R. B. Jones

R. B. Jones

Down The Rabbit Hole Tattoos
 

DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE TATTOOS

Interview by Randall B. Jones- The art of tattooing has been in practice for centuries worldwide. Tattoos have experienced resurgence in popularity over the last decade in many parts of the world, particularly North and South America, Japan and Europe. Once thought of as being taboo, you would be hard pressed to walk down the street, beach, mall etc. and not see someone with their artwork on full display. In 2008, an online survey was conducted that estimated 14% (or approximately 30 million) of all adults in the US have a tattoo. I’m sure that percentage has risen since then. The youth of today have been heavily influenced by many pro athletes, hip hop & rock artist whom all have made tattoos basically part of their DNA (I.e. marketing & branding image). That’s great news for a 26 year old South Florida business owner by the name of Parker Beaudoin (a.k.a. “Wingnut”). He’s been in the tattoo industry since he was 14 and now owns and operates “Down The Rabbit Hole Tattoos and Body Modification, Inc.” in Ft. Lauderdale. The young man is talented, motivated and passionate about his craft which has also made him the first of his field to be featured in our publication. Here’s your chance to learn more about the man and his business with the unique name.

Hello Wingnut, it’s great to have this opportunity to speak with you. How does it feel to be the first tattoo business owner/artist featured in Nine5Four The Magazine?

[ WINGNUT ] To be the first of anything is both an achievement and an honor, and I feel both! I also feel that this will be a start to many more talented artist features in this magazine and I wanted to say thank you for the opportunity to do this.

It’s our pleasure. You were born and raised here is South Florida (so was I by the way…one time for TRUE Floridians). What part did you grow up in and you have to tell me how you got the nickname “WINGNUT”…I think? Lol.

[ WINGNUT ] Well, I was born in Palm Beach and raised there. I have pretty much stayed and lived in South Florida my entire life. The name “Wingnut” was given to me from a previous employer who one day just called me “Wingnut”, and from that day on that’s what I go by and created a good name for myself.

OK, I was expecting a more elaborate story behind the name…but that’s cool. How did your interest in tattooing begin?

[ WINGNUT ] My interest in tattooing began when I was young and at an indoor theme park so to say called “Telesis.” They had games that gave tickets for prizes and one of the prizes was a set of temporary tattoos. So I worked hard to win 75 tickets to get them and when I finally did, instead of using them, I kept them and drew the designs on myself. I still have the set saved to this day.

You are the co-owner of Down The Rabbit Hole Tattoos and Body Modification, Inc. Tell us about your business partner and how the both of you came together to start this business with the unique name.

[ WINGNUT ] Well we came together when I was born. My partner, “Jekyll,” is also my father. He has supported me my entire life and when I left my last shop to open my own shop, he was there to help every step of the way. So we became partners and I also helped teach him to pierce. So he is also the co-owner and Piercer.

Oh cool, a father and son team. Sounds like you have a great father whom you share a wonderful relationship with. Who came up with the name for the business?

[ WINGNUT ] Our name came when my friend Madison and I were just hanging out in the pool going over names and she said “How about Down the Rabbit Hole?” And it had that nice ring to it. So we went with it and kept it…and I couldn’t be happier. Thanks again to Madison!

What makes your shop stand out from the competition?

[ WINGNUT ] We are a very friendly shop. We offer all custom tattoos and work well with clients the same as we would want to be treated. We also have very high standards of cleanliness as well as professionalism. To add to this, we also run monthly, weekly, and daily specials from the artists within the shop.

Have you done work on any well known figures?

[ WINGNUT ] I have worked on numerous musicians, some local and some bigger. I am working on an R&B rapper right now by the name of “Rezz Vocals” who will soon be a major hit.

From your experience, who comes to you more for tattoos…women or men?

[ WINGNUT ] I feel it is about equal for me. I am a very versatile artist so I tend to get a variety of customers all asking for different styles of tattoos. But for my “Itty Bitty” tattoos, it is definitely more women for those. But some men get them too.

We will get to those in a moment. What’s your take on tattoo reality shows…good or bad?

[ WINGNUT ] I think it’s both. It is good because it helps make tattoos more acceptable in everyday society, but it also is bad for the reason that some customers watch the drama and get turned off by it. They also don’t understand the amount of time it takes for a tattoo (no, you can’t get your sleeve done in 30 minutes, like they show on TV). But I do like the shows.

Now, you have another nickname or title rather, “The Master of Itty Bitties”. Please tell us why you have been bestowed this creative moniker?

[ WINGNUT ] I was given this name years ago after I set the world record for the smallest tattoo. I believe it was on the front cover of a magazine first and from there it caught on just as Wingnut did. Also for the fact of how small and how many tattoos I do of an Itty Bitty nature.

And you’ve written a book on this technique as well…right?

[ WINGNUT ] This is correct. I wrote “The Everlasting Itty Bitty” which goes over all the basics of tattooing Itty Bitty tattoos from start to finish (I’m currently working on Volume 2). This book is available for purchase by contacting me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What was the most elaborate work of art you have done to date and where is the most interesting place you have inked a tat on someone?

[ WINGNUT ] There have been many elaborate pieces I’ve done from a full “Koi” with an anchor back piece to a full sleeve and chest tattoo of an oriental dragon with an oriental themed background that I recently just finished on my good customer and friend, Derek. The most interesting place I’ve done a tattoo would probably be in between the toes. It was an anarchy symbol and actually stayed.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a tattoo between the toes! Now that’s different! What would you say is the most important thing people should know about getting tattoos or body mods?

[ WINGNUT ] They should know to not only find a tattoo/piercing by just the price. The price should be the very last factor to look at. It is your body. Do you really want to mess it up just to save a few dollars? Go to the shop and see how clean they are. Look at their work and make sure you feel comfortable with them. These are main things people should know and look for when finding the right place and person to work on them.

Do you have other interests outside of tattooing?

[ WINGNUT ] Yes I do. Cooking, music, and my other business, Wingnut Enterprises, Inc. It is custom clothing, jewelry, entertainment, etc. I was a cook for 7 years and will soon have my own cook book published and out for sale. I also am a DJ and a music manager of local R&B artist Rezz Vocals. I tend to stay very busy and love everything I do. Besides work, just spend time with my girl and my family.

Man you really keep it moving. We respect your hustle! Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?

[ WINGNUT ] I see my business expanding. I want to have another shop open within five years and have both shops doing very well. I also want to be able to travel around the world working tattoo conventions regularly. Only time will tell.

Let the readers know where you are located and how they can contact you. (I just might have to drop by myself).

[ WINGNUT ] We are located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. On the SE corner of Oakland Park Blvd & Federal Hwy (US1)

You can call the shop at (954) 306-2593, or visit the shops, my Facebook: www.facebook.com/downtherabbitholetattoos & www.facebook.com/wingnut.art or send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Thanks for allowing our readers to learn about you and your business. We wish you success in all of your endeavors. Anything else you would like to add in closing?

[ WINGNUT ] Take every minute as if it was your last and live it to the fullest. And everything happens for a reason. Be safe, have fun, and make the world more colorful, one tattoo at a time. Peace!

 

 

ZiO
 
Artist Name: ZiO

Genre: Rap / Hip Hop

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Born Mitch Kane on December 27, 1988. Zio was raised in Pittsburgh, Pa. by his single parent mother. As a young teen, Zio graduated from the streets right into the judicial system. Z started hustling from his Arlington Heights residence. He planned on making enough money to leave that lifestyle behind, which eventually he did.

After developing his own unique “swag” he worked closely with producer and close friend, T-Roy. They began cutting mixtape tracks, and building up a local presence. After selling 5,000 nonchalantly, he figured it was time to start seriously pushing his mixtapes. He got them to the general public by hand instead of by the conventional way of CD Exchange. This he discovered was a bad thing as there was no proof of his CD sales.

However, these mixtape recordings started earning the rapper an esteemed reputation on the streets as “The Bad Guy” or “The Trouble Maker”. Some of the tracks featured Zio and his counterparts rapping over well known beats. Others mockingly dissed rappers (namely Bow Wow, Jibbs, Mike Jones and Wiz Khalifa, who quickly became a known local rival). This presence generated a lot of local controversy back in 07’ which actually catapulted him into the Pittsburgh Hip Hop Awards. He’s used that buzz over the years to fuel his desire to go even harder.

