The Late Great Danny Woods

*Repost from January before my website crashed!

 

 

 

On the night of January12, 2018 the Heavens opened and Danny Woods entered, with his trademark smile and a peace that most can only wish to experience. Danny began his amazing journey in Atlanta, GA on March 27, 1942, the son of Daniel Woods, Sr. and Julia Dukes Woods. During his formative years, he strengthened his amazing voice and set the foundation for his faith while singing in the church choir. Along the way, he caught the eye of Gladys Knight and developed a friendship that resulted in taking his first step onto a stage and performing during one of her shows.

 

 

Possessing a strong desire to share his talents with the world, Danny left Atlanta and headed to Detroit. In Detroit, Danny befriended David Ruffin, later of the Temptations, Clyde Wilson, and Melvin Davis. With the talent this quartet possessed, forming a group was the only logical course.  They toured throughout Michigan, earning accolades from all who saw them. It was during this time that Danny also performed with Rare Earth and Aretha Franklin.  Danny and David took the next step and moved to New York to find fame. There Danny met his hero, the great Jackie Wilson. While in New York, Danny’s talent wasn’t lost on the greats of the time. Danny performed many times at the Apollo Theater with the likes of The O’Jays, The Spinners, The Stylistics, Manhattans, Wilson Picket, Jackie Wilson, and numerous other entertainers.

 

 

As word of his talent spread, his exposure increased and the number of fans skyrocketed. In 1967, when Holland/Dozier/Holland left Motown and established Invictus/Hot Wax record labels, they needed a flagship act with talent to spare and charisma like no other. That’s when they turned to Danny, General Norman Johnson, and Harrison Kennedy to be their premier talent as Chairmen of The Board. During this time, the Chairmen of the Board not only hit the airwaves but the charts as well.  With such hits as “Pay to the Piper” and “Give Me Just a Little More Time,” the Chairmen of the Board were featured on Don Cornelius’ “Soul Train.”  Riding on the tide of stardom, the members of Chairmen of the Board went on to do solo work with great success.  It was during this time that Danny appeared on Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand” and “The Johnny Carson Show.”

 

In the late 1970’s General Norman Johnson and Danny Woods made the decision to bring their dynamic energy and untouchable talent back to the Chairmen of the Board, and the legions of fans, awards, hits, and successes were boundless.  As one of the top entertainers in the Beach Music genre he helped to create, Danny Woods has been inducted into the North Carolina and the South Carolina Music Halls of Fame, both as a member of Chairmen of the Board and as a solo artist.  He received awards, accolades and recognition that went far beyond the dreams of the young boy in Atlanta, singing in the church choir.

 

 

Astoundingly, through all of the successes Danny enjoyed, he remained as he was in his youth.  Above all in his life was his devotion to his Heavenly Father and his faith.  He praised his Father for all that he had received in his life and recognized that his talent was a gift from God, a gift he loved to share with others.  When not performing or visiting with others, Danny could be found wetting a hook, either on a river bank or on a pier; it never mattered to him as long as he was fishing. He never outgrew his roots.   Offstage, he enjoyed the farm life, meeting people, making them smile, and leaving them with the love he had for all, spreading his love of Christ. His stage presence was larger than life, his energy infectious, and his personality endearing.  Many called him friend and reached to share a bit of his light.

 

 

When Danny went to his Heavenly home, he left behind his devoted wife, Elaine Woods, and his cherished children Cheryl Woods-Weaver, Bryan Mason, Kimberly Pleasant, Micah Woods, Shena Kiper, and Corey Gates. He is also survived by a sister, Patricia Dixon, a brother, Harvey Woods, ten grandchildren, a son in-law and a daughter-in-law and a precious little girl he held close to his heart, Julia. He was preceded in death by both of his parents, his sons Danny and Aaron, and two loving and supportive wives, Alma and Sharon. Danny also left behind many fans and friends, as well as memories, music, and magic that only Danny could produce and that will live on in his many recordings and the hearts of all who knew him.

 

 

RSXGLD

 

 

 

 

Open letter to  BenjiRich Here is why Creatives like us need to own this album!

Saturday, November 11th,  after a long few weeks of meetings and ups and downs, my husband who was born and raised in the “D” switched our Sirius radio from talk radio to music per my request!   I hated much of what I heard so he continued to skim until we landed on Shade 45. That moment while I was venting about a situation something magical happened!  A song called True came on and I freaked out because I saw the name DJ ASSAULT (Huge fan of his music) then I read the other names Royce Da 5’9” (Detroit rap legend), RSXGLD, and JMSN.  Hubby and I immediately stopped talking and focused more on the Detroit catch phrases in the song.  Royce Da 5’9”  comes on and we both were geeked (Excited) because we do not hear many Detroit artist on the airwaves, or in the clubs aside from  Big Sean and Dej Loaf we immediately  wondered who was RSXGLD, when did this song come out and why are we just hearing their song TRUE!

