9.Jul – { **NEW MUSIC** Black Girl Magic by Shae Loren }

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I’ve known this woman for over 15 years…she’s finishing her doctorate – and I remember when she first started rapping…to hear what she’s doing now is extremely impressive – she epitomizes BLACK GIRL MAGIC…

I’m honored that she calls me her big brother….

Here’s her latest record “BLACK GIRL MAGIC”

BLACK GIRL MAGIC

Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce to you…Shae Loren

Me:  Tell me about “Limeade”

Her: Limeade is a project created by Fredericksburg, Virginia based producer Ayo Jaí. The project is a follow up to his Jaí album, the first compilation that he produced sampling Beyonce’s self titled 2013 album. This project, Limeade, samples her Lemonade album and showcases lyricism from several Fredericksburg, Virginia artists.

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Me:  What influenced you to do this song?

Her: Ntozake Shange inspired me to do this song, Nikki Giovanni inspired me to do this song, Nina Simone, Queen Latifah, Ma Rainey, Bell Hooks, My mother, my mother’s mother, my unborn daughter- every woman in the fiber of my being inspired me to do this song.  I inspired me to do this song. Black girl magic is a celebration of self, it is also a cultural nod to every black woman who ever existed whose specs of melanin are in my skin and whose coils spring from my scalp. In celebrating me I embrace, caress, empower and praise the existence of what I represent- a species of fearless, unapologetic, resilient, loving, nurturing, brave, everlasting creatures. The black woman is God herself.

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Me:  What’s your sickest bar on the record?

Her:  My sickest bar on the record to me is “the universe lives in my pussy if you are not certain I’m fire we don’t match homie”  To me this bar encompasses a lot in a few words. It would be a dissertation if I went into it, but in short I’m saying everything that exists in the world, every atom, every molecule, every flower, every smile, love, worship, spirit and all things in opposition dwells in the place where life begins – the garden of Eden- genisis. And owning that it exists in my divine space gives me full power and control over the universe. I hope every woman can walk with this kind of power. The saying goes “there is power in the pussy” and it always has a highly sexual connotation- thats marginal compared to what the power is really about. It’s not about pleasure it’s about purpose. It’s about understanding that Gods will cannot go forth without it. And If you don’t  believe I have this power and you are a woman,  you can’t believe you have it and we don’t match. Furthermore if you are male and you don’t believe it we can’t be a match because you don’t fully comprehend Gods majesty when you see it.

Me:  Who are your influences and why?

Her:  My mom- she’s the first representatin of God in my life.

Whitney Houston- she helped me to understand the power of Gods anointing as it
pertains to possessing a gift.
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Me:  What did you want to leave your listeners with after hearing this song?
Her:  I want my listeners to be educated, empowered and entertained by every piece of music I create.

4. Jan – { Melanin Enriched Dynamite and the Short Fuses That Ignite Them }

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From the micro-aggressive actions and nuances built into the everyday actions of insensitive non-poc …to the obnoxiously overt actions of the government, legal system and law enforcement towards the blacks…I feel that this year it’s going to be a “new year, new us” kind of thing going on.  My close circle of friends (shout-out to the “Willows” and to my “Brother of the Realm” are already on it this year with the immediate calling out of BS in everyday situations.  Our fuses are short and we’re very tired of talking about the following things – this is a concise and not complete listing of things that I feel will get someone cussed out – or worse.

  • funky attitudes towards us from white people based on our color
  • whites acting like we’re the criminals when they’ve been the most savage of all humans since civilization with the colonization of other nations, raping and pillaging and spreading disease for the cause expansion and manifest destiny.
  • tears
  • cultural appropriation
  • perpetuating the “angry black woman” myth
  • mispronouncing our names
  • supporting white american terrorists (i.e. school and theatre shooters and the current oregon sitch with the terrorist militia)
  • killing us and getting off scott free (reference cops)
  • prison industrial complex (new slavery)
  • systematic oppression
  • touching our hair, or inappropriate comments about our hair
  • dabbing
  • not seasoning food
  • letting don lemon speak
  • saying the “n” word….we can say it – you can’t …shut up and get over it

I honestly believe that if the killings continue – above all of these things listed that the community will explode.  The fuse is short.  We’re already lit.

