Tag Archives: lifestyle

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.

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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.

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.

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.

 

New Artist Symon Gaining The Spotlight

Written by. Chalise Macklin

Establishing a name as a singer can be challenging, but up-and-coming artist Symon is making it look easy. She has been honing her craft since she was a teen. Once in a band and now a solo artist she is working hard to show you why she is the one to watch.

symon“I did plays and everything I could to break into the business. I have so much in my arsenal that people don’t know about, and I’m ready to bring it,” said Symon.

Her hustle mentality paid off. She and her former band, The New Officials, opened up for Demi Lovato on her Neon Lights tour.

“It was an incredible experience to see how she works,” said Symon.

tnoThe journey helped prepare her for the future. The band disbanded, but she landed a solo deal with Artbeatz Entertainment/Sony. Now, her first single, “Say”, is climbing the charts and is predicted to be a summer anthem.

“It is a great introduction song. A great pop, summer record,” Symon said.

symon2

Her debut single was strategically titled to take advantage on the phrase Simon Says. It is a playful record that combines sass with elements of her personality.

“I wanted (people) to feel my vibe, plus it doesn’t hurt that my name is included in the record,” said Symon.

The record’s infectious lyrics and her relatability have led to some major opportunities for Symon, including participating in a radio tour. She is also working on an EP scheduled for release this fall.

“The EP will include more mid-tempo and upbeat songs.  A personal song called “Lonely Girl” will offer a more intimate side of me and it is a true connection to a more vulnerable me,” Symon said.

Symon is currently working with Barletta, who is responsible for Daya’s hit song “Hide Away”

“I’m working with some amazing producers. I’m creating my sound being me, being Symon. I’m true to myself other people will hopefully connect,” she said.”

The singer has shown much promise and describes her signature style as heavily urban and tropical influenced. Bob Marley Lisa, Left Eye Lopes (TLC), and Gwen Stefani are some of her biggest inspirations. She said her music should make you want to go to the beach, drive with the top down, sip tropical drinks, and have a good time. The Southern California native has vocal range, and is more than just a pop artist. Symon is a singer –songwriter who is a trained musician and vocalists.

“I was trained in opera. I had different teachings of music and voice. I co-write everything I do, because I want listeners to connect with me and feel the authenticity,” said Symon.

Those planning to get to know her sound better should expect a lot of fun and to enjoy themselves. Her stage show channels the same energy as her records.

“Prepare to enjoy themselves (concert goers) and to feel immersed in the sound. I put on a show,” Symon said.

symon1If the momentum she has gained continues, she is well on her way to a promising career and may cement her imprint into the music world.

Jourdan Dunn Motivating Young Women On And Off the Runway

 

Written by. Chalise Macklin

This is not the time to doubt yourself or feel you can’t achieve your dreams. There are several movements happening to boost girls, teens, and young women’s self-esteem and focuses on what makes them great. From #blackgirlmagic, #alllivesmatter, and now #ActuallySheCan; there are plenty of motivational outlets to tap into for inspiration.

Women’s health company, Allegran, launched #ActuallySheCan campaign to encourage female empowerment through inspiration and help young women to reach their professional, personal, and societal goals.

ASC ASC1The company says, “This is a movement for those who aren’t afraid to toss out what they don’t want to make room for what they do. Because we believe focusing on the positive things in your life means less drama, more karma.”

The outlet is designed to educate, celebrate and support young ladies as they strive to reach their full potential. The platform also continues Allegran’s commitment to donating to charities that focus on women’s causes. Supermodel, Jourdan Dunn, has partnered with the organization as the face and ambassador. Dunn indicated she is all about supporting and inspiring other women.

Jourdan DunnLea Michele is also supporting the campaign and is promoting bringing back sisterhood and strength.

Lea Michelle

#ActuallySheCan partnered with LeMotto to create limited edition tank tops with inspirational phrases such as: “Less Hesitation, More Meditation,” and “Less Drama, More Karma.” The platform also has contests and events.

Whether it’s by sporting an inspirational t-shirt, or receiving motivation from a celebrity, young women have the opportunity to be encourage to defy odds, challenge convention, and inspire their generation.