Now independently taking control and residing in the beautiful sunshine, palm trees and beaches of South Florida; Zio is looking to put his stamp on the talent laden SOFLO market. He has put together a collection of mixtape material that he plans on marketing to the world quarterly, until the big fish swim in. He’s now working with singing coaches, new producers and new facilities (such as The Studio Center, Miami, FL) to step his game up to even another level. Zio is shooting for the stars and only time will tell what the future holds. 2011 promises to be a huge year for this youngin’! Goto his official website at www.iamzio.com and check out his music & video swagg for yourself.

 
 
Andrea Goodin

ANDREA GODIN HAS THE GOODS!

Interview by Randall B. Jones – Photos by Andrea Hunter, Norm Marriott & Scott Reynolds

Sometimes great music is found in the least expected places. One of those places is a small town surrounded by farming and agriculture called St. George located in southern Ontario, Canada. It is here you will find a young female vocalist that has been singing since the age of 3 whose voice will simply blow you away. Her name is Andrea Godin and her voice can best be described as a cross between Christina Aguilera and Leona Lewis. This young lady has a unique sound that can seamlessly maneuver between the genres of Pop, R&B, Dance and Country. You simply would not expect to hear such a sound coming from such a rural place. Andrea also writes her own music, plays an instrument and is an avid dancer. She has years of experience performing at various venues, festivals and charity events which has helped to build up her name in local areas. Here’s your opportunity to get to know more about this rising star and see why we at Nine5Four Magazine are so enamored by her talent. The lesson that industry insiders will take from her interview is that, “Good things can be found in small places!”

Hello Andrea and thank you for giving us a little bit of your time today.

[ANDREA] Thanks so much for having me in your magazine!

You’re quite welcome. Now, let’s not beat around the bush for one minute. Where in the world did you get that beautifully strong yet soulful voice from?

[ANDREA] I think it has a lot to do with my influences and the artists that I’ve listened to while growing up. Destiny’s Child, Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, and Mariah Carey are artists that I’ve looked up to my whole life and they all have such amazing powerful voices. That’s something that I’ve always strived to have and I’ve worked hard for it!

(Jokingly…) Are you sure you’re from a small farming town outside of Ontario? What is the music scene like in your hometown?

[ANDREA] Let’s just say there’s not a lot of people around here that are doing my genre of music…haha! Most artists and bands in this area do either rock or country music so at times it’s difficult for my music to fit in. Luckily, I live an hour away from Toronto which has a very diverse music scene and there’s always lots of opportunities for all genres there.

I’m really feeln’ the Urban/Pop/Country vibe your music has. This makes you quite a triple threat. It’s really hard to believe someone hasn’t signed you up yet. Who do you get compared most to in the industry?

[ANDREA] The person I get compared to most is Alicia Keys. She’s one of my idols so it’s always a huge compliment when someone says that to me!

I understand that you write your own songs and play an instrument. What prompt you to learn to do both?

[ANDREA] I play guitar and I’m so thankful that I took the time to learn that instrument. It has been such an awesome songwriting tool and I’ve written many songs on it. One day I just decided that it would be awesome to be able to play guitar and sing on stage, so I signed up for guitar lessons and made it happen!

Tell me about Dave McWilliams and what role has he played in your development as an artist.

[ANDREA] Dave was actually the person who got me into songwriting when I was 14. He’s helped me develop my writing skills throughout the years and now I’m at a point where I can be very confident with the songs I write. He started as my guitar teacher then ended up becoming one of my producers. We’ve been very successful so far and have gotten songs published on national television and have our songs on several radio stations.

Let’s get into your debut album entitled simply “ANDREA”. What does this album have in store for the listeners?

[ANDREA] I was beyond excited to release this album! The songs on my CD cover a wide range of emotions. There are happy songs, sad songs, and then there are the party tracks and the tracks that have an angrier vibe. I spent so much time and effort on the album and I made sure every one of the songs was done the best that I could possibly do them!

Being that you wrote each song on the album, I’d like to know what was your motivation or inspiration behind writing this collection of songs.

[ANDREA] Every song on the album was inspired by exactly how I was feeling at that time. Usually I write about things that happen in my life, but sometimes when I run out of things to write about, I look into what’s going on in other people’s lives and get song ideas from that! I always try to write tunes that many people can relate to.

I honestly like each track on your album BUT, I have to say that “Bass Goes Down” is my favorite because it gets you movin’! This is a HOT club track! Which song would you say is your favorite and why?

[ANDREA] Haha…well I have to agree with you! “Bass Goes Down” is definitely my favorite! I absolutely LOVE performing that song! I think I like it so much because it is the original that is closest to the music I listen to all the time. The majority of songs in my iPod are dance/club music and “Bass Goes Down” reminds me of that music. I wanna give a shoutout to DJ Micred for collaborating with me on that song!

Have any of your songs received radio play?

[ANDREA] My songs “Can’t Let Go” and “I’ll Never Know” are receiving airplay on Sunny 94.3 in Idaho; 92.1 CKPC near my hometown; Radio Humber 96.9 and several others. Most of the songs on my album are receiving internet airplay as well. It’s always such an exciting feeling hearing your songs on the radio!

I saw that you are rated #1 on the Reverbnation.com charts for the St. George, Ontario, Canada area. How does that make you feel?

[ANDREA] It’s an awesome feeling to be #1! I’m so glad that so many people are hearing my music because that’s my goal. I know that I have to keep working hard to stay at the top of the charts, but I hope that soon I will make it to the #1 on more websites and charts!

I’m told that you are also quite the performer too. Describe to our readers what type of show you put on for your fans that come out to support you.

[ANDREA] I absolutely love performing! My show is very upbeat and I always try to make sure it’s a good time for everyone. For my bigger shows, I like to bring out my backup dancers for a more visual experience and I’m currently putting together a live band.

Talk to me about two of your most notable performances that took place at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH and at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. What were those experiences like for you?

[ANDREA] These were some of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. It was so crazy to think of the people who have been on those stages before me and it was a dream come true! I was so nervous but so excited at the same time and I hope someday I’ll get to perform there again.

You’ve won several singing contests and have also appeared on your local TV network. What do you think is missing that will help you get over the hump to finally be discovered?

[ANDREA] I think once I get my full band together, it will attract more attention to my live show and my music. Also, promotion and marketing cost a lot of money and I think if I had more of that behind me it would help get myself and my music noticed and maybe even discovered.

Do you have a preference in signing with a major or indie record label?

[ANDREA] Nowadays a lot of artists prefer to sign with an indie label. You have more freedom and control over most parts of your career and that’s definitely something that is really important to me. I want to be able to write my music exactly how I feel it should be. I want to be able to control what my live shows are like and many other aspects as well. If I didn’t have control over that then my music wouldn’t be me.

Very well put. Take this opportunity to let all of those A&R’s (major or indie) out there that read our publication know why they should sign YOU.

[ANDREA] Music is my number one priority and I am one of the most determined people you will meet! I don’t try to make my music sound like anyone else and I think it’s catchy and very marketable. I know how to put on a show and write my own music and I’ll never give up!

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers at this time?

[ANDREA] My new single “Bullet” was recently released on iTunes! You can find it at: www.itunes.com/andreagodin . I’ve worked so hard on this song so I hope everyone likes it. :) You can also hear it for free at: www.reverbnation.com/andreagodin . In the meantime, I’m recording new music, promoting myself and keeping really busy!

Thank you for allowing our readers and fans the opportunity to get to know about you and your amazing talent Andrea. We look forward to watching how your very bright future unfolds. Please share any final words you may have at this time.

[ANDREA] Thanks so much to everyone who read this interview. I hope you check out my music and enjoy listening to it. Keep checking back to my Reverbnation site because I got lots of exciting things coming in the near future! Also, thanks to Nine5Four Magazine for making this feature happen!

 
Ben G

OH CANADA…BEN G. HAS ARRIVED!
Photos by Annie Thomas of Wreckless Crew Productions & Al Desrochers of Snap Magazine

Many times people see the name of our publication and think that we are simply a local publication only highlighting local talent. We do make a concerted effort to put the spot light on our home grown talent pool but make no mistake about it; we are a world wide publication. We work very hard to help up-n-coming talent receive maximum exposure and it’s rewarding to us when we see talent that we've featured in the past reach their goals and achieve success. It is artist like the young man that I’m about to re-introduce you to that is helping to spread our name in those other areas to help broaden our base of exposure which directly benefits everyone feature in our magazine. We featured this young man back in 09’ and since then he has been working very hard to push is career to the next level and has been very successful in doing so. We felt that his accomplishments will help to inspire others who are striving for the same goal and to see that hard work DOES pay off. He has a new team and new album out and we wanted to catch up with him to find out more about what he’s been up to. He’s taking Canada by storm and has his eye on a US invasion in the not so distance future. It is my pleasure to re-introduce everyone to the artist that dubs his music as “Euro-trash meets Alternative Rock”, Mr. Ben G.

