FRANCHISE X – THE FLEDGLING LABEL INTRODUCES ARTISTS IN ITS ANNUAL SHOWCASE

11 Oct

I had the pleasure to attend a Music Showcase from a bunch of talented up-and-coming artists.  These artists are signed to Franchise X Entertainment, a fledgling label home to some of the most talented indie and up-and-coming artists.  Franchise X Entertainment held its 2nd annual showcase on October 7th at The Federal in North Hollywood.

The showcase was hosted by Comedian Ron Taylor, and showcase featured artist performances from the Franchise X roster including R&B/Pop artist N.Y.K.; hip-hop artist Keem Oshae, a South-Central based artist;  Belle Aire, Pop/EDM artist who mesmerizes her audience with her catchy beats and lyrics as well as her artsy-creative look; LaVelle, a Hip-Hop/Pop artists who’s infectious first single “MamaSay” has built a unique YouTube and Social Media following; and Notcho, a Hip-Hop Artist who’s socially-conscious lyrics and infectious beats and stage-performance moved the crowd.

For more on these artists and their roster, visit:  http://franchisexentertainment.com/

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Franchise X Talent Roster (L) to (R) LaVelle, Keem O’Shae, Belle Aire, Notcho, N.Y.K. photo credit: C-Level Media Group

AHHH! FEST DELIVERS, WITH SPECIAL SURPRISE GUESTS ICE CUBE, R. KELLY AND MORE…

26 Sep

Chicago Festival hosted by Academy Award-Winning Artist Common, Sends Anti-Violence Message to his Hometown Crowd

 

AAHH! FEST by COMMON, one of the largest music festivals, made its 2nd return to Chicago after a year hiatus September 24th with a Community Festival which featured performances from local-area talent, as well as burgeoning artists Tink and Taylor Bennett and the main show on September 25th.  Created by hip-hop artist, Academy Award-winning actor, and philanthropist Common, who was born and raised in Chicago, the mission and purpose of the festival was to raise awareness and bring a sense of relief and peace of the continued violence facing Chicago youth.

The Main Stage Event, hosted by Comedian Deon Cole (ABC’s “Blackish”) featured an all-star line-up—including hometown favorite Vic Mensah, The Internet, Sir the Baptist. Jeremih, who is also originally from Chicago performed as well.  Featuring his hits including “Down on Me” “Birthday Sex” “Rhythm is a Dancer”.

The show then included a DJ Battle, featuring some of the hottest local battle DJ’s along with a tribute to DJ Timbuck2 who passed away in 2015.

The Roots then performed some of their hits such as “The Next Movement” “Guns are Drawn” “You Got Me” and more.

After the Roots performance rapper Common took the stage, opening up with “The Corner.”  He then performed a tribute to the Black Lives Matter Movement with an original song dedicated to Black America which he rapped about re-writing the Black-American story.  Common then performed more of his hits such as “I Used to Love H.E.R.”, “The Light”, “Get ‘Em High” (from Kanye West “The College Dropout”), “The 6th Sense” featuring Bilal, “Love of My Life” and more.

Rapper Ice Cube then gave a surprise cameo performance and joined Common on stage to perform “Straight Outta Compton” “F*ck Tha Police”, and “Today Was a Good Day.”  Common then performed his hit “Go” then R. Kelly hit the stage with a surprise cameo appearance singing “Step in the Name of Love” and an intro excerpt of “Bump and Grind.”

The last performance of the night was by J. Cole, ending the night with a bang.  J. Cole, opened up with “A Tale of 2 Cities.”  He then performed other hits such from his 2014 Forest Hills Drive album such as “No Role Modelz” “Apparently”, “Wet Dreamz.” He also rocked the crowd by reappearing and performing more of his hits such as “Work Out”, “Can’t Get Enough.”

Jeremih also re-appeared on stage with J. Cole and performed his hit “Planez” featuring J. Cole.  J. Cole then ended the show with “Power Trip.”

Funding from the festival supports year-round programming for both the Common Ground Foundation and Donda’s House—whose missions are to offer positive alternatives for youth.  AAHH! Fest 2016 was sponsored by Allstate Insurance, iHeart Media, The Black McDonald’s Operators of America, Coors Light, Aramak and DO312.

 

 

 

 

 

‘The Real’ on Tamar Braxton & Public Relations

29 May

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Many people were shocked at the unexpected shake-up and removal of Tamar Braxton from her Daytime TV talk show The Real.  Although we’re NOT SURE WHAT HAPPENED, — THIS IS WHY CELEBRITIES NEED PUBLICISTS and BRAND STRATEGISTS – Wearing many hats (singer, host, reality star) A talent needs professional monitoring to distinguish their Brands, their Image, the Social Media, etc.

As a Music Artist, you have to have a specific image and a certain level of professionalism in the Entertainment Industry.

