Plain and simple, I was floored. From the beginning to the end, I was captivated and inspired. I know I throw many words out there, but speaking from the heart, Zakia Jameceye made me want to be a better woman… period. It sounds crazy, right? This woman saying that she was inspired to be a better woman by Zakia and a group of professional Female Impersonators, would probably make many of you weary as to what in the world I’m thinking. I don’t care! It’s the truth. The All Red Affair managed to take entertainment to a completely different level and I’ll explain why…
I’ve been to drag shows before, who doesn’t love Godfrey’s brunch on Sundays. Get the mimosa, honey it delicious. However, it’s so much going on during those shows between my plate and the hard-core entertainment; I’m spent just thinking about it. I enjoy it! Nevertheless, last Saturday in a hotel conference room, Zakia and her entertainment family, Nationz Pageantry Systems managed to take me from loving my femininity and myself oh so dearly, to wanting to be straight fierce, ferocious, gracefully elegant, and majestic all at the same time, every second of every day. I know they were performing, but hear me out. These entertainers, Mr. Nationz included managed to take an art form and push the envelope so far, that you have no choice but to be greater than what you are. You have to be there to understand the magnitude of what I’m saying, but allow me to paint a picture I know you’ll get…
If they can be that beautiful, that intriguing, and that spectacular on stage and they weren’t born with all of the amazing things that got them there to that point (you know what I’m saying), then what’s YOUR problem?
I thought about this deeply as I watched them cascade up and down the aisles casting spells on the audience with their glamour and fierceness, I want to be better. I want to feel better; I want to feel free and uninhibited to captivate just as much minds as they did on stage with my words. I too am a DIVA!
Now some of you may have your feelings right or wrong about female impersonators and/or drag queens, that’s your right. I support the LGBT community fully and I won’t apologize for that. This isn’t about that. What’s important is that these amazing men and women took art and inspired in the way they know best. I loved every minute of it, the crowd was drunk off excitement and support, and it was the best entertainment showcase of performances and glamour in a while. I appreciate Nationz Pageantry System for inviting me and I can’t wait to see what they do next.
They are currently looking for qualified promoters to produce official preliminaries. Visit www.nationzpageants.com to get more information.
Support their events and check them out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationzPageantrySystem
Check out this preview of the evening events:
Like usual, it’s always motivating when I share the stories and testimonies of everyday people living out their dreams. Whether professional or up and coming, GaptoothDiva.com has the pleasure of meeting extremely unique and creative people daily. These individuals have created goals and aspiration to do what they truly love in life, and can attest to the common struggles and obstacles. It is through their experiences that we gain advice, learn from their mistakes, and celebrate in the idea that “nothing is impossible”.
Today, I wanted to share an interview with Nicole Lee of Nicole Lee Designs. I met Nicole at the Richmond Craft Mafia’s Spring Bada Bing, and was in love with her whimsical creations of clutches, pouches, pillows, and even precious rings and pins. Having earned her B.S. in Fashion Design, Nicole took a huge leap into entrepreneurship in 2003. Her humble demeanor and positive attitude is welcoming and inviting, which is why I immediately considered her for an interview. Her designs are bright colored and often containing prints. They are original and so cute for people of all ages. I especially love her blog (which I hope she post again soon) Crafty Ramble, where she talks about her love for linen and shares her crafty habits.
I asked what inspired her to start Nicole Lee Designs and what inspires each of her creations. She stated, “Having my own business was always the main goal from when I enrolled for my fashion degree. I’ve always admired and aspired to be like designers Vivienne Westwood, Betsy Johnson and Alabama Chanin who each have very distinctive styles and vision with their work.”
“I tend not to have a set inspiration for each design on their own. I can be easily swayed inspiration wise by a new fabric print or I’ll pick up some unusual trim and that will influence a design but overall I try to stay true to my love of classic styles with a bit of a twist.”
Playful happiness and serenity is the description that comes to mind when I think of Nicole Lee Designs. I wondered if she encountered struggle while running her business. I asked Nicole were there any obstacles she had to overcome to get where she is today. She replied, “My main obstacle is probably ongoing typical artist angst. Will people like what I make? Is this good enough, etc? It’s an ongoing thing but I just push through it. Sadly, it probably won’t go away unless I become massively rich by designing the next big thing, like Spanx or something. ” I laugh at this idea. If only we could, have whimsical printed style Spanx. Lol
Nicole described her favorite moments as the ones where she sees someone wearing or carrying her designs. Taking into consideration an appreciation of one’s own work, I could imagine that being everyone’s favorite moment as well.