 

 

True Featuring Royce Da 5’9″, JMSN, DJ Assault

 

 

 

Just as the song was coming to an end my husband said, “Nat,”  I wish they would have added some Jit to this song, as soon as my husband said, “Jit” the rhythm switched to 808’s and Detroit techno/Jit, we both were shouting as if our favorite athlete made a score!  The moment that rhythm changed it reminded me of when I lived in Toronto and had a girls weekend July 1st Canada Day and July 4th Independence Day with Ernestine to visit Nicole (Carlos Rogers cousin In-Law). That was the weekend Destiny’s Child had a concert and the Club was packed to see Beyoncé, Kelly, Latavia Roberson and Letoya Luckett.

It also brought me back to the days when I worked in Fairlane Mall at Coach with Tanya, Nakisha, Adriana, Deon, Kimica and Cyntara.  I enjoyed my days  living in Detroit and Farmington Hills driving Downtown Detroit on the Jefferson Freeway in the tunnel during 4th of July Weekend with my best friend Nicole.   After hours on the East Side where you can only get in with secret knocks on the door!  8 mile,  7 mile and SouthField Freeway,  Lodge 10 Freeway, Northland Mall, Wing Dings at Crystals, Fish Fry’s with our family, 2 for $60.00 Moët and Chandon, Better Made hot chips, and getting my hair done by Otha White.  While the visuals rapidly went through my mind of my time living in Detroit I quickly searched for the song on iTunes and tweeted about it before I started my shift at work!  Thank you Ro Spit and 14KT for painting beautiful memories with your words and for sharing your art with the world!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here I am today Sunday, November 12th

Listening to the entire album for the first time this morning and I realize why I am so drawn to it!  This album is the soundtrack to my current mood! It’s  a reminder to creatives like us to focus on what’s  important, do not get distracted by negativity and that steadfastness is key!  Spectators watch what you are doing, get inspired by it and create it for themselves without acknowledgment.   The spectators  don’t realize that when you finally reach your peak it’s because of all of the sweat, tears and endurance that it took. BenjiRich  the formula that we create remains silent, many won’t celebrate you when you get there and get uptight while  they watch you accomplish your dreams.  Check these songs out and let me know what you think!

My favorite songs were selected based on how it related to me and what I am going through on my path to greatness and dodging B.S

 

RSXGLD album are:

True 

“I laced them boot straps and got my ass up! I ain’t never going back”
Days and Nights of hard work and sacrifice!

“You reminisce I remember”
“N a product of Reganomics slaving for dollars”
The mentality that was forced on many and they were lost and turnt out!  In my current situation when people try to keep up with the Jones’s and do wicked things to take money away from some of us honest hard workers to pay the bills of what they tried to keep up with!

 

42175

Quotes that sound like Benji Rich and my conversation

“Like,  (blank) think,  (Blank) think we doing ish just to be doing it, like we ain’t got a method to it you feel?”  I will explain this to you via phone but I think that you already know how we get down like Voltron Phase 2 almost complete!

“For real this ain’t got nothing to do with us!  This coming from a higher place, that means there’s more at stake, so it’s more to hate! This ‘ish more than great!”  God bless us

I Believe

Belief in our visions and crushing our goals!

What’s Happenin’  Brutha
Anyone who lost a loved one will relate to this!  I remember calling insurance companies, the government and lawyers December 2007 when the tragedy in our family happened.

Thought Bubble

“We live next to the demons and heathens”

“The thoughts in my mind flying like a car with a drift”

Buy RSXGLD album now on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/rsxgld/1274207602

Follow them on Instagram and Twitter  @RSXGLD

@Ro_Spit

@14KT

@Iamjmsn

@DJAssault

@RoyceDa59

@Rbenbanks on twitter and @BenjiRichDesigns on Instagram

@DetroitRap

 

 

Luxshop4u Birthday

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birthday Behavior blocking negative energy and celebrating life!  I spent several days celebrating my birthday!  Thank you to all who celebrated with me!  On the night of my actual birthday I stopped by a bar called Drink to see my friend Jan, then W Hotel for a toast!  I ended my night at Society on High for Boston Celtics player Jaylen Brown’s birthday party thank you Shellee!

 

Society on High

 

 

 

 

Thanks Frances!

 

 

 

Cartier Perfume Birthday Card

 

 

I am enjoying my birthday cupcakes in the  W Hotel.

 

 

Filet Au Poivre at Mistral 

 

 

Green Tea Ice Creme from Shaking Crab on a double date with my husband, Producer Extrodinaire Jorge Milliano and Christine.

 

 

 

Nas and Lauryn Hill

 

 

 

Concert Merchandise!

