarah Grace Lee) and Owen (Chris Anderson) who happen to be best friends. Amanda (Sarah Grace Lee) happens to be in a relationship with Jacob (Marquis Valdez). However, Amanda has feelings for Owen, but she doesn’t want to pursue a relationship with Owen. Amanda’s best friend Harper (Britani Ashanti) ponders Amanda (Sarah Grace Lee) choice to be with Jacob (Marquis Valdez) over her best friend Owen (Chris Anderson). While Mya (Ronni) who happens to be an ex friends of Amanda (Sarah Grace Lee) wants whatever Amanda have. The series takes place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The first episode has over 26,632 views on YouTube. The second episode has 23,966 views. As the third pulled in 10,183, and the season finale episode ended at 7,866. Leaving it all in total of 70,000 views.  It is one the most underrated web series on YouTube and now season two should be interesting.

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I spoke to Ally Marshall the creator about her background and the web series through Facebook messenger.

Gives us the background on how you started your production company and what is the goal?

Well I went to the Art Institute and then I decided to Branch out on my own with the help of Ian miles my partner and our goal is to make great entertainment and to get a distribution deal.

Oh okay. That’s a great school. So, what was your experience at the Art Institute? What did you learn and do you apply what you learn from your experience at school to your work?

Yes I learned camera angles and editing my experience was okay. Oh and I also learned lighting and sound.

Where are y’all at right now with the production and distribution?

We are in the beginning process of shooting just friends the web series season 2.

Okay. I love that series

Thank you so much.

Your welcome. Since you brought that up. We been promoting your web series for awhile on our site. We loved it and I know our readers loved it. Tell me what was the process like doing “Just Friends” web series?

Thank you I really appreciate you promoting it on your website and I’m glad to hear that your readers loved it. The process is work but it’s worth it in the end. I write the script and work it out with Ian miles to his ideas and feedback and then we do casting and call backs and then we get started.

When you wrote the script for “Just Friends” what was Ian thought of the project when you presented it to him?

He loved the idea…we both like doing projects that people can relate to. And we both felt like people would be able to relate to what these characters are going through either through Amanda’s perspective or Owen or Jacob.

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Which brings me to the characters of the story. Episode four, we finally saw Amanda admit her feelings to Owen even though she was resenting it. Though each episode was hinting that she loves Owen. There was a particular moment where Owen broke down after she choose Jacob. Take me back to that moment and how did you feel about that part in your script. What was you’re feeling about this part and why it took Amanda so long to admit her feelings for Owen?

Yes, I remember that scene that was a very emotional scene on a very hot day hahaha anyway I felt like that was the moment when Amanda made her decision she can either choose Jacob or Owen and even though she told Owen they will still be friends in a way she was definitely choosing Jacob because if not she would have just told Jacob to back off and that Owen was her friend first before she even met Jacob. So that was a lesson right there boyfriends/girlfriends can come and go but friendships supposed to last forever. And to answer your second question about why it took Amanda so long to realize her feelings for Owen… Amanda’s feelings were tied up into Jacob for most of the season and the more she was around Jacob the more she realized that Jacob wasn’t right for her and the more that she saw Owen try to move on for instance remember episode 2 Amanda was jealous when Owen had a date… then just little things like that started to add up so once Jacob proved himself to be a player all her attentions turned to Owen especially when she saw Owen and Harper together she got jealous and suddenly Owen looked like gold to her.

As y’all set to do season two, what can fans expect in season two?

Well fans can expect to see more drama new and exciting characters and the comedy that you come to expect from Just Friends the web series.

Are y’all currently working on any other projects that we might end up seen soon?

Not yet

What do you think about the black filming industry?

I feel it’s a lot more opportunities for black filmmakers and black content and entertainment than it used to be and I’m excited to enter that world. I like to show different sides of African Americans and not all of us are gangsters like you see in a lot of films.

What would be a dream scenario in your mind?

Making it to Hollywood my own private jet haha but seriously though I’m doing this to make it I want to be up there with filmmakers like Issa Rae and Spike Lee.

I can’t wait for season two. Thank you for your time and I look forward to seen you on the big screens.

You’re welcome…thank you for the interview and for watching.