So, what advice does Nicole have for up and coming crafter and designers similar to her? Nicole informed me…
“You have to work as hard as or harder than a regular job. Nothing happens overnight. Just like a regular 9 to 5, you have to put the time in to see results. Nevertheless, the upside is you reap all the benefits and can set your own schedule. Also, do your homework on starting and running a business. There are many good places to find information on starting a craft business. Some of my favorites is an online forum called The Switchboards (http://www.theswitchboards.com), Craft Inc. and Craft Inc. Business Planner books are specifically for fashion designers, and The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing. Ultimately, my main advice is find your niche, whatever it is and Work It!”
Great advice, Nicole.
Melody Short and Adrienne Cole did it again, with another spectacular edition of Artisan Café. I’m so blown away how I honestly feel like I’m somewhere else in the world at each rendition of this event. This brought my summer in right, especially since my options these days are so rare. I was scheduled to attend another event the same day and the same time, however it was so hard to pull myself away once I was in the building.
The energy is electrifying and contagious, like a wave of support just gushes over each person involved. I love seeing the smiling and happy faces networking, almost in a vibe and connecting, each making lasting impressions on one another. It’s amazing! The vendors transcend the level of retail that we come to expect from average events and touch on our sense of sight, touch, hearing, sound, and even taste. There is no table of half-ass marketers only looking for you to buy, but sections of people wanting to call you family. “Check out my art, but let me tell you a story”, words pouring from a vendor into my ears. I love it. Even if your pockets are small, you still enjoy the atmosphere of eclectic style and so much love. Artisan Café is definitely the place I want to be every time.
I was pleased to see familiar faces like Wild Child Dzigns and Jay Sharpe. I was even more pleased to see new faces on the creative and retail platform, like newcomer Melanie Wade of Modgyrl. I was so proud that she was able to participate and sell her beauty products (which we all adore).
There was also an incredible performance by BlackRVA, which was so amazing that you really had to be there.
See more pictures on my Facebook Fan Page - www.Facebook.com/gaptoothdivaonline
There is no question the level of success that comes from this event, which is why I did not hesitate to support them immediately. They still need our support as they compete in the The Entrepreneurial Trilogy/i.e. Start-up Competition this Thursday June 21, when their Start-Up competes for the title of the Region’s Next Best Start-Up and $10,000 in cash!
I really want them to win! It would change the game for artist, entrepreneurs, and creators all over RVA if they did.
Go to Facebook:
Help the ARTisan Cafe to become the Region’s Next Best Start-up!!! http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/484942991532066/
From the event’s page: “The ARTisan Cafe is a Finalist, and we would love to have you attend! We want to pack the entire theatre with our supporters and loved ones who have experienced the Cafe and would like to see us take it to the next level of a consistent weekend market for business owners to do commerce in Richmond, VA.
We are excited, and now we need you to be pumped up! Bring yourselves, your friends, your kids, spouses, and parents. This will be a fun event…and we NEED your support through attendance.
The judges will collectively decide the winner, based on our presentation and reviewed materials throughout the competition. However, there will also be a Crowd Favorite Award based on the electronic votes from the audience that night!! Again, we NEED your support through attendance!!
Lastly, we encourage you to get in the spirit and make signs, and posters, and other fun gadgets. We are rounding up at C’est Le Vin (15 N 17th street) on Wednesday, June 20th from 5:30 – 7:00 to create some posters. Let us know if you plan to join us!!
Thank YOU for all that you have done so far. We couldn’t have done it without you!! Now let’s spread the word and get our networks to this event! The ARTisan Cafe is a Finalist, and we would love to have you attend! We want to pack the entire theatre with our supporters and loved ones who have experienced the Cafe and would like to see us take it to the next level of a consistent weekend market for business owners to do commerce in Richmond, VA.”
Attending the event is FREE, you can register here -
Location: Richmond’s CenterStage – 600 East Grace Street Richmond, Virginia 23219
Let’s support something bigger than ourselves for a change, something not associated with making any one person the star. Let’s stand behind a positive movement in our culture that will turn around the face of what we see everyday, something to be proud of. I’m so excited and I pray that I can get you excited as well. Let’s help Artisan Café!
