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Category: Interview

Exclusive Brad Boultinghouse Interview


Brad Boultinghouse talking to attendees after the show
photo by Keri Goff

Following his show on Thursday I sat down with Brad Boultinghouse to talk a little bit of shop in regards to the collection and the inspiration behind it. I have to say thanks to Keri Goff who like a trooper switched from photographer to videographer at the drop of a dime. I hope you guys enjoy the short interview as well as the images below the clip.




Brad directing models backstage
detail shot of second look
spiked wedges from aholic by Brad Boultinghouse

Sarah Hines, Me, and Hallie Lipsmeyer
Hallie Lipsmeyer, Brad Boultinghouse, Christian Barker, Sarah Hines, Me

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Shirley Yu Interview

Finding new people in the fashion industry at one point became a past time of mine. I’d search for new photographers, designers, and model and then catalogue their information some where before continuing to search. One photographer I found during that time was 16 year old Shirley Yu. A young photographer, Shirley is already making a bit of traction in the industry shooting mostly tests for modeling agencies like Red, Request, Elite, and Ford. She admits that her proudest moments yet have been when her work was featured on popular fashion blogs Fashion Gone Rogue and The Ones 2 Watch. Right before releasing the debut issue of her new magazine Youth and Freedom, Yu agreed to answer a few questions for me.


MoaGB: How did you get into photography and why at such a young age?
Shirley Yu: I practiced photojournalism after buying a used DSLR in 7th grade. I then began to love taking pictures. It wasn’t until I looked at Richard Avedon’s work that I became interested in fashion photography. Why so young? It’s one of those fun things that its like if you could do it at sixteen, why not? Most of the models I’ve shot were teenagers anyway!

MoaGB: Do you feel as if the industry has been receptive of you and actually values your work?
Shirley: Just being able to go this far in fashion photography must be some sort of sign that they do.

MoaGB: There are increasingly amount of young people getting into the industry at a very young age, namely those like yourself, Tavi Gevinson, and your partner in crime David Urbanke, do you attribute this to anything specifically? Do you think the rise in technology has contributed to this?
Shirley: Tavi is awesome, just sayin. But I definately think the rise in technology 100% controls the influence of all the young people coming into the industry (unless they come from really rich and powerful families). I don’t think I’ve obtained as much of an internet following as a lot of other young fashion people, but I do tweet a lot and write on my blog sometimes (that no one reads) haha

http://static.issuu.com/webembed/viewers/style1/v1/IssuuViewer.swf
MoaGB: Speaking of Urbanke, the two of you have recently released your own magazine so what prompted to start your own publication of all things?
Shirley: It was started to showcase some up-and-coming talent and also to be able to work with established fashion photographers. David started it as the Editor in Chief, but I hopped along as assistant editor because I’m a huge magazine junkie and I completely die for fashion editorials.

MoaGB: After you had the concept of the publication how did you put the rubber to the road and actually go about making YF a reality?
Shirley: David first made the website and we began talking to other fashion photographers, coming up with plans, getting submissions, making a Twitter, calling in favors from all our fashion friends, and then insanely promoting the magazine. After everything, David put together the layout of the magazine. That’s how the first issue was created.

MoaGB:When going into a shoot do you come into it with an idea of what you want to do? I’ve been told that some photographers are very regimented and have each shot planned out whereas others really just allow it all to happen on the set; do you fall into one of these categories, or do you do things differently?
Shirley: I’m pretty spontaneous about shooting. I have a general idea of what I want, and I get inspired mostly by the model and the location. I definately don’t plan every shot, I cant even imagine that!

MoaGB: How important a part does post production play into your shoots?
Shirley: I hate retouching so I’ll do as little of it as I can get away with. I try not to overly screw with colors and lighting in post because I just want the photo to look like what I saw with my eyes that day.

MoaGB: Are there any ongoing influences that you have, whether specific people or just concepts?
Shirley: Well I’ve been shooting mostly male models for the past four months with about two female models every month. Shooting has been a huge binge of boys…but I’m currently trying to balance it out more!

MoaGB: I’ve been told by many others that relationships often play a more important role than talent when it comes to be successful monetarily in this industry, do you feel this way? Do you have any personal experience with the issue?
Shirley: In my opinion it’s only 51% about your work (maybe less?) and the rest is just who you know or how important your friends are. You definately can’t work in fashion without the connections to back it up. Monetarily, I wouldn’t know anything about haha but ive discovered this year that knowing important people who can get you into fashion week shows/presentations is always fun 😉

MoaGB: What advice would you give someone looking to get into photography?
Shirley Yu: Just develop good taste by developing a list of favorite fashion photographers (then constantly follow their work). Don’t be tacky!

INTERVIEW: Lea T of Givenchy


Lea T is a story that needed to be told, and who better to tell it than Lea?

source | models

INTERVIEW: Keiko Limehouse of Mina/Mas(Part 2)


On Friday I posted the first part of the interview that I conducted with Keiko Limehouse of Mina/Mas boutique. The fashionable mother of two runs a edgy yet diverse boutique in Columbia, South Carolina and has no problem helping out up and comers. While the first segment of the interview focused more on Keiko and her opinions about the fashion industry, this second segment focuses more on the boutique, and it’s inner workings. I would again like to thank Keiko, this time publicly for sitting down for an interview and everything else she has done.

Below the clip is the second and final segment of our interview focusing more on Mina/Mas and the inner workings of the boutique.