 

Life is good!  I just finished my interview with Eban Brown from The Stylistics who Nas collaborated with on “You Can’t Stop Us Now.”  The same Eban Brown who was in the Legendary R&B group The Delfonics whose song “Walk Right Up To The Sun,” was sampled by Nas and Lauryn Hill for “If I Ruled The World!”  My first stop after a long day of work is the tour merchandise area to buy an Illmatic hat!

 

 

 

 

My friend Chef loves Chronixx but could not attend the concert so my husband and I taped a little and sent it to Chef.  Chronixx father Chronicle is also a reggae artist and has deep roots in the music industry.

 

Nasir Jones

 

I admit, I did not have the best seats and these photos prove it but, this is a great moment in my life that I really needed to share!

 

 

DMX and Nas

Surprise guest DMX performed “Here Comes The Boom” with Nas

 

 

 

 

We could not stay any later to see the Iconic Miss Lauryn Hill, my husband had an early morning.

Busy But My Bills Paid

CNOTES Rocking the crowd.

I am very selective with who I use this platform for, but the conversation that I had with this young star made me actually listen to his music!  His song Busy But My Bills Paid peaked my interest when I saw several people making youtube videos rapping along to it!  I also relate to this song as I work a full-time job, I collaborate with other creatives and internationally promoted  a few tours for my Luxshop4u community members one of whom I styled for.

Natalie:  What caught my ear was your use of words! Busy But My Bills Paid represents many of my fellow creatives and I who work around the clock!

CNOTES:  Yea, when I wrote busy but my bills paid, I already knew it related to everyone!  The single mother, the nine to fivers the hustlers, the women who own their own businesses and each one of us who know they have responsibilities and having our bills paid are always on top of the list!

Natalie:  When I spoke to you earlier in the week you mentioned the Crab in a barrel syndrome!

CNOTES:  Yea especially out here in NY we don’t collaborate much down here! Look at  Atlanta, even the producers are making beats together.   So when u say crab in the barrel if u ever see them in a barrel they are all pulling each other down so the other can get to the top.  That’s what I meant.

Natalie:  How did you get a viral Busy But My Bills Paid challenge going?  That’s a great marketing tool!

CNOTES:  Again the song is undeniable so I just figured it would  be a cool idea for people to really join in on this I wanted to see who is busy and who’s bills were paid.  Lol,  I appreciate everyone who’s joining in on the fun.

CNOTES  filming for the BET Cypher

Natalie:  “Close mouths don’t get fed, that”what mom’s said” What else did she teach you that stands out?

CNOTES:  That’s exactly what she taught me to stand out, lol.  I get so much from my mom and grandma who’s no longer with me in the physical.  I mean even down to my swag my cadence.   I miss them man!

Natalie:  My condolences for your loss!  Aside from them most likely being your number one fan who else would you say is your number one fan?

CNOTES:  I believe I’m my number one fan and worst critic at the same time.  Sometimes I rewind a song I did and I be like damn are they not hearing what I said! Lol

Natalie:  Congratulations on shooting your Bet freestyle last week Friday!   Do you have a team that connects you with media outlets or do you contact them?

CNOTES:  Yea another marketing tool, my team and I thought of you know!  I just network, if I see something that looks authentic and interesting then I inquire, but if it’s not gonna push my career or push the culture I won’t bother.  “Busy But My Bills Paid is a hit record but it’s more to get you moving than me just showing you how lyrical I am.  So I just wanted to give them bars on this freestyle, shout out to all of the legends that I named.

Natalie:  What’s your favorite spot in Brooklyn?

CNOTES:  Uhhh, too many to name  and a few I can’t name gotta keep ’em low lol.  But for the recently it’s been the Barclay center I still be excited like there’s really a stadium in Brooklyn!

Natalie:  Do you think that you would ever partner with a Brooklyn Legend like Lil Cease, Lil Kim, Fabulous for a “Busy But My Bills Paid Remix?”

CNOTES:  All bets are on the table!  I just want us to unite and help each other, follow BIG’s advice and keep Brooklyn moving.

Natalie: Any plans to somehow perform during The Do Over outdoor party on October 1st in Brooklyn?

CNOTES:  Yea that would be great, sign me up!  Lol, if it’s BROOKLYN it’s me

Keep up with CNotes on

www.soundcloud.com/cnotes718
www.youtube.com/cnoteshdt
vwww.facebook.com/cnotes718
Instagram @CNOTES718

Cruel Summer

I wanted to create what I did not see.  I remember uttering these words in 2015 while dining in the Blue Bangkok restaurant on Boylston Street in Boston.  My friend Dean Nights and I discussed my busy life of pulling clothes for VIP’s and creating a total lifestyle experience that included fine dining and clubbing for the VIP’s  all while I attended my full time job. During this time I needed and refered services to some of the people in this post for nails, hair, and graphics.  I told Dean that I wanted a place where my talented friends like him and myself could be highlighted.  So here we are with this mega post for the month of August. (Dean Knights is a tailor to the stars and aristocrats.)

