Category Archives: Music

These 3 ladies from “Like A Boss” headed to being top media moguls

600803f048c5981639964a3b7fda8143Media and business moguls seem to have a wide range of experiences to get to the place where they finally reach their goals. Some start as assistants to high profile executives, while some others work for a friend or family member. Then there are some who just seemed to be born with the attitude and work ethic to do what is needed to be done to become that leader they always wanted to be.

The new hit Oxygen show, “Like A Boss” gives the audience access to the lives of bosses in the making. The show introduces Amber Grimes, Rian Parish, and Drekia Glenn. While these might not be household names as of yet, just keep watching because these three ladies have had experience assisting high profile executives and talent.

Recently, Amber Grimes, Rian Parish, and Drekia Glenn discussed their goals and reason for being a part of this popular show. Here is a little about the 3 media moguls in the making: Amber Grimes, is currently assistant to media mogul Nick Cannon. Rian Parish is the assistant to popular radio personality Big Tigger and Drekia Glenn is assistant to music executive Abou “Bu” Thiam. Within the show, these protégés are out to prove they have the drive, focus and ambition to be a future CEO.

Amber Grimes is an ambitious Atlanta native with an independent grind to make it in the entertainment world. She recently joined Nick Cannon’s team as his assistant to help him launch NCredible in Atlanta. Her career kicked off early by becoming one of the top college party promoters in the city. After making a big name for herself on the party scene, she furthered her interest in entertainment by promoting and managing several artists. Her hard work quickly led to her first executive assistant position at Def Jam Records for the Former Vice President, Abou “Bu” Thiam, as well as a brand ambassador position with Reebok. It was always this assistant’s goal to become a trailblazer in the male dominated entertainment industry, and Amber has done that by taking her experience with high level executives, major artists, and event planning, to start her own full service marketing company, The Cardi Brand Agency. Amber also uses her athletic background, passion for fitness, and major brand connections to host an all female health initiative, #PowerWomenSweat, that promotes healthy living and offers women of all ages free fitness classes and networking opportunities. Amber has big goals to make it as a powerful female in show business and to inspire other young women to always follow their dreams.

On the rise from none other than the wonderful “Peach State of Georgia”, a shining star was born, Miss Rian Parish. Talented actress, graceful dancer, and one who has been known to “rock” the mic, she is blazing the road to stardom. She has made her contacts in the entertainment game by becoming the right hand to some of Hollywood’s hottest stars and now she is making her mark as she breaks out from behind the scenes to steal the spotlight. Her bubbly personality, charisma, and quick wit make her the go to girl for hosting, emceeing, and interviewing. Rian has honed skills in every facet of the industry from behind the camera as a hairstylist and makeup artist, to owning scenes in television, film, and music video productions. Rian is fully aware that nothing comes easy or fast, and when she is not on set, she is learning the entertainment business inside and out. Currently, Rian is trying to perfect the balancing act between being an assistant to radio DJ and TV personality Big Tigger and being a mom to three kids. If being a mom and an assistant wasn’t enough, Rian is an entrepreneur having started a budding tax preparation and staffing business, in addition to hustling to jump start an entertainment career as an on camera host. Finding the time to do it all is tough, but if working for Big Tigger can give Rian one thing, it’s a chance to learn how to be an on air personality from one of the best.

After reaching out to music executive Bu Thiam, Drekia Glenn finally has her shot at the big-time and will learn the ropes as Bu’s second assistant. Dedication to her job won’t be an issue for Drekia as she has always been a hard worker. Her career goal is to run an entertainment concierge firm, serving the needs of all facets of show business from athletes to models to music artists and more. She is real and no nonsense and someone you will definitely remember after seeing her on the screen just once.

Although, these 3 ladies are very different, they have similar goals and that is to succeed and be role models in empowering other young women. They are each on their way and definitely expect to hear so much more from them in the coming years.