803: First, I love the space, did you come up with the aesthetic for the space? Did you have any inspiration?
Keiko: Yes. I chose primarily chose pink because it’s a signature for women, and I wanted to provide an avenue in which women felt more than comfortable in and something that was purely for women. Whereas men have alot of places to just go and relax, like sports bars and cigar bars, women don’t really have that so I wanted to give them their place of comfort
803: So it’s more than just “come here and buy your clothes”?
Keiko: Oh yeah! We’re a firm believer of “If you can make a woman feel good on the outside she can remember all the good things on the inside.” Given the fact that I am a woman, most women are moms, sisters, career women: we have so many things going on in our lives we tend to forget about ourselves.
803: So is there a reason you chose this pink specifically?
Keiko: I felt that a lighter pink would be too foo foo little girl. And I think the depth of the color says something about us because it’s kind of deep. We’re deep as well because we have motivations and things we want to do. It’s the type of color that if it’s too light, it’s kind of glaring and if you go too dark, it’s kind of gothic.
803: Why did you decide to only stock 3-6 pieces of each garment as opposed to more?
Keiko: I hate bulk shopping, and I really feel that for women in Columbia, unfortunately, there’s not a lot to choose from here. Traditionally they have to go out to Charlotte, Charleston and Atlanta to find something that’s different, so I specifically had the intention to find those pieces and bring them here. I, myself, now have children and I can’t get up and move as frequently as I could have when I was younger so this was a way to control my own vice as well as to offer that to all of my clients.803: So did you make the boutique to solve a problem you were finding when buying pieces?
Keiko: That definitely was a big piece in deciding only to have 3-6 people, however in deciding to have the store, my biggest thing was helping women to remember themselves. A lot of times as career women and moms, we tend to forget about ourselves. You put your career first, you put your kids first, you’re putting your husband first, you put everyone first and you forget about yourself. I just wanted to remind them of themselves.
803: Do you shop for yourself or do you have a specific woman in mind when you go to buy things for the boutique?
Keiko: It’s been a growing process and I have amazing clients, they are like friends and family. Since I don’t have a lot of family here they kind of filled that hole. We go way out for our clients, and kind of take them under our wings. So knowing what their needs are and their criteria, like their body type, I go to find things that of course I personally like, but are applicable to their bodies.
803: So over time the styling of the store could change depending on your client base?
Keiko: I think that I’ve been kind of lucky in the sense that the clients that we do have really like what we’re already doing. So I don’t really want to change my formula per se but I am aware that not every single line is for every single body type. So we will probably develop more lines of clothes that are more equipped for different body types as opposed to changing what we already have. We try to keep a nice selection of workwear everyday wear, going out wear, formal wear. So we try to have a little bit for a vast audience.
803: So I know that Tara and Kayla are both interns, so is everyone who works in the store an intern?
Keiko: No, we have two other employees as well both of whom have other things that they are pursuing. So it was kind of a blessing in disguise: they are still with us, but their time given over the summer kind of had elapsed. I knew in advance that they weren’t going to be here and it just so happened that Tara and Kayla approached me about an internship at the same time.
803: So is their internship focusing on the business aspect or more of the fashion aspect of the boutique?
Keiko: Initially when I interviewed with both of them, I wanted them, I think in some senses, and I hope not to be jumping the gun but I know in a lot of internships they just work the store, Ideally I don’t want them to just work the store. I want them a.) to utilize the talents that they’ve learned alongside with learn anything that they want to obtain from this or receive from this. I hope that they pursue those things here. I share all my inside things with them so that they are fully equipped, whereas alot of people just let them have a job, and utilize the free services. I’m letting them see everything that, I see the goods and the bads, the uglies and in betweens. The same way that I form relationships with my clients they’ve been here for a little while and they are doing the same thing.
803: It seems to me alot of the things that you do are about empowerment, is this intentional?
Keiko: That’s definitely our hopes. Definitely, we do try to do alot of different events. We eventually want to turn Mina/Mas into a label which is why I wanted to pull Tara on board because she designs and stuff. I’m trying to push her and motivate her to keep going with that as well as I want her to work with us to kind of design some of our pieces too. But ultimately we want to turn into a label and then take the proceeds from that and develop youth programs like group homes for kids803: So do you have any local designers stocked?
Keiko: Well here’s the thing, I’ve interviewed with several and have allowed for them to host their items here for free. Whereas if they say their products are XYZ as long as they fall with in the boutiques price point, they receive all the commission for that. Just given different circumstance I haven’t had anyone that was consistent enough that brought a line. It is something that I would entertain for sure. I think that there is alot of unrecognized talent in Columbia and being a business, formost people that own a business it’s “self before anyone else” whereas I’m a firm believer in “what you give out is what you get back.” So although sometimes I don’t see my blessings I know that they are always there so I always love helping people to advance even if it far exceeds myself.
803: Have you considered expanding into menswear?
Keiko: We’re actually contemplating that currently. There’s not really a high custom made suits in demand. But there is a high demand for the absence of custom made suits. So I really want to have that service. Not a tailoring suits because I know of places here that advertise as custom made but really they are tailor made. But we actually want to custom make and that’s about the extent of us going into menswear.
803: Alot of people don’t understand that many times in music and in arts there are alot of people who work on teams behind the scenes. I was wondering if it was the same way with boutiques and more importantly, Mina/Mas.
Keiko: Well we work with one person, she owns Silky Alterations, and she’s helping to incorporate some pieces for the future. But there’s all kinds of people that we are still kind of collaborating with and growing relationships with before we put anything in writing. You want to make sure that before you get into bed with someone you want to make sure that they have the same mindset as you and has your back the same way that you have theirs. So we’re still grooming those but in terms of who we have now, Silky is sort of our “signature seamstress”

INTERVIEW: Keiko Limehouse of Mina/Mas

Since returning to Columbia, SC I’ve been meeting and speaking with alot of people. Some of it has been to progress my own personal brand and to make moves for myself independent of my internet presence, and some of it has been to strengthen my internet presence and bring that original content that I’ve been whining about wanting to bring. Well last Saturday I sat down with Keiko Limehouse at her boutique Mina/Mas, here in Columbia, and engaged her in a conversation(I like this term instead of interview). During the time I was there I was allowed to witness first hand the individual attention she gives to each client and how she explains a garment’s functionality, as well as how she pretty much is a stylist for loyal clients. The conversation went for a few hours and so I have divided it into two sections. While you’ll have to wait for part 2 which will speak more about the boutique specifically, here is the first part which focuses on Keiko and her opinions as well as her two children, Mina her 10 year old daughter, and Mas her 3 year old son.