Last night’s Interview was amazing! It was great to return to GaptoothDiva Radio and talk with someone that I know will truly inspire you. Even if you couldn’t identify with her testimony, Chaka Nicholas brought raw talent that you just can’t find anywhere. This girl definitely has swag and she is a rare creature. With a natural beauty, a great personality, and the ability to overcome all of life’s obstacles, she has really listened to God and used her gifts. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to discuss her career and life with you all. Become a fan if you haven’t already, she is so worth it! #TeamChaka
Also, check out her video for “Who am I”, to see the talent first hand….
For more Inspiration and Motivation, follow me on Twitter … @GaptoothDiva
Before I get into whom, the what, and the greatness, let me start by saying that this has been THE best event I have attended in RVA, easily. There is no point in sugar coating it. If I said this about any other event, then it has just been bumped back a spot, because this was amazing. Period!
Melody Short, recently featured in March’s issue of Essence Magazine and Adrienne Chantel Cole have collaborated with various businesses, artist, and entrepreneurs to create what can only be described as “social and shopping Mecca”. The location was Artworks in the Manchester District of Southside Richmond. The day was a beautiful, crisp Saturday evening. It seemed as if Richmond’s most fashionable and innovative came out to support the artisan’s of our dear city. More than excited to see and experience this event, I invited my family to enjoy the festivities with me. This is something that isn’t offered with so many Richmond events, which made it much easier to go.
This wasn’t about being overly sexy, snagging a partner, being liquored up, or any of the things that keep some people from participating in RVA’s social scene. This event was about the vendors and the people. This event was about bringing businesses and regular individuals together through artistry, phenomenal and creative products, networking, and socializing. It was more than comfortable, exceeding the boundaries of chic and elegant, diverse and unique, and making it the standard of what I want to expect from local events from now on. I watched the faces of many people walking around, and there was not a grimace, frown, or irritated expression in site. It was a remarkable feeling.
Melody and Adrienne manage to coordinate an event that made everyone comfortable to be involved. This environment incorporated no exclusion, and promoted maturity and excitement. Between the fantastic DJ, the amazing artwork, jewelry and apparel, products and food, everyone seemed absolutely pleased. Another goal was to promote the idea of shopping locally. By spending money with the vendors and local artisans involved with this event, past events, and upcoming events, RVA residents have the opportunity to help build the economy in their own backyards. Who doesn’t want to give back to their own community? Here are a list of the businesses and entrepreneurs involved with making this event a success…
APPAREL HAIR&BODY FOOD & WINE
Flipside Fresh Tree Naturals Food for Life www.flipsidefresh.com www.treenaturals.com ACCESSORIES HOME DECOR Anu Rock & Metal House of Lukaya www.anurockmetal.com www.houseoflukaya.com Designs by Valencia Kindred Spirit
VISUAL ART Venus Visuals
Artwork by Venice www.venusvisualsonline.com
KeMiRo Art Simply Beautiful Creations http://www.etsy.com/shop/KemiroArt COSMETICS
To recommend all future events, would be a severe understatement in my book. I felt that this event embodied everything that makes me hopeful about Richmond’s social scene. It is not my intention to knock down other events that have catered to the community in one form or another, but the MJS collection has truly set the bar for us when it comes to bringing people together in style. We need more events where we can include our families, making it easier to just get up and go. We need more events where style and fashion appears effortless, but chic and inspiring. We especially need more events where people network, connect, and smile, versus clique up into huddles making it impossible to penetrate. I commend this group of people for making my weekend amazing. Be sure to check out there website and support them with all you can. If you know of anyone who would be willing to highlight their art, businesses, or partner with Artisan café, make sure you pass their information along. Together we can make sure that events like these aren’t the minority, but something we can always expect.
There next event is Saturday, June 9th, 2012 – location to be announced
** To see more photos, please check out our fan page at www.facebook.com/gaptoothdivaonline
GaptoothDiva goes on another tour of the Handmade Holiday Craft Show by The Richmond Craft Mafia in Richmond, Virginia‘s Artworks/Plant Zero gallery. This event brings in local artisans and crafters from all over who not only showcase their unique and creative handmade gifts and accessories but they are also available for purchase. Only the best of the best are featured in this craft show, all trying to rub out the mass produced and gift their customers and fans something they all can enjoy, unique things to take home and call their own. Watch as GaptoothDiva stops at some of the boldest and eye catching tables in support of local artist and crafters everywhere.