  • Kenneth

1.Sep – { BLACKLIGHT: India Jackson – Photographer }

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(pictured above:  India Jackson)

Ken: Tell the readers a little about yourself.

India:  From Washington, DC and currently in Virginia Beach, VA. 28 years old.  Studied biology before receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Art + Design from Towson University (Towson,Maryland).  I paint and draw as a hobby and am passionate about the minimalist lifestyle.  Photography clients have included Christian Dior, overstock.com, Groupon, etc.  I also do makeup artistry for Christian Dior and Silver Immersion as well as freelance.   Moved around a lot growing up and was exposed to different cultures.   Oh, and I make some amazing authentic Korean kimchi.

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Ken:  What separates you from the average person that picks up a camera and calls themselves a photographer?

India:  I’ve heard that my “eye” or vision is different.  My first photography experience was sneaking pictures of my Dad (who hates being photographed) with my Grandma’s Polaroid in the early 90’s. I started my career as a beauty model and quickly revisited my passion for photography then picked up makeup artistry in college.  Having filled multiple positions that go into creating a photograph effects my attention to detail and interaction with my subjects and team. Because of my background, I love working with people who are not used to being in front of a camera or who think they are not photogenic.  Making them comfortable comes natural for me and I really got behind the camera as a way of making others feel confident about themselves.

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Ken:  What has been your pinnacle moment as a photographer?

India:  Wow it’s hard to pick just one, but a major moment was my first marketing job for Christian Dior.  I’ve always struggled with wanting to put myself out there but being too shy or modest to really share what I do.  To be requested by a brand with such a polished luxury image really was an honor and made me finally find the confidence I needed to further explore my creative personal work.

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Ken:  Tell us about the India Jackson brand.

India:  I don’t really think of myself as a brand.  When I first graduated from college I had taken advice from others and focused on how to brand, get business, and make money.  This was one of the most miserable and unhealthy times of my life.  In just a year of approaching things that way, I lost my passion and my work suffered.  While I am a small business owner and must work and retain clients to keep bills paid, I really try to forget that so that my actions are not motivated by money.  I just try to be true to myself and my supporters.  I find that my work is better and both my clients and I are happier when I focus on making awesome images instead of branding.  Visually I lean towards clean minimalist design, straight forward blog posts, creative yet clean images, and experimentation.  I also love to help others who are getting started. Keeping it simple works better for me.

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Ken:  Sometimes I hear photographer complain about the social media age, where everyone thinks they’re photographers just because they take a pic that they think is artistic in nature and put a couple of IG filters on it…( of this I’m guilty ) – – what are your thoughts on this?

India:  I think social media is amazing!  Really, It’s wonderful to have access to so many different kinds of people and cultures.  I love that more people are creating and I think it can be a therapeutic experience to make art when you are true to yourself.  The only issue I see with it is pretending to be something you are not.  As far as actual photographers who running a business worrying about Instagram enthusiast…. that’s just silly to me.   The energy spent worrying about that could be put into making their work better.  The only gripe I have is I think people shouldn’t do work for free.  It decreases the appreciation and value of your work as an enthusiast and the photography industry in general when so many people are willing to work for free. Even if you only charge $25 or exchange your time for a guaranteed magazine spread, it’s better than essentially saying photography isn’t worth paying for…. but then again I think musicians should charge for their music and I actually still pay for what’s in my iTunes.

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Ken:  Lastly, Anything else you want to let the readers know?  Doesn’t have to be photography related at all.