See the rest of the interview below the clip

803: I know the name, Mina/Mas came from your children, so were they a big inspiration?

Keiko: Absolutely, I was doing real estate before and my daughter had got to a point where she wasn’t seeing mommy necessarily work because my work was done by the time she got home from school. As well as seeing mommy flip investment properties, she wasn’t there to see that. So she would comment “So and so’s mom made cookies and cakes” and not really see what mommy was doing. So I felt that in order for her to really respect what mommy was doing, she really needed to see how much work mommy really does put into things and how passionate I am about everything that I do. So given that everything that I do in life is for them I felt that it had no other option than to be named after them

I wanted my daughter to not only see the hard work and the rewards but You know I left a really nice comfort zone career to pursue my passion. I wanted her to see that you know anytime you put your mind up to something you can make it happen. It was important for me to impose independence on her and my son and allow her to see the whole process. They are the reason I wake up in the morning so it had to be named after them.

803: So are those art pieces that are featured theirs?

Keiko: Yes, my daughter is a phenomenal little artist and we have several local restaurants and businesses that want to host her stuff. And once I started to get to the place that people were actually asking for it, I decided that I should be the one to host her stuff. So eventually once we get more pieces we’re going to develop an attachment to our site. Since she’s so little I didn’t want to develop her own personal site just yet, because there are crazy people out there, so I was mindful of that so I want people to see her page in attachment to ours. And I’m all about my kids and helping htem pursue whatever they want to do and she has a talent that was given to her and I want her to develop that

803: Did she design those pieces specifically for the store?

Keiko: I just let her do whatever she has in her mind. She does do alot of different kind of artwork, she does acrylic, oil, pastel, watercolor, animal, contemporary, she does it all. And I don’t try to influence her with what direction to go into I just let her do what she wants to do.

803: Do you have any specific opinions about fashion in a national or international sense?

Keiko: I’m the type of person that is notorious for wearing $1000 shoes with a $2 t-shirt. I’m not necessarily a huge fan of a brand or a designer just because of the label but instead I like the colors, the fabrics, textiles, the make of the items, and how long it’s going to last. I like the ones that haven’t been recognized yet.

803: Do you regret not taking the location advice?

Keiko: No because in that time frame I’ve been given more time to reflect and grow as well as to critique the bigger plans. So I don’t regret it because I thing that everything that happens happens for a reason. And I can’t say the location that I have is a bad one,. Columbia is very nichey in the sense that you go to specific places. It’s not like this is a high volume area with boutiques on every corner like it is in California. So with that being said you’er going to gear towards only certain areas. But no I don’t regret it at all, I think it gave me time for growth and to allow me to do what I needed to do.

803: Do you have any specific feelings on the Columbia Fashion Industry in comparison to the other industries out there.

Keiko: In comparison to a lot of other industries we are a lot behind but I think that gives a lot of the talent here room to grow. So it’s a great place to be if you have a dream and desire and talent, it’s a great place to start. Instead of like jumping into more established industries, I think that it’s a great place to start. There are a lot of great things going on. But in comparison to some of the bigger industries I think we’re a lot behind. So, it has it’s goods and it’s bads. I think that being that we’re so behind allows for those people who are trying to make moves to grow and to make those moves.

803: Do you feel as if Columbia will ever be able to have an actual voice in fashion seeing as we have so many other more stronger industries nearby?

Keiko: I think that we can but as a whole I think that a lot of people are scared to step on the same platform. I think that a lot of times people work against each other instead of with each other. And that extends a lot even outside of the industry, but I feel as if we focus on the bigger plans and the bigger picture and be willing to step on the same playing field instead of trying to be crabs in a bucket, for lack of better terms. then we could easily compete with some of our closer markets.

Read Part Two.

PERSONAL: Meeting Court Members

Look from Givenchy Couture Fall 2010 (WERQ)

So I’ve finally finished! I have completely transcribed my interview with Keiko Limehouse from Mina/Mas boutique. It should be posted soon 🙂 BUT, I have something that I can bring you now!! They aren’t excerpts but while at the boutique I spoke with two of the interns that were present, members of the Columbia Fashion Court themselves. I spoke with Tara Lance, who is also a designer, and I spoke with Kayla Blake who models. In addition to the questions we spoke a little about some of the collections that just showed, thus the pictures 🙂 Here is a bit of what transpired.

Bouchra Jarrar Couture Fall 2010(This is couture??)

Me: So how has your internship experience been?
Kayla: I’m learning alot, I’m trying to figure out behind the scenes stuff of the shop. Like here with the whole behind the scenes we’re doing it not just asking
Me: Do you want to be a boutique owner in the future?
Kayla: I would like to own a boutique but I focus more on the buying aspect of it, working with the buyers and vendors
Me: Have you ever thought of going into buying specifically or are you set on your own boutique?
Kayla: I want my own boutique
Me: When buying, what stores would you be interested in buying for?
Kayla: A store kind of like Mina/ Mas

Raf Simons Summer/Spring 2011(I NEED THOSE PANTS!!)