Crystal J. Silks – http://www.crystaljsilks.com/
Nicole Lee Designs – http://www.nicoleleedesigns.com/
Moon’s Creation – http://www.moonscreations.blogspot.com/
EHL Creations – http://www.ehlcreations.com/
Mashulu by Artina – http://www.mashulu757.com/
Ittty Bitty Press – www.IttyBittypress.com
SquidFire – www.Squidfire.com
MonkeyDogStudio – www.MonkeydogStudio.etsy.com
Penelope Rakov – www.PenelopeRakov.com
Tonight it’s going down on GaptoothDiva Radio. We are talking and discussing the music industry’s high and lows with former Bad Boy recording artist and songwriter, Mark Curry. Mark Curry is the author of Dancing with the Devil: How Puff Burned the Bad Boys of Hip-Hop and we have read the book and are fully aware of the trials and tribulations Mark Curry has endured. Now he is with us this evening because he has an updated version of the book and he is also selling an e-book version of it as well. Listen in as he talks about his journey of being an artist to being an author.
Watch this video bio of his Movement:
Houston, TX – Hip hop’s favorite international dancing diva certainly takes dancing with the stars to a new level … and location! Choreographer Lauren N. Outlaw just recently wrapped her third series for one of Europe’s hottest reality shows, “Star Akademi” filming in Istanbul, Turkey. Displaying the hottest moves to a viewing audience of millions more than eager to watch, Outlaw has creatively positioned herself as the face of hip hop dance overseas!
With this season of “Star Akademi,” Outlaw’s talent is now cemented across 35 countries, including Spain, Italy, Russia, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada. A production of Endemol, one of the world’s largest production houses (known for their hits such as “Deal or No Deal,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” and “Fear Factor”) “Star Akademi” is a mainstay of European television, much like “American Idol” in the United States.
For the show, Lauren served as not only choreographer but also as dance teacher, holding daily classes in movement, staging and performance for the show’s contestants. Her added duties entailed concept and choreography for all the live weekly performances in addition to on-camera appearances. Just imagine the challenge of teaching complicated hip hop routines to students who barely speak English. Yet Lauren has continued to remain undaunted. Her winning spirit has catapulted her to success.
“To have the opportunity to return to Europe and film one of the most popular reality series there has been beyond amazing. The interaction with the production company, the contestants and the fans has been simply overwhelming. The love for all things hip hop is so gratifying to experience. My dance techniques have been embraced and appreciated beyond measure. I’m excited to return home and continue to spread the love with several new endeavors I have planned!”
A Tampa, Florida native, now residing in Houston, TX, Outlaw has been dancing since the age of six, having studied and trained in classical ballet, jazz, tap, modern, tumbling and cheerleading. Outlaw attended Fayetteville State University initially, completing her studies at the University of Central Florida, majoring in Psychology and Dance. While attending UCF, she owned and operated her own studio, Butterfly Danzers, Inc. a dance company that provided over 300 underprivileged youth with professional level dance classes at affordable prices. A brief stay in New York garnered her certification at the Hip Hop Dance Conservatory & Broadway Dance Center.
Now back home in the states, Outlaw is looking forward to choreographing more artist’s videos, shows and tours and even tackling commercial and film ventures. She also plans to release an exercise dance video that allows participants of any age to benefit from a maximized workout while having fun. In addition, Outlaw will continue to teach and consult high school, college and professional dance teams, as well as judge dance and cheerleading competitions nationwide.
As “Star Akademi” continues to play across screens throughout Europe, Outlaw will continue to serve as a reminder of the universal power of performance art, spreading the legacy of hip hop, a culture that knows no boundaries. A true entertainer, Lauren N. Outlaw is indeed a dancing star! Check out her grooves at http://www.mzoutlaw.com .
I was wondering if they were any media personalities out there who like me, wants people to see the positive in everything. Maybe they touch on the gossip a little, but it’s only to teach a valuable lesson, not trash anyone or their life. Well, I think I found that someone in Lewis Marklin Mash. Lewis Marklin Mash is a former host of weekly comedy sketch program, ADHDtv, and current host of Icon News.