Welcome back Ben G. How have you been?

[BEN G.] I’ve been great thank you.

Well you know we had to bring you back Ben G. because since your July 09’ feature in our publication, you’ve been making some BIG moves over in Canada! Did that feature influence any of those moves you made?

[BEN G.] Things started moving very quickly after the July 09 feature. Having support from a U.S. based magazine is a big deal for a Canadian artist/group. When people saw the Nine5Four feature on my page/press kit as well as in print it turned heads. I got a lot of feedback! It helped me make a strong case when shopping my music and I ended up with a recording contract 2 months later.

That’s awesome! Tell me about the record label that picked you up and how that unfolded.

[BEN G.] I was completely unsigned for the 2 yrs of promotion for my EP. My friend Blu Velvette and I ran things like a mini label. During the end of the promotion I gained a recording contract with FACTOR to create “Stories I Tell”. I had support in the application process from Joni Daniels and Christine Carson.

FACTOR isn’t a record label; it’s an organization that supports the arts in Canada. But the opportunities they have provided are similar to a development deal from a label, and I’m free to upstream when the time comes. They provided funding for the album and the upcoming promo campaign for the next single. I’m very blessed to have involvement from FACTOR, and I want to do right by them and make things go as far as possible.

I’ve partnered with two companies on a few projects to support the album. Wreckless Crew have been taking care of organizing and producing videos, live events, and working with me on photography. They brought about the exclusive shoot for this article.

Digital Underdog Productions (Dave Thompson (who produced the album)/Geoff Kent) are in charge of directing the music side of things they are taking on management and promotional roles since my business partner Blu retired.

How does it feel to finally have this kind of support behind you now?

[BEN G.] It feels very good to have involvement from outside companies and people who have a vested interest in me. Things are already moving more steadily and some great opportunities are popping up all over.

Let’s jump right into your latest album release entitled “Stories I Tell”. What inspired this collection of songs and the title of the album?

[BEN G.] The album has a wider range of emotions then the E.P. Everything that happened in the last 2 years is well documented in the songs on the album, everything from getting away from problems through music, to long distance love. There are even a couple of pop/rock songs that are just fun.

Talk a little about your producer for the album and were all of the instrumentals performed by you?

[BEN G.] Dave Thompson produced the album, he was also the band. He played and co-wrote. I came to him with some songs and song ideas on the guitar. I play rhythm guitar for live shows, usually with a band. But at the end of the day my guitar playing is like a ford tempo compared to Dave being more like a Corvette… I really don’t know anyone who could out play him. He’s in the top percentage, so of course that’s what you GOTTA hear on an album.

What type of response have you received thus far about the new album?

[BEN G.] It’s been extremely positive; it seems like it’s what people have been wanting. So many bands and artists make ‘get down music’ about how great it is to have everyone looking at them when they hit the clubs… a Jersey Shore scenario 24/7. It’s valid and fun to a degree, but not all the time. I wanted to make music that was relevant to me and everyone else not represented in a lot of today’s music. I think a lot of listeners feel left out, but there is a song on this CD for everyone so check it out!

I have listened to the album several times (thank you for providing me with the download) and although the music is very good, it is your voice that stands out profoundly. It’s very smooth over the tracks and blends effortlessly. Has anyone else given you that type of feedback about your vocals?

[BEN G.] The feedback on the vocal front has been ultra positive; I’m surprised because to me it’s the songs that are really special. I’m glad I could serve the music and be a good conduit for emotions on this record.

Now, “Getaway” is your first single off the album and you also have a video for the song (very nice concept for the video). Why did you choose this track to be the first single and who produced the video?

[BEN G.] ‘Getaway’ was the first song I wrote for the album. I played it at a couple of acoustic shows before I showed it to Dave. My friend Sean G from the band Motion Grove commented that it was really different and better then the songs on my EP. A lot of people favored it from that moment on. Dave wrote additional song parts, and re-arranged things in the studio. The production is VERY fresh and ultra-contemporary which really enhances the message of the song. The theme is transcending things and moving on instead of staying in the same place your whole life. I thought it was a fitting first single to really show everyone what this album is about.

The video was produced by Wreckless Crew, there are two versions… well actually 3. My friend Danielle Pilon (the actress in the video) went all over Ontario with me for the shoot. She’s awesome, and very dedicated. The version of the video on my Youtube/MySpace is the one we are sending to AUX TV in Canada.

Frank and I made that cut. I’m very happy with it; I absolutely stand by Wreckless Crew and the quality of its productions. Frank also directed the video. He wanted to bring my storyboards to life in the best way possible. I’m proud to work with Frank and call him one of my closest friends.

I understand you are already planning to release your next song and video. Can you tell us which song it will be and why…or is it top secret?

[BEN G.] It’s not top secret lol, it’s being figured out. Geoff Kent is making the call on the 3rd single, which will be the first properly executed Radio campaign. The video is probably going to be for the same song… maybe not. We were really looking at ‘Light My Way’ as the 2nd video. We are figuring that out in the next 2 months.

Dare I even ask which song off the album is your favorite?

[BEN G.] That would be ‘Circles’ hands down, it’s a great driving song.

You told me that you were involved in some important talks regarding possible tour/performances dates in the works. Anything you would like to report to us at this time?

[BEN G.] It’s not what you think. All I can say is I’m set to wear a very different hat over the next 2 months and I will be all over Canada. Stayed tuned on facebook.com/bengmusic for more!

It seems as though you and your new team have all of your ducks in a row. What else do you have planned to help promote this album?

[BEN G.] We are planning to do lots of acoustic gigs early this summer and there are tentative plans for a tour with a band…hopefully for next fall. I also may join my dad’s band on a few shows as they play a lot of festivals. I am looking forward to hitting the road with my own band though, cannot wait for that to happen.

Where can the readers and music lovers go to get your music and to follow your promising career?

[BEN G.] Wrecklesscrew.com has my CD available for purchase, but the easiest place for music lovers in America to grab my stuff is right off iTunes. To follow me, check out www.bengmusic.net as it has links to all those social networky type pages.

Finally, I remember that you are also an accomplished photographer as well. Not too long ago your cities top production company (Wreckless Crew Productions) brought you on board. How did this come about and how has your experience working with them thus far has been.

[BEN G.] After working with Wreckless Crew on my music videos and events, Frank brought me onboard as a photographer. Things took off and the deal made me the top choice for Hip Hop artists locally. I’ve had a blast shooting some larger than life characters.

It was a great pleasure bringing you back and finding out about all of the success you’ve achieved since our first meeting. Its artist like you that lets us know that we are doing the right thing for up-n-coming talent everywhere. Thank you for your continued support and we will continue to do the same for you. Please share with us your closing remarks.

[BEN G.] Thank you again for including me in this amazing publication; it’s truly a blessing for me and all the other artists you feature. Having this kind of support makes a huge difference for artists.

Zachary Biggus
 

Artist Name: Zachary Biggus

Genre: Jazz Fusion

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Zachary Biggus is a guitarist/composer/teacher from the Chicagoland area. Zachary graduated from Elmhurst College in 2007 with honors. There he studied with Frank Portolese, Chris Siebold, Mark Colby, Bob Rummage, and Frank Caruso, among others. While attending Elmhurst Zachary had the opportunity to perform with such artists as those already mentioned, as well as, Kris Meyers, Glenn Kotche, Ritch Stitzel, Bobby Shew, Matt Harris, Dennis Diblasio and Patti Austin to name a few.

Jazz is his favorite style of music to play but he is experienced in many other genres. As you can see in his musical influences that range from Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd, John Coltrane, The Grateful Dead, Prince, Jamiroquai, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen, Cat Stevens, Guns N’ Roses, Herbie Hancock, Led Zeppelin, Beethoven, Nirvana, Stevie Wonder, The Who, and many more.

Zachary has released a new album entitled “Jusqu’à Présent” (translation “Until Now”) which is his debut recording. This is an instrumental album with a focus on improvisation. True Jazz fans will absolutely love the [8] track CD as it combines smooth jazz, funk, soul and rock. This is one of the best Jazz fussion albums I’ve heard in some time. This artist could be following the path of jazz greats Spyro Gyra, David Benoit, Boney James, Dave Coz and David Sanborn. All songs were written by Zachary Biggus and performed by Christopher Grandberry (on drums), Adam Bockman (on Bass) with Zachary (on guitar). All three musicians are embedded in the Chicago music scene. And it’s amazing how good they sound together although they have only been together for less than a year. Just imagine what the future holds for these gentlemen. Matt Opal mixed and mastered the album at Gravity Studios in Chicago. Matt Kopecky and Zachary Biggus produced the album.