Me: How did you get the internship? Did you know about Mina/Mas before?
Tara: Well I actually did a show with Taveon Meadows, it was a Kappa/AKA fashion show and Mina/Mas was one of the sponsors. Prior to that a client of hers… I was doing her hair and she said “You really need to go to Mina/Mas boutique. Keiko she’s my friend, she’s helped me out a couple times you should go meet her and go talk to her.” finally I got to come meet her and talk to her. Instant connection, instant. I loved what she was about, loved her establishment. Loved everything about what she was doing. Her main goal is to help people move forward in their goals. She’s not harboring any information, she’s not keeping anything from anybody, she’s not being rude and nasty about the stuff that she does, no she’s very open and very helping of everybody. Once I saw that and being the type of person that I am and you know I want to be in the type of position to help people, I was like “Ohkay cool, I’d love to work with you in the future.” She found out I designed, I don’t know who we got on the subject but I told her I designed and she was like “REALLY?” she got very enthusiastic about it and inspirational to me. Ultimately she came to the show and saw a pair of shorts that I had made, and those shorts were very near and dear to me, Kayla was the model. When she saw it she was like “I knew right then that you could, and are capable and there’s something inside of you.” and it just lifted me. When she said she wanted to work with me I was more than happy to work with her because I realized she was sincere, she was genuine, she was an inspiration. And she was trying to move me forward as far as getting me prepared for this industry.
Me: So are you looking to design in your future or what?
Tara: I’m very set on design. I do want to make a career out of it. But I am god driven so whatever god wants me to do with my life, whether he wants me to go down and serve at soup kitchen, it’s his will so I’ll do it
Would you rather design a line for someone else or do your own line?
I am very interested in doing my own line in the future. But as of now being young in the industry as well as numberwise I would like to be apart of someone else

As you can see, both girls are talented and have plans for their lives. I look forward to hearing and seeing more things that they are doing. Anyways I must run, MacQueesha is about to die… oh you guys haven’t seen her new case yet… I’ll get right on that!

SPOTLIGHT: Robot & Brucling

How I got in touch with the design duo Bruce Franklin… I’m not exactly sure. I’m not positive if he was the designer who tweeted me shortly after I began tweeting Coco and Breezy but no matter how I met him I am aware that in my first semester of college I talked to him quite a bit, discussing plans of mine with the blog and listening to him talk about creating his collection which is now on sale. Now that I think about it, I laugh as I remember how he would call me Mr. Info. I was always reading an article that he had to read, hearing about a stylist to get him in touch with, I had some idea or another at every moment. Enough about that though, we have below interview questions that I sent over to the duo and their accompanying answers. I do hope you like what you read.

See the interview below the clip.
Name: Chris Chaun and Bruce Franklin
Product: Bow Ties
Label Name: Robot&Brucling
Number of Years in the Industry: 4 Months
Claim to Fame: Reinventing the bow tie
Favorite Piece that You Have Designed: Its a piece we haven’t released yet.
Favorite Designer: Karl Lagerfeld
First thing, how did you guys get into designing?? Have you always been the stylistic ones in school?? Did it just evolve from that?? Did you go to school together?? Before this venture had you designed before?? I know you were involved in the fashion industry before you began this initiative, did that push you into designing??
We were working on separate collections and decided to work together. We were regarded as style leaders of the pack in our high school of 5,000+ students, introducing high end designer labels to the classroom, lol. Teachers hated it… Always asking where we got money to pay for such luxury. We both designed informally for years and worked in fashion, so evolution takes its course naturally. We’re sure all experiences count for something; a bit here, the rest there…

How do you go about designing?? What are some of your influences?? Also how did you find out your design style?? Do the two of you have the same style??
We’re visionaries so our discussions are our sketch sessions and then we free-hand together once our fabrics and findings have been chosen. The current collection was designed this way and we felt no need to stray from a seamless process. Our design style is a no brainer; we design from emotion and typically agree on ideas because we think of them separately and approach each other with the same idea… telepathic communication, seriously. Art and history are our predominant influence, so we have similar style.

What made you pick bowties?? Why not any other accessory??? Do you have plans on expanding the line??
We love bowties, so it was a natural choice. Whats the difference between jeans and ties? If they look good, wear em. Right? Our line is the beginning of our developing brand.
When you began to design this collection specifically what were some of your emotions during that time?? Is there an accompanying story line?? Do you have a name for this collection? Did both of you work on each individual bowtie??
The ties are a reflection of the emotions we felt at that time and this is to be translated by the individual who wears them; we’re artists, they’re art. The collection is cohesive because of a balance, a co-existence of two sides to a story. We decided to name the ties individually and each one has a backstory. We chose not to create a name to box the collection inward… Yes, we work on everything together-

You guys are both in Boston now correct but you commute to New York?? How is this?? How has the initial reaction been to Robot and Brucling?? How is the Boston fashion scene??
We commute 8hrs driving to and from New York weekly in most cases for the obvious reasons as designers. The scene here is surprisingly alive, but in a more upscale manner, fairly pricey shoes hitting the streets and fancy coats in the fall and winter. Look up the roster of stores here, they don’t exist for no reason… lol. We’ve been very fortunate with the immense amount of support our label has received thus far.
Who are you designing for?? ? Does branding come into the equation when you begin to design?? Have you begun to assemble a team??
We design for those who want more and its hard to reach your peak of creativity thinking of what people want all the time; we introduce them to what they really want. We had imbalances in the beginning, but respected each other always and worked to be more balanced, to be real partners… Our designs always make sense for our brand, so no team outside of us has been decided on.

Do you have any views on the rapid changes that are occurring in the fashion industry?? This pertains to the rising in influence of the fashion blogger, the democratization of the industry which is signified by the wider audience that fashion shows are presented to, and the perceived loss of prestige of what once was regaled as the bibles of fashion, magazines. Do you see these things as positive or negative?? How do you attempt to deal with them as you grow your business??
As time progresses, things change, some to the benefit of the present. Yay @blogs… We must remain true to ourselves and as we do this, we only grow with time and in harmony with everything going on, no matter what the level of agreement.

If I were to introduce you to someone just out of high school who wanted to get into the designing business what would your advice be to this person??
Be yourself. Let nay-sayers inspire you.

Check out there website to purchase bowties here
Follow them on Twitter.