I present to you the talented professionals in my circle with experience that ranges from music, graphic design, fashion and beauty who are making a difference in their respective fields.

 

Album art created by BenjiRichDesigns

 

Album art created by BenjiRichDesigns

 

Album art created by BenjiRichDesigns

 

Album art created by BenjiRichDesigns

 

BenjiRichDesigns Valentine Day gift to his fiancé this is currently my screen saver

 

Mawd Panda jumping the moon on his BMX in all white Yeezy’s

 

Kimbo Slice Art by BenjiRichDesigns

 

 

BenjiRichDesigns volunteered to create 3D printed prosthetic hands for children in need for a handathon

 

BenjiRichDesigns T-Shirts that I wear with my Chanel

 

Art Director BenjiRichDesigns

BenjiRich’s Graphic Design degree, and illustration (logo and branding) speciality afforded him the opportunity to perfectly marry with his motion graphics, videography, and 3D design background.  During his tenure with an undisclosed agency his clients included the NBA, New Balance, and Reebok.   Aside from being my personal web designer Richard also designed the backdrop for a live text to screen background during the Kevin Hart NBA Allstar 2016 after party in Toronto.  BenjiRichDesigns was also the Art director for VIP jewelry in Toronto, created logo/branding, and marketing videos for an indie record label by the name of  globe trotta records in Los Angeles.  Upcoming projects for this media expert are, vinyl toys, a clothing line and his uppermidsole blog that I will expand on when it launches.

*Fun Fact did you know that a BenjiRichDesigns t-shirt was custom made and  expedited for a movie star while he was filming in Boston?

Contact BenjiRichDesigns Creative via email: reubanks82@gmail.com

www.BenjiRich.ca

www.uppermidsole.com

www.hoopsontario.ca

 

Grammy Award Winner and Jazz Legend Wynton Marsalis

 

Perks working on my Birthday meeting Mello! Natalie, Carmelo Anthony and Belinda Munro

 

Hearts on Fire Jewelry designer Ilaria Lanzoni and Natalie

 

DJ Liz Ladoux and Natalie

 

Natalie, Michael K. Williams, David Kenneth Sommerville

 

Natalie, Bevy Smith

 

DJ Baby Yu and Natalie

 

 

Luxury Personal Shopper, Stylist, Lifestyle Expert and  CEO of Luxshop4u

In my world, we the community are on international tours styled by me, receiving life time achievement awards, walking red carpets, nominated for Grammys, charting music billboards and getting inducted into the Music Hall of Fame! My fashion expertise is put to use and my music ear is called.  Jorge Milliano and Benji Rich told me to add myself on here! I prefer to be behind the scenes!

Different phases of my website will be introduced in many capsules, I am not one thing I have been trained in many areas and will exercise my talents.  Read more about me in my bio!

 

 

Belinda Munro

 

Vincent and Belinda Founders of Jazz Houston

 

President Bill Clinton and International Singer Belinda Munro

 

Belinda Munro

This is an exciting year for International singer and song writer Belinda Munro!  She married her soul mate Vincent Gardner and their love story was featured in the Munaluchi Bride Magazine.  Belinda and Vincent are about to embark upon their August 2017 Australian Tour.  When Belinda is not on stage backing up Grammy award winning artists or singing at private charity functions and galas she is working on her long awaited album and building Jazz Houston the Arts organization that she and her husband founded.

“Belinda’s voice is angelic. Her sultry and uplifting vocals are enough to feed your soul”

NY Post

To learn more about Belinda Munro  visit www.BelindaMunro.com

Follow Belinda on Instagram @Iambelindamunro

 

 

Shellee Mendes and Oprah Winfrey article in the Boston Globe & Mail

 

 

Photo from Braintree www.Wicked Local.com

 

 

Shellee Mendes and Malcolm Butler

 

Shellee Mendes Salon Monet

Hard work should never go unnoticed!  Salon Monet owner Shellee Mendes’ photo was recently inducted into the African American Museum on Joy Street, Boston Ma.  Shortly after celebrating this occasion she had a once in a lifetime experience of meeting Media Mogul Oprah Winfrey.  When she is not working on movie sets or in Salon Monet you will find Shellee volunteering or attending fundraisers.

The Salon Monet staff are one of the most sought after hair stylists in Back Bay.  Services that they provide are highlights, blow dry, hair extensions, hair cut, eyelash extensions and many more.

