Category Archives: Life

A Demi Grace Exclusive: Face of Sephora Releases New Track “Afraid”

Written by. Chalise Macklin  

It is not every day that an up-and-coming artist becomes the face of a cosmetic product and sings the jingle in a well-known hair product commercial. Demi Grace’s entertainment career is off to a good start with credible accolades behind her name.

Grace’s infectious voice can be heard in the current Dark and Lovely commercials and she is one of the faces of Sephora’s new “Makeup Forever” lipstick line.

“I’m so excited. It is a funny story how I got the job. My agent sent me on an audition, but I did not get it. Later, I got a call back for a voice over audition. I told them I could sing and recorded a track during the audition. They loved it and offered me the job. It was really accidental,” said Grace.

Grace has been singing all her life, but she didn’t start releasing music professionally until 2012.

“I always wanted to be a professional singer. I had a talk with God and asked him what I needed to do to get my start and walk through the right door. I started building my social media following and releasing music independently,” Demi Grace said.

Gone are the days that an artist has to be signed to a major label. The music industry is embracing independent artist like Demi Grace. She contributes her current success to her willingness to interact with fans on social media. The effort has caused fans to become more familiar with her sound which she calls Afro-Dance or Afro-EDM infused with a little bit of Pop.

“My sound is influenced by Hip Hop, Nigerian and Afro beat music, and Reggae,” said Demi Grace. “I am extremely diverse. I tapped into many genres and I am a singer-songwriter.”

Her musical style is also a reflection of her heritage. She is of Nigerian descent,was born in London, raised in California, lived in Atlanta and currently a New Yorker. Her time in New York has influenced her new single “Afraid.”

“I moved to New York and met a guy who was nothing like anyone I met before. The relationship was party-driven, but when we were by ourselves it was hard to get him to open up. It was just a mess, hurtful and I expressed that in the song,” Grace said.

She describes the single as an emotional record that you must be ready for.

“When you go out and hear a song like ‘Afraid’ and listen to the lyrics you have to be ready to feel and emotionally connect,” said Demi Grace.

Demi Grace distinct sound is not the only thing gaining attention, her beauty is as well. Her ebony complexion and tall, slender physique serves as an example to young girls that beauty is diverse and unique.

DemiGrace2 (1)I want girls to be okay with what God gave them and work it. I look up to Missy Elliott and Rhianna and how they wear their body makes it (their body) sexy,” said Grace.

The future is bright for Demi Grace. The Sephora campaign she is a part of debuts in August, her upcoming EP is tentatively set for release in September, and she just finished working on a mix with an Atlanta producer which include heavy hitters such as: T-Pain, Trina, Flo Rida and TI.

For those of you in the New York area, check her out at Webster Hall on August 16th.

Google Offering New Emoji To Better Represent Women and Young Girls

Written by. Chalise Macklin

Most people express themselves on social media multiple times a day. In fact, Business Insider indicates 20 percent of total time spent online in the US is on social platforms. Usually, an emoji is a part of that message to further illustrate feelings. Women and young girls complain there are not enough emoji to accurately convey their thoughts and feelings. It will become easier for them to do so soon.

Although there is a wide range of emoji, there are not a lot that showcase the many facets of women’s careers, or empower young girls. The Unicode Emoji Subcommittee agreed to add 11 new professional emoji.

emojiFirst Lady Michelle Obama spoke out in support of the creation of more emoji. Now; she, other women, and girls can rejoice. The new emoji will provide more options for both women and men. Google indicated that the professional emoji for women were unfairly limited before and included a bride and a princess, which is not the average woman’s career or career aspiration. The options now include a variety of careers such as: business, healthcare, education, food service, entertainment and STEM. There will also be more emoji with skin tone choices.

The new emoji should be available in future versions of Android and on other Google platforms.

emoji1Meanwhile, Facebook is testing a new messenger app which automatically deletes messages sent in a “secret conversation.” Messages included in the “secret conversation” are end-to-end encrypted and can be scheduled to be permanently deleted. The new messenger app can be used to discuss sensitive topics or share information that would be highly compromising if in the hands of a third party.

secretThis new form of messenger is still in a trial period and there are limitations to the system. Facebook have said they will improve the system by the end of the summer.

Apple’s New Patent May Upset You

Written by. Chalise Maklin

Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour, Rihanna’s Anti World tour, or Beyoncé’s Lemonade tour may have been your last time enjoying a concert and capturing all your favorite moments on your phone. Your concert experience could change in the near future.

Apple was awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that would stop people from using their smartphone or tablet cameras to snap images, record video and audio under certain conditions. Many performers do not like to have their shows recorded. And Apple may honor their wishes.

concertMany movie producers, artists, comedians, and musicians argue that people record their shows, movies, etc. and sell it for profit. Others argue that the videos and pictures will be uploaded to social media sites and could hurt ticket sales.

The new patent will likely make event organizers happy, but not consumers. Apple plans to create a form of technology that will send infrared signals at cameras while people try to take a picture or video in areas that forbids video recording and picture taken. The signal will be designed to disable any photography and recording capabilities for as long as the signal is on.

apple_patentAlthough many may feel this is a violation of their rights or freedom of expression, there may be some safety advantages. This technology could help national security and banks because people will have fewer ways to record video that could be a security risk, blueprints, and information that could land in the wrong hands. Apple’s technology would ostensibly prevent some of that.

Whether or not Apple will actually make the technology available is unclear. Apple did not comment on the patent approval. Despite the fact that in the future your phone may be restricted at concerts and movies, you can still enjoy events because now you will be more in the moment and can enjoy the show and the people you attended it with better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Get Down Coming to Netflix This Summer

Written by. Chalise Macklin

You now have a chance to find out why your parents felt growing up in the 70’s was so cool. Netflix has announced a new show, The Get Down, which chronicles the lives of some teenage friends during the mid-1970s in the Bronx.