Playing Nice with Charlie


I found her because Sean L Bankhead was doing choreography for her. The choreography was soo dope but I wanted to have the song, I wanted to find the artist. So I began to dig, and found all of her sites. After not finding a suitable place to download it, I ripped the track from YouTube(I guess I shouldn’t condone this but you do what you gotta do right??). I found her around the same time I found Jayms Madison and was bumping You Get Me Nice for the longest!

http://www.divshare.com/flash/playlist?myId=9461528-d70

Charlie is a triple threat in her own right and has recently come out with a new track, Rip My Clothes, for her “bubs”(her equivalent to Nicki Minaj’s barbies. Having seen alot of sides to the industry I felt it only necessary to ask her a few questions about her experiences.

Do you remember the first song you first wrote??
YES I DO… LOL THE FIRST SONG I WROTE WAS HORRRRRIBLE… IT WAS CALL “TASTE THIS” HAHAHAHA Do you still have it?? I DO… I RAN ACROSS IT A WEEK A AGO… IN MY CD THAT I KEEP FOREVER. Was it for anything in particular?? NO I JUST WANTED TO WRITE A SONG… I RECORDED IT WITH MY OLD ROOMIE AT THE TIME, SHE’S AN ARTIST AS WELL NAMED ALJU JACKSON…WE LAUGHED AT IT BECAUSE IT WAS SOOOO BAD

I see that on your YouTube and on your website you say you are an artist/songwriter and it makes he think about how alot of people in the industry nowadays like to be / something. Do you think this is because of the economy or is there something in particular??
I REALLY COULD NOT TELL YOU WHY ALOT OF PEOPLE HAVE DECIDED TO BECOME ARTIST, I CAN ONLY SPEAK FOR MYSELF, TO ME MUSIC IS A PASSION, WHEN YOU CAN SEE YOURSELF DOING NOTHING BUT THIS AND YOURE WILLING TO GRIND IT OUT AND DO THE HARD WORK, THEN ITS MEANT FOR YOU… IM NOT HERE FOR THE FAME OR THE GLITZ AND GLAM, I JUST WANNA WRITE AND SING MY MUSIC AND SOMEHOW GET THAT MESSAGE ACROSS OF WHATEVER THE SONG IS TALKING ABOUT

Before being a triple threat was something that was something that was exclusive but it now seems that more and more people are triple threats even if they aren’t the normal attributes attributed to triple threats.
TRIPLE THREATS COME IN RARE FORMS…LOL THATS ALL I GOT TO SAY ABOUT THAT..

When you get in the studio to write a record for yourself or anyone else are there ideas that you keep in your head??
I LIKE TO KEEP TRACK OF ALL THE THOUGHT RANDOMLY POPPING UP IN MY HEAD AND ONCE I GET IN THE STUDIO I HAVE A LIST… BUT IF THE LIST HAS NOTHING IM FEELING FOR THAT PARTICULAR TRACK.. I GET INTO MODE… I IMAGINE MYSELF BEING SOMEWHERE ELSE… AND I JUST PLAY AROUND WITH MELODIES OR ID GO AS FAR AS DANCNG AROUND THE STUDIO TO THE TRACK JUST TO MAKE SURE IM FEELING THE TRACK…

Do you have different ideas for each group you write for??
WHEN I WRITE FOR OTHER ARTIST I TRY TO GO AWAY FROM THE NORMAL BECAUSE SOMETIME THEY ARE LOOKING FOR THAT DIFFERENT SOUND… AND TO ANSWER THE QUESTION YES… IM ALWAYS COMING UP WITH DIFFERENT IDEA… THEE IS REALLY NO FORMULA TO WRITING… WHATEVER I HEAR… I PUT IT DOWN…

Do you feel you bring something to the industry that others don’t and if so what??
I FEEL IM BRINGING THE INDUSTRY WHAT ITS BEEN MISSING FOR YEARS NOW, WHICH IS ORIGINALITY, ARTIST TO ME ARE ALL BEING PUT IN THESE BOXES TO BE CREATED LIKE THE HOTTEST ARTIST OUT AT THE TIME AND ME.. I FEEL IM A TREADSETTER, I TAKE MY OWN FOOTSTEPS… I DANCE, I WRITE MY OWN MUSIC, AND I TAKE CHANCES

Alot of the time, what we see is not all the story so what is the rest of your story??
MY STORY IS… I CAME FROM JACKSONVILLE FL, MOVED TO ATL TO FUTHER MY MUSIC CAREER WITH A GIRL GROUP “JUST A GIRL” WHO WAS SIGNED TO SYLVIA RHONE OF UNIVERSAL MOTOWN AND DALLAS AUSTIN OF ROWDY RECORDS, WE STRUGGLE FOR 3YRS AND BY THE 4TH YR WE DECIDED TO PART WAYS, I DECIDED TO FURTHER MY CAREER AS A SOLO ARTIST HAVING TO BATTLE THE WHOLE DARK SKIN GIRLS CANT MAKE IT IN THIS INDUSTRY, AND ALTHOUGH TIL THIS VERY DAY THAT FIGHT STILL REMAINS, BUT I REFUSE TO GIVE UP, BECAUSE IM NOT GONNA LET THAT GET THE BEST OF ME, MY MISSION IS TO PROVE TALENT IS TALENT NO MATTER WHAT SHAPE FASHION COLOR OR FORM AND IM GONNA PROVE DARK GIRLS CAN ON TOP.

http://www.divshare.com/flash/playlist?myId=9461529-a4f

Who composes your team??
MY TEAM: DMG / UPFRONT

Is there anyone out in the industry now that you look up to or would want to work on a track with??
THE PERSON IN THE INDUSTRY I LOOK UP TO I WOULD SAY IS LADY GAGA… LIKE ME, SHE TAKES CHANCES AND CREATES HER OWN FOOTSTEPS… SHE DONT CARE WHAT PEOPLE THINK AND SHE’S HONEST AND REAL, AND I LOVE THAT.