To book an appointment at this award winning salon please visit www.SalonMonet.com or 176 Newbury St, Boston, Ma
Follow salon Monet on Instagram @SalonMonet @ShelleeMendes
To read more about Shellee Mendes visit

*Boston Globe’s article with Oprah Winfrey https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/names/2017/07/20/newbury-street-salon-owner-sets-sail-with-oprah/

Braintree http;//braintree.wickedlocal.com/news/20170622/braintree-residents-newbury-street-salon-gains-high-honors

 

 

Alec Tavares from The Compound

 

 

Alec Tavares

 

Alec Tavares

Reasons that you may not know him, is because he prefers to remain behind the scenes.  A former contributor to XXL Magazine, you can now find Alec’s work on The Compound and Luxshop4u.

To read his work visit

Follow Alec on Instagram @TheLegendReal and read his current post on www.thecompoundblog.com

 

 

 

Glam Expressway in Dumbo, Brooklyn

 

 

 

Glam Expressway

 

 

The Shiloh Statement Necklace

 

 

Glam Expressway

 

Glam Expressway Lindsay Stuart

Business Mogul Lindsay Stuart is taking the world by storm!
This busy wife and mother of two girls, is a host on HSN and has a record for selling over $12,000 Tortuga Rum Cakes during a short period of time.
You should get to know her because she is also a talented makeup artist and founder of Glam Expressway accessories/clothing boutique in Dumbo Brooklyn.  With her celebrity following you may never know who you will see shopping in Glam Expressway.  When Lindsay is not jet setting for work, with girlfriends or family you will see Glam Expressway featured in Cosmo, Latina, Huffington Post, The A-List, Celebuzz, ET, OK and In Touch Magazine.

To order Lyndsay’s Tortuga Rum Cakes visit www.HSN.com
To shop Glam Expressway visit 145 Jay Street, Brooklyn, New York. www.shopglamexpressway.com

 

André with his client International Singer Belinda Munro

 

Millinery Designer Extraordinaire André at his fashion show

Christine Designs by André Millinery 

André creates handmade couture fascinators and hats.  His Atelier hat making approach has his clients flocking to him like bees on honey.  Andre’s work was most recently photographed during our dear friends Belinda Munro and Vincent Gardner’s wedding.

For inquiries visit André on https://m.facebook.com/DesignsbyAndre/

 

 

John Golden

 

Super Nova John Golden

Shoe Specialist and Stylist for a luxury retailer

John is an international socialite known for his eclectic fashion and Basquiat dreadlocks.  I first met him at a Gucci Ghost party in Boston.  His approach to fashion is to break down gender specific clothing.  When John is not in London or Japan you can find him inside the most coveted invitation only Fashion parties.
How to contact him?   John prefers not to have a social media account however you will find him photographed in local magazines.  This supernova makes his appearance everywhere and slowly hides into obscurity until he is ready to resurge.  In the above photo I decided to photograph his aesthetics from behind to get a candid view of him on the go!

 

Mr. Phillips and Jorge Milliano

 

Dj 38 and Mr. Phillips

 

Jowell, J Balvin and Randy

 

Luny Tunes & Baby Ranks

 

Frankie J Obsession (No Es Amor) featuring Baby Bash

 

Reggaeton Artist, Song Writer and Music Producer Mr. Phillips

Mr. Phillips is a highly sought after song writer, artist and music producer.  Raised in Santurce Puerto Rico, and born in Rio Piedras to a Puerto Rican mother and Trinidadian father.  Alvin better known as Mr.Phillips’ melodic yet raspy voice captured the hearts of millions  with his  “Spatoanglish” fusion of Jamaican patois and Spanish in his lyrics.  Working with Francisco Saldaña (Luny) from Luny Tunes allowed his work to be  featured on a CD compilation called Mas Flow2 with Frankie J for the hit song Obsession (No Es Amor).  Chart topping artists that received Mr. Phillips magic touch are Angel López, Alexis Y Fido, Mr. Vegas, Dmanti, Notch, Baby Ranks, Cobra, Jay Sean, Tito El Bambino, Tony Dize, Wisin y Yandel, Don Omar, El Rookie, Cynthia Antigua, Eddy Lover, Flex, Kevin Little, Yaga and Mackie.  Mega producers who worked with Mr.Phillips are Nely “The secret weapon,” Tainy, Nesty, Bones, Eliel, Luny Tunes, Preacher, Anx and Jorge Milliano. We look forward to the completion of his new Album and the Vertigo album by Jorge Milliano.

Visit Mr. Phillips on www.soundcloud.com/Mr-Phillips

To hear the new song that he wrote for J Balvin Featuring Jowell Y Randy visit https://m.soundcloud.com/jorgemilliano/j-balvin-feat-jowell-randy-bonita-jorge-milliano-remix

Follow Mr. Phillips on Instagram @officialmrphillips

 

Jorge Milliano

 

Jorge on a secret location in Star Island

 

Jorge “Jorge” Milliano

 

Guelostar and Ivy Queen

Jorge Milliano

You know his chart topping hits and the star studded artists who he’s worked with.  Since our last post (read La Musica Part 2)  Jorge flew back to Miami to produce a song for J Balvin Featuring Jowell Y Randy.  Spring 2017 Jorge and I kept on telling each other that it is going to be a cruel summer because our schedules were booked.  My schedule consisted of styling, consultations, scouting locations for designers and clothes for the talent that I work with and for Jorge it was a back to back summer of producing.  Just last week one of his dreams came true recently by working with Jamaican reggae legend General Degree.  Expect to hear new music from General Degree, Mr. Phillip’s EPK and Jorge’s Vertigo Album later on this year.