As a Reality Star – you don’t have to have the same level of professionalism, where pushing the envelope is acceptable for television sensationalism and ratings–that same behavior as a professional will diminish your reputation and credibility.

As a daytime Talk Show Host, there is even another type of professionalism that a talent has to have due to the nature of daytime television and dealing with corporate sponsors. When corporations are shelling out $$$ and want networks to comply with the stricter rules of daytime television, there is a more conservative and professional approach to how a talent and a show are to conduct themselves–so there is yet another level of how a talent should comply.

These are all “brands” for an entertainer.  All of these brands and brand imaging have to be monitored and planned by a Communications professional (Publicist, Crisis Communications Expert, Marketer). Whatever the case….Best of luck Tamar!

Beyonce’s Lemonade and Her PR Genius

28 May

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Beyoncé’ released her latest album “Lemonade” on April 23, accompanied by an hour-long HBO special. The release went unannounced and unsupported by the music industry’s standard promotional machine, instead, used her “element of surprise” to keep her fans anticipating.

This isn’t the first time Beyoncé decided to set aside traditional marketing and PR for the unexpected. Beyoncé  and her team have made this form of Guerilla PR and her team look almost effortless.

It’s impossible for PR pros to stack up against the cultural powerhouse that she’s become over the years—when her news is out there all others get jumbled with the rest of the “clutter”.  Beyonce’ has built a brand and a following that is difficult for other brands to compete with.

Here are a few things about Beyonce’s form of marketing/PR that some brands could take note of:

Different Channels of Media

With her last two albums, Beyoncé has embraced video in ways that few artists have. She’s gone beyond the basic format for music videos and created multimedia experiences out of her music. In an era when every piece of text needs to be accompanied by visual media, Beyoncé capitalizes on the growing trend by making her music almost inseparable from the accompanying video. It’s important to keep experimenting and finding new ways to infuse rich media elements into campaigns. Even the bedrock of PR—the press release—has become a hotbed for varied media content.

Element of Surprise

The courting of mystery and the accompanying surprise can be valuable tools for any communications team. Even though burying the lead is rarely a good thing, embracing Beyoncé’s abstract and often cryptic style of communication can help build excitement around important business announcements and product launches.

 

Joe Torry’s 50th Birthday Celebration

6 Oct
Joe Torry & Friends at his Birthday Celebration

Joe Torry & Friends at his Birthday Celebration

Friends came out to support Comedian Joe Torry at his 50th Birthday Celebration Roast in Hollywood. Comedians paid tribute to the Comedian and included Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, as well as other Comedians, Family and Friends.

Torry received his big break in 1992 when he was given the job of hosting Def Comedy Jam after host Martin Lawrence left the show, further enlarging his exposure in the entertainment industry. This also brought Torry larger roles in newer movies. He starred in Motives 1 & 2Lock DownHair ShowMannsfield 12Poetic JusticeSprung, and Tales from the Hood among others.

Fun was had by all. Happy Birthday Joe Torry!

Straight Outta Compton

10 Aug

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DJ Quik, DJ Yella, Eazy-E’s Son, and Dr. Dre’s son came together at the IES Summit, an entertainment-based conference in Los Angeles, which honored N.W.A.  DJ Quik discussed Eazy-E’s impact to Hip Hop along with Ruthless Records execs, and Bone Thugs N Harmony’s Flesh-N-Bone.

Synopsis:

In 1988, a groundbreaking new group revolutionizes music and pop culture, changing and influencing hip-hop forever. N.W.A’s first studio album, “Straight Outta Compton,” stirs controversy with its brutally honest depiction of life in Southern Los Angeles. With guidance from veteran manager Jerry Heller, band members Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), Eazy-E, DJ Yella and MC Ren navigate their way through the industry, acquiring fame, fortune and a place in history.

Straight Outta Compton is directed by F. Gary Gray and set to hit theatres August 14th.

Year-End Holiday Recap: CeeLo Green, Gabrielle Dennis Support NovaStarz Toy Drive at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

31 Dec

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This past Holiday Season helped to bring all smiles to the kids of the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as CeeLo Green and actress Gabrielle Dennis (“Janay” The Game) supported NovaStarz 1st Annual Toy Drive and Charity Event. NovaStarz, is a celebrity DJing duo consisting of America’s Next Top Model (Cycle 20) alumni Marvin Cortes, and Jeremys Image, Celebrity Stylist (Soulja Boy, Lil Twist, Meagan Good, and many more). The children’s season became a little brighter as they also received clothing and sneakers courtesy of Puma and Diamond Supply Co.

“The reason we decided to choose this charity is because we both grew up underprivileged. These humble beginnings made us who we are today, and because of this we are always inspired to give back,” says Jeremys Image of NovaStarz, “We are young, fun, spontaneous guys who want to spread positive energy to the world. It gave us great pleasure to be able to put a smile on the children’s faces and we are grateful for CeeLo Green, Gabrielle Dennis, Puma and Diamond Supply Co., for their support.”