 

Season two of “Just Friends” is expected to drop this fall on their YouTube channel. Make sure you subscribe to their channel and watch all the drama unfold.

YouTube Channel: allyswayproductions

Facebook link:

https://www.facebook.com/justfriendsthewebseries

 

 

 

 

Interview with All Def Poet Moody Black

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Interview with All Def Poet Moody Black

By Patrick Hill @Pathill17 @NeonRenMagazine

If you have not heard of Moody Black, you will soon enough. Rather you never heard of his poems or heard him speak; Moody is on a different level. Moody Black a South Carolina native, a visionary, an artist, an actor, a story teller, and photographer is art. To be feature on All Def Poetry giving the history of the platform from the days of Def Poetry Jam where Dave Chappelle, Kanye West, Common, Erykah Badu, Lauren Hill, David Banner, Alicia Keys, and more have grace their presence to the platform.  A platform where poets have come through and made a name for themselves. Moody Black performance itself has grace 2,167 views with 197 likes on All Def Poetry YouTube channel. The comments have been all but positive about “In the Field” performance.  His performance can be seen on Neon Renaissance Magazine video section and also on All Def Poetry YouTube Channel.

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So, I got a chance to chat with him over twitter to talk about his performances and issues of today. It was an honor and privilege to sit down with someone who will one day be highly recognize in conversations of great artist and poet. In the conversation, I had with Moody Black, I wanted to know a bit about him. Particularly what made him get involve with poetry. He said to me “my mom, she was a single parent. She would work during the day. Then, take college courses at night. She would bring her literature books home.” He continues “having to know Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes was a rite of passage.” He later explains what made him finally write poetry. “My mom had this book my father got her for their first anniversary (before the divorce) entitled “This Time Called Life” by Walter Rinder. It had poems about being young and free. That really pushed me to write.”  It was that point his desire for poetry grew.

 

I ask about his first time being on stage doing poetry and what that feeling was like when he got on stage. He explains “every time seem like the first time…I was and still is nervous…hoping I don’t mess up. Hoping people receive my art.” Being on stage is not easy as it may seem when you watch many poets go on and speak from what they wrote or memorize. However, you would not think that of Moody Black “In the Field” performance. A very compelling and powerful poem about a slave taking from home to the field. It was a very intense and well receive poem. I ask him about the poem. I wanted to know what was going through his head when he performed it. “Of course, the thing is not to show that you’re nervous you know the old saying never let them see you sweat” He said. He continues by saying “I always pretend that I’m there and I act as I’m that person in the poem.I put myself in that position.” I watched the video several times and each time it was just as good the first time I saw it. I also wanted to know from him was there a message that the character in his poem was trying to bring to light. “Definitely.  Being captured altered his purpose and changed the structure of his family. And being brought to a new land was confusing. However, he was determination to be free showed our resilience as humans” he said.  I also asked him about today’s society among African Americans in regards of his character in the poem and how it relates today. “Very much so.  African-Americans really don’t have an identity or connection to a culture. A feeling of loss and confusion” He explains. It was a very interesting point he made. Giving the climate of today’s society among African Americans is troubling especially with the unemployment rate, public schools, violence, and broken communities. There aren’t many black own businesses and programs to help produce more opportunities. Instead you have seen more incarcerations and police brutalities among African Americans. I ask him what is the remedy to repair that sense of loss and connection that African Americans struggle in this time. He basically said “education is the key, just gotta keep reaching and teaching.” I made a suggestion of the days of the Harlem Renaissance to reconnect the culture and identity which he agree would be great idea. Giving the circumstances, it would take more than just revamping the Harlem Renaissance to help unify African Americans. However, art has always unify African American communities culturally.