Right now Zachary is involved in a couple projects. Always looking for an opportunity to perform, he regularly plays with a group called Georgetown. And here are some other groups where you can catch Zachary doing his thing: Gio, Steak Fries Reprise, Trio-Luminati, Triceratops Club Trio, Zachian Jazz Duo, Just Fux, Oblio and Arrow, and Junior Electric . But his main focus is squarely on his newly established trio. But he insists that if you ever need a guitarist or want to jam sometime, shoot him an e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . You can pick up his new album “Jusqu’à Présent” at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ZacharyBiggus and you can keep up with his career by going to www.myspace.com/zachbiggus . If you’re a fan of good jazz music, I strongly suggest that you support this up and coming artist today!!

 
Nominee
 

Artist Name: NOMINEE

Genre: Rap / Hip Hop

Hometown: Denver/Aurora, Colorado

Michael Zies aka “Nominee” of B.U.MOB is an artist, song writer and CEO. He is defined as a person who is appointed to an office or position. Nominee himself takes the definition up another notch noting that he was selected and placed in position to do God’s work on the devils playground. From the point of view that no one man is a perfect soul and with two sides to every story, Nominee exploits the positives and negatives that create this one world.

His influences growing up come from such artists as Lil Wayne, Scarface, Ludacris, Twista, Tech N9ne, 8Ball & MJG and Yukmouth to name a few. From those big names he has developed his own fast twisted lyrical style with a grimmy raspyness that reflects his every emotion in the music which makes him a stand out from the rest.

Born and raised in Colorado of Vietnamese and Caucasian descent, he has been on a roller coaster ride in the music scene for a while. He exploded on the music scene in ‘96 with his click B.U.MOB, which consists of Wild, King Real, Quija, and Harm. Their first release was “B.U.MOB presents Trinity” in April ‘04. They gained mass exposure through the local scene by being featured in magazines such as Denver Finest Magazine and Undastream Magazine, performing at shows, promoting his music and doing features with other artist.

Nominee recorded tracks with Bizzy Bone of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Young Droop, and Royce da 5’9. Since the “Die Hard” release in October ‘06, Nominee has been recognized by fans and musicians around the world with the help of shows, the internet, and the gift of gab for distributing units in the streets. He’s performed in front of packed houses at the 2008 and 2009 Sex Show @ the Denver Merchandise Mart and Colorado Convention Center, Herman’s Hideaway, Toads Tavern, Gothic, Boulder Theater, and other hot spots through out the Denver metro area.

Nominee is now flying back in forth between Colorado and California putting the finishing touches on his new album entitled “ONE MILE ABOVE” which is going to be available on iTunes soon. In the meantime, check out the hot tracks he has on deck at www.reverbnation.com/nominess where he’s got something for everyone…the ladies, the streetz and the club! He’s got some fya on there so don’t sleep on one of Colorado’s finest! Find out more about Nominee at www.myspace.com/nomineeofbumob

 
G4 Music

FLYING HIGH WITH G4 MUSIC

Interview by Randall B. Jones – Photos by Dolla Boi of KDL Studio

Is it hot around here…or is it just me? Oh yeah, South Florida just got a little hotter with the arrival of NBA All-Stars Lebron James and Chris Bosh (…please stop the hate people). With D-Wade rounding out the new Miami Heat trio, the spotlight is shining ever so brightly on the Sunshine State right now. And some of that spotlight is going to spill over onto the plethora of talent we have here in the South Florida music scene. We’ve brought you some of the hottest up and coming producers in this state (and out for that matter) over the past few years. Many of whom have gone on to do some big things in the industry. Well, we have found another one to add to the list. The name of the company is G4 Music and the man in charge is Mr. G Smoove. He’s already worked with some of the biggest names in the industry and you’ve probably partied to some of his tracks in the club but didn’t know he produced them. This young man is on a mission to make a name for himself in this hotly contested era of dope producers. He feels that there is enough room for everyone to fit in but he ain’t asking…he’s taking. G Smoove suffered a close personal tragedy which has only strengthened his focus, hunger and desire to become one of the best in the game today. And as you read his interview, you too will believe in his quest to reach the top. All you up and coming artist out there need to read this one if you are looking for someone to provide you with top notch production for your projects. Established artist need to do the same because this dude produces hits! With that said ladies and gent’s, please fasten your seatbelts and get ready to fly high amongst the clouds with Broward County’s own G4 Music!

What’s good G Smoove, how you groove’n today?

(G SMOOVE) - I’m feelin good. Blessed and highly favored thank you.

What part of Broward County are you from?

(G SMOOVE) - I’m originally from Pompano. I reside in Palm Beach for now. My next stop is Miami.

Any special story behind your name (G Smoove) you’d like to share with us?

(G SMOOVE) - No real special story. Growing up, I was always given the “pretty boy” tag. So my Uncle used to call me “G Smoove” (the G coming from my government name of course) and the name has stuck with me.

Why did you choose to become a music producer?

(G SMOOVE) - It was truly a calling. I was in the middle of studying Architecture at FAMU, when my partner at the time (45th) called me to come home to join the movement he had going on down here. It took some deliberation, but let’s just say I was home within a month. He was my best friend and I really looked up to him, so it was nothing for me to drop everything to follow the dream with him.

What’s the best and worst thing about being a producer?

(G SMOOVE) - The best thing about being a producer is simply the ability to touch people with my music. Its crazy how important music is to everyday life and how it can control ones emotions. It’s definitely a gratifying experience to have people move to the beat of your drum.

There is no bad part about being a producer. I would say getting turned down is the worst part, but it’s made me who I am today. I get stronger and hungrier with every rejection. So there is no downside to my job and soon to be career. No negativity over here.

Other than yourself, who would you say is the hottest producer out now and why?

(G SMOOVE) - That’s a tough one…because you’ve got a lot of young dudes in the game killin it, but you’ve also got your vets that are still making noise. As far as newcomers go, Lex Luger’s got it hands down in the rap game this year. He’s revolutionized a sound that everybody’s trying to mimic right now. On the Pop/RnB side you’ve got vets like Dr. Luke, Jim Jonsin, The Runners, and Cool & Dre who are on any and every project moving. There’s too much talent out there to name, but that’s also the glory of this biz. There’s enough for everybody to eat as long as you find your niche.

How did G4 Music get started and why did you pick this name?

(G SMOOVE) - I gave a briefing on how my partner and I started this production team earlier, but how we came up with the name was pretty funny, yet simple. We always talked about Jets and Yachts, and the dream of owning one someday, and our music implemented a lot of Jazz chords (which screams elegance to me). So it was only right that G Smoove + 45th made G4music…named after the private Jet series (G4). Thereafter came a lot of biters, but we all know who really came first.

Briefly, talk to me about your partner 45th who is no longer with us (may he rest in peace). What happened to him and how has his passing affected you personally and/or professionally to date?

(G SMOOVE) - 45th was special. Aside from the fact that we were blood related, he was also my best friend, my business partner, and my mentor. So it took a big toll on me. Ask anybody in Broward and they’ll tell you he was the “realist nigga” on earth. His funeral had about 2000 people there easily. I never saw anything like that on a local scale. You had cliques that had been beefing for years standing right next to each other just to come say their goodbyes. He was like a hood hero in Pompano. I remember sitting in sessions where people were so elated to meet him for the 1st time. And he was just a “regular guy”! He was far from regular though. He was fearless. He was loved and respected by everybody that had the chance to meet him. He touched and inspired so many people to progress in life (including myself). Unfortunately he was murdered in a robbery on October 30th of 2009. As much as it still hurts, it’s made me the strong man I am today. I can’t stress how much he motivates me on a daily basis to make it happen by any means necessary. I know you said briefly, but it’s impossible to sum him up in a few words. RIP my brother. PROGRESS!

That’s no problem man; I see he meant a lot to you so it’s all good. G4 Music has cranked out some tracks for some of the big names in hip hop! Give me the names of some of those artists.

(G SMOOVE) - We’ve worked with a lot of artists in the area and on a national scale. Not all of the records have been placed, but that’s the name of the game. We’ve worked with Trina, Waka Flocka, Brisco, Billy Blue, Ace Hood, Tay Dizm, JW, Triple C’s, Ballgreezy,... the list goes on. Hell, we even had Gucci Mane’s manager calling our phone at one point and he was the hottest rapper of 09’ besides Drake. So it’s really only a matter of time before we get “that one”.