 

 

Jenn & Big Papi

Fashion Rescue Fundraiser

 

Perfect for Bachelorette parties and birthdays

 

Jennifer Nguyen

Jennifer owns Jennifer Nails on 161 and 224 Newbury Street. Services provided range from waxing, manicure and pedicure, hosting celebratory events (weddings, birthdays).  Giving back to her community by supporting her favorite charities is very dear to her as shown above.  Visit Jennifer’s Nails this summer.  Tell her that Natalie from Luxshop4u referred you!

visit www.jennifersnailsalon.com

Follow Jennifer on Instagram @Jen_nguyen224

 

Music Royalty Vivian Sessoms

Vivian Sessoms is an accomplished recording artist, song writer and music producer who worked with everyone’s favorite artists including Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Patti Austin, Cher and Whitney Houston to name a few.

I was very lucky to have an opportunity to personally meet her and talk about music, fashion and life lessons.  This Interview was conducted while Vivian Sessoms was overseas on her European tour.  Her highly acclaimed album Life will be available this fall.

Natalie: Congratulations on your tour!  I had a seat at the table when I met you!  My husband and I arrived from Boston  to New York City on a Friday night  which happened to be the opening night for Vincent Gardner’s performance with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.  Belinda Munro-Gardner planned a lovely dinner at Cafeteria and I can still remember the decadent mac and cheese trio and rosè that I had. 

Vivian Sessoms: I know, it was a great night wasn’t it? That mac & cheese trio at cafeteria is deadly!

Natalie: What goes into preparing for a world tour?

Vivian Sessoms: Quite a lot actually, it takes months and months of planning and sourcing.  There are a few people who help me pull it all together, publicist, booking agents, club owners, musicians, my hubby who is also the musical director. It is a ton of work, but in the end it usually ends up being a lot of fun and very rewarding which is the reason why I think people do it, although I can really only speak for myself.  But it allows you to get in touch with the people who love music and support you and you able to connect with new friends and supporters in such an incredible way.  When all goes well it’s a real high, being able to get your music and message to people.

 

 

Vivian and Mali Music

 

Natalie: I see the love that your fans give you, they are eager to post videos of your performance.  A lot of work goes into to keep the worldwide buzz going. How do you do it?

Vivian Sessoms: To be honest I’m still kind of figuring that part out, lol! Every day, I have a list of things I plan to do which is to post videos of the previous nights performance or post a live video of me just singing in my hotel room or videos of past shows, but sadly I’m not always successful in my plan!  As an indie artist, you wind up doing a lot of things yourself, and actually, I am lucky because I have a small team of people who help me get the word out about things what’s going on with me and keeping things moving.  Sometimes,  just getting info to them is a job in itself.   It’s a constant juggling act trying to keep all the things you need to have happening,  going all at once.

 

Alliance Française de Melbourne in Australia. Photo by Georga Byrne

 

Natalie: What habits do you practice or prepare your mind, body and soul for while on tour.

Vivian Sessoms: I try to work out consistently, not every day but a few times a week. I also  try to really watch what I eat because I realize that eating badly, makes me feel bad.  I don’t really drink a lot and I don’t smoke.  I try to just take it easy and stay peaceful, and you know, do things that make me happy and that make me feel good.  I try to see friends often in other countries, or visit places of interest.

Natalie: You love fashion and beauty and have a great sense of style. Who are your favorite designers and what looks do you like to wear on stage?

Vivian Sessoms: Right now I’m into a lot of African designers.  There are some really fabulous young designers out of Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and several other African countries.  As for my favorite American designers that’s kind of a long list, although I’m very into mixing pieces from stores like COS and Zara and Top Shop with high end stuff, or combined with thrift store finds.  I would say my personal style is a hodgepodge of things.  I like a lot of color, and texture. I really love deconstructed pieces. 
On stage I might go from jeans and sneakers with the funky T-shirt to a tailored suit and heels to a pretty or a flow-y type of dress.  Lately I seem to be opting more for real comfort.

 

 

Smiths Alternative Cafe in Canberra Australia. Photo by Andrea Hutch

 

 

Natalie: “Trying to work through shit we go through sometimes losing my way I’m walking through clouds looking for my sunny”.  This is something that everyone goes through weather it be work, personal relationships, friendships, developing your personal business.  What were you going through when you wrote those words?