As we about to end our discussion, I ask some questions that relates to his style of poetry. His style of poetry has elements of hip hop in it. When you watch, and hear his “In the Field” performance, you will hear Trinidad James “Gold” style of rhyme within his performance. Who cannot forget that song. I had to ask him about today’s generation hip hop and what he listen to the most. “There’s a few I’m not really into. But Hip Hop, looked all music evolves. I embrace it. With the advancement of technology, I’m able to find the music I like. Right now, I still listen to Drake, Kendrick, Killer Mike, Brother Ali, phonte from little brother, and 2 Chainz.” He said.  He mentions his musical influences as well such as Run DMC, De La, ATCQ, Outkast, Jungle Brothers. Public Enemy, and Rakim. I also wanted his thoughts on the success of black films in 2016 and rather the bar was raised from those movies going into 2017. He wasn’t overly impress with the films but he was slightly impress as he said “nothing wow-ed me yet.” He later said “the films were cool. I would like to see more biopics from black writers and directors.Not sure if any bars were raised, though.” Even though the bars were not raised from his point of view for 2017, one can only hope what would 2017 will bring for black filmmakers.

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As Moody Black gets prepared to go on the road to continue his journey, his legacy will not be defined by one moment, but through many of his accomplishments. Gracing his presences on a platform such as All Def Poetry has not only spark the rise of many opportunities that may land his way. It has allowed him to reach audiences from all over to listen to his words and visualize his message that will spark the brain. Art is Moody Black. Mood Black is art. Even though that may confuse you, you have to think where would you be without art and what would you do without art. Moody Black innovation and vision of telling a story through a book or poem invites the mind to discover the world of Moody Black. As he prepares to go on the road, you may catch him at poetry nights in your community, or guest speak at your local events. His vision is to engage and inspire the minds in search of hope. Though I never mention in the conversation where we both share the same taste of music and the times of Right On! & Word Up! Magazine. I wanted you the reader to know about Moody Black and follow him throughout his journey. For he will be someone on a major platform that will encourage others to listen, love, and learn.

You can follow him on these social media sites

https://www.instagram.com/iammoodyblack/

https://twitter.com/iammoodyblack

You can also check out his website where you can purchase his cd’s, get the scoop on his next performance, or you can book him for your event.

http://www.iammoodyblack.com/

He will also be in North Carolina this Saturday for Pemansip: out the box. The link is below to order tickets to the event.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pemansip-out-the-box-tickets-33505287216?aff=es2

Q&A with “Just Tryin’ To Be Loved” Author J’son M. Lee

It just clicked for me after she said that. It’s plain unethical to think that someone can change their sexuality. I spent my life thinking something was wrong with me. I wanted to tell our stories to normalize our reality.

Q&A  with “Just Tryin’ To Be Loved” Author J’son M. Lee.

By Juan Carlos Diaz

 

Lol Ever since we’ve met J have been fascinated by your stories, what made you become a writer?

I never set out to become a writer. At the time, I started writing, I was searching for a release as I grappled with my sexuality. I wanted others to see I was no different than they were. I just loved differently.

 

Right and that is what I truly admired from your work, it sorts of had a quality that said, accept me who I am or fuck off

It took me quite a while to get to that point honestly. I remember going to therapy and my therapist said, “I can help you, but you need to decide if you’re gay or straight.” That was genius. lol From that day I’ve never looked back.

 

That is extraordinary.

It just clicked for me after she said that. It’s plain unethical to think that someone can change their sexuality. I spent my life thinking something was wrong with me. I wanted to tell our stories to normalize our reality.

 

From reading your books, I can honestly say that not only do they help to give a voice to the LGBT community, your work has help me come to term with things that I battle with as a disabled straight male.

 Juan, thank you for that. Likewise, you have inspired me. You have let nothing stand in your way. I know we’ve never met, but I’ve always admired that about you. I guess in a many way we are alike. We were chosen, and He knew we were up for the job.

 

Thank u! Can u share with us some info about the one man play u wrote and performed in college?

Sure! I was a Speech major with a concentration in performance studies. We were tasked with adapting a one-man show. Even back then I was an activist, and often brought to life taboo topics. It was during this time that One Family’s AIDS was conceived. The show was received extremely well. Several years later I decided to write my own version of the story as I had lost several friends to this disease. The main character is coming to terms with both his sexuality and an HIV diagnosis. I subsequently turned the play into a short story. I hope your readers will check it out.

 

I have to say One Family’s AIDS was an extraordinary read because I saw the main character’s illness as symbolism

Yes!!! It’s about so much more than HIV/AIDS. It’s symbolic of anything that you allow to separate you from family, and even from God.