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Singer Josh Xantus on tour and building an empire with his vocals

66af8d0bb80ac4532c1d10de5c26ed78Singer and songwriter Josh Xantus definitely seems to have what it takes to rise to the top of the charts. He has the personality and talent to become the breakout star people will be talking about for year to come.

He got his musical start very early on. He began playing the piano at age six and composed his first song at 13. In fact, Josh’s musical roots have a unique start. Born to Haitian parents in Brooklyn, New York, Josh and his four siblings moved to Queens after his mother and father separated. His mother, a violinist, had a passion for music; however, like many single mothers, her aspirations were put on hold to raise her children. But, she never forgot the music. “My mother wanted her kids to play an instrument so she gave us pianos.” Josh event shared a story about his mom telling them if they learned classical music it was a way to the girl’s heart.

“Continue to carry out the legacy of being a musician that represents real music,” is what the iconic Stevie Wonder told up and coming singer-songwriter Josh Xantus. Catching the pitch-perfect ear of Stevie Wonder is unheard of for a new artist. However, after one listen to Josh’s fresh sound, whether it is 2011’s Can I Live? or his upcoming mixtape The Antidote, it’s no shocker the entertainment industry is taking notice.

At only 26, Josh Xantus, which means golden in Greek, has already caught the likes of Swizz Beatz, Ne-Yo, Jerry “Wonder” Duplessis and Birdman from Cash Money. A fusion of sharp musicality with infectious party anthems, his sound is accentuated by the discipline of a Julliard trained pianist and the swag of a pop-R&B prince.

Josh started playing classical piano at the age of six, quickly mastering Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven. But it was Brian McKnight’s 1997 hit, “Anytime,” that would change the trajectory of Josh’s music. “That was the first song that really made me want to write a song,” recalls Josh. “I was just a kid, but I was with this girl and the song made me want to ask her these questions. ‘Do I ever cross your mind? Do you think of me?’ It was the first song I made a connection with.”Josh was ready to abandon classical music for the soul of R&B, but his mother insisted that he not disregard his skills on the piano. Soon after, Josh was accepted to the prestigious Juilliard School.

After completing Julliard, Josh attended the legendary Five Towns College, which includes the alums Chrisette Michele, Nicole from Nina Sky and Adam Levine, the lead singer of Maroon 5. On his days at Julliard, Josh reflects, “I’m happy my mom pushed the classical music — it’s why I am where I am at now. At the end of the day, you’re either meant to do it or you’re just trying.”

Josh Xantus is certainly meant to do it and you can’t fight soul music when it’s calling. Josh was the first artist signed to M USA Entertainment in 2011. As a new artist, he performed as the opening act for Fabolous, Busta Rhymes and Ne-Yo. In addition, he garnered critical acclaim for last year’s indie smash Can I Live?, which was compared to Usher’s Confessions.

In 2012, Josh exercised his business skills by landing an administration deal with Downtown Publishing. Via Swagga Boyz Productions with his partner Claude “Qou” Forbes, who is known for his work with Trey Songz and the late, great Michael Jackson, the deal will develop new artists and cultivate the groundwork for Josh’s The Antidote.

In 2013, Josh is reinventing his sound. R&B is in his roots, but he is defying the rigid confines of labels to explore new horizons, which is apparent in the upcoming The Antidote. “The project is more about finding out what you really are, who you really are and what you really want out of life,” Josh enthusiastically explains. Songs like “The Weekend,” “Breathe” and “Wake Me” are destined to rule radio with its urban rhythms and pop appeal.

He is organically broadening his base, reaching the masses with a sound that cannot be categorized. Quite simply, Josh is a pop star. The Antidote, which will be released in early 2013, includes production from Music Man Ty, Los Da Mystro and Swizz Beatz. Plus, there is more to come in 2013: a nationwide tour, an EP and collaborations. “If you’re putting your music out there, I think fans should know who you really are. I’m going to give them a show!”