I read on your website that you started the girl group “Just A Girl” and now we know you are out on your own.
YEAH
Do you feel like it’s harder going it alone or with the group??
NO ITS EASIER, LOL WE WERE ALWAYS LATE… LOL I WAS LIKE THE MAMA OF THE GROUP AND THE ALARM CLOCK.. BUT NOW THAT ITS ME IM ABLE TO BE ON TIME…

If they are about equal, what are some pros and cons of both??
PROS: IN THE GROUP WHEN ONE IS SICK THEY OTHER IS ABLE TO BACK THEM UP OR WHERE ONE OF US MAY HAVE LACKED THEY OTHER PICKED UP
PROS AS A SOLO, NOT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT HARMONY AND SOMEONE BEING OFF THE NOTE OR NNOT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT SOMEONE NOT PUTTING THEIR ALL INTO A PERFORMANCE

CONS: SOLO ARTIST HAS TO DO IT ALL OR HANING TO TRAVEL ALONE
CONS IN A GROUP, ARGUMENTS, FIGHTING OVER WHO SINGS WHAT…HAHHAHAH

Do you feel that you’ve had your “break” yet?? If so what do you think that moment was and how did you arrive there??If not what do you think it takes to get there?? Do you think that you’re near to it??
NO, BUT I FEEL ITS CLOSE…AND I’M GETTING CLOSER WITH EACH PASSING DAY. IT TAKES ALOT OF HARD WORK AND DETERMINATION AND YOU HAVE TO BE STRONG IN THIS INDUSTRY CAUSE IT WILL CHEW YOU UP AND SPIT YOU OUT

I see you’re on Twitter and YouTube among other things. Do you find these sites imperative to being in the industry?? If so which ones do you utilize the most time on?? Also what website is your guilty pleasure??
INDEED LOL. IM ON TWITTER THE MOST…. I LOVE IT… MY BFF CALLS ME A TWITTER HEAD… SHE EVEN MADE A SONG OUT OF IT…HAHAHAHA
(and in reference to the guilty pleasure)
YUMMM SO MANY… I LOVE HIGH FASHION, SO IM MOSTLY ON DIFFERENT FASHION SITE… MY FAVE IS GIVENCHY.COM

What’s your favorite color??
BLACK

How would you describe your clothing style??
SEXY GOTHIC CHICK

If I asked you to give the best advice to a senior, fresh out of high school who wanted to make it in this industry what would you say to them??
FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS

What’s next for you??
WHATEVER PATH GOD CHOOSES FOR ME….

Lola Maxwell is on her way to the Planet of the Greats??

The story of how I found Lola Maxwell is… interesting. I had just caught ahold of this Who Is Lola campaign and thinking that Lola(AKA JLo) was this Lola, I followed her on Twitter. Eventually I got around to listening to the music and I found that this was NOT the same artist. But after taking a few taste samples I found that, I liked this Lola just as well!!

http://www.divshare.com/flash/playlist?myId=9397000-3e6

An artist in her own right, I found out by Tweet that Lola is a dancer as well as a fashionista. In our interview she even elaborated citing her involvement in theatre, art, and graphic design. With her recently dropped mixtape entitled, From the Planet of the Greats, Lola is one that we’ll have to keep an eye on and an ear out for.

Do you remember the first rhyme you ever wrote?? If so, what was it about?? Do you still have it??

You know what, I actually do, surprisingly. The first rhyme I ever wrote was to Craig Mack’s “Flava in Ya Ear” and I rightfully titled it “Brand New Flava”. It’s basically me introducing myself to the rap world. The first few lines go “here comes the brand new flava in ya ear/ jillz in the airwaves stirrin up some fear/never call me feisty I keep my cool calm/dudes wanna make me wifey take me to their moms/never rock the vans cuz I never rock the sneakaz/see you at my show first row in the bleachaz…” lol I still love it and spit it from time to time at some of my shows. I think I might have typed it up on my sidekick way back when, which got stolen at some party down here at school. Luckily I have it stuck in my brain.

When you get in the studio to record a track or anything really, are there words or concepts that run through your head??

Man, that’s the hardest and easiest part about being a writer. Sometimes it comes easy other times you just get creator’s block, similar to writer’s block I guess lol. There are times where I just want to get so complex to make people think and other times I just want to give it to them conspicuously. One thing that’s definitely easy for me to write about is love because I take matters of the heart seriously. Since, I’ve been through so much it’s easy for me to explain my emotions and feelings through my lyrics.

Do you feel you bring something to the industry that others don’t and if so what??

Hmm, I feel that I bring the total package, haha. Well, that’s what I’ve been told anyway. I mean, there’s so much more progress to go but from what people have witnessed they tell me that I possess the total package when it comes to the look, the lyrics, the art, the “swag”, and the determination. When it comes to my music and the beats, concepts, and lyrics that I chose, I feel like I would be bringing what once was heavily admired by the masses in the 80s and early 90s – real hip hop. I loved that rawness, even though I’m only 20 lol, and want to reproduce that through my music along with adding that new school flavor.

Alot of the time, what we see is not all the story so what is the rest of your story?? Also who helped you or is continually helping you?? Who composes your team??

It’s all Lola baby!! Lol, no but seriously, I get little help when it comes to writing and coming up with concepts. Me, as a person though, I don’t know, if you can’t tell through my music then I don’t know what to tell you. I’m just a five foot fashionista with a passion for music. When it comes to beats I usually pick some up from friends who are also aspiring to be in the music industry. On my mixtapes you can hear beats produced by Banquo, Sinitus Tempo, Doc Battle, Nando McFlyy, Johnny 5 Optimus, Heartbr3ak Kid, and Vaughn Newtype Garcia of M1 Platoon. My biggest support comes from my friends and family, specifically my sister. She is the one that motivates me on a daily basis to keep striving me to be my best and show my talent to the world. I love her for that!

http://www.divshare.com/flash/playlist?myId=9397003-a7c

Is there anyone out in the industry now that you look up to or would want to work on a track with??