 

Wow, you are truly a beautiful artist, J’son!

THANK YOU! I’m so glad you got that. That was one of the things I wanted to convey.

Out of all the book you’ve written, which one are your favorites?

I think I’d have to say Just Tryin’ To Be Loved because it was my first, and it was pure. I think it showed my innocence and vulnerability as a gay man, and as a writer. I was just a young man with a dream, and this book was the culmination of that dream.

 

Where can we purchase these books?

www.jmccoylee.com

 

Aright, that concludes the interview, thank u so much.

My pleasure! Thank you!

Interview with Anthony Turner CEO of Alpha Wolfman Sneaker Brand

I told myself when I was 20 years old that I’m going to dedicate myself fully to music for 10 years before I reevaluate. And if I’m not to a position that is conducive to continuing I will move on to something more lucrative

Interview with Alpha Wolfman Sneaker Brand CEO Anthony Turner

Written by Patrick B. Hill

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    When it comes to sneaker brands like Nike, Jordan, Adidas, Reebok, etc. Each brand started with a vision and started from the ground up. Each brand in the sneaker industry grew overtime with efficient and persistent operation. Nike for example didn’t became a shoe empire overtime. Founders of the shoe sold the shoes from back of their car. Talk about humble beginning. It later grew into a major brand.  African American Anthony Turner 31, Tennessee native and CEO of Alpha Wolfman Sneakers is another humble beginning story. I recently sat down with the CEO of Alpha Wolfman Sneakers to talk about his brand, story, vision, plan and sneaker.

 

Anthony “Wolfman” Turner had envisioned himself designing clothes and footwear as a child. It was a dream of his and in fact; he talks about his time of designing.  “When I was in high school I redesigned my high school letter men jackets. During the same time, I found a seamstress who could help me make my own clothing. So, I made a few pieces while in high school. But I was just exploring then. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20’s that I decided to design and make apparel to sell as a business.”  Anthony at one time talk about being a music producer before taking on the fashion and sneaker industry. However, he had a deep passion for the fashion industry. When I ask him if he currently still doing music on the side, “No. And the reason why is; I told myself when I was 20 years old that I’m going to dedicate myself fully to music for 10 years before I reevaluate. And if I’m not to a position that is conducive to continuing I will move on to something more lucrative. And needless to say, I decided that it was best to pursue my true passion full time which is fashion. Because at that point it become what i really wanted to do.”

 

Moving ahead, I talk to him about his sneakers. In the discussion, he took me through the process of his sneaker brand. He explains, “the process for me was a difficult one because my first goal was to find a reliable supplier that could manufacturer my sneakers with my full vision and make them affordable for people to buy. The first manufacturer I was with was in Italy. I do admit they were good at what they did but the prices weren’t set up for businesses to make money off them unless they were a high fashion brand. Especially selling sneakers for $300 plus.” He also talks about his strategy for his brand as well. “For me I wanted to reach a more of an urban
demographic. And I noticed that the option for branding was extremely limited. So, I researched and found new suppliers. And I took the same mentality as far as design goes. But urban with an upscale taste.”

 

15391089_10212382455063267_8198601338375736420_nWithin the discussion about his manufacturing and strategy, I got a chance to see his sneaker designs. Each sneaker had an imprint of a wolf paw tag on the side of the shoe. The wolf paw is the brand official logo. “So, I redesigned everything and added my logos and company name to come up with something new. Clear transparent soles, all gold soles, adding accessories etc. The series of sneakers are all named Lobo which stands for Wolf in Spanish. I have released all the way up to Lobo 5 currently.”

 

I ask him about what will it take for his brand to be in the same position with the other brands. “For me, I would say time. Because if you look at Nike in instance. They started out with the founding members being a track star and his coach. The first Nike sneaker was sold out the trunks of they’re cars. And over time with smart business moves, amazing designs, and determination now they are the #1 shoe company in the history of the world. So, for me I look at that as inspiration. They started out the same way I started out. I feel like within the next 5 years I could be a major competitor in the marketplace. I just would need to concrete my brand more.”