Vivian Sessoms: I wrote that song with two really good friends Wondress Hutchinson and Jenny Douglas Foote and at the time I had just lost my mom, but I think that each of us were dealing with life situations and, I don’t know, I just remembered that my heart was really broken and so.  That’s what came out..

I can say that I really love collaborating with people for the different colors and ideas that it brings out of you as an artist.  Collaborating always seems to spark new ways to create, interesting ways that you might not think of when you’re writing or creating alone.
Natalie: I wanted to throw something on my floor like a towel when I listened to your angelic voice on Both Sides Now.  Your voice reminded me of the Ocean waves.  While I was creating these questions I was sitting in my living room with a 7 minute walk to my beach on the Atlantic Ocean and all that I could see during that moment was blue!  Do you see how music, creates and aligns things for some of us? 

Vivian Sessoms: Absolutely and positively.. I asked an audience during the show in Melbourne if they could see the aura that we had created at the end of a show. I was saying to them that coming out to see a show, even though you may feel like you’re not doing much besides  listening and watching, is a form of active participation and what the audience gives to you definitely feeds you as an artist, and in some instances can inform or drive you or what have you.  So I was saying to them that they had participated so much and so beautifully that the energy swirling back-and-forth between us was colorful and bright and had a lot of love it.  I really mean it when I say that music is healing, and that it can change the world.

Natalie: I recently visited the Past is Present exhibit at the MFA Boston.  Knowing that the past is present please tell the Luxhop4u audience who you shared the stage with including writing credits/ producing credits and what you have in store for them this year. 

Vivian Sessoms: I’ve shared the stage with Joe Cocker,  Patti,Austin and Cher, P!nk and numerous others.  I’ve had a wonderful journey before deciding to strike out on my own.  This year I’ll be releasing my third studio recording entitled Life which I’m really excited about.

 

Sinbad, Vivian Sessoms and Scooter.

 

Vivian Sessoms, Joe Cocker, Jenny Douglas Foote and Stacey Campbell.

 

Sara Levine, Sherri Shepard, Chaka Khan, Vivian Sessoms, Marvel Allen and Whoppi Goldberg on the set of the view

 

Vivian Sessoms and Mali Music.

 

Vivian and Lalah Hathaway

 

Kimberly Davis, Jenny Douglas Foote, Patti Austin, Nancy Wilson and Vivian Sessoms.

 

Vivian and Bruno Mars

Cossandra Cella, Cheryl Pepsii Riley, Shondra Rhimes and Vivian.

 

Vivian performing with Patti Austin for the Inaugural Ball of Governor Duvall Patrick and his wife Diane

 

Vivian on stage with P!nk

 

Vivian on the P!nk Funhouse Tour

 

Vivian and Andre Leon Talley

 

Vivian and Roberta Flack

 

 

Natalie: I have a lot of friends in the entertainment industry who work on major projects and do not receive credit/publishing for their work.  What should  artists do to ensure that they receive credit for their work?

Vivian Sessoms: Try as best you can to get everything in writing, contracts are important.. Then get a good lawyer. 

Natalie: I want to thank you for your personal advice and mentorship!

Vivian Sessoms: I adore you!

Be sure to purchase Vivian’s music on her website www.VivianSessoms.com

Follow Vivian on Instagram @VivianSessoms

*Luxshop4u will be in NYC for the Life album release party working behind the scenes. This website will be updated with playlist details from the Life album. This website will have a release date for Vivian’s Life album.

Photos were provided by Vivian Sessoms.

La Musica Part 2 El Tiempo Es Ahora

Reggeaton’s new rising star

Hey you, yes you! Do you know  who produced your favorite songs that you are currently  dancing to like Palitos by Tego Calderon, Ámame O Mátame remix by Ivy Queen featuring Don Omar! Look no further, his name is Jorge Milliano and he is an international music producer/song writer that is based in Boston.  El Tiempo Es Ahora (the time is now) is an encouraging reminder that we say to each other to level up in our careers.  He spent many years paying his dues in the music industry.  I am confident that he will receive accolades in the near future.

Jorge like most of my friends in the Music/Entertainment Industry learned how to play instruments in the church, specifically percussions.  He is known for his star studded collaborations and despite his success Jorge is very humble.  He is eager to make an impact in the world.  No talking, texting, or hanging out to have cocktails is the code that he lives by.  The succesful producer is too focused on securing the bag and attending business meetings with the worlds finest music engineers, artists, and Ceo’s.

Since our last sit down on La Musica part 1, Jorge Milliano and the Milliano Music Group traveled to Bogotá, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Miami, for video shoots and music productions.  In May,  he gave me the heads up that he was going to produce a Remix to Ivy Queen’s Ámame O Mátame featuring Don Omar.  We had a conversation of how he was going to approach the track by tying in Rockers from the past and fusing it in with current rhythms. I am hoping that this remix will be available on itunes soon, in the mean time please visit Ivy Queen and Jorge Milliano’s instagram page to hear the track!  Also be sure to check out Tego Calderon’s new music & video titled Palitos  that was produced by Jorge Milliano.