I don’t think there’s anyone I really look up to but there are a few who inspire me. You got Mos Def, Outkast, and Gnarls Barkley. They’re incredibly creative and I love how their music isn’t like the rest. That’s how I want my music to be. If any of them wrote to me today and said they would like to work with me I would probably pass out or scream, lol. That’s just how much love I have them and am serious about expressing my thoughts through music.

Do you feel that you’ve had your “break” yet?? If so what do you think that moment was and how did you arrive there??If not what do you think it takes to get there?? Do you think that you’re near to it??

I definitely don’t feel like I’ve had my “break” yet. I’m actually surprised how much recognition I’m getting from my mixtapes! I mean, two years ago I was just a freshmen at VCU looking to earn my bachelors in Fashion Merchanding in the next four years. My mind was not on becoming a female emcee. So, it’s amazing how far I’ve come and how much I’ve gotten noticed in such a short amount of time. I actually do think I’m near my “break”. All I need for that is the right people to hear my mixtapes.

http://www.divshare.com/flash/playlist?myId=9396999-6c7
Clockwork just came on and in it you say something about having to dumb down your lyrics just to make a single?? Do you want to elaborate on this?? Do you feel that this is phenomenon in the industry??

Is it?! Definitely. Every time I turn on the radio or go to the club I hear simple ass lyrics (excuse my language) that don’t really say anything. The other day I was listening to B.o.B.’s “B.o.B. vs Bobby Ray” mixtape and on some track he was saying something about “patron patron patron and swag, patron and swag”. He was giving emphasis to the fact that that’s all you hear on the radio so people don’t quite “get” what he’s doing. And it doesn’t make any sense. I did a peformance at the Stone Soul Picnic in DC this summer and I saw this no more than 8 year old boy singing every single lyric to Soulja Boy Tellem’s song “Turn My Swag On”. I honestly felt sad for the boy because he’s not getting that true hip hop that I’m sure he could fall in love with.

On Figure of Speech you say you are a poet. Is this how you got into songwriting?? How important do you say poetry is to expressing your feelings??

Lol, I actually hate how I sounded on that track, but those words mean a lot to me so I just said “what the hell!”. I’ve always been a good writer but not necessarily in poetry. I love to read poetry, though. My favorite books of all time are by Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss. I was more into writing stories.

http://www.divshare.com/flash/playlist?myId=9397001-b32

What’s your favorite color??

Well, lol, it was pink but I’m divorcing it and I’m getting married to purple. I love the meaning behind it – royalty. Plus, it just seem more richer.

How would you describe your clothing style??

Chic and sophisticated with a touch of glam, ow!

If I asked you to give the best advice to a senior, fresh out of high school who wanted to make it in this industry what would you say to them??

Go for it!! But don’t expect for things to just fall into your lap. Dreams take lots and lots of energy as well as determination. And ALWAYS THINK POSITIVE!! I can’t stress that enough. Oh, and if you get a chance watch “The Secret”. One of the best things that’s happened to me thus far.

What’s next for you??

More shows, interviews, collabs, and videos I guess. Right now, I’m just trying to keep my grades up and focus on school more than anything since I’m almost out of there!

On the Radio on the street: Ken Dahl

So, when I decided that I wanted to interview people for the blog, the first name that popped into my mind was Ken Dahl. The 23 year old recording artist, a New York City native, believes that “it’s a tough crowd here and in general we’re not as friendly as other cities. Not to mention such a dense population of competition. I’d agree.” The competition has made him strong though, and according to his Myspace has garnered accolades everywhere, from his peers, to ANTM models, to choreographers, to industry insiders, for his first album full of “empowerment, strength, confidence and pride.”

The interview following was conducted on Yahoo Messenger. I’ve rearranged these snippets to allow them to flow a little better. I’m not typing much because the interview took 2 hours so it should tell you enough without me blabbering on, so let’s get into it.

Me: How long have you been in the game?
Ken Dahl: I’ve been writing and singing music since I was little. People may not believe this but my first song was a gospel song, called “Guide Me Dear Lord”.
Me: Wow… would you consider yourself to be religious person?
Ken Dahl: Honestly, no. I am very spiritual but I’d be a liar to say I was religious. I am in touch with my spirit. I know who I am, what my purpose is. I mediate on it and think of it a lot. It took a while to fully understand myself but I feel myself right now, and to me it’s amazing. The greatest thing you’ll discover is yourself.
Me: So do you remember your first time in the studio?
Ken Dahl: Yes, it was a very fun and intimidating experience. There’s a huge difference between singer and recording artist, so when you make the transition it’s very tough. You can sing great all day in the shower, at your house, but get nervous when you hit the mic. And discomfort shows in recordings. So my first time, I got to hear my voice back for the very first time, as someone else would hear it. It was scary, but exciting. I had fun.

Me: On the Tricks of the Trade album your lyrics are… explicit and sometimes suggestive. Is that because that’s just who you are, or that’s the direction you were going with that particular album.
Ken Dahl: I was just having fun with the album. I think it really reflects my sense of humor and sexuality. I’m very flirty but not a slut. I love to joke around and play with words
Me: Do you notice a difference between the Upcoming Dahl Society album and TotT
Ken Dahl: I will definitely say the new album has more variety and a fresher sound. I think my dahls deserve more than TotT Part 2, so I’m putting my all into making sure this album is something fresh, new and a step up from the debut. I love my debut and it’s my baby, but there’s still more for me to offer.