Time is always the essence of building a brand from ground up. The question is what will it take for such business to be in the same competition among other businesses who share the same idea and vision. Anthony knew what he needs to do for which he talks about his marketing strategy in the conversation. “My strategy for the next year is to advertise in more mediums and more marketplaces, such as TV ads, Billboard Ads, Internet ads such as social networks like Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest. Paid targeted ads. Reach out to as many people as possible. And also I’m working on getting placed in major outlets across the United States.” 

Alpha Wolfman Sneakers are doing quite well. Lobo sneakers are still selling and consumers are really liking his sneakers. When I ask him about the feedback from consumers who brought a pair of Lobo sneakers, they were positive feedbacks. He explains, so far everyone who has purchased the Lobo series sneakers has been happy with the purchase. I get good feedback on them as well. Everything has been positive so far. Because I wanted to make sure that the sneakers release is as good or better than the quality that they would get at any major outlet. I even buy the shoes myself ahead of release dates and test them out for full quality control. The embrace has been great.” He also talks about his plans to get the sneakers out to the public.“Currently I’m in talks with a few retail chains and even small shoe stores to have them available for the upcoming year. I will have announcements coming soon on where they will become available. And we are signed up for a few expos the second quarter of 2017. But for right now the only way to get them are from my website.”

As we come to the end of the interview, I ask him about any future projects as well as updates on his sneaker production. “I have taken the Lobo 1 and Lobo 3 off the market because I wanted to redesign them. The next shoe that will be released will be the redesigned Lobo 3. This will be sometime in February of 2017. With the redesigned Lobo 1 following. There needed to be changes made because of a change in manufacturing. Because of that change now i have more options as far as design goes. New clothing is still being worked on as we speak release date is TBA.”

 Anthony Turner is still working hard to get his brand in the right position. What I took from this interview is a man who is determine and passionate about his business. Even though the market hasn’t been more openly invested to indie sneaker designers due to consumer loyalty. However, that hasn’t stop Anthony drive to bring awareness to his brand. Consumers have brought a pair of his sneakers and had great experience with the quality of the sneakers. Anthony not only does sneakers. He has a clothing apparel as well as accessories. We need to continue to support small businesses like Anthony. By supporting small businesses, we can create an open market for those to explore.

 

If you wish to know more about his brand, follow his brand on these social media sites.15203243_10212116295489444_6288234479610682103_n

Facebook.com/AlphaWolfmanCo

Twitter.com/AlphaWolfmanCo

Instagram.com/AlphaWolfmanCo

Pinterest.com/AlphaWolfmanCo

 

 

 

 

You want a pair of Lobo sneakers and apparel, go to this site below.

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www.AlphaWolfman.com

Interview with Author Keanon Chambers

Interview with Author Keanon Chambers

By Juan Carlos Diaz

 

Twenty-six-year-old Keanon Chambers is perhaps one of the brightest literary stars to rise from Delaware’s underground literary scene. A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Chambers states that what influenced him to become a writer were the negative things that were occurring throughout his neighborhood when he was growing up. “I was aware of all the bad elements of my neighborhood and said to myself. Na, that’s not the route that I’m choosing for my future,” stated Chambers. He also says that reading became the ultimate escape for him. “For me books became doors to rooms I could escape to and be able to experience a totally different environment other than the one I was living in.” It wasn’t until Keanon reached his mid-twenties, however, that he realized that he too had the ability and the talent to write. “I remember I was constantly reading novels written by Eric Jerome Dickey, Walter Mosely, and Zane when one day I came to the realization that I was capable of writing my own book,” said Chambers.

With his creativity and passion already fueled, Keanon embarked on a journey to create the character Sergei Santana, who is the main character of Chambers’ first book titled Mirrored Faces: There Are Two Sides to Every Ego. In this tale, Chambers gives readers a glimpse into the life of a former U.S. spy who is now a multi-billion-dollar owner of a carrier company. However, Santana’s days as a spy are brought back into his life when his family is suddenly attacked by a terrorist he helped arrest years prior to the main events in the story. With his first book already receiving great reviews, Chambers says he is hard at work on the next installment of this series, hoping to inspire other youngsters like himself. For more information on Keanon Chamber visit Amazon.com where his book can be purchased. A Kindle version is also available for download.