How did you link up with these artists that lead you in turn to working with them?

(G SMOOVE) - Hard work and persistence. Nobody gave us shit. I can’t lie, I’m blessed to have a few loyal friends that put their neck on the line to get me in the room, but that’s not even half the battle. I remember nights where 45th and I would stakeout at this studio we knew Birdman was at just to get a beat cd to him. That’s just 1 of many crazy stories I have. But networking is the key. Talent will only get you so far. You have to be willing to go out there and get it.

Yezzir!! Now, out of those names you gave, who would you say definitely brought the heat in your sessions?

(G SMOOVE) - I love all of the records we’ve produced that have made it out. But I can’t even front, the song that’s made the most noise with no promotion is the Waka Flocka joint we did. And that was just a mixtape song. Check it out; it’s called “Yeen Aint Bout That”. That’s 45th on the hook written by the both of us.

I’ll definitely check that joint out. Who else in the industry are you looking to work with the most?

(G SMOOVE) - If I’m blessed to make it big enough in time, I would love to work with Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Jay Z, and Lil Wayne. I want to be able to put my stamp on the best of the best. It’s not too far fetched though. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve.

Do you have any projects that you are working on now that the people can look forward to copping when it drops?

(G SMOOVE) - At the moment, I’m pretty much freelancing. I don’t like to name drop especially if the deal isn’t inked yet, but don’t be surprised if I’m behind your favorite artists’ next hit. I do have some major projects in the works, so keep your ears open.

And if any artists out there looking to work with one of the hottest young producers making moves in the game right now, how can they hit you up?

(G SMOOVE) - I’m not hard to find at all. I’ll respond to any serious inquiry. My contact info is as follows…www.gfourmusic.com , www.twitter.com/G4music , www.myspace.com/gfourmusic and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

What can we expect from G Smoove and G4 Music going into 2011?

(G SMOOVE) - Skies the limit. You can’t really put a timetable on your success in this game, or you will go crazy. But I’ll tell you this; expect to hear the G4 tag everywhere. I’m shooting for a #1 record or even a Grammy. I just pray that 2011 is the year.

It was real cool speaking with you G Smoove, I’m glad we were able to link up. Keep doin’ ya thang cause you are on the right track (no pun intended). Take a moment to drop a few shout outs my man!!

(G SMOOVE) - I gotta thank God, because none of this is possible without him. Everybody else that goes hard for the team knows who they are. My engineer Javier, Tamarah Katrise and the Lubin family, AJ The Rnb General, Patty, my asst. Lydia, Nyce, the list goes on. Free Young $tack$ and RIP Daniel “45th” Lubin Jr. (Takes Deep Breath)

 
 

Nine5Four The Magazine October 2010 Business FeatureInterview by Randall B. Jones – Phots provided by MZN Enterprises, Inc.

Born in Philadelphia to a musician and a childcare advocate, Ravenda Dallah found herself not sure of what she would due for a living. She tried construction, customer service, food service, banking and childcare jobs but they did not satisfy her desire to do something great. With writing as her passion and a daughter who’s an aspiring hip hop artist, she embarked on a plan that would allow both of their voices to be heard as well as others. Thus she created Mingle Zone Network (MZN) Enterprises, Inc. Her company connects people who are in need of the proper resources to solidify their ideas or talents with individuals and businesses that have the skills, platforms and proven abilities to help them reach their goals. She is a hard working individual who never turns down a challenge that comes her way. Ravenda has big plans in store for the not so distant future that will make her a major player in the multi-media industry. This is one interview that you don’t want to miss if you’re looking to move your career in the right direction.

Welcome Ravenda and thanks for hanging with us today. (RAVENDA) - It’s a pleasure!

How was it growing up in Philly? (RAVENDA) - I grew up in West Philadelphia which at the time was pretty fun and felt safe. I had a great neighborhood where I knew everybody and they were all like family looking out for each other. My schools were walking distance and we had the mom & pop stores we’d hang out in. It was great then and I still have most of the same friends I grew up with. My kids were born there too. As it got really crazy and congested, I ended up following my mom and sister to South Jersey where I live now. But I will be moving to Atlanta very soon.

You are a successful business woman on the move. Let’s begin with why you decided to create MZN Indie Radio? (RAVENDA) - Well thankfully my stage fright wasn’t an inherited trait so my daughter who is a rapper, Lady Lex, was interested in trying to start her own music career. We looked around and tried to get on the local radio stations but the content of her songs and the fact that she was not signed, had no budget and was literally an unknown was a big setback. I started checking other resources. I’m an internet fanatic and after looking around on there I found Blogtalk Radio. It was a free internet radio format in which one can do their own radio shows. Whether it is talk, music, or a bunch of folks talking about business, it was free. I’m a big fan of “FREE”. Well, February 2009 I began the Mingle Zone Network and set up my radio show where I’d have guests talking about business networking, and I’d just have a variety of topics so I could in between conversations play music of my daughter or her friends. Then I started getting people from all the different social networks I was involved in and ended up putting a music podcast together just rotating music. I got too busy for the networking conversations and decided to just make it a radio station. There was born MZN Indie Radio. I had talked to many indie artists about how difficult it was to get airplay and I remembered my daughter’s experience. So I started playing indie music but I wanted to be different. I wanted people to know about these artists, what drives their music careers, the difficulties of getting major exposure, and how the industry as it is was affecting them. I felt it was important for the world to hear what an indie artist was all about. They’re not some homeless folks on a corner with a tin pan and a guitar playing for change. They are the grass roots of the entire industry, where it began. So now indie artists send me their music and I rotate it on my website, music player and my show, interview them, refer them to other hosts, and now with our upcoming events I’ll be able to hire them to perform for me or my clients. I think it’s important to keep the indie artist in existence because not everybody will make it to the Top 40.

Please explain to the up and coming artist reading this why it is important for them to use your services. (RAVENDA) - It’s important to have an honest person on your team. It’s also important to work with someone who is as passionate about your music as you are and not looking to get rich on false hope. I am not a Publicist, a Manager, nor an Indie Label. What I do is help an artist create a buzz about their music when they are on a very small to nothing budget. The internet is the best place for an indie artist to start getting themselves known by the public. It is phenomenal how it’s created music careers for some folks but it is not going to help you if you don’t know what you’re doing. You either have to be knowledgeable or know somebody who is. I help the artists I work with create an internet presence by either designing their website, or adding the content and keeping it updated. I also spend a lot of time posting on social networks, sending out press releases, and other info to music blogs and magazines. I make a lot of contacts by being a radio host, most in the industry of music and film. I refer these artists to my resources. Now that we are evolving in what we provide to our listeners such as live video broadcasting and events, I’ll be able to do more. Our upcoming “Indie Stream TV” network launching this Fall will allow MZN Indie Radio to be more visual to our listeners and the indie artists will now have another place for their music to be used when it is placed in our commercials, intros, programming, and the movies we will be producing.

And I understand that you wouldn’t stop there as you would like to create your own indie label as well. (RAVENDA) – That’s very true! We may even end up having our own label but it would be much different than your ordinary label because it will be the label of the indie artist. It won’t be a 360 deal or anything that allows us to keep all the profit while the artist makes a small portion of it. I’d call the organization of the new label the “Uncorporation” because Artists will share in revenue, profit, and ownership. It’s not about the executives; it’s about people who work together for success. Some may frown on it because they may not believe it will work. But tell me then why so many labels using old methods are non existent or grouped into one label because they aren’t making that big dollar anymore. It’s not the artist’s fault. It’s about management and being fair. So, I’d say I am very dedicated to the indie artist.

I would say that you certainly are. What type of reach does your show have and what is the volume of hits you receive? (RAVENDA) - I have a global reach right now. It’s amazing how many people in Asia like my show. In addition to the US, I have people in Africa, India, Germany, Russia, the Mediterranean Islands, Europe, the UK and Australia. On Blog Talk alone I went from a couple hundred listeners to over 25,000 within a year and a half. Since February of this year, I gained 18,000 listeners from Blog Talk, but I have other Podcast hosts sites I am on with unique visitors and that has added an additional 17,000 listeners as well. I think it may have grown a bit more in the last month since I just started adding my links to multiple search engines. Since reaching out to artists on music sites where they post their sites, music and links, I’ve been inundated with more artists wanting to have their music played. I even get artists who have been famous before but are getting back in the game. It’s hard sometimes for them to consider using this new method of social marketing. It always starts with an interview.