While Josh has taken the time to learn his craft, earned a blessing from Stevie Wonder and worked with veterans in the industry, his musical destiny has yet to be seen. By being a truly gifted musician and a driven entrepreneur, he has accomplished unprecedented success for an artist that has no major label backing. With his new 2015 smash single “Real Chick”, a nationwide tour, and a revamped sound, 2015 will be the year of Josh X. Things are definitely moving for this talent. Josh co-wrote the song “Ready to Go” with Swizz Beats for this hit show Empire which happens to be one of their biggest song to date and is featured in a Pepsi commercial with Jussie Smollett. Josh is set to hit the road on a US Tour with Love and Hip Hop reality star and rapper Cardi B this summer. Be sure to stay tuned with Josh via his social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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2011 X Factor winner Melanie Amaro is back with new music and a new attitude

96dbd477440df4fcad95415dd2bab629It’s been a few years since this young music phenomenon came to our attention, but fear not, she is here once again to let us know for sure that the X Factor judges were not wrong with choosing her as the grand prize winner for the 2011 music competition.

After a few years reflection and time to regroup by getting to know herself, this twenty-four year old young lady is coming back with a bang. She has new music and a new sense of self like none before. Fans who have been waiting will be in store for so much more than they ever thought and that’s only part of the good news.

On, Thursday, April 14, 2016 in NYC, Melanie Amaro sat down to discuss some of her upcoming plans as she is set to release her new EP entitled “Nice Nasty.” No longer signed to a record label, Melanie recently collaborated with rapper Fabolous on the song entitled “Dust” and is planning to release another song called “The One” along with a cool new video. Although there is no official date yet set on the release of the video, the plan is to have it released before the summer 2016.

During the interview, Melanie Amaro, mentioned being excited to see that her fans were still rooting for her. This was great news for her to hear as she prepares for being ready to step back into the spotlight. This appears to be just wanted she needed because Melanie even admitted that “she was shocked and overwhelmed” that she won the 2011 X Factor title and how important it was for her to take some time off to regroup for such a life changing experience. Now, she is back to make music and reconnect with her fans. When asked how she came up with the name of the album “Nice Nasty”, she stated that that there were “two sides to her personality, but is totally leaving it to her fans to interpret.”

Although, upcoming song entitled “The One” was written for Melanie, she did have a hand in creating it and the theme for the new music video. She also mentioned that she loves making music and being in the studio. Since music is number one in her life, it is important for her songs to be emotional and this is very evident in current her music. Another personal revelation she shared and one that people might not know is that, Melanie is also quite versatile with a few other talents. She loves to cook and even likes doing hair and makeup.

Currently living in Atlanta, Georgia, she is hoping to tour soon to promote the new EP. One other bit of news she shared was that she is pitching a very unique idea for a reality show. The concept is very positive and will definitely inspire others that might be on a similar musical journey.

After speaking with this talented young lady, it is apparent that she is here to stay and with the passage of just a little time, it seems as though she has only gotten better. For more information on Melanie Amaro, check her out on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Vevo.

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Hi-Arts & National Black Theatre announce the production of ‘Blood at the Root’

4a45bac342f139f3ea87e3969892b99bGood theater in New York is something many people expect, but theater in Harlem goes as deep as the roots from when Harlem became such an influential neighborhood in New York City. On Tuesday, April 5, 2016, The National Black Theatre presented the cast of a much talked about upcoming show entitled “Blood at the Root.” The evening moderator for the event was Keith Josef Adkins, the artistic director of The New Black Fest and he discussed the play with the actors.

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Tony and Grammy Award winner Heather Headley joins the cast of The Color Purple

4e586697289503979d49eb67cdb8c1c9There is a good news, but also a little bit of sad news so perhaps it is bittersweet news for theater goers. Beginning on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Tony and Grammy Award winner Heather Headley will assume the role of Shug Avery in John Doyle’s critically acclaimed production of the Broadway musical, The Color Purple.