Icon News is a news biography show featuring celebrity’s passions for humanity and the causes they are involved in. Lewis utilizes the modern gift of Skype and therefore is able to conduct interviews in the comfort of the celeb’s place of choice; be it home, studio or their favorite restaurant. Via this media, the celebrities are able to be themselves and with Lew’s sheer talent of making them at ease, they are able to open up and show their true personality.
Lew’s vision is to highlight celebrity’s passions while giving us a window into their day-to-day life and most importantly, inform us of their humanitarian efforts. Whatever their cause, Lew is able to get at the heart of their efforts. It’s a show with substance, compassion and an entertainment edge.
Icon News will be debuting this fall on Dish Network as well as other cable networks including Tuff TV, America One Network, select CBS stations in larger cities and some other networks soon to be named!
For more information on Mash go to www.atomiclawn.com
Compared to last year, Farrah Bowers and her team out did themselves. Hands down, Infuzions Lounge and Nightclub in Richmond, Virginia was the best place to conduct this event, no questions asked. I was truly impressed. The turn out was incredible and the atmosphere was beyond fashion forward and eclectic. Her goal was to bring people together through arts and entertainment, in order to collaborate for a much bigger purpose, which was her non-profit organization BUC. She did that and so much more.
The only negative thing I had to say, which pretty much goes for many Richmond events that I’m invited to: There was no designated area for photographers and media. I had a hard time getting photos and video because of the angle I was standing at, also there was a man next to me that was taller than I was, that blocked every decent shot I could get. That is not Farrah’s fault by no means; I was a little tardy anyway. However, by having seating reserved for media and photographers it would make it a lot easier to see the show as best as possible. That is the only thing that I could think of, which means Farrah rocked it out of course.
By incorporating music, fashion, art, and pure ambition, she was able to bring quite a few people out on Saturday night and keep them stunned either with excitement or with disbelief that the event was so incredible. Although, I did spot a few haters in the crowd, who seemed dissatisfied with everything that walked down the runway, I also noticed that the positive vibe outweighed all of that anyway. It was truly incredible. I enjoyed myself so much, I forgot I had another event to attend that night. All of which was good! Anything that keeps me from looking at my watch is a plus for me. Special shout out to Lela Bizz, Black Liquid, and all of the dancers that came out and performed. I love a fashion show that breaks it up with special performances of local artist that we should all know and love. I’m proud to have Farrah Bowers in my network of people making a change, and once you get to know her you will, too. She came into this project with passion and drive, and I can almost bet she walked away with twice as many supporters then when she started. Goes to show that hard work, perseverance, and what she described as “a whole lot of mouth” can get you everything you need and more. Go Farrah! Can’t wait to see what goes down in March for you.
Tonight we are partying with a purpose at Richmond’s Southside Hickory Hill Community Center for the Let’s Pink event benefiting breast cancer. I’m totally excited because although there have been so many charity events in RVA dedicated to worthy causes, none of them seem to display such an artistic endeavor as this. Thanks to Sydney Harris for inviting us to such a remarkable opportunity for creative and like-minded people to come together for something bigger than ourselves.
Sydney Harris provided a thorough explanation of the event and its purpose, “Lets Pink is an initiative to support Breast Cancer Awareness. The mission of Lets Pink is merge the vibrancy, and artistic minds of our youth and young adult generation, with the knowledge and life experience of our seasoned generation. It was created by me after being asked to participate in a Breast Cancer awareness Campaign by Andrew Morrison, whom is an amazing photographer out of Hampton, Virginia. When asked to be a part of this campaign I was excited, yet disappointed. I was disappointed that I had overlooked a health issue so important but excited that I could now make that positive change in becoming self-aware and in the process help, others do the same.
Lets Pink will be held at the Hickory Hill Community Center from 6-9 pm on November 4, 2011 and open to the public with an admissions fee of $10. Staying true to its artistic roots, the event will display various photos and paintings created by photographers and painters throughout the area. The images they choose to create are those that express the feelings and emotions they feel when they think of Breast Cancer, the importance of becoming aware, and the beauty of life. Each artist will be a vendor at the event and will display works from their personal collections outside of Breast Cancer Awareness. Alongside these amazing artists, there will be a variety of other vendors from health and fitness, beauty and fashion to comfort and warm.
Also staying true to making people aware of breast cancer and its life changing effects, there will be two speakers at the event. They will be able to speak about their journey in dealing with breast cancer and how it has affected them. These speakers will allow us all to experience firsthand how important breast cancer is and how we can be proactive against the disease. There will also be an information table set up so that people are able to take home brochures and pamphlets to read over and become even more knowledgeable. It will also contain information on how people can donate and/or get involved.