Are there any artists you’ve featured that have since gone on to sign with record labels? (RAVENDA) - I had a rap artist from the West Coast named “Bigg Jigg” on the show last year. He’s now signed to Universal. My show is monitored by the amount of listeners and downloads I receive for each broadcast. Because there are so many other shows on Blogtalk it is hard to monopolize the entire audience they get on their server. So people who don’t get to listen live, often download the show for later and keep it on their computer or their iPod’s. I keep track of everything. The average is 15-20 live listeners; 75-175 downloads for a show that is on between 6pm and 9pm on a weeknight when most folks are doing other things or in bed. Sometimes I do a repeat of the show either on the weekend or another day. Bigg Jigg as of today since being on the show has over 475 downloads.

Most of the artists I’ve promoted have opted to be independent because this social marketing method puts more money in their hands without red tape. But some folks get lucky. “Special Ops”, a rock band I featured from Canada also signed with a major Indie Label. What’s funny is, they never made it to the live interview due to a schedule conflict but I kept the show going and they still got over 130 people who listened to the show. Another artist who was recently featured on a few of our local channel news shows and have just won a talent show featured on our local network, “Ju Taun”. He has been on my show a couple times and have had a phenomenal record of over 800 downloads. Why they are not signed is beyond me with a fan base that reaches into Australia, New Zealand and Canada, I don’t understand why Universal turned them down. They are amazing.

But then I have an artist I do a lot of promotion for, “Q Harper” (an R&B artist from Detroit), has had several meetings with Universal, Virgin and a few others. He is still doing well without them but continues to get calls about signing. The thing about signing is the “DEAL” Majors are expecting you to do all the main promoting to get your buzz, the sales to create a budget, and the fan base. Then they want to step in with their resources like radio and promoters and opening for big acts, and think they can take all that credit and all that money from your success. The 360 deal, the promotion deals, all of those things are really processes an indie artist can do on their own. You need patience, faith, hunger, and a great team to do it. There is no reason why any really great indie artist can’t make it on their own. Those majors are now using the same resources available to artists and you don’t need a six figure budget to get started.

How does an artist get their music played on your show? (RAVENDA) - All they have to do is send three to four music tracks in mp3 format to my email address, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . I need a brief bio, a couple of nice professional “looking” digital photos (not a bathroom or cellphone pic or of someone standing in a junky house). Make it look like you paid for it. As for the bio, please make sure you tell me why you started your music career. I like to get a feel from an artist by reading their bio, visualizing how they grew up and how music became an integral part of their lives. And please check your grammar. A lot of times I have to cut and paste that bio for the introduction in the show and I spend time revising somebody else’s life. Once I review it if I like it, it is applied to my website at www.wmznindieradio.ning.com and added to my radio playlist as well. I encourage artists to join my site which is set up as a social site for artists. A membership is free. However, I also encourage them to request for the premium membership which gets them additional promotion on my other podcasts, my video stream, direct referrals to my associate radio hosts instead of waiting for them to come to the site, and first consideration to have their music added to my activities or unique music projects. It’s only $25 for the year. Other services are listed as well. I am about to revamp the whole site and move it to another host that will accommodate it along with my TV Network.

I know we touched on it before and you just mentioned your TV network again. Tell me a little more about the evolution of your radio show onto an internet TV outlet and how that is coming along. (RAVENDA) - It’s coming along great!. I’ve gathered my production team, and I will also be using a company that works with AOL, CBS, and a lot of other major companies for their programming, to do some of my production. They are an awesome group. I’ll be holding auditions this fall as well. I have a variety of shows I’ll be doing that are original like a sports news show presented by a couple college fanatics, a fashion news show, a cooking show with some well known chefs, a home improvement show for folks in the inner city. They are always showing fancy homes on HGTV but if you live in the hood and you have a pretty decent looking house, you might need some help too. My strategy for “Indie Stream TV” (an independent internet programming network) is that it reaches into the community and doesn’t concentrate so much on Hollywood’s or upper echelon subjects but the average person, the blue collar and middle class community. Very different from YouTube or MySpace or other video host servers in that we will be marketing it like a regular TV or Cable network without the suits and red tape that has resulted in lots of Network problems. We are setting our network up to allow folks to become producers of their own original TV programs just like on regular TV. We’re looking for professional looking productions that don’t have to be done on a huge budget. Over time with us and our marketing and promotion team they will have those budgets.

How so exactly? (RAVENDA) - The best thing is that they only have to pay for our professional services and add our client’s ads which would cover any expenses we incur from their shows. It’s an ideal project for teenagers who are crafty with a video camera, and it’s great for music artists because we have programming we can add their music too. It’s wonderful for advertisers who will be able to reach into the hearts and souls of the consumer because each subscriber is given a choice of what ads they want to see according to their lifestyles and shopping needs. You won’t see hair dye or sanitary napkin commercials during your shows if you’re a single guy living alone or with your college buddies. It will be marketed to a specific consumer type not in your face majority.

That sounds fantastic! You are also working on something for indie filmmakers…right? (RAVENDA) – Yes, we are providing outlets for indie filmmakers to reach our audience by creating our own “Indie Vanguard Cinema” which will feature indie films, and films previously gone to DVD that are cult classics or did not get the attention from major distribution. It’s something not necessarily new but the steps we’ve taken are new and the results will be seen very soon. I will also be hosting a Travel segment on the “Step On It” TV show hosted by my friend, Deacon Doc, on the Colours TV Network who broadcasts the show both locally in Chicago and globally to the rest of the world.

Now, that’s not all you have going on. Tell me about Mingle Zone Network. (RAVENDA) - Wow, my baby! (Smiles) I am a die hard people person. I love to talk, I love to share, and I love to help folks find out about things they need to know. It’s who I am. I network everywhere I go. On the bus, train, plane, supermarket…everywhere. I’m always meeting people. When I got the hang of being on the internet and finding all the resources on it, I thought to myself, a lot of folks don’t have computers or don’t know how to look for things. So, I found a free social site called “NING” that allowed me to create a social networking site that allows people to create their own member pages, promote their own businesses, add photos, music, and communicate with each other about things that will make your life better or financially successful. Of course you have to do your own homework but I make options available.

I had a hard time creating the name because at first it was supposed to be the Mingle Zone, but it sounded like a dating site, and there was a porn site somewhere in Europe called the Mingle Zone. I added Network to give it a more professional sound since it was created for professionals. But nobody has the lock-down on the word mingle which means simply to socialize with folks who have liked interests. People weren’t mingling anymore. They were going to boring meetings and conferences they had no interest in and it was just not working. I decided to start on the internet to help people learn how to mingle again, and it just grew into so much more.

We are evolving it even more next year with a membership that allows people to have a database of other net workers who no matter where they travel to, they can find somebody connected and meet up with them or participate in a networking or social event. We’re even putting a cell phone application together for MZN so it will be a GPS to professional and social fun not just driving directions and a map. It will increase the productivity of our business partners by bringing people who are traveling to their company or social venue. I’m really excited about where it’s taking me. This fall we are bringing it live to Philadelphia with networking events held at the Philadelphia Clef Club, a sophisticated historical place for Jazz and cultural music lovers. We will be creating events to particular business sectors, promoting them on our Live Stream feed with advertising and live interviews, and adding the music element for indie artists to perform. There will be food, drinks, and lots of networking. Our first Talk Show will be shot there live as well. It’s called “Conversation Piece” and features local non famous celebrities, industry celebrities, business professionals, indie and major artists, and a live audience. We want people to know that you don’t have to be a star to be a “Star”!

You are also involved in the organization of a National Step Competition. By the time this goes to print your September event will have passed. But, tell us about this competition and when/where the next event will take place. (RAVENDA) - Actually, we’ve had some schedule changes and the competition actually started in September as an online submission for the qualification segment. Dates are always changing as we try to accommodate the people involved. But we will notify everybody when everything starts. The mission behind this is to create the “Step To The Beat Foundation” that will raise funds for college students and for youth empowerment programs that help non-college students qualify for college despite personal setback. Programs we will support are those who work with the family unit to strengthen that child’s chances to reach college and to desire that education and feel that they are worth even going. A lot of kids don’t add college to their life because nobody is encouraging them. So we have a major artist opening the show performing with the steppers, celebrity hosts, presenters and judges, and of course steppers from all over the nation. We also have product placement, and advertising opportunities for businesses. Our biggest goal is to keep HBCU’s doors open by making sure we raise funds for students to attend those universities and increase enrollment. Those schools are important to our culture.