The Get Down is described as a coming-of-age story set during a time when New York City was near bankruptcy. A trailer for the show does not include much dialogue, but you get a sense of adventure, drama, disco and hip hop, and friendship.

gd gd1The project is under the direction of Baz Luhtmann (Moulin Rouge!, Romeo+Juliet) and Nas has signed on as an executive producer and created music for the series. The Queensbridge rapper is not the only hip hop artist working on the show, DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, and Afrika Bambaataa also collaborated. The show is highly anticipated and has a solid cast including: Jimmy Smiths, Shamiek Moore (Dope), Jaden Smith, and Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad).

The show creators hope to add to Netflix’s winning streak of hit shows such as: Orange Is The New Black and House of Cards. Netflix is trying something new with this series by airing the first half starting August 12th and the second half of the season scheduled to be released sometime in 2017.

Dead Of Summer: New Summer Drama

Written by. Chalise Macklin

The books have been tossed to the side and summer fun is underway. Now that you have more time to indulge in watching television, there is a new show, Dead of Summer, premiering tomorrow (June 28th )that may have you binge watching. Television critics describe the Freeform (formerly ABC Family) show as a supernatural drama that has a similar format as Pretty Little Liars.

Dead of SummerDead of Summer is set in the 1980’s at Midwestern summer camp. The camp seems to be your typical adventurous camp site, but there is something mysterious going on beneath the surface. What is supposed to be a summer of fun will turn into a summer of horror.

summerThe show is a reunion for Once Upon A Time creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz with writer Ian B. Goldberg. Once Upon A Time stars reunite as well. Elizabeth Lail , and Elizabeth Mitchell as Deb, the former camper who reopens Stillwater after it has been mysterious closed for years. They are set to headline the show.

elizabethsThe camp workers will have to deal with more than just the needs of the campers; they will have to deal with an outpouring of evil that surfaces once ancient mythology reawakens. Along with the horror, there are steamy romances and camp activities to keep your attention too.

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The new series also stars Ronnie Rubinstein, Amber Coney Eli Goree, Zachary Gordon, Mark Indelicato (Ugly Betty), and Robin Williams’ daughter, Zelda Williams.

The creators wrote season one with the intent to keep the audience guessing with characters and events that no one can see coming. You will have to tune in each week to see if they accomplished their goal.

 

Zachary S. Williams Lands Role On Greenleaf

Written by. Chalise Macklin

Long gone are the days of OWN struggling to find its footing as a network. Things started off slow five years ago, but now the network is thriving with several hit shows and rising stars thanks to an overhaul of content and its partnership with Tyler Perry to create scripted programming. The Have and Have Nots is one the most successful shows on the network. Its new season premiered last night, but its new show, Greenleaf, is gaining a lot of buzz. The two-night premiere continues tonight, but is already receiving rave reviews and described as “fresh.”

greenleaf 3Oprah Winfrey (Mavis McCready) and Lynn Whitfield (Lady Mae Greenleaf) star in the series. The drama is based on the Greenleaf family life and the secrets their Memphis megachurch is built on.

greenleaf2Several other veteran actors such as Keith David (Bishop James Greenleaf) and Gregory Alan Williams (Robert Mac McCready) help comprise the cast as well as some newcomers.

davidwilliamsZachary S. Williams is one of the newbie actors who has snagged the opportunity most actors dream of.

“I’m really excited it was a memorable experience. “I’m looking forward to seeing the results, said Williams.

zswWilliams is a talented musician, singer and actor. He landed the sought after role after playing the piano during his audition.

“I got an email from my agent about the audition. I read the script at first I was not sure, but the fact that the character played the piano sold me,” Zachary said.

His character is a troubled teen from a dysfunctional family who gains support from Mavis, Winfrey’s character as he plays piano in her bar.

oprah“Mavis does something really special for him. Their relationship has a lot of unspoken dialogue. They understand each other, Williams said.

He started playing the piano at age four and was classically trained for many years. Zachary got his start acting by booking various print jobs and commercials such as Disney, Busch Gardens and Universal’s World of Harry Potter. He also co-hosts a TV mini-series “Ray Rookies;” a show designed to engage youth fans of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. But none of his previous work compares to his new role.

“It feels really great. I’m still shocked. It is mind blowing. How many 16 year olds get to say they worked with Oprah Winfrey,” said Zachary.

The special relationship between Williams and Winfrey was not introduced last night, but it is not all the audience should tune in for. There is a lot more drama and must see moments as the complexity of the characters are revealed.

“There are definitely layers and the story of Greenleaf is told very authentic. People will definitely be able to relate. The writing is directed so the audience can connect with characters,” Williams said.

castHe also stated the diversity of the cast will garner an audience of varying ages.

“People will find someone on the show to relate to. The cast ranges from people in their teens to people in their sixties.” Zachary said.

His character will likely resonate young people; not because of his age but the complexity of his role.

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“My character comes from a trouble home and so does a lot of young people. By watching my character I want them to see there is hope and inspiration. They need to know they have options.” said Zachary.

Williams says he has learned a lot from his time on the set of Greenleaf.

“I was able to learn and grow in an environment that was comfortable,” said Zachary.

As he pursues his acting career, he still plans to attend college later. And he plans to use the advice given to him by Oprah to double major in musical theater and TV production.

“She told me to never give up and always go for what you want.” Williams said.

One of Zacahry’s future goals is to work with community organizations that provide children with opportunities to showcase their talents and interest them in the arts.