As the event continues there will be a presentation by SLAM, Richmond’s youth poet team. Our SLAM participants’ will be performing pieces created for this event in particular which will depict their feelings towards the disease and the beauty of life despite its challenges. There will also be raffles throughout the night, light music and light refreshments. We want people to mingle, learn and truly, walk away enlightened while having a great time. Who said learning couldn’t be enjoyable?
Lets Pink is dedicated to merging the generations and with your help we know it can be done. If you are considering being a sponsor and/or vendor at this event, there are several ways to get involved. Whether it be a donation, volunteering, attending and event or having an event of your own, it all makes a difference and is truly appreciated. So again thank you for joining us at the Lets Pink, an initiative to support Breast Cancer Awareness event November 4, 2011. We look forward to seeing you there!”
A special credit goes out the photographer who conceived this project inspiring Ms. Harris to bring us all together. Andrew E. Morrison of Artistic Soul Photography currently works and resides in Hampton Virginia where he works diligently to improve his skills as a photographer while providing service to the surrounding community. Mr. Morrison jumped head first into the photography world during the spring of 2006 and has been going strong ever since. His passion for photography has led him to pursue various styles and venues of artistic expression and continues to push toward creating no and innovative photos. If you would like to contact Mr. Morrison, you can do so via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (203) 530-1652.
“I have a deep love and respect for the women in my life and with the encouragement of some of my supporters I decided to use my photography skills to promote breast cancer awareness. With the belief that a person’s overall health is very important, this project has given me the opportunity to become knowledgeable to what breast cancer is and how I can make a difference, as well as inspire others to do the same. Our health is important and sometimes we only need support.”
For inspiration and Motivation Follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva
At GaptoothDiva, we are always trying to promote embracing the positive in life and letting go of the past and the negative. It’s always easier said than done, but that’s why we bring professionals on the air…. Duh! Who wants to be a grouch? Doctors, scientists and spiritual leaders agree that those who live an optimistic life are happier and healthier. But it’s a lot easier said than done. Not everyone can instantly switch their attitude to a happier mindset. It is a habit that must be shaped, learned and practiced.
A practical guide on how to reduce negativity and embrace happiness. From Meth addicts to multi-millionaires, the book offers powerful experiences of individuals who have faced dramatic challenges, but did not lose hope. Using these compelling biographies, as well as practical advice and simple exercises, the reader is guided on an internal journey toward adopting a more joyful way to live.
Tonight we interview Sally Marks, a woman who has always been fascinated with optimism and one of the authors of Erase Negativity and Embrace the Magic Within. This award winning journalist will discuss ways that we can make our lives better by removing negativity and finding our own magic instilled in us.
I’m excited to feature this next person because when I first saw him at Have A Nice Day Cafe, he seemed to be drenched in an energy that screamed he wanted more. After reading his bio and listening to his music, I felt apart of his journey. It’s not everyday you meet someone who doesn’t pretend they are already where they want to be. I saw something, so hopefully what I felt and what we discuss tonight can make you feel the same.
RAP OR WALK…..That’s where it all started. Back in 2006 Hero’s friend B White was the only one of his friends who had a car and Hero had to rap to his instrumentals or he had to walk. They freestyled everywhere they went to pass the time on the road and soon after, Hero and his friends began writing songs. After a year or so, Hero’s skills caught the attention of ULITO and the CapaCity INT Family. He would spend the next 4 years of his life writing, performing, recording and growing with them until he decided to give up rap in March of 2011.
When Hero’s grandmother passed away in June of 2011 he was crushed. He had made her a promise long ago that they would always be friends and he had lost her. Realizing that life is short and that we must do what we can while we still have the time, Hero decided to pick the pen and pad back up as a solo artist. Aided by Steven YaBoi_Tiz Tisdol, He has put together his first musical project entitled JERCULES scheduled to drop 9-20-2011.
Recently, Hero performed for the first time at Have A Nice Day Cafe in Richmond VA. Many people were amazed at how well Hero performed for his first time and are eagerly awaiting the debut of his mixtape JERCULES.
Check him out at ….
