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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 1

 

Two music enthusiasts talk about their love for music while Natalie from Luxshop4u plays her favorite songs from her iTunes selection.  In the past Natalie’s love for music has afforded her the opportunity to suggest her favorite 1970s songs to a Grammy nominated artist for his show.  Producer Extraordinaire Jorgie Milliano worked with several chart topping latin artist.

Billy Paul’s song Let the Dollar Circulate is playing in the background the horn and drum section sparks curiosity.

Natalie: Que Pasa mi amigo?  What is this sound that I am hearing?  This drum pattern is bananas!  Diga me, Analog vs Digital?

Jorge: Analog, the benefit of using analog is the pure sound that you hear.  There are several takes in today’s market, Music Executives want music produced rapido.  The negative side to this is that digital is pre recorded and the drum kits sound the same.  I would not recommend it.

Natalie: Ok, listen to this Foundation Roots by Patrick Kelly!  What is this echo that I am hearing?  I have heard it on many of my dads foundation 45 albums. *Foundation is a term that we use for classic older reggae music.

Jorge: It’s called dub platting analog delay.  Dub delays do not necessarily need to be on the keys or instrument, it can also be on the vocals.

We are currently listening to Funky Kingston by Toots & The Maytals

Natalie: Tell me about this guitar technique!

Jorge: The technique is Called guitar skin it is prevalent in ska music.

Natalie: Danny Woods formerly of The Chairmen of The Board and The Showmen is a Cammy awards recipient.  During his time performing over 40 years with the Chairmen of the Board they enjoyed success on the Billboard Music charts and they were also inducted to the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.  Give me just a little more time was sampled by Kylie Minogue. On his solo album Aries the song Two can be Lonely is one of my favorite songs by him. How can we turn this into a club banger?  My husband is from Detroit and we listened to a lot of Jit music.  There is a song that samples Godzilla with the Detroit Techno I think that the beginning of the Godzilla rhythem the songs horn section would sound amazing on Two can be lonely if it is looped the right way!  What do you think?

Jorge: Nat, thats awesome!  EDM’s can be created its called sampling!  How do you even know this terminology?

Natalie: I just know what I like and it makes sense to me.

Mary J.Blige Be Happy is now playing

Natalie: Man I am obsessed with the flutes I think Chuckie Booker was on the flutes!

Jorge: You are listening to Pan flutes! Flutes can also be simulated on a keyboard.  Nat, this is great we need to do this again!

Natalie: Let’s reconvene but this time we will focus on your music!

Jorge: Let’s do it!

Jorgie Millano

 

Jorgie Milliano enjoying Dom Pérignon

 

The legendary reggae artist Pat Kelly

Legendary reggae artist Pat Kelly

 

Toots & The Maytals Funky Kingston

Billy Paul Let the Dollar Circulate

*Download these artists on iTunes

 

Danny Woods Aries Album Two Can be Lonely As One

Visit Jorgie Milliano’s website for collaborations on www.JorgeMilliano.com

Click on the link below to read part 2