A message from Jorge

I am excited to announce that while I do not have a  current date available for my CD compilation, I’m in the process of getting the mastered release soon.  I am also working on a six track EP based off of Vertigo (Genre for the EP is Moombahton)

Check out a few of the published music and artist who Jorge has worked with thus far.

Nací Para Amartè  featuring Jowell & Randy  was produced last year, please visit Ivy Queen’s Instagram page to listen to her new remix of Ámame O Mátame featuring Don Omar was also produced by Jorge Milliano.

 

I Need You Baby by De La Ghetto

 

Palitos by Tego Calderón Featuring Choco, BowDozen & Jungle

 

Ultima Vez – Pinto Picasso

 

Guelo Star Featuring Trebol El Artista

 

Tu no Eres Lider by Pimpchito

 

Kevin Lyttle and Mya remix of Bum Bum

Click the link below to see how we started La Musica!

For more great music please visit www.JorgeMilliano.com https://soundcloud.com/jorgiemilliano

Email: Jorge@JorgeMilliano.com

Follow him on Instagram @JorgeMilliano @Millianomusicgrp

*Side note

I learned about Tego Calderon and Rude Gyal Ivy Queen from my older brother Super K many years ago when I lived in Toronto, it’s amazing how life comes full circle!  Tego is one of Ken’s favorite reggeaton artist and Ivy Queen is my favorite,  her music is hotta than 21 Peppa seed (Habanero)!

Super Hero Music

Music to help me write

 

Today I was writing my Q and A for a music icon and I had writers block!  I quickly put on my super hero music to get me going! Listed below in no particular order is my writers block playlist.

 

Black Star Mos Def & Talib Kweli

I wrote an essay that received an A in college. I had Knowledge Of Self (Determintation) on repeat!

 

Maybach Music III

Maybach Music III (featuring T.I, Jadakiss & Erykah Badu) “I came alive like a month in the summer time” This quote re energizes me each and every time!

 

Wouldn’t Matter Where You Are

“He said travel anywhere your life takes you, he said chase your visions over the rainbow, your free to go.” This quote explains itself.

 

Expansion

Lonnie Liston  Smith & The Cosmic Echoes said it best! “Expand your mind, to understand we all must live in peace…”  this song has an upbeat jazz rhythm that reminds me to relax! Not to mention that it is timeless!

 

Roses

“When Im down I just draw some roses, on a pretty piece of paper.” Mos Def & Georgia Anne Muldrow

 

Swing

“I don’t hate players, I’m from the crown rhyme sayers.. I play my cards shark style kings and aces. Welcome to New York the illest of all places.” This line gives me a boost of energy reminding me of who I am and to snap out of my writers block!

 

Comment below and let me know what your go to songs are!

 

 

Guest contributer Alec Tavares

COMPOUND EDITION “CHARLIE GRIN” RELEASE PARTY

 

When I meet taste makers who share the same interest as myself I like to share their talent! I am excited to introduce Alec Tavares. Alec is a freelance marketer and writer who currently works with The Compound. The Compound is a creative agency that helps creative individuals and companies execute their projects. Take a look at what Alec and The Compound allowed me to share with the Luxshop4u community!

 

Bringing together the art and hip-hop world in co-creative fashion, The Compound has once again, pushed the culture forward!

6/1/2017  Concepts provided the setting for a celebration for the release of Compound x Ron English x Made by Monsters Final Edition Charlie Grin.  The Hip Hop culture came out to be a part of history.

Lenny Santiago from Roc Nation wearing denim.

 

 

The toy release was hosted by Lenny S. from Roc Nation and YS warmed up the crowd for DJ Enuff who provided the soundtrack for the evening.

 

Dj Enuff

 

Alec Tavares pictured here on the left. Alec use to blog for XXL Magazine.

 

Sheek Louch, DJ Enuff

 

 

 

The final edition of Charlie Grin has opened new doors and welcomed new fans, bringing out avid toy collectors and hip hop fans.  This final Charlie Grin is a more than just a collector’s toy; it is a piece of history for the culture, and beginning of a new trend for Hip Hop.

 

 

 

With such high demand for this historical piece bridging modern art and Hip Hop, you cannot help but wonder what’s next-but be certain; there will be a next! Stay tuned, The Compound is just getting started!

 

I would like to thank The Compound blog for sharing this fun event with us! Thank you Alec Tavares for covering this story and thank you to photographers Deuce Pearsall @go2deuce, Oluwaseye Olusa, Antwon Walker and Jimmy Giambrone.

www.thecompoundblog.com