Facebook: Artist Page – www.facebook.com/HeroTheArtist
Growing up in Winston-Salem North Carolina, Ceditoff was inspired by occurrences he observed on a daily basis. His interest in music goes back as far as he can remember. His lyrics and music not only come from his observations on the street but also from deep within himself where his audiences repeatedly experience the passion he portrays through his well toned craft.
Widely known for his energetic and exciting performances that he has built a large fan base from, performing both locally and regionally. Now through his hard work, great songwriting, and stellar on-stage performances, he is well prepared to take it world wide – where his national and international audiences can experience first hand, the musical genius of Ceditoff.
Having already performed many high profile shows such as the annual hip-hop festival “Apple Chill” where the audience was 2,500. Strong and supporting national recording artist “Blood Raw” Ceditoff’s aspirations are limitless stating his ultimate performance would be Jerry Jones Land in Dallas Texas. Moreover, if this emerging performer remains on the track he is currently following, it won’t be long until that is a reality. When it comes to his live performances Ceditoff holds nothing back stating that he wants his fans and audiences to feel excited after a Ceditoff show, knowing that the show was outstanding better than expected – and wanting to hear more.
Being the truly independent and unique artist that he is, Ceditoff hesitates to place himself in any particular “sounds-Like” category. When asked his musical influences and who inspires him he replies, “I’m not influenced by any particular artist, past or present. Truthfully, I want to be the influence in the game.” Inspired to challenge his creative juices and improve his skills on a daily basis he continues by saying “I have my own voice, I don’t try to immolate or duplicate anyone. As an artist I want to be known for my own unique style not a similar voice or style of another artist”.
Past releases from this artist include several underground mixtapes, a CD release in 2008, the “Fallback Video” 2008, “Radio Ready” CD (Singles Edition) in 2010, and the “Sumbody 2B Like” Video in 2010.
When asked if he can have increasing commercial success and retain artistic integrity Ced replies, “We believe that integrity goes both ways – we want to be pioneers in our direction so let us create, and the other half choose from the product, making the best, taking integrity to new heights”. Aside from the musical and creative realm, Ceditoff is also a business executive, co-owner, and partner in his record label R.I.C.H. Ent. Therefore, he wears many hats from artist, songwriter, and performer to artist development and business executive.
Ceditoff is set to release a new album and single in April of 2011. Releases will include “Ceditoff Presents R.I.C.H. ENT – RIZE N GRIND” featuring the hit single “Co Star”. The release will be distributed through CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon among others. Subsequent plans to tour the US and Europe are in the planning stages to support the new releases. Ceditoff’s previous release “Radio Ready” is also available on iTunes. For more information on this emerging artist please visit his website at www.reverbnation.com/ceditoff
On a Monday night, you wouldn’t expect me at a nightclub listening to local independent artist rhyme their hearts out. Let me stop, of course you would! However, this was no typical night filled with networking and rubbing elbows, I came to the Ground Up Showcase with one purpose in mind, and that was inspiration. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the testimonies of all the people we interview and work with and how many of them don’t want to tell the full story. It’s not because there is no story to tell but because, with so many different fans from diverse backgrounds, I don’t think they know which story to tell. It’s hard building a brand and still trying to get people to pay attention, often times I see people pretending to be something that in real life would get their asses stomped. I came to this event to find the truth, words spoken in forms of rhymes that told me stories that most of us don’t want to hear. Life is not always gravy, most of us only wish we were stunting on others, and that every single person with a voice and some ears is hungry for just a little more.
If you aren’t into hip-hop music, especially independent and underground artist, then you definitely had no business at the Paradise Lounge last night. Its one thing to want to hang out with your peers, drinking and bobbing your head to the beat, but the atmosphere is for those who want to immerse themselves in the culture, not just be a fly on the wall. You have to soak into the music, and breathe in the energy of professional lyricist and wanna-be sensations. This life is not for the faint of heart or the pretty girl looking for attention. Yes, fashion plays an important role in music, but in a room full of ex-street hustlers turned rappers, and ghetto minds trying to make a way out of no way, like Artik Phreeze says in one of my favorite tunes “Fuck your Swag!!” No one cares what new Air Jordans a dude has on, or whether or not you got a fresh line up before you got on stage. Everything boils down to whether or not you’re good. The only thing that matters is talent, and that can come from more ways than one.