Our Chicago Steppin’ Competition starts in November to focus on the history of Chicago Style Steppin’ and we are sending the winners of both Semi Final competitions to compete in the Finals on our Soul Stepping Cruise in June 2011. Up until that point the semi final winners will help us promote our film documentary on the origin and affects of “Steppin”. We are still adding sponsors and companies who want mass media attention because we are streaming the whole event on the internet and that allows them to reach millions of consumers of various age types. We also will be publishing a student directory of all HBCU’s, background and history of the Black Greek Chapter affiliations and their accomplishments, and businesses who have supported HBCU’s. These directories will be distributed among high school students and new college enrollments nationwide. It’s a great opportunity and a great reason to sponsor this project. For more info on the competition please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Or sign up at www.steptothebeat.info . Registration as a vendor information is also on the site. We expect to reach over 3 million viewers with this project.

As if all of this isn’t enough, you also manage up and coming artist. Why did you decide to get into management? (RAVENDA) – Well, I am not the permanent manager but I offer management services to Q Harper, the artist from Detroit I mentioned earlier. He is looking for management now on a more permanent basis but I don’t want to be a permanent manager because I work with so many artists. If I were a manager I would want to concentrate on the one artist mainly. But until he finds the right person, I’m there to help. I have been very successful in helping him create his web presence although we are still working together towards his success regardless of the management he does acquire.

Are there other artists that you currently work with providing other services? (RAVENDA) - As for other artists, I am providing services they would normally get from a Publicist. That is most beneficial to them since they aren’t ready to hire a full fledged Publicist. I am working with a hip hop duo named Black Steele who I think personify hip hop Their style is reminiscent to me of KRS 1, NWA, RUN DMC , and others of that era that issued a message to people within the music, and didn’t focus on trivial things or celebrated strippers, or bragged so much about bling bling or money. It’s one thing to make song about your skills but it’s another thing to just brag and say nothing else. I’ve had a great opportunity to have some really great people on my show from various backgrounds. In music I’ve had Donald Tavie from the band Lakeside, who is now a great friend. Clifford Adams from the band Kool & the Gang, Joe Stonestreet from the original Black Street group, Mr Servon from Master P’s No Limit Records, Tito Puente Jr., Greg Williams of the group SWITCH, Danny Stewart from Death Row Records, Steve Russell from Troop, Denise Hendricks, BET Producer for the Monique show, Beretta 9 from the Wu Tang Clan, Cherie Johnson who was in Family Matters and Punky Brewster, and so many more among a host of indie artists. I’ve been blessed and continue to be. While going to other shows by my colleagues I’ve spoken to celebrities like Sylvia Brown, Karen Black, Kenny Lattimore, Nia Peeples, Eric Roberts, and others. Blogtalk is very popular and I thank them for giving me this outlet to share my passion.

Is there anything else you would like to promote at this time? (RAVENDA) - With all the things I’ve mentioned, you’d think I would have nothing left to talk about right? WRONG! I am an innovative person and always coming up with ideas. With all the things I already do I added Travel Agent to my list. And not to offer to the world but to be able to include it in my networking projects and to help indie artist find great travel deals for their touring. I came across some great places to host events and thought to myself, “These are some great opportunities to provide my elite audiences something special for their vacations.” I found a great place in Turks & Caicos where 18 people can be accommodated at a private luxury villa, with a private beach and a gorgeous and luxurious setting on that beautiful Caribbean island. I will bring in artists to perform during their stay. They get a Butler, Maid, Cook and even a driver along with a complimentary breakfast for the 7 day vacation. The special price includes air, transfers and taxes. And then I thought of how Turks has a lot of things involving art, music and dance so I decided to network with them in bringing artists to perform there regularly. The plan is in motion. The plan also includes taking MZN Indie Radio to China where I also have a growing fan base.

I must say that it’s always great for us to meet others that share in our passion for helping up and coming/indie talent pursue their dreams. You are doing great work and we wish you continued success. We also look forward to possibly collaborating with you on future ventures. Do you have any final words for our readers? (RAVENDA) – Well, I thank you and appreciate being a part of this interview and your magazine. I think it is great to share other people’s successes and ventures. I am definitely down with networking with you. In fact I’d like to offer you the opportunity to be the representing publication to talk about our events. How does that sound? For the readers out there, never give up on your dreams and do your research before moving full force. It is hard and may seem cumbersome but you will get there if it is meant to be.

You’ve got a deal!

Nine5Four The Magazine October Rap Feature “KING OF DA CLUB”

There’s a lot of artist out there that claim to have the club scene on lock. I personally don’t think that claim can be held by just one person because there’s sooo many talented artist out there…especially in South Florida. BUT, I do believe we have come across one of those artists that definitely has to be mentioned in the conversation. His name is Andrew Knowles a.k.a. “RudeBoy Da Nice Guy”. When you hear this young man’s music you can’t help but jam to his groove as if you’re in the club. His energetic beats and tight lyrical flow is guaranteed to keep dance floors jumping all night long. For someone who almost stepped away from his passion because of turbulent family troubles, he has now become one of the hottest artists out of Palm Beach County that’s on the doorstep of truly making a break through. With his strong home team Reign Entertainment behind him, all the pieces are in place for this artist to make the music industry stop and take notice. Here’s your chance to get to know the self-proclaimed “King of Da Club” up close and personal.

“RudeBoy” is in tha building!! How’s life been treating you playboy?

< RUDEBOY > Everythings been good, just been working hard to get the music out there.

Which name do you go by, “RudeBoy” or “RudeBoy Da Nice Guy”?

< RUDEBOY > All the homies call me “Rude” but the “Nice Guy” thing is just to level me out. Lol! Honestly, Ima nice guy all the time but if I’m pushed in the wrong way…what can u expect…“Rudeboy!”

I understand you go by “King of Da Club” also. How did you get this tag or is it obvious?

< RUDEBOY > I’ve been told my energy on stage or in the club is crazy and my city crowned me the “King of Da Club”.

You were born in the Bahamas but moved to Miami, FL at the age of three. How did that move affect you at such an early age?

< RUDEBOY > Honestly, it really didn’t affect me much. I was too young to know what was going on…lol…but in the end it was a good move.

When did you know that you wanted to become a rap artist?

< RUDEBOY > At the age of 14 I could just feel it man! I’ve ALWAYS LOVED MUSIC but its just something about that mic that I love and hearing the crowd sing my songs with me with no radio play.

Who were some of your influences that made you want to get in the game?

< RUDEBOY > Micheal Jackson, Pac, Biggie and a few others. But mostly Mike is the reason why I’m so open to different sounds and styles of music.

You decided to get really serious about pursuing your career at age sixteen. Tell me how you were able to get the attention of Mike Green (head of A&R) at Platinum Records Studios and how it changed your career.

< RUDEBOY > Back when I was living in Miami, me and my cuzzo Patrick had our group called “Miami’s Most Wanted” and damn for some young dudes we where killing it! I guess it caught Mike Green’s attention and the rest is history.

What happened when you moved to Palm Beach County at the age of eighteen that made you decide to put your career on hold?

< RUDEBOY > I guess I was just stressed out! I mean, at 18, I shouldn’t be but life wasn’t really good at that time. Fighting with the fam and stuff like that was just to much for me at that time.

How did local producers Smif-N-Gunz get you back on track?

< RUDEBOY > They pushed me night and day man! I mean no sleep!! Them boys work, work, work…they made me realize this music is me!

How would you describe your style of music and what makes you different from the rest?

< RUDEBOY > My style of music is Urban Electro Pop. And what makes me different is the way I work and the way I live the music. Music is my life but God comes first.

What has the response to your music been like from the streetz?

< RUDEBOY > So far its been good! My new single “Feenin” featuring 2 Pistols just started getting radio play and the Dj’s are loving it!

I heard your new track “Feenin” featuring 2 Pistols. I think you have another club banger on ya hands right there. How did you guys link up to do the track?

< RUDEBOY > My management got linked up with his manager Erik M to help out with the promo. Working with his people I eventually got a chance to meet 2P. We did a show together for Memorial Day weekend and about 2 months later we knocked out “Feenin”. 2 Pistols is one of the realist dudes I’ve meet in the game. Dude is humble…NO LIE…and he reached out after the track was done to help push it too. Most artists don’t even give a damn but that homey is cool!

You opened for Akon at the Polo Stadium in Wellington, FL this year. How did you get the gig and how was the vibe with Akon?

< RUDEBOY > My label had a relationship with Akon’s label SRC and reached out to the producers of the event. They heard my music and it was on. Damn, the homey Akon was incredible! His energy level is EXTRA HIGH and sharing the stage with him was a blessing and a day that I will never forget. The crowd was going CRAZY when I hit the stage man! I had to look back to see if Akon was there! Lol!