Me: So, with the second album, I feel like it’s really like a project.. at least that’s the impression I get. It seems to me like you’re creating a culture with it.. or are you just targeting one that already exists?
Ken Dahl: Ken Dahl is definitely something I’m starting to see as a brand. When I first started this I never knew it would even get this far. The response completely blew me away. I just want to take it as far as I can. We need more entrepreneurs in our community. I feel the Ken Dahl brand will definitely bring more power to our community sooner or later.
Me: Our community is which community?
Ken Dahl: The gay community. The thing about this is, not only are we feeling the music, a lot of others are too, females, I even had a couple straight guys to commend my efforts. That really means a lot to me, it lets me know we can reach out and we can be heard. And that people can take us seriously from all walks of life.
Me: Oh, just for clarification what is a “dahl?
Ken Dahl: I don’t really like the word “fan” too much. It sounds very groupie to me, it has no meaning. I call my supporters “dahls” because they are all beautiful to me. They love me unconditionally and support me, they are my dahls. They’re beautiful to me and much more than a “fan”.
Me: So “Cousin” drops in this month?
Ken Dahl: It was scheduled to be released July 17th, but out of respect and honor to the passing of Michael Jackson, I decided to push it to the Fall. I was very heartbroken over it; I just feel this is his time. It’ll be released in Fall right before the album.
Me: Are you still in the studio recording for the album?
Ken Dahl: Yeah, I’m constantly working on it. It’s almost done.
Me: That’s really cool.. Are you coming out with some more love for the dancers?
Ken Dahl: Oh yes, the album is gonna be full of bangers.

Me: But uhm.. Do you think social networking sites have helped you along and if so which ones have helped you the most or do you find yourself using.
Ken Dahl: Myspace hands down helped a lot. Twitter is great because I get a more direct connection to the dahls, I love that. We talk about all types of stuff. I really want to get to know them. I love them so much
Me: That’s so good that you’ll be an artist that’s in touch with his fans and twitter can help you do that. Like without it.. well we wouldn’t be having this interview hahaha
Ken Dahl: Right. Exactly
Me: I know you receive so MUCH YouTube dancer love!!!
Ken Dahl: Awwww thank you so much. Yes! YouTube really helped promote this album. Like for real. So many people tell me they found me thru YouTube.
Me: Do you help choose dancers for your shows?
Ken Dahl: Definitely. I haven’t had any performances yet with dancers, but I already have some lined up in NYC and ATL, as well as Miami that I’ll be working with.
Me: So did you pick the dancers yourself?
Ken Dahl: Yes, with the help of those in my circle
Me: What is a something that will make it or break it for you when choosing a dancer?
Ken Dahl: Lack of confidence or skill.

Me: What are some things you keep in your head when you’re in the studio?
Ken Dahl: My dahls, I think of them a lot. For inspiration. And I always remember to just have fun and be myself.
Me: So does writing come natural to you? Or is it like work kinda?
Ken Dahl: It comes natural, when I hear an amazing beat it just sends inspiration thru my bones. If it feels like a song is work, its just a song I shouldn’t be doing.
Me: Wow! So I’m aware of the upcoming magazine, that I think was supposed to debut with Cousin. Is it going to stay with the debut of Cousin or will you go forward and come out with it?
Ken Dahl: I’m thinking about that. I really want to keep that release July 17th though.
Me: Ohh.. Is there any significance to that date?
Ken Dahl: My birthday
Me: Okay, well what kind of magazine will it be? Is it a fan mag, or fashion mag… a lifestyle?
Ken Dahl: A combination of all, with some sexuality.

Me: Let’s see, I’ve forgotten to ask you about inspiration. like are there any people you idolize?
Ken Dahl: I honestly don’t really idolize anyone, but I do get alot of inspiration from artists like Brandy (artistry), Beyonce (performance), Michael (both) …
Me: Beyonce love her!!! So with performance, Bey says that Sasha Fierce, her alterego is on stage.. do you feel you have an alterego and if so does he have a name?
Ken Dahl: His name is Ken Dahl lol. People sometimes are surprised when they meet me in person because outside of my music I’m kind of shy and reserved. People expect me to be just as wild as I am on an MP3. But it’s just that when I begin my music the character comes out, this amazing person. He’s amazing to me and has done so much for me.

Me: Fashion! Okay, that’s like almost the last thing. So you have a stylist(Bel-Air) and a new designer(Royce) on your team? How do you guys go about creating the style for Ken Dahl?
Ken Dahl: Oh yes I love my stylist. Honestly, I cannot dress myself, I suck at it. I often go for clothes that I’m most comfortable with, and sometimes what you’re most comfortable with isn’t exactly the best thing to wear – – especially if you’re an artist. Bel-Air pulls me out of my comfort zone and makes me try new stuff. I love him. Casey styled my photoshoot. He’s from Atlanta, he’s amazing. He pieced it together very well. Royce is a designer I’m working with, he’ll be crafting some goodies for me soon. Really looking forward to seeing what he has in mind.
Me: Casey….?
Ken Dahl: Yeah he’s a stylist I was introduced to in Atlanta. He handled my photoshoot I did there.
Me: Okay so if you had to label your style how would you do it?
Ken Dahl: It’s Ken Dahl. It’s bright, it’s fun, it’s just me, it fits my music perfectly. Not too much but not too little.
Me: Favorite color?
Ken Dahl :My fav color is blue

Me: If I were to introduce you to a young person who wanted to break into the industry, and we only had limited time together. What would you tell them?
Ken Dahl: I would tell them to keep pursuing their dream. Do whatever their heart tells them, and always take constructive criticism. Praise keeps us at a steady level. Critiques make us raise the level.

In the interview I found Ken to be refreshing and very grounded. These qualities will serve his fans well undoubtedly, as well as his music. Watch a couple of choreographers of YouTube fame, doing their choreography to his tracks.

Miguel Antonio Jr. If This P***y Could Talk