Its crazy how people often only clap for the person they came to see. Not flinching to overly-support a stranger, the host yells for more crowd participation. This is Richmond, Virginia all day, whether you or him make it. Although, his words are loud and clear to me, I’m almost certain most of them didn’t get it. Nowadays, the true talent lies in the artist who cannot only earn your respect, but your accolades, even when their family/friend is competing for the same attention. It’s about converting a “nobody” into a fan with seven minutes on the clock, a feat most of the artist last night struggled to accomplish. Although the mastery wasn’t there, the heart definitely was, inspiration was so thick I could see it right in front of me. I stopped myself several times from pulling people to the side to tell them how their performance made me feel, hoping to ignite some creativity in what I knew could be an amazing performer, but I refrained. Our people need constructive criticism but at the right place and time. Liquor induced advice from anyone would only result in animosity and not progression, and that’s not building – it’s breaking down.
Out of the entire artist roster, only two really stood out to me. Out of those two one was the overall winner. A female artist by the name of Dutchess graced the stage with a combination of beauty, talent, and drive. She lost her voice a couple of times, allowing her desire to destroy her male competitors to take over her breathing, but she held it down. Bringing with her a huge fan base of people singing her songs right along with her, I was an instant fan. I only hope that when I talk to her the talent and charisma I saw on stage, resonates with her everyday personality. We need more examples of females in this industry uplifting our gender, but that’s another post for another day. I know you will like her, as I did. Her energy was amazing, and it was extremely impressive that she held it down, which to me was no surprise at all.
I was truly inspired by the artist. Because I try to maintain positive motivation on this site and with GaptoothDiva as a whole, I have to include the following message:
Rappers don’t need to lie and pretend to live a life that is not true to form. Your fans, the true followers of your words, want a message. We all can’t pop bottles and pop tags everyday in the current state of the economy. Moreover, from the background checks of many of you (Yes, we do our research) neither can you. Real fans, people who will support you want to relate to you, learn something from you, or feel connected to you. I saw several people lying about their lifestyle to impress folks. As this may get you a couple of head nods and pats on the back, I can’t in good conscious say you did anything worth talking about. Tell your story, talk about your feelings, struggle, experiences, or challenges, but whatever you do – don’t take your potential fan base for granted. Anything with out purpose is just noise.
Shout to Ground Up Entertainment, The CEO Cornelia Gail, the judges, and everyone else involved with the event. If you are looking for a great place to perform, connect with independent artist, or just hang out amongst your people. I would definitely suggest you check this out. Last night, we heard some great information about what they are offering to independent artist who are serious about their careers. So get into it, before it’s too late. Someone from RVA is going to win big!!
Check out their website www.TheGroundUpEnt.com
Addition as of 9/21/2011:
I was contacted by the wonderful and very professional, Joe’i Chancellor of Writer’s Block Publishing about this post and the coverage on the event. I would like to add that she was also involved with the creation of the great project and this is what she had to say…
“Thanks for the Blog we much appreciate the support! I’m Joe’i Chancellor of Writer’s Bloc and Cornelia Gail of Ground Up Ent we linked up to do the “Rock The Stage” Event on Monday night, realizing that teamwork is the best work, especially when you have a positive common goal. We are both from Richmond we discovered that there were very few promoters coming thru to genuinely support the INDIES in the Richmond Market. So we decided to give them something out of the Norm to look forward to when it comes down to exposing their talent. We appreciate you coming out on Monday and sharing the first celebration of INDIES talent and we look forward to seeing you in the future as we organize even bigger events. Sorry I missed you, but I’m sure we will get the chance to meet real soon. Much success to you!”
Yes, we definitely will! This Richmond Style Weekly Top 40 Under 40 Recipient, has truly made it possible for those creative minds in the inner city to have their voices heard right from where they stand. We appreciate everything that her, Writer’s Block, and Ground Up Ent are doing for independent artist in the city of Richmond, Virginia. Keep it up, we need it. Check her out at www.iamthebusiness.net
I love to share what the talented people around me are doing to make their dreams and passions come true. Everything isn’t for everyone, but the overall message is the same. To get what you want out of life, you have to get up and go get it. Some of us work harder than others, and some of us know more than most. But the truth is, if you’re not sharing what you know instead of just saying you don’t like something, then you are just as much of a failure as the ones you judge. Check out these videos, network with these people, and share your love, support, or knowledge. This is the Baddest Creative Motivation!
Follow Me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva
Voting Ends on Saturday, September 10th 2011 at 12:00 am- Midnight EST.