This is Ms. Headley’s first appearance on Broadway since winning the 2000 Tony Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for her performance in Aida. Grammy and Academy Award winnerJennifer Hudson, who made her critically-acclaimed Broadway debut in the role of Shug Avery, will complete her six month run on Sunday, May 8 and will give her final performance that afternoon.

“These last six months have been nothing short of a dream come true. I have found an extended family in the cast of The Color Purple that will go far beyond my commitment on-stage,” said Jennifer Hudson. “I owe so much to the Broadway community and our audiences. My heart is full as I say to Broadway,‘until we meet again.”

“I was privileged to see John Doyle’s production of The Color Purple and was completely moved and bowled over by his beautiful work and this brilliant company,” said Ms. Headley. “I am humbled to be joining this immensely talented group of actors. I can’t think of a better way to return to the Broadway stage than in this extraordinary show, helping to tell Alice Walker’s story.”

Heather Headley made her Broadway debut in the role of Nala in the original Broadway cast of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Tony-winning musical, The Lion King. While still in The Lion King, Heather was asked to audition for the title role in the writing duo’s next Broadway venture together, Aida. Her portrayal of the Nubian princess Aida won her the 2000 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical. Heather continued her musical success on the pop charts with her 2002 debut album. The opening title single became Heather’s first #1 hit, topping the dance and R&B charts and earning her a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. In addition to her independent release of Only One In The World, in 2009 Heather released Audience of One, for which she won a Grammy Award for the Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album. In 2012, she made her London stage debut in the West End production of The Bodyguard, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award.

The show has received rave reviews with Hudson in the role and Shug Avery and will continue as Headley assumes the role in May 2016. For more information, photos, and videos of the production please visit the Color Purple website.

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Apollo Walk of Fame induction of Jazz icon Charlie ‘Yardbird’ Parker

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The official induction of Charlie “Bird” Parker into the Apollo Walk of Fame.

In anticipation of the New York premiere of Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD (April 1st and 3rd), a co-production between the Apollo Theater and Opera Philadelphia, the Theater celebrates its jazz legacy by inducting the iconic and influential jazz saxophonist, Charlie “Yardbird” Parker, into the Apollo Walk of Fame.

The ceremony included presentations recognizing Charlie Parker and photo ops with Apollo President & CEO, Jonelle Procope; legendary instrumentalist, composer, arranger and educator Jimmy Heath, who played with Charlie Parker; Opera Philadelphia President and General Director, David B. Devan, opera star Lawrence Brownlee, who plays Charlie Parker, and quite a few other guests.

The Apollo’s Walk of Fame honors legendary performers who have helped shape the American music landscape and built the Apollo into one of the world’s most enduring cultural institutions. The plaques are normally installed underneath the Apollo’s marquee on 125th street, alongside plaques for numerous Apollo legends including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson, and Patti Labelle, among others.

e5f93e729ad1bb12b22e2be7d85de4f7Parker had a rich history with the Apollo and performed at the Theater many times, beginning in 1943 with the Earl Hines Orchestra— which included Dizzy Gillespie. During his many engagements at the Apollo, Parker further developed his bebop style and also experimented with classical and other musical forms. Even after his death in 1955, he left a rich influence in the world of jazz and in music overall.

This Charlie Parker induction event, is only one of the many that the Apollo Theater holds throughout the year . As many may know, the Apollo Theater is a not-for-profit organization and currently in the midst of fundraising for its 21st Century Apollo Campaign., created to extend the institution’s role in fostering artistic innovation and in building appreciation of American culture around the world. For more information, visit the Apollo website.

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The Universal Hip Hop Museum Fundraiser at Barclays Center March 26, 2016

c53b8558edbebe052eb181c5a988cc68If you are a lover of music, perhaps Hip Hop is a music of choice. Hip hop as music and culture formed during the 1970’s when block parties became increasingly popular in New York City, particularly among African-American youth. Since that time, Hip Hop has increasingly grown and become popular in the United States and all over the world. This genre of music has become so ingrained in our culture that it has influenced so many people.