India:  Don’t let anyone keep you from you dreams and goals!  It’s so easy to give up after hearing a few “no’s”. When you make the decision to follow a path that isn’t the norm, there will be resistance and unfortunately it may even come from the people you love.  Please don’t let that keep you from your happiness and success!

Lastly, do you!  In the world of social media it’s easy to compare yourself to others but do know that looks can be deceiving.  What’s right for someone else may make you miserable!

Ken:  How can people contact you – what is your website and social media presence?

India:  www.indiajackson.com

I am also a social media addict with  instagram  snapchat and facebook being my favorites and can be reached via:

http://instagram.com/theindiajackson

http://www.facebook.com/theindiajackson

and @theindiajackson on most other social media.

 

20.July – { The Blacklight: Tanaé Briana – Artist }

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Meet Tanaé Briana, an artist that I met in the wonderful world of the innanets.  I saw some of her work online and decided to ask about her business, and how much it would cost to get some original work done around my mansion (and I use that word loosely).  She was very professional, and passionately knowledgeable about her craft.  So much so, that she compelled me to do a piece on her to showcase some of her artwork and to give you all the chance to support her business as well.  I asked her if I could do a short interview and she was more than willing…please enjoy!

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Located: Chicago
Relevant Background Info: 22 years old, been drawing for 2.5 years, specialize in portraits, color pencils are my favorite medium.
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K:  How long have you been doing this?
Tanaé:  I’ve been doing art for 2.5 years and selling it for about 2 years now.
K: Who are your inspirations / What is your inspiration?
Tanaé:  What inspires me to draw is simply people. I have a thing with faces. I’ve always been able to notice the small details in people’s features. And when I see a defined nose or big, round eyes or full lips, I have to draw it! Artists who inspired me to try color were Elle Wills, Heather Rooney, and Manasseh Johnson. 
K.  What made you go into the “business” of art?
Tanaé:  I’ve always been artistic and I’ve always been a hustler, even before I started drawing. I’m big on using my talents to make money. When I discovered that people really liked my work and I started getting requests for drawings, I knew that turning my art into my business would be a thing. Everyone ones to be able to make a living doing something they love. Art is a commission-based job, but it’s also something you can spend less than $50 on for materials and create something worth thousands.
K.  Tell us about your business and why people should come to you to get that work?
Tanaé:  I currently sell photo prints and canvas prints of my original work, as well as the originals. They’re all on sale at my website http://iamtanae.tictail.com. I also allow people to commission portrait drawings from me, which can range from $125-300 depending on the size and medium. Commissions can be requested by emailing tanaebrianab@gmail.com. People should come to me for work because I’m me! All of my clients and online supporters know me as a sweet but professional business woman who provides quality work for a fair price. I will always try my hardest to work with people. My art speaks for itself. Even if I’m incapable of doing what a client requests, I’ll recommend an artist who is more suited for the job. I always meet my deadline and I always get compliments on my exceptional work ethic.
K.  Any advice you can give aspiring artists/entreprenuers?
Tanaé:

1. Practice consistently. I know everyone says “practice makes perfect” about everything, but I promise it’s true when it comes to drawing. I used to get so discouraged with my drawings when I first started because I couldn’t get it to look realistic the way I wanted and I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong. I didn’t start to improve until I drew every single day. 

2. Be patient. I mean, you can’t be impatient anyway when it comes to art because you’re only gonna end up frustrated and mad at yourself, but especially when it comes to drawing. Don’t expect to become the world’s best drawer in just a week. Just keep working at it and you’ll notice your work getting better and better.

3. Don’t compare yourself. You’re a beginner, you’re not gonna be as skilled as artists who have been doing it for years. You might learn as fast, you might take a little longer. Allow yourself to develop at your own pace. Don’t give up 🙂

4. Promote, promote, promote! You are your biggest fan. Don’t be concerned about annoying people by promoting yourself. That is how you get exposure. You can get creative with it by doing giveaways and contests on social media. Do whatever you can to get your name and your work out there!

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Work by Tanaé Briana

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