Tell me a little about your home team at Reign Entertainment, L.L.C.

< RUDEBOY > Reign Entertainment is my family all day!! They don’t play NO GAMES and I’m just proud to be the first artist off their label! It also feels good to say that I’m part owner of the label…Chhh!

You write some really tight songs my man. When can we expect a full length CD (not a mixtape) from RudeBoy?

< RUDEBOY > Hopefully everything should be done by the end of the year. The title is going to be “RUDEBOYWORLD”.

Who in the industry would you most like to do a colabo with and why?

< RUDEBOY > Right now I would have to say B.O.B because he’s really on top of his game. I’ve watched him grow from the TJS Dj’s days to what we see now and he’s someone who is gonna be around for a long time. That’s what I’m about…longevity!

Is there anything else you would like to promote at this time that you are currently working on?

< RUDEBOY > Yeah of course! My album “RUDEBOYWORLD” and the video for “Feenin” will be shot soon, so look out for that along with my webisode series Rudeboyworld.

Where can the readers go to sample your music and to follow your career?

< RUDEBOY > Itunes, Amazon, Zune, etc. TXT RUDEBOY TO: 41411

MY radio show Every Thursdays, tune in w4cy.com @10pm for ON N POPPIN Radio

WWW.TWITTER.COM/RUDEBOYWORLD WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/RUDEBOYWORLD

WWW.MYSPACE.COM/RUDEBOYWORLD and also check out RUDEBOYWORLD on YOUTUBE.

I appreciate you taking the time to share with us today. I know you got some shout outs to drop…Let’m rip!!

< RUDEBOY > AYO SHOUT OUT TO REIGN ENT, MONIQUE B, DA’VID, SMIFNGUNZ, ERIK M, 2PISTOLS, NINE5FOUR THE MAGAZINE, FLORIDA AND TO ALL MY FANS…THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT! REMEMBER AS LONG AS YOU KEEP GOD FIRST, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN! IT’S RUDEBOY DA NICEGUY…GET USE TO ME BEING AROUND BECAUSE THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING .......CHHHHHHH!!!!

Nine5Four The Magazine October 2010 Feature “ACOUSTIC LOVE”

Calvin Gary, Jr., better known as “Joonie”, is a singer, songwriter, arranger and musician who specializes in Soul, R&B and Popular music. He was born in Jacksonville, NC (but now resides in Los Angeles, CA) into a musical family where his mother was a singer and his father a keyboardist. Thanks to those talented genes, he now embarks upon a musical career that’s taking off like a rocket. Gospel and soul music were always a part of his life and it is reflected in the smooth groves that he produces. His name is well known in the industry because he has written for and collaborated with likes of Angie Stone, Ruben Studdard, Elliot Yamin and the Nappy Roots just to name a few. His goal is to create music that touches the listener’s soul, puts a smile on your face and makes you feel loved. His debut album entitled “Acoustic Love” is already causing quite a stir internationally and here at home has been dubbed “Real Music”. It’s only a matter of time before this talented young artist becomes a household name.

How you feeling my man and thanks for taking the time? [Joonie] I’m on top of the world right now! Thanks for having me.

How did you get your nickname? [Joonie] Well, as a child my family would call me “Joonie” as a substitute for Jr. I tried to shake it when I was about 12 but it didn’t work out to well so I decided to just roll with it. Joonie it is.

Music has always been apart of your life. What role did your parents play in that? [Joonie] My parents did the best they could to surround me with the tools I needed to develop my gifts especially when they found out that I was taking an interest in the piano. They couldn’t afford lessons but they could afford a Casio keyboard for me. Shout out to my stepdad! I would never know how to write a love song if it wasn’t for my mom teaching me how to treat women and LOVE.

The ladies are going to love that for sure. You are an accomplished arranger and musician. How many instruments do you play? [Joonie] I play about 5 instruments but you’d probably only see me play the guitar and piano.

I really dig the soulfulness of your music…it’s really refreshing. Who are your influences in the industry that helped you create your sound? [Joonie] Thank you. My direct influences were Nat “King” Cole, D’angelo, Lauren Hill & Bread. Though I listen to a number of artists, these are the few that had a direct impact on my style of music.

Now, I find it interesting that you never aspired to be a singer and that you actually enjoyed songwriting more. What made you have a change of heart? [Joonie] Family and Friends! They enjoyed the music I was making and really pushed me with encouragement to get out there and sing, so here I am.

Your song writing talents are well known in the industry. Who are some of the artists that you have written for and –overall- what was the experience like working with them? [Joonie] I’ll name two... Elliott Yamin and Angie Stone. They’re both two extremely talented and easy to work with people.

Talk to me about how you hooked up with Warren G and how that lead to your first recording deal.
[Joonie] I was working at a music store in Seattle WA, where a customer of mine asked if he could get my production demo over to Warren. Warren heard the CD and reached out to me. I didn’t jump at the opportunity immediately but with some time we worked out a good agreement, met with his brother Dre, Snoop, Elektra, Atlantic, Jive etc. I ended up signing with Elektra.

Are you still currently signed with Elektra? [Joonie] I partnered my company “Wiz Kid Music” with “Hitclub Entertainment” to release my 1st album “Acoustic Love”. Kenny Bereal and the Hitclub staff are a great group of people who have been helping tremendously on this campaign to get my music to the masses. I create the music and they help get it in your hands.

Let’s get into your album “Acoustic Love” that’s creating such a buzz for you right now. What does this CD have in store for the listeners? [Joonie] It’s a soulful, edgy yet raw album that will definitely go down as a timeless record in your cd collection. The album defines love in every way.

Again, the ladies are going to love that!! People…if you are a fan of soul music…this is the CD to get! It’s perfect for traveling, chilln’ with that special someone, cleaning the house or just having some good friends over…IT’S THAT GOOD! Was this your goal when creating this album? [Joonie] Thanks! In all honesty, a lot of the songs were made for my own listening pleasure. I didn’t expect for anyone to be cleaning their house to it or having a bubble bath with a glass of champagne while playing it. But hey…it worked out great for everyone!

Is your music currently getting radio airplay? [Joonie] We’re working hard on getting radio to pick up on it however I’m getting lots of love from internet radio and international feeds. I haven’t had anything but positive feedback so far!

This CD is garnering you international attention as well. I’m hearing that Japan is showing you much love. How does that make you feel? [Joonie] It makes me feel great knowing that my music touches people of different nationalities. It’s a good sign of longevity.

I agree with you 100%. And the UK is really jocking you hard! Talk to me about being named the #1 selling artist for the UK’s Breaking Artist Distro. [Joonie] I’m just honored... I’m a strong believer in the saying, “nothings ever promised.” And with that said, I take any recognition as humbly as I possibly can.

I caught your music video for your first single “SO FLY”. Great song and very nice work on the video. I have to ask, were you and long time friend Elliot Yamin (of American Idol fame) trying to do the Kid-N-Play 2-step at the end of the video…lol??? [Joonie] Lol!! We just couldn’t seem to get it locked in! We practiced that for weeks!! Lol…just kidding!

One of your songs “Sunshine” is being featured in the BET movie “I DO, I DID” (funny movie with interesting concept). How did this opportunity come about for you? [Joonie] Well I was presented with the opportunity to submit some songs for the movie and they enjoyed not only “Sunshine” but a lot of the songs you hear on my album “Acoustic Love”.

I know that you look at each of your songs as one of your kids. But, which song is YOUR favorite or has extra meaning behind it? [Joonie] No favorites but I’ll find myself listening to a different song more than the rest on a monthly bases and right now “You Got Me” is on repeat.

Do you have any upcoming performances to let the readers know when and where they can catch you “LIVE”? [Joonie] You can get my performance information at www.jooniezone.com.

And let them know where they can purchase “Acoustic Love” and how they can keep up with your career. [Joonie] My album “Acoustic Love” is available on iTunes, Amazon.com and www.joonie.bandcamp.com. Stay in touch with me at www.facebook.com/jooniesmusic and www.twitter.com/jooniezone .

What can we expect from Joonie in the very near future? [Joonie] You can expect to hear more of me!

It was a real pleasure speaking with you Joonie. Stay true to yourself and keep making that “Feel Good” music because we ALL needed it right now (I’ll be looking for my hardcopy from you soon.) Lol! [Joonie] Lol! Thanks for your support ladies and gents. Make sure you spread the word and share my music and sites…you know why?...because friends don’t let friends miss out on great music! Take care.

Editors Note: Special thanks to publicist Meliane Lee of MPrint Music ( www.mprintmusic.com ) for coordinating this inverview.

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