The music has inspired fashion, movies and many young people. There are various awards shows only featuring hip hop artists and within the years, it is definitely safe to say that hip hop or what some call rap music id hear to stay.

Writer, Judith Davis and Rapper Roxane Shante at the Hip Hop Museum fundraising event. in Brooklyn.

Writer, Judith Davis and Rapper Roxane Shante at the Hip Hop Museum fundraising event. in Brooklyn.

On Saturday, March 26, 2016, the Universal Hip Hop Museum host a fundraiser and party in Brooklyn, New York at The Barclays Center. The party was host my none other than Cynthia Horner, the Editor-in-Chief of Hip Hop Weekly. Horner may also be known as former Editorial Director for the classic RightOn! Magazine.

Also, in attendance was hip hop legends Kurtis Blow and Roxanne Shante. They were on hand for press pictures, but the audience was also treated to a rare and awesome performance by Kurtis Blow. Blow is known for rap anthem such as: “The Breaks,” “Basketball,” “If I Ruled The World,” and “AJ Scratch,”just to name a few.

The performance and the house band together go the crowd in the mood to enjoy themselves and even donate to the cause. The Universal Hip Hop Museum has Kickstarter campaign for all who are interested in contributing. The purpose of the music is to preserve the proud history of hip hop, educate a worldwide audience on the five elements of Hip Hop. It is also created to honor the trailblazers who paved the way. With immersive exhibits, live events, impactful educational programs, and a powerful new expression of the art form by keeping hip hop at the forefront of our global audience.

Writer, Judith Davis and Legendary Rapper Kurtis Blow at the Hip Mop Museum Fundraising event in Brooklyn.

Writer, Judith Davis and Legendary Rapper Kurtis Blow at the Hip Mop Museum Fundraising event in Brooklyn.

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“Being” on Centric TV with Mona Scott Young

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Photo used with permission from 135th Street Agency

The season premiere of the hit show on Centric TV started with a bang by featuring one of the baddest reality television producers around right now. For this installment of the show, Centric TV‘s “Being” featured none other than music management/producer veteran Mona Scott Young.

In New York City, on Saturday March 5, 2016, Love and Hip Hop New York star, Yandy Smith and Mona Scott Young invited the press and special guests to be among the first to view the “Being” episode. There was a packed house of friends, colleagues and some family who were there to wish the woman of the hour nothing but the best on her success.

Mona, as many fans and entertainment industry professionals know is responsible for the high octane, sexy and trendy reality show Love and Hip Hop New York. Each week, the show unveils so new music and a few issues that fan cannot get enough of talking about to their friends. Although, it began with one show, Love and Hip Hop has slowly grown into a franchise with other installments such as Love and Hip Hip Atlanta and Love and Hip Hop Hollywood to follow. Also, because of the continued success of the shows, there are additional spin off from breakout cast members such as:Stevie J. and Joseline and K.Michelle: My Life.

This success is nothing new for Scott since in her career, she has worked with some of the biggest names in hip hop such as Missy Elliot and Busta Rhymes to name a few. It is clear with her bold and nonstop work ethic, even more success is to follow. She has even partnered with rap superstar Nicki Minaj and created the Moscato drink simply called Myx. For more information on this talented lady, visit her Monami Entertainment website.

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Director Lee Daniels set to direct Apollo Theater documentary film

aff8e8d7f528ad963d6b15a8b1833a64The history of the Apollo Theater, located in Harlem New York is known all around the country and even in the world. Now, there will be more of an opportunity for people to learn about this legendary theater that has launched the careers of many great entertainers.