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is a private hospital in Los Angeles that provides multidisciplinary care to over 104,000 children each year, with physician expertise in over 100 pediatric specialties and subspecialties.

About Children’s Hospital Los Angeles:

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles formerly Children’s Hospital Society, is a private, non-profit teaching hospital in Los Angeles. The hospital provides multidisciplinary care to over 104,000 children each year, with physician expertise in over 100 pediatric specialties and subspecialties.

The hospital has been included in the Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll for 2012-2013 by U.S. News & World Report and is currently the 5th ranked children’s hospital in the United States and the top ranked children’s hospital in the western United States. It has also received Magnet Recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

The hospital is affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. The current president and CEO is Richard D. Cordova, FACHE. Mr. Cordova announced his plans to retire in December 2014. http://www.chla.org

About CeeLo Green:
CeeLo Green is a five-time Grammy Award Winning singer-songwriter-producer, television personality, actor, entrepreneur, pop culture and fashion icon. In 2001, CeeLo received five Grammy nominations for his worldwide hit “Forget You” (aka “F—k You”), winning the category for “Best Urban/Alternative Performance”. The single is certified Gold in the United States and Denmark and achieved platinum status in Canada, New Zealand, and the UK; and multi-platinum status in Australia. In October 2012, CeeLo released his Christmas album “CeeLo’s Magic Moment”, which featured the single “All I Need is Love” featuring The Muppets; and he is also releasing a new solo album in 2013 entitled “Everybody’s Brother”. He’s made memorable appearances on Saturday Night Live (2011), Oprah (2011), presented at the ESPYs (2011), and Kids’ Choice Awards (2012) as well as making remarkable performances at the 2012 Super Bowl with Madonna, The Grammy Awards with the Muppets (2011), Brit Awards (2011), Billboard Music Awards (2011/2012), Soul Train Awards (2011), BET Awards (2011), and hit such mainstream status that even Gwyneth Paltrow covered “Forget You” on Glee (2011). CeeLo has also landed the cover of Fast Company’s 2012 “Most Creative People in Business” issue, Rolling Stone magazine as well as Jet magazine.

In addition to his success as a recording artist, CeeLo Green has completed three seasons as a coach on NBC’s hit show The Voice alongside Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton and will take a hiatus for the fourth season to focus on music, but will return to the hit show for the fifth season. He has also made guest-appearances on NBC’s popular show Parenthood (2011), FOX’s American Dad (2011), Nickelodeon’s How to Rock (2012) and also hosted his own talk show “CeeLo Green Talking to Strangers” on FUSE TV. On top of his television work, CeeLo Green is also transitioning his career into acting and has made an impact on the film industry starring in Sparkle (August 2012), which was Whitney Houston’s last film. Additionally, He is the voice of “Murray the Mummy” in the Sony animated film Hotel Transylvania (September 2012) along with Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg. CeeLo will also star in the John Carney film Can a Song Save Your Life? along with Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Catherine Keener, which is slated for a 2013 release.

About Gabrielle Dennis:
Gabrielle Dennis is an actress and comedian best known for her work in television as Janay on the hit series “The Game” (CW & BET) and as Denise Roy on Spike TV’s “Blue Mountain State”

With a background as a trained dancer, actress, and singer that stretches all the way back to age 4 Gabrielle always knew she would have a career in the Arts. However, her original plans of pursuing a career as a ballerina in NYC altered when she had the opportunity to move to DC and appear as a regular on BET’s award winning teen talk show “Teen Summit.” Along with this move came the decision to turn down a scholarship to Ohio State in exchange for an education at Howard University, a prestigious HBCU, where she studied TV Production and Theater.

Her first project as Writer/Producer was her short film “a Super Secret” which has gotten praise on the indie festival circuit. In the feature length world, Gabrielle was a Producer on the highly anticipated action indie “Call Me King” and she recently wrapped production on “My First Love” where she was both star and Executive Producer. Both films slated for release in 2015.

About NovaStarz:
NovaStarz is a radiant explosion caused by two forces manipulating pop culture. Consisting of Celebrity Stylist Jeremys Image, and International Male Model Marvin Cortes (America’s Next Top Model Cycle 20), this DJing duo brings a creative new wave to entertainment. NovaStarz showcase their artistry through the merging of music, fashion, and live entertainment. With sounds ranging from EDM, House, Pop, Trap, Dub-Step to Dance Music, NovaStarz captivates its audience with an experience like no other. NovaStarz are slated to begin their international tour in the Spring 2015.

Follow NovaStarz:
Instagram: @officialnovastarz
Twitter: @nova_starz
Soundcloud: http://www.soundcloud.com/officialnovastarz