Oscar nominated director Lee Daniels, who is know for films such as (Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Precious, Monster’s Ball, Shadowboxer, and creator and producer of the Fox hit series Empire) will direct the documentary feature film entitled THE APOLLO THEATER FILM PROJECT – the authorized history of New York’s famed Apollo Theater. The project was recently announced by The Apollo Theater and White Horse Pictures’ Nigel Sinclair and Jeanne Elfant Festa.

In the spirit of the Apollo Theater’s tradition of active audience participation and in support of this documentary, Lee Daniels and Jonelle Procope, President and CEO the Apollo Theater, are jointly making an appeal to members of the public, audience-goers, and fans for film footage, home movies, photographs or other memorabilia that may have been accumulated by members of the community in the course of its more than 80 years of live performances. Just like with the well-known Apollo Theater amateur night, the audience has the opportunity to actively participate.

gradient 12688017_10153931785299485_1549845637527461926_nAccording to Daniels and Procope, “We are asking members of the community who have been to the Apollo, who may have parents or grandparents or other family members or friends who have done so, to help us find any material – audience footage, photographs, or other memories that we can use in our documentary film. In addition, an Apollo Theater Documentary website has been established. for anyone who wants to submit. We will, of course, respect everybody’s ownership of their property.”

This exciting project is produced by Nigel Sinclair who has been responsible for projects such as:(GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD, END OF WATCH) and Jeanne Elfant Festa (FOO FIGHTERS: BACK AND FORTH), White Horse Pictures’ Director of Features and Head of Documentaries,under her Piper Cub Productions banner. For additional information, and other events, visit the Apollo theater website.

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The “Color Purple” returns to Broadway with an awesome cast

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Photo used with permission from The Color Purple on Broadway

If you are looking for a roaring good time, look no further than Broadway this season. There are always exciting musicals to choose from, but one of the best shows on Broadway currently is the revival of the smash hit “The Color Purple.”

The Color Purple began preview performances on Tuesday, November 10 and will officially open on Thursday, December 10, 2015. This installment of the Color Purple features Grammy, Academy Award, and Golden Globe award winner Jennifer Husdon who has been cast in the sultry role as Shug Avery. Playing opposite of Jennifer, is British actress Cynthia Erivo. Cynthia is the breakout star of John Doyle’s acclaimed Menier Chocolate Factory production. Rounding out the female cast is Danielle Brooks. Brooks might be mostly known for her role as “Taystee” in the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black”, and she will be playing the role that Oprah Winfrey made famous, Sophia.

This is a historic and major moment for the show since all three outstanding actresses will be making their Broadway debuts. Newcomer Joaquina Kalukango will appear on the play as Nettie. Kalukango credits include: Encores! Wild Party and Holler If Ya Hear Me. Singer/Actress Jennifer Hudson, who plays Shug Avery stated “I want the audience to be inspired and come away learning something good from the role.” Actress Cynthia Erivo who plays the main role Celie explained that she hopes the viewers can take a journey that can change their life.” Actress Danielle Brooks who was cast as Sophia, expressed as she gushed with excitement, “I am elated to play such an iconic role.” With comments such as these, this musical/play is definitely set to leave fans transformed and leaving the theater

Even the male cast members spoke about their excitement to be a part of such a great play. The male cast includes. actor Isaiah Johnson and Kyle Scaliffe. Johnson will play the role of Mister and some of his credits include: The Merchant of Venice and Peter and the Starcatcher, while Scatliffe was cast as Harpo, and has past roles in Les Misérables.

As fans and audience members know, The Color Purple is an unforgettable story of enduring sisterly love and triumph over adversity. This play presents its music with a fresh, joyous score of jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues, as we the inspirational and heartbreaking journey of Celie, as she develops from childhood through joy and despair, anguish and hope to discover the power of love and life.

Interested in checking out the show? Tickets are currently available for purchase at colorpurple.com and Telecharge.com. In addition, the box office is located at (242 West 45th street) will be open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-8pm, and on Sundays from 